As a child I remember sitting impatiently at the kitchen table waiting for my tray of cutout sugar cookies to decorate. My favorite cookie cutters were the angel and the Christmas tree. Those were fun cookies to decorate. I never did like the reindeer, his legs or his head always tore off when getting transferred from the table to the cookie sheet for decorating. In addition, I didn’t like red or green sugar decorated reindeer, the reindeer had to have the chocolate sprinkles, which usually ran out first.
When I had a daughter of my own, we made it a holiday tradition to decorate Christmas cookies together.
My favorite story about my Christmas cookie recipes is the time I decided to publish our family’s most “sacred” recipe, the Springerle recipe handed down from my grandmother. She obtained the recipe from a neighbor.
My aunt was horrified that I would share such an important family recipe. “Not the Springerle!” she objected.
However, I shared the recipe despite her objections. She has since shared the recipe with friends, as well.
It is, after all, the season of “giving.”
Here are some time-tested Christmas cookie recipes from my own recipe box. Most of these recipes have been handed down in my family, but not all. Some recipes were gathered from friends. I usually make most, if not all of these cookies every year for the holidays.
Springerle from Mrs. Roehr
THIS IS THE ORIGINAL RECIPE, REPRODUCED EXACTLY AS WRITTEN.
Stir in 1 Tbsp. butter, 2 C sugar and 4 large eggs. (Before mixers the recipe said to beat for 1/4 hour). Add 4 C flour and 1 tsp. baking powder. Add 1/4 package anise seed.
Kneed on board a few minutes
Roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
Roll again with little figured rolling pin.
Leave on trays overnight. This is a MUST.
Sprinkle anise seed on cookie sheet and lay cookies on top. (Optional)
Bake in slow oven 250 degress, 25-30 minutes approx.
Cook one sheet at a time.
Remove baked cookies from sheets immediately, If not removed, they will stick to the cookie sheet like cement.
- 1 pound butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups flower
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 lb. package of cornstarch
Warm butter at room temp until easily creamed with sugar. Beat until light in color.
Add unbeaten eggs one at a time alternately with flour and cornstarch sifted together. Add vanilla.
Form in long strings about the thickness of a finger.
Cut off and form into balls like large marbles and press down to 1/4 inch, make dent with a little finger and fill with plum jam.
Bake well apart at 300 degrees.
Do not brown, but cook just until a light brown on the bottom of the cookie.
Bake 15-25 minutes.
When kept in tight tins, cookies improve with age. Do NOT replace butter with margarine.
Decorated Sour Cream Cookies
- 1 1 /2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp. soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. thick sour cream
- 2 well-beaten eggs
- 3 cups of flour
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and blend.
Dissolve the soda in the sour cream and add, alternatively, with the flour and salt.
Chill the dough until it is very stiff. Roll a little thicker than a dime on a floured board.
use holiday cookie cutters to cut into festive shapes.
Baste the cookies with milk and decorate with a variety of springles and other cookie decor.
Bake in a hot oven at 400 degrees until pale gold.
Bake 5 or 6 minutes.
Candy Cane Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract OR 1 tsp. peppermint extract.
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. red food coloring
Mix shortening and butter, sugar, egg, almond and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt and add to shortening mixture.
Divide dough in half.
Blend red food coloring into one half of the dough.
Roll 1 teaspoon of the red dough and 1 teaspoon of the white dough on lightly floured board into 3-inch long and 1/4-inch wide ropes
Place the ropes side by side and press lightly together and twist like a rope. Curve top of rope down to look like the handle of a candy cane.
Bake 9 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.
Optional Sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed peppermint stick candy and 1/2 cup sugar.