I’ve always enjoyed baking for my family. When my children were school age I would bake several days a week so they cold have a snack as soon as they arrived home and stave their hunger over until dinner was on the table. I have fond memories of baking with my mother and with my children and grandchildren. I’m sharing a few of my favorite holiday cookie recipes just in time for you to bake up holiday treats with your family.
A few of my favorite holiday cookie recipes are Super Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing, No Bake Chocolate Crackles, Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies Filled with Homemade Dulce De Leche, and Coconut Macaroon Cookies.
Ingredients & makes 30-35 cookies
1 + 1/3 cup flaked coconut
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder aluminum free
3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean goodness (I’ve also substituted 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
2 – 4 ounces chopped chocolate for drizzling over completely cooled cookies. I used white chocolate and semisweet chocolate to decorate my cookies.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl stir together coconut, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. Using a wooden spoon stir in egg whites and vanilla bean goodness and mix until combined.
Using a cookie scoop drop coconut cookie mixture onto parchment paper lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake in a 325-degree oven for 20-28 minutes; until the bottom edge of cookie turns a light golden color. The top of the cookie will have a few spots of golden color as well. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once cooled place the cookies on parchment paper with the cooled cookie edges touching.
Place 2-4 ounces of semisweet chocolate into a zip food bag, making sure the chocolate is in the bottom corner. Place the unzipped bag in the microwave for just a few second to soften the chocolate (microwave time will vary) then snip a TINY bit of the corner of the bag off. Now using very little pressure squeeze while drizzling the chocolate over the completely cooled cookies. Now let the chocolate set up. Store in an airtight food storage container.
Salty Dulce De Leche Filled Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Ingredients & makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 + 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 + 1/2 sticks of BUTTER (12 tablespoons) soft not melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies
3/4 cup powdered sugar for rolling cookies
I made homemade Dulce de Lech for filling my chocolate thumbprint cookies. However, you can use candies such as Hershey Kisses, dried fruit, etc. I plan to make another batch before the holidays with bourbon cherries as the filling since my brother adores cherries. I’ll post an update.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, 1 & 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
Add softened not melted butter, 4 eggs until combined. Cover and refrigerate until dough is firm approximately 30-45 minutes.
Once the cookie dough has cooled and become firm, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using 2 shallow bowl place the powdered sugar and granulated sugar mentioned in the ingredients into separate bowls.
Have the children help with this next step as they will love “helping”. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and then roll gently to coat in first the granulated sugar and secondly the powdered sugar and then place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet 1.5 inches apart.
Gently using your thumb make an indention in the center of each cookie 1/2 wide. At this point, depending upon the filling choices you can bake the cookie without a filling (the Dulce de Leche is added after the cookies cool) or with if you’re adding dried fruit.
Bake at 325 degrees for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will appear puffed and slightly cracked. Do no over bake. Place on cooking rack until completely cooled.
Fill with your favorite filling or try the Dulce de Leche filling with a sprinkle of sea salt for added goodness.
Dulce de Leche
Dulce De Leche is a creamy rich caramel sauce that goes well with SO MANY FOODS… seriously!
Before we begin I CAN NOT STRESS the importance of you following the directions and very CLOSE ATTENTION to the WATER LEVEL in the post during the ENTIRE cooking process. If you should let the water simmer and evaporate so the can is not fully emerged in the water you risk the chance of the can exploding. Sounds scary I know but if you use caution you will end up with a can of creamy rich caramel goodness!
Remove the label from a can or two of sweetened condensed milk.
Place the can on its side in a LARGE pan, think deep pot like you’d use to make chili. The reason you place the can on its side to prevent the can from bouncing around in the pan as the water simmers creating an annoying sound that will surely cause you to turn up the radio to drown out the rattling sound.
Fill the deep pan with water, making sure the can is submerged with at least 1.5 – 2 inches of water. Place the pot over mid-high heat until just before it starts to boil. TURN the heat down to medium and allow the can to simmer FULLY submerged for a minimum of 3 hours, longer if you prefer your caramel to have a richer darker color and taste. I simmered mine for 4.5 hours.
Once the time was up I left my can in the pot and turned the heat off. I left it set overnight in the pan to cool as the water cooled. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPEN THE CAN WHILE IT IS HOT. THIS WILL CAUSE A CHANGE IN THE PRESSURE IN THE CAN AND INJURY TO YOURSELF! Allow the can to cool completely, hence the reason I let mine sit overnight so I won’t be tempted to open the cans.
The Dulce de leche will firm as it cools, and it can be heated it so desired.
I’m stating a fact when I say Deluce de leche is absolutely delicious straight out of the can with a spoon, however, you will find so many foods to add a dollop of caramel goodness to you’ll need to make more than one can at a time. I store mine in a short wide mouth jar sealed with a lid in the refrigerator.
And yes, I moved my can on its side after I snapped the photograph.
You can purchase dulce de leche and I will not judge!
Thick Soft Sugar Cookies
Ingredients & makes 3 dozen cookies
4 cups all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 4 tablespoons of butter slightly soft NOT melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs yolk+ white
+ 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean goodness or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk (you may need more or less)
4 teaspoons of light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla, unless you will be using white icing then you will need a clear vanilla flavoring.
Icing colors of your choice granddaughter decided “green” looked like Christmas.
Sprinkles or candies to decorate while icing is still wet.
In a large mixing bowl I use a stand mixer, add butter and beat for a minute and a half and then gradually begin to pour in the sugar and the mixer continues to beat the butter and sugar mixture and beat until smooth about 2 minutes.
With the mixer running add the eggs and yolks, along with the vanilla goodness and reduce mixer speed to slow.
With the mixer running SLOWLY add in small amounts of flour with the mixer speed set to slow. As you near the end you will need to pause the mixer as yo add in the remaining flour to prevent a mess and you will need to increase the mixer speed to ensure all of the flour mixtures has been incorporated throughout the dough. Don’t over mix.
Place the sugar cookie dough in a zip bag or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour. Airtight wrapped dough can be frozen for 2 months. I also bake a big batch and freeze the cookies in airtight zip baggies. Then when the children stop by for a short visit I can whip up a little bit of icing and have a special treat for the children.
Once the dough has had an hour to rest and chill completely you can begin the process of rolling and shaping the individual cookies. Note* only take out as much dough as you can work with quickly as the cookies will hold their shape better if the dough stays cool until the moment they go into the oven.
I use 2 sheets of parchment paper to roll out my sugar cookie dough or you can use the powdered sugar and flour, I prefer the less messy option.
Once the dough is rolled to 1/2 thickness you can begin using an assortment of cookie cutters or even a glass to cut out your holiday sugar cookies. Thicker cookies will bake up softer, and you can roll the dough thinner for a crispier cookie.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven place the cookie on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. IF the dough is not still fairly cool to the touch when you are ready to bake, you will need to place the whole baking sheet in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to allow the sugar cookie dough to cool and firm up again. Bake 9-11 minutes, JUST until the VERY outer edge SLIGHTLY turns a light tan color. Do not over cook or they will not be SOFT Sugar Cookies. Allow to cool for one minute on pan before moving to cooling rack. Store in an airtight cookie storage container.
In a medium bowl add all of the icing ingredients and mix well with a whisk. Add icing coloring if desired. Enjoy!
I’d almost bet you have the ingredients in your pantry to whip up a quick batch of No Bake Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Just think fresh chocolate cookies in under 30 minutes and only mucking up one sauce pan!
Our No Bake Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe.
Turn on your favorite holiday music and invite someone to help create an array of holiday cookies today, bringing back family traditions!
Minerva Dairy Americas oldest family-owned cheese and butter dairy is celebrating the holidays with a virtual cookie exchange, blending the traditional with the contemporary. In The Great Minerva Dairy Cookie Exchange, consumers will have the opportunity to play along with Minerva Dairy in the spirit of the holidays from November 15 – December 15, 2016, by visiting Minerva Dairy and voting for one of four cookie recipes from Venae’s Kitchen. By voting from a new set of recipes each week, consumers will be entered into the contest, culmination in 4 (four) grand prize winners earning a year’s supply of Minerva Dairy 84% butterfat Amish Roll Butter and new flavor-infused butter. See site for details.*
I’m so excited and pleased to announce… our Coconut Macaroons Cookie Recipe is being featured by Minerva Dairy!
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