Christmas Cookies!

🎄It's time to start baking! Love Christmas cookies and this year the 'bar' cookies will be front and center. My Christmas Ribbon Jam bars were a huge hit with the neighbors, that I am going to do them again. Adding Turtle Bars, Pecan cranberry fudge, Millionaire bars,
and one more but haven't decided.
What special cookies are you making this year? Do you have a favorite bar recipe? Let's get baking!
BB💐

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Emma Laperruque
Emma Laperruque November 28, 2018

Great Q, BerryBaby—I can't wait to see other people's replies to this one! I'm really excited to try the paprika peanut butter cookies from the Sister Pie cookbook. And with respect to bar cookies, I'm newly obsessed with Cooks Illustrated's blondies: https://food52.com/recipes...

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Nancy
Nancy November 28, 2018

Not sure if you'd call it a bar, but I've made chocolate bark for friends and it's a big hit.
White chocolate, green pistachios, red dried cranberries.
Or, if you don't like the white chocolate, go with dark or milk chocolate, but keep the red & green mix'ins.
PS - BB you always ask such good seasonal questions about what people are doing.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby November 28, 2018

Thank you, Nancy! Maybe more Christmas questions will amp up the Ho, Ho, Ho! BB🎄

PieceOfLayerCake
PieceOfLayerCake November 28, 2018

I always make Tartine's soft glazed gingerbread, simple shortbread and Italian fig cookies (cuccidati), but I think this year I'll throw some butterscotch blondies in the mix.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby November 28, 2018

Ooohhh!! Our aunt would make us Cuccidati and other Italian/Sicilian cookies. We'd get so excited seeing her at the front door holding the waxed paper lined shoe box filled with special cookies. One of most anticipated Christmas presents!
Do you give them as gifts?

PieceOfLayerCake
PieceOfLayerCake November 28, 2018

The recipe I have is absolutely massive and while I probably could eat them all myself....its best that I give most of them away ;)

BerryBaby
BerryBaby November 28, 2018

I made them once! Yes, a very massive recipe with lots of steps. It's an all day thing. My sister and her husband make them every year for their annual party. No food processor, handcrank grinder! I told her to get a processor but she's old school and won't. Too bad they live 2,000 miles away...

Smaug
Smaug November 28, 2018

Having been reminded of an old favorite pecan square recipe (with honey and lemon) by a Thanksgiving question, I'll have to do that. I seem to remember some cranberry orange oat squares from the distant past- if I can remember where the recipe was I'll do that, or maybe improv something if I can't.

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tia
tia November 29, 2018

The weekend of December 6th is Cookie Weekend for my family so this has been on my mind, too! We always, without fail, do Madrid Twists (a sort of chewy lemon cookie. It looks like the recipe might have been in Ladies Home Journal in 1948; my mom has been making them since she was a teenager), Russian tea cakes/Mexican wedding cakes, jewel cookies (shortbread thumbprint cookies rolled in nuts), chocolate-mint pinwheels, vanilla-almond sables, rugalach, peanut butter cookies (the ones with the Hershey's kiss), and I'm sure there will be a couple more. It's so much fun!

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tia
tia November 29, 2018

Oh, I forgot to mention that we give almost all of these away. My coworkers start asking about Cookie Weekend in October. It's very flattering.

BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 10, 2018

How was your cookie baking weekend?

tia
tia December 11, 2018

It went beautifully. We were all shocked by how much easier 8 dozen of each is than 10 dozen. We eventually figured out that 8 dozen pretty much fits on 3 cookie sheets and, since that's the limit of what the convection oven can take, that halved our bake-time. It was a ton of fun, and everything turned out well, even one we've had trouble with for the last few years.

Turns out that the Madrid twists are very sensitive to flour amount and now that Mom isn't baking as much, her flour settled more and we were getting too much. I keep meaning to experiment and determine the exact weight necessary to make it work but these are such a holiday cookie in my head that I've never done it. It feels wrong, you know?

The final list was chocolate-cherry almond clusters, peanut butter balls, chocolate-mint pinwheels, cardamom orange thumbprints, rugalach, Madrid Twists, jewel cookies, Russian tea cakes, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate caramel thumbprints, and vanilla almond sables.

The photo is the tray I put out this morning at work. There's also a home-made fruit cake.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 11, 2018

WOW! Very impressive! You've made many people VERY happy ... Merry Christmas!⛄️❄️🎄

Liz D
Liz D November 29, 2018

I usually make the same cookies every year: Hazelnut spritz, brown-sugar shortbread, baklava. I also make maple or brown-sugar fudge, fruitcake (with NO neon fruit), and peanut butter buckeyes

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Voted the Best Reply!

tia
tia November 30, 2018

Aww, but I love the neon fruit! My mom always makes fruitcake with it; I look forward to it every year. Now that I don't live at home, I get two whole fruitcakes all to myself (and I DON'T share!). Perhaps it's because I grew up with it but it just doesn't count if there aren't brightly colored candied cherries in my cake.

Liz D
Liz D December 12, 2018

@tia, I get that. Maybe it was the quality of the candied fruit I bought when I first started making fruitcake. It just tasted like gunky corn syrup. So I switched to dried fruit and homemade candied peel. I should probably make my own neon fruit!

BerryBaby
BerryBaby November 30, 2018

Well, I think I'm swayed into making more than bar cookies this year. Made these delicious Zebra-Striped Shortbread cookies from the new Bon Appetit magazine and LOVE them! Tried red sugar coating but found the sprinkles work better. Aunt Kate made a similar cookie and these brought back childhood memories of the Christmas shoebox cookies! BB🎄

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Trena Heinrich
Trena Heinrich November 30, 2018

This is my favorite bar recipe because people love it! It's easy to make the ingredients are inexpensive and whenever I take it somewhere multiple people ask for the recipe. I also like it because you can replace the jam with your favorite flavor - I often use blueberry. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my friends and family. https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/peach-melba-shortbread-bars

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby November 30, 2018

Trena, those sound great! Think I'll use this in place of one of the chocolate bars. I like using Solo baking fruit spread..apricot is my favorite and will pair it with a blueberry jam. Thank you! I'll report back on how they turn out.

BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 4, 2018

Cookies!! Where are all the holiday bakers? Will be starting my cookie gift boxes in a week. Open to all traditional and new cookies.
BB🎄

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 10, 2018

Well, I guess there aren't many bakers this year. Thanks to all that responded. I will most definitely give many of these a try. Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to All! BB🎄

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ktr
ktr December 11, 2018

I’m not sure how much baking I’m going to do this year. My mom and sister do a ton of cookie baking so it’s really just me that doesn’t have tons of cookie options over the holidays (I have some food allergies and honestly prefer other things over cookies). I am thinking of trying to make homemade marshmallows this weekend since my kids are suddenly really into marshmallows. My kids and I have already finished one batch of egg nog and my 3 year old keeps looking in the fridge for more “egg’n”.

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Miss Karen
Miss Karen December 12, 2018

Dark chocolate Merlot/ (Glogg) cookies...

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 21, 2018

Karen, thank you for the recipe! I made these and they were delicious! This is like an online cookie exchange. Love it!

Miss Karen
Miss Karen December 12, 2018

I also make the root beer float cookies, honey ginger bits and peppermint meltdowns. Chocolate raspberry truffle cookies are a favorite and so are the Twix cookies.... I make a variety, so it's difficult to just indicate ONE favorite. I'm ALWAYS baking.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 17, 2018

Yum! Chocolate raspberry truffles sound delicious! Two if my favorite flavor combinations.

BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 16, 2018

Well, things didn't go as planned, but still turned out great! Made one bar cookie, coconut macaroons (requested), Zebra cookies and shortbread pecan bites. Made chocolate sprinkled candy canes for neighborhood kids, everyone was excited about the 'cookie boxes'. I'm sure I'll be baking a few more things this week!

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 16, 2018

Chocolate sprinkled candy canes...left the cellophane in the bottom so little fingers wouldn't get sticky.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 21, 2018

This evening there was a little knock on the front door. Opened it to find the 3 little neighbor brothers here to thank me for the cookies! They all are saving the decorated candy canes for Christmas. One told me he's never like coconut but loved the macaroon! They were so cute and made me happy knowing they enjoyed the gift. 🎄⛄️

Stephanie B.
Stephanie B. December 17, 2018

Well I'm late to the party, but here goes. 1) Your zebra cookies look great! 2) I'm making cookies very late this year, probably the 23rd or 24th since family is visiting me and it's something they want to do together. My favorite holiday cookie are linzer cookies, I know they're a very old/traditional kind of cookie but I just love them. I usually have a couple I like to make, but apart from linzer cookies I'm going to let my family have a say since I can be a bit of a control freak in the kitchen! But now that you mention millionaire short breads I wouldn't be opposed to make those.

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BerryBaby
BerryBaby December 21, 2018

Thank you! They are SO good! Love Linzer cookies! Traditional cookies are the best.

ktr
ktr December 18, 2018

I ended up making 2 batches of these cookies https://www.gnom-gnom.com/keto-thumbprint-cookies-salted-caramel/. I had to make a second batch because the first batch was eaten within a few days. Now I'm debating if I should make another batch to use up the last of the caramel or just eat the caramel on ice cream.

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