Cookies with Santa

Cookies with Santa

What’s more fun than making and eating Christmas cookies?  Eating them with Santa!  Check out some of Santa’s favorite cookie recipes.  Santa and Mrs. Claus love making cookies for the elves.  The North Pole is magical for many reasons, one of which is certainly the delicious aromas that waft throughout the workshop.  Everyone has their favorites, even the reindeer.

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Old Fashioned Shortbread Cookies

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 Stick plus 1 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 1 Cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup cornstarch

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bring butter to room temperature and cream with sugar until soft and smooth.  Combine flour and cornstarch in separate bowl. Using a food processor, gradually sift in flour and cornstarch pulsing only until the mixture comes together.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender.  Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Depending on your preference (crispy, or more tender), roll the dough to 1/8th to 1/4th inch thickness.  Thinner cookies will be crisper.  Cut the cookies into the desired shapes.  You can use cookie cutters, biscuit cutters, or even cut with a knife into bars or squares.

Carefully transfer to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for up to 20 minutes.  Be careful not to burn.  The edges of the shortbread should barely begin to brown.  A good oven thermometer is a great investment for cookie baking.  Remove immediately and allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, or more.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

Decorate

Prior to baking, you may lightly sprinkle cookies with colored sugars available in the baking aisle of most stores.  Alternately, once removed from the oven, dust with confectioners sugar through a strainer.

Or, ice with your favorite decorators icing, sprinkles or other fun decorations.  Many bakers also dip a portion of the cookies into melted chocolate for a more decadent treat.

HINT:  Santa likes them plain best of all!

 

Mocha Pecan cookies

Mocha Pecan Cookies

Mocha Pecan Christmas Cookies

These are absolutely decadent cookies and one of Santa and the elves all-time favorites.

Prep:  30 minutes
Cook: 10-12 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-ounce package (2 cups) good quality semi-sweet chocolate morsels (divided)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon boiling water
  • 1 1/4 Cup All purpose flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup chopped nuts (Santa prefers pecans)
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt over hot (not boiling water) 1/2 cup of chocolate morsels.  Stir until smooth; cool to room temperature.  In a small cup, dissolve espresso in the boiling water and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar and coffee mixture and beat until creamy.  Add the egg and melted chocolate and mix well.  Gradually add the flour mixture.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cup chocolate and nuts.  Drop by rounded measuring Tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Allow to stand 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets; cool completely.  Makes approximately 24-3″ cookies.

 

Currant Pecan Oatmeal

Currant Pecan Oatmeal

Currant Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  25 minutes
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups pecans
  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 3 Cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 Cups currants

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.

Lightly toast the pecans in 350 degree oven (approximately 5 minutes).  When cool, chop coarsely. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In mixer bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  On low, add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.  On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mix.  Sir in the oats, currants and nuts until just combined.

Using a tablespoon, drop 2 inch mounds of dough onto the baking sheets.  Flatten slightly with the back of a damp fork.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Allow to rest 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Crescent Cocoon

Crescent Cocoon

Crescent Cocoon Cookies

  • 1 Cup butter
  • 2/3 Cup confectioners sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 1/3 Cups all purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, cream butter thoroughly and add sugar and vanilla, blending till creamy and smooth.  Add the pecans followed by the flour.  The mixture is very stiff.  A stand mixer can usually handle it, but small hand mixers may overheat.  Once mixed, knead slightly until well combined.  Break off small chunks and roll into logs approximately 3 inches in length and 1/2 inch in diameter.  Curve into a crescent shape and place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes watching carefully.  The cookies should be a very light tan, not golden brown.  Cool slightly, then roll in powdered sugar while still warm.  Depending on the size of the cookie, the recipe makes 4-6 dozen.  Store in an airtight container.

Gingerbread

Gingerbread

Gingerbread Cookies

Prep time:  approximately 3 hours
Cook: 18-20 minutes
Level: easy

Ingredients for Cookie

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar (we prefer dark)
  • 6 Tablespoons of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup Molasses or Sorghum
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Spice blend for Cookie

  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

In a large bowl combine the flour, spice blend and salt.  Cover and set aside.

In a mixer bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat until fluffy.  Slowly add the molasses, mix well, scraping the sides to ensure the mixture is evenly combined.  Add vanilla and eggs mixing briefly.  Add one fourth of the flour mixture and beat until it just comes together.  Repeat for the remaining three fourths of the flour.

Turn the dough out, divide into two halves and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Prepare work surface for rolling/cutting and line baking sheet with parchment paper.  As soon as it is soft enough to work, roll out to thickness of 1/8th to 1/4th inch.  Larger shapes need to be thicker than small shapes.  Be sure to roll with the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Do not roll out on floured surface. Cut to desired shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes depending on size and desired crispness. Cookies should be baked through but still soft.  Remove pan and allow cookies to rest for 10 minutes.  Transfer to cooling rack with spatula and ice as desired.

Decorating:

Decorating gingerbread can be as simple or complex as you want.  Most stores that carry baking supplies also sell prepared decorator icings for ease of use.  Santa attends lots of cookie decorating parties where smart moms take full advantage of these items.  If you prefer to go the traditional route, a standard royal icing is most appropriate for gingerbread.  It dries hard and allows for more intricate detail.