“Christmas cookies can’t help but be retro – they are memory first, sugar-flour-egg-redhot-gumdrop-sparkle reality second.”
Reality is, these individually proportioned and baked sweet treats, better known as ‘cookies’, have become interwoven with tradition and memories often associated with a particular season or occasion. Let’s get to baking!
Cookie recipes appear in thousands of soft, chewy or crisp variations and most of the cookie bakers I know who use recipes, like me, love clear instructions. Whether it’s hints for rolling, cutting or keeping moist, clear guidelines, such as outlined in this easy to follow recipe inspired by Betty Crocker, can help to keep your baked creations fresh, enticing and flavourful .
BAKE: 10 – 12 minutes · YIELD: About 2 ½ dozen cookies · No cookie cutter? Use a thin rimmed glass as a substitute.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- ¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Cream Cheese Frosting or Creamy Frosting (see preparation details below)
- Toppings: Have fun with the toppings and make each cookie your own! Some of the toppings used on the Cream Cheese Spread include: fresh fruits such as sliced peaches and apples, blueberries, raspberries; nuts (pecans, almonds) and jam. I had a little bit more fun with the Creamy Frosting , topping cookies with mini chocolate chunks, toasted coconut (see below) and jelly beans.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg. Beat at medium speed if using an electric mixer, or, you can mix with a spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time ¼ inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Prepare Your Cream Cheese Spread and Creamy Frosting. Spread about 2 teaspoons full over each cookie. Arrange toppings on spread. Store covered in refrigerator.
8 oz cream cheese, softened; ½ cup powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar); 1 tsp vanilla. Mix all ingredients until smooth.Creamy Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar; 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened; 1 ½ tsp vanilla; 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk. Mix powdered milk and sugar in a bowl. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat with a spoon until smooth and spreadable.
Sprinkle ½ cup flaked or shredded coconut in an ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over low – medium heat for 8 – 12 minutes, stirring frequently until browning begins, and then stirring constantly until golden brown.
Made with Love, Eartha, @earthacooks