Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Favorite Christmas Cookies

This is a post about my favorite recipe for Christmas cookies.
And it's also a post about my blog friend, Robyn,
and her favorite Christmas cookie recipe.

I don't usually bake a lot of cookies at Christmastime, but this year I wanted to include some in my Grandma's Christmas package. I rounded up three recipes for cookies last weekend, baked them, wrapped them up and sent them to Grandma. And some to my step-dad (Rod) too.
 

I've been making these peanut butter cup cookies every year since I first found the recipe in 2009 so I think we can officially call this a tradition. Since I only make them at Christmastime, I was happy that I took a minute last year to jot down some notes on my printed copy. Do you do that too? On this one I noted to roll the cookie dough into 1" balls - keeping them on the smaller side - so that the cookie part wouldn't crown over the top of the muffin tin. I also made a note about the baking time that worked best for my current oven. They came out perfect this year!
 

And something I know about these cookies is that they keep and travel well. These cookies taste really yummy even when they are several days old, and they aren't crumbly so they do travel well, making them perfect for mailing in Christmas packages.
 
You can find the recipe for these peanut butter cup cookies here.

The second part of this cookie post is about my friend Robyn's favorite Christmas cookies. I've been following Robyn's blog for several years now, and when she posted a photo of her pretzel cookies last week it was like seeing an old friend. "I remember those cookies!" I thought, and it was so sweet to click on the link to her original post for the recipe and to see her sweet boy, four years younger than he is now! Made me all sentimental about her boys growing up too fast!
 

Anyway, Robyn raves about these cookies and I thought I'd give them a try this year. Oh my goodness - these cookies are fantastic! I used Robyn's recipe but since my grandma is crazy about lemon flavored sweets, I substituted lemon extract for the vanilla, and I added one tablespoon of lemon zest. They had a subtle lemon flavor, and the next time I make them I might use lemon juice in place of the milk - that might make them a bit more tangy.
 

There was a little learning curve on rolling and twisting these into pretzel shapes. I had to laugh at myself and my lack of coordination, and I wondered if Robyn does the rolling and twisting part while her boys do the sprinkles... Surely Andrew doesn't twist a better looking pretzel than I?

And the third cookie I made, packaged, and sent to Grandma and Rod was also a recipe I found on Robyn's blog for brownie cookies for grown-ups. {I'm really not a blog stalker, Robyn, you just have some stellar recipes, that's all, really...} I had tried these cookies a few months ago and they tasted just like some chocolate sugar cookies that my mom used to make when we were kids. I know they'll be a hit with Grandma. You can find the original recipe for the brownie cookies by clicking here.


I called my Grandma on Monday and told her to watch her mail for a package of goodies headed her way. I happily mentioned that I am officially done with baking between now and Christmas, but then I remembered the batch of red velvet cupcakes I'll be baking this weekend to celebrate our niece's graduation. And a pan of lasagna to be made for Christmas Eve...
 
But other than that, I'm done baking for Christmas!
Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that gets made every year?

12 comments:

Jo said...

They all look gorgeous and have made my mouth water. I always bake Snickerdoodles for my daughter at Christmas, she could eat them every day of the week but I won't allow that and, no matter how much she begs, I'll only make them at Christmas lol x

Susi said...

I am always trying something new every year. This year I made lemon snowball cookies and homemade caramels. Now thanks to you and Robyn I have some new ones to try out next year. By the way...they all look wonderful.

scrappyjacky said...

I have someone here who would love those peanut butter cookies.

Miriam said...

I bet I would love the peanut butter ones and that is why I don't bake! I would eat them all!!!!

Audrey said...

They all look SO DELICIOUS, Deb!!! Yum yum.

helena said...

they look lovely. I've always envied the USA cookie baking festive tradition as it doesn't seem to exist here. I once saw a big cookie swap on TV and so wanted to do one. The main baking I do is lots of mince pies. We also do lasagne for Christmas EVe

Sian said...

What a feast! I'm drinking a cup of coffee right now and some of your cookies would go down a treat.

Helena's right: we don't really have a cookie tradition here. I have a friend in San Diego and the first time she mailed us some cookies I thought it was a lovely idea. You don't get much food through the post in these parts!

Robyn said...

awwww!!! You sweetheart!! :)

I love this post. :)

I know! Those pretzel cookies are a bit of a labor of love. My sister lives in Denver and claims that they just don't work in high altitude. But, I'm glad you were able to get them to work out for you! The lemon flavoring sounds great!

And your peanut butter cookies look so good!

Robyn said...

(and sometimes I think my boys are growing so fast...and sometimes I think it is taking forever. I just want to know WHAT HAPPENS!!! geesh!)

Karen said...

They look fantastic! We have a big list of favorite Christmas cookies. It's something I've done ever since my mom died nearly 45 years ago. She made fabulous Christmas cookies, and lots of them. I make less now than when I worked and gave many away, but there will be at least seven or eight kinds baked by the end of the weekend.

Lisa-Jane said...

I love the look of all of those but the first ones were so pretty! I think we need to find some new things to bake every Christmas now. Have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2014!

Gail said...

They all look yummy. Thanks for the links for the recipes. I don't make them every year but I'd have to say that my Black Walnut Brandy Balls are a definite favourite around here. As for lasagna with a weekend of freezing rain forecast I've decided that's what I'm going to be making today.

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