Sunday, December 11, 2016

Lucy's Favorite Christmas Cookies

LUCY BURDETTE: If I only get around to making one kind of Christmas cookie, this is the recipe I turn to. (And I was soooo excited a couple years ago to find cookie cutters at Sur la Table with a tropical theme!)This recipe always turns out well–just don’t skimp on the butter or the chilling part of the process. (And this year, I'll try making them without the salt.

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt

Cream the softened butter and the sugar.

Then beat in the egg and vanilla.

Then mix the flour with butter/egg/sugar mixture. Chill dough for 3 hours (or overnight, if you'd prefer to bake and decorate the next day.)

Preheat over to 350. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface, dip cutters into flour before each use. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 ” or until lightly browned. Let cool, and then frost.

Creamy vanilla frosting: mix 3 cups powdered sugar with 1/3 c butter, softened. Stir in 1.5 tsp vanilla and about 2 tablespoons milk. Beat until spreadable, and then add color and sprinkles as desired.
Have fun with decorating–my favorite this year are the palm trees and the sunglasses. But I love the chicken too, though my artwork is a little sketchy:). (In case you don't know, Key West is overrun with chickens--and it's illegal to harm one!)

What kind of cookies might you be baking?

And ps, here's the prize-winning zany Key West decoration this year--every day I walk by and they've added something new!

And pps, come back tomorrow for more Jungle Red cookie recipes and to share your own!


  1. Ah, those are delicious-sounding cookies. And so pretty, too. Thanks for the recipe.
    ’Tis the season of holiday cookies; around here there’s an expectation that certain cookies will be brought forth from the kitchen, so I will make oatmeal for John because they’re his favorite; then it’s triple chocolate chip, peanut blossoms, Russian tea cakes, snickerdoodles, and sugar cookies.
    If time permits, mincemeat cookies are on the list, as are chocolate cherry cookies and truffle bars. Fortunately, most of them will go home with other people so I won’t be tempted to eat them all myself!

  2. oh my Joan, you put me to shame! I'll have one of everything except for the mincemeat:)

  3. We must do sugar cookies. I like them, but oh what a pain to roll out. But The Girl is old enough to help, so it's not so bad. Although last year she said, "There's never enough, so I think I'll double the recipe. On second thought, I'll triple it." She didn't pay attention to yield. We had something like fifteen dozen sugar cookies. And yes, they all got eaten.

    Must also do chocolate chip.

    Everything else is negotiable. I like gingersnaps and an orange spice. We've experimented with a jam-filled glazed (called a kolachke). I like peanut-butter blossoms, but nobody else does. Plain peanut butter sometimes. It's a season for cookie experimentation. We usually do four different kinds.

  4. Lucy, love the tropical cookie cutters! Going tomorrow to bake and decorate sugar cookies with my sisters. Later we'll reconvene to make peanutbutter blossoms, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin.

    At home, I'll recreate the boys' favorite--something I throw together every year, trying to remember how I did it the previous year--it's a cross between an oatmeal raisin/peanutbutter cookie, with chocolate chips, nuts, and dried cranberries added in. I also bake one or two other kinds of cookies--trying something different every year--this year dark chocolate sables with sea salt and lemon crumble bars from the special Dec 2016 double issue of Southern Living. I'm also doing a soft ginger cookie with cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans.

  5. MARY, 15 dozen--wow that's a lot of cookies!! Hard to believe the peanut butter blossoms are a bust in your house, they are gobbled up in mine...

    Flora, love the idea of baking with your sisters. and what a great idea to try a few new ones each year. the ginger with cream cheese frosting sounds divine...

  6. Love the tropical cookie cutters! Too cute.

    You can't feed anyone with all those chickens? Sounds like an environmental nightmare.

    My cookie cutter collection than with a Tupperware party in 1971, and I have a fairly large container of them, some more successful than others. During my 35 years of child rearing they saw a lot of use, but now I would be hard pressed to remember exactly where they are.

    Your sugar cookie recipe sounds similar to the one I used, which came with that original set.

    One year I got the bright idea to make gingerbread cookies, and gingerbread bowls to put them in. The bowls were not especially successful, but I swore the dough was multiplying in the fridge, because we ended up with mountains of the cookies. They were delicious, but I still can't face gingerbread cookies.

    Ten there are those amazing no-bake chocolate oatmeal peanut butter drop cookies that get boiled. They've been a family favorite since the early 60's, until my sister-in-law and her family let it be known they were called Blue Woozies to them. Because a big tray of them were dropped on a blue carpet before they were set. And they ate them, anyway.

    One member of our book club used to spend two days with her mother over Thanksgiving weekend making thousands of cookies. At the holiday book club each member got a tin full of several different kinds, all delicious, and we'd have an enormous cookie tray as part of the dessert. Susan has moved out of state this year, though.

  7. I like to make cookies with my daughters and granddaughter. Favorite for the season are thin crispy ginger snaps decorated with a sweet tangy lemon/powdered sugar glaze.

    My grandmother used to make a **thin crisp** cookie topped with cinnamon sugar for which I have never found a proper recipe. I remember brushing the tops with butter and sprinkling on cinnamon sugar before baking. Anyone have a recipe??

  8. LOVE the sunglasses cookies!

    A cookie recipe. Thinking.

    Sadly--one commercial cooke that's so delish is the choco chips the HIlton gives to arrivals. Or is that because I am so tired from traveling?

  9. Once a year, this time of year, we make Nanaimo Bars. They are very rich, but oh, they are so yummy. There are several recipes available, this is the one we use, minus the almonds, as one of the grandkids has a nut allergy.

    Nanaimo Bar Recipe

    Bottom Layer
    ½ cup unsalted butter
    ¼ cup sugar
    5 tbsp. cocoa
    1 egg beaten
    1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
    (½ c. finely chopped almonds)
    1 cup grated coconut

    Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Gradually add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and (nuts). Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

    Second Layer
    ½ cup unsalted butter
    2.5 Tbsp. cream (half-and-half works fine)
    2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
    2 cups icing (powdered) sugar

    Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

    Third Layer
    4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
    2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

    These things are delicious and addicting, but a lot of work if you want a quantity. We usually make 2 batches, and then file in with lemon bars and sugar cookies on the cookie platter.

  10. Blue woozies Karen! come back tomorrow and share that recipe please:). And so sad about Susan--sounds like you guys should send her a plane ticket!

    Looking forward to making cookies with Dorothea in a couple of years--what fun:).

    Those aren't bad Hank, but I do believe you must be exhausted...

  11. Wow! You all are amazing! Joan, I'm curious about the mincemeat cookies. Please come back tomorrow with the recipe.

  12. Hallie, those sound like Snickerdoodles.

  13. Cookies are about my favorite part of the holiday season - seriously, I can never eat enough! My hooligans have their own recipe that'll see.

    The Hooligans sugar cookie recipe:

    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    2 1/4 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    Decorating sugar

    1: Wash your hands. We find that licking them works just as well.

    2: Blend sugar and butter. You can use a fork but hands are more
    fun for gushing the butter between your fingers.

    3: Beat in vanilla and egg until fluffy. If you get into a tug of war over
    the mixer with your brother, we've found you get enough fluffing action
    without even turning it on.

    4: Mix in flour and baking soda. This is a good opportunity to observe
    how ghostlike you can make your appearance by covering yourself in
    flour. It's also been known to make Mom scream, however, we're
    unclear if it's from fright or the mess.

    5: Divide the dough in half. We've noted that parental mediation is
    occasionally required to discern what is exactly even.

    6: Shape each half into a roll about 1 1/2 inches in diameter
    (think snakes -- big ones)!

    7: Wrap and refrigerate for one hour. A good way to time it is to keep
    asking your mom if it's done yet (until her eyes roll back into her head)
    then you know it's ready.

    8: Cut into 1/4 inch slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
    Then sprinkle with decorating sugar. Our rule is a pinch for the cookie
    and a pinch for us. If your mouth isn't circled by sugar sprinkles,
    clearly you're not enjoying the process as much as you should.

    9: Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes until brown around the edges
    (best to leave this step to a parental to avoid unnecessary
    immolation of brother or self). Cool on wire rack.

    Enjoy! But remember to save some for Santa!
    Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!

  14. P.S. Richard - thanks for posting the Nanaimo bars - I have always wanted to try making those!
    Lucy- love the cookie cutters! Too cute.


  15. oh, these are the CUTEST!!!!! Are they shortbread?? they sound delish

  16. From experience I'd suggest you not totally omit salt -- there's something necessary in how the flavor develops. That said, you can simply used salted butter and try omitting anything extra.

    My two cents!

    Kerrie Hollihan

  17. Two thoughts: I'm feeling very inadequate in the cookie department, and I'm craving cookies now! I may just have to do some baking this afternoon!

    I have to admit a certain bias against crispy cookies. They remind me too much of crackers, maybe? Anyone else feel this way?

    I love all things peanut butter and must investigate the peanut butter blossoms!

  18. Your hooligans are a hoot Jenn, thanks for sharing their recipe!

    Kerrie, got it on the salt. Maybe I can just cut it down.

    Ingrid, I like crispy cookies, better than mushy. Bet you would love the pb blossoms!

  19. Deborah, here's your recipe. It's adapted from a recipe on a jar label . . . .

    Mincemeat Cookies
    1 cup butter, softened
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 teaspoons water
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cloves
    1/2 teaspoon allspice
    1 cup finely chopped pecans

    1 1/4 cups mincemeat [from jar]

    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    Preheat oven to 325ºF.
    Cream butter and sugar; add water and vanilla; beat well.
    Stir in flour, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and pecans. Chill dough for thirty minutes.
    By tablespoonfuls, pat dough into a circle, top with one teaspoon of mincemeat; fold dough around mincemeat; shape into ball.
    Bake on ungreased sheet, 18-20 minutes.
    Cool on racks.
    Roll cookies in confectioner’s sugar.

  20. I used to make these for the church Christmas cookie sale when we lived in Ohio.
    Praline Cookies
    1/2 (16 oz) box graham crackers
    1/2 lb butter
    1 cup dark brown sugar
    1 cup pecans, chopped

    Lightly oil a jelly roll pan and line with graham crackers.
    Melt butter in a medium saucepan; add brown sugar and stir until mixture bubbles
    vigorously. Add pecans and quickly spread over the graham crackers.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cut along indentations of the cracker. (I use a pizza cutter). Leave in pan and freeze for one hour. Yes. Freeze!
    You can then remove from the pan and break or cut apart. They'll be wonderfully crunch.

  21. Crunchy, dang it. All of the cookie recipes look so good! Why has my captcha been nothing but store fronts for days?

  22. Yumm! Typo intended. Going to try all of these! Lucy, my husband has high blood pressure and we stopped using salt years ago. We even have low salt pickle recipes. I buy no sodium baking powder - even find it in some grocery stores these days - used to be an Internet-only item. Baked goods won't rise quite so high, but unless you have a salt/no salt version next to each other you'll never know the difference.

    Happy baking all!

  23. I make Mexican Bridecakes several times a season. Easy because you bake them all at once and then cut them into square. Melt in your mouth shortcake! My Maxwell grandmother's recipe, that my sisters and all my cousins still make. (I also make other cookies, two different buttery sugar cookies cut out, one rolled and sliced, one batch gingerbread people, and one batch of Spritz cookies. Decorate with red and green colored sugars, never frosting.)

    1 c butter
    3/4 c powdered sugar
    2 c flour
    1/2 c finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp vanilla

    Cream butter and sugar, then add the rest and mix. Chill or not per your schedule. Press or roll into 1/4" thickness on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes at 350 or until browned at edges. Watch closely for burning. Cut into 1-inch squares while still warm, then dust with sifted powdered sugar. Enjoy!