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Holiday Cookies & Fruitcakes

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Chocolate Cookie Bark Chocolate Cookie Bark
Gingerbread Boys Gingerbread Boys
Mint Thins Mint Thins
Molasses Sugar Cookies Molasses Sugar Cookies
White Fruit Cake White Fruit Cake
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COOKIES

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely

Chocolate Cookie Bark
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 pkg. (6 squares) Baker's White Chocolate, melted
10 Oreo Cookies, crumbled, divided
1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Add peanut butter to white chocolate; stir until well blended. Stir 1/2 the cookies into each bowl of chocolate. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate mixtures onto waxed paper-covered baking sheet, alternating colors of chocolates. Swirl with kife. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (11 ounce) package white chocolate chips
1 (1.4 ounce) bar chocolate covered English toffee, chopped
1 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, halved

Beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended; stir in corn syrup, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda; gradually add this dry mixture to butter mixture. Blend well. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll each ball in sugar mixture and arrange on a cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in center of each cookie. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until just set. Remove the cookies from the oven. If the indentation has grown indistinct, use the top of a spoon and press indentation in further. Immediately place 1 teaspoon white chips into each indentation. After several minutes, swirl the melted chips with a spoon. Top with toffee bits and maraschino cherry halves (if desired). Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Chocolate-Candy Cane Cookies
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
1 pkg. (6 squares) Baker's White Chocolate
12 hard peppermint candies, crushed

Heat oven to 350ºF. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Blend in semi-sweet chocolate. (Dough will be stiff.) Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 52 balls; roll each into 3-inch-long rope. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets, bending top of each slightly to resemble candy cane. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until puffed and set; cool 5 min. on baking sheets. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Melt white chocolate; drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with crushed candies. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Cranberry Orange Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
--- 
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces candy canes or hard peppermint candies, finely crushed
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chip-size bits*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or lightly butter sheet. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Combine butter and sugars in a medium bowl, cream together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of bowl, add egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low, spoon in dry ingredients; mix to combine. Add crushed candy and chocolate bits; mix until evenly incorporated. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 3 inch apart on baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and immediately use a metal spatula to neaten any edges where a piece of candy may have melted out. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on sheet. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
*For best chocolate flavor, look for good-quality dark or bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa solids.

Finnish Cookie Sticks
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups finely chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Stir in 1 egg and almond extract. Combine the salt and flour; stir into the sugar mixture with your hands until a smooth dough forms. Roll dough into log shaped pieces about 1/2 inch thick and 2 to 3 inches long. Dip each piece in the beaten eggs, then in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and then roll them in almonds. Place them 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Gingerbread Boys
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the egg and mix well. Mix in the orange peel and dark corn syrup. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and salt, mixing until well combined. Chill dough for at least 2 hours, I like to chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are firm and lightly toasted on the edges.

Ginger Snap Cookies
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream the butter and the brown sugar until fluffy. Add molasses and eggs and mix well.
Combine flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture. Blend in fresh and candied ginger. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment covered baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool.  

Madeleines (French Butter Cakes)
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter and flour 12 (3 inch) madeleine molds; set aside. Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.
In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and salt at high speed until light. Beating constantly, gradually add sugar; and continue beating at high speed until mixture is thick and pale and ribbons form in bowl when beaters are lifted, 5 to 10 minutes. Sift flour into egg mixture 1/3 at a time, gently folding after each addition. Add lemon zest and pour melted butter around edge of batter. Quickly but gently fold butter into batter. Spoon batter into molds; it will mound slightly above tops. Bake 14 to 17 minutes, or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip. Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan; invert onto rack. Immediately sprinkle warm cookies with granulated sugar. Madeleines are best eaten the day they're baked. Leftover madeleines are wonderful when dunked into coffee or tea. Variation: Chocolate Madeleines: Omit lemon zest. Increase sugar to 1/2 cup. Substitute 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder for 2 tablespoons of the flour; sift into batter with flour.

Mint Thins
1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (36 crackers)
1 peppermint candy cane (6 inch), crushed

Microwave chocolate in small microwaveable bowl as directed on package. Stir until completely melted. Blend in extract. Dip crackers in melted chocolate, completely coating crackers with chocolate. Carefully scrape off excess chocolate. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheets; sprinkle with crushed candy. Refrigerate 30 min. or until chocolate is firm.

Molasses Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight. Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.
Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Pebber Nodder (Danish Christmas Cookies)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cardamom and cinnamon; stir into the sugar mixture just until blended. Separate the dough into 6 balls, and roll each ball into a rope about as big around as your finger on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Pecan Snickerdoodles 
2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped Planters Pecans
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, slightly softened
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, pecans, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in large bowl; set aside. Beat butter and 1-1/2 cups of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well blended. Add dry ingredients; beat on low speed until well mixed. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Pinwheel Cookies
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Cover. Refrigerate 30 min. Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide dough in half. Add melted chocolate to one half of dough; mix until well blended. Divide each half into two equal parts. (You should have two white and two chocolate pieces.) Roll one of the white and one of the chocolate dough pieces into 10x8-inch rectangle on floured surface. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Place rolled-out chocolate dough on rolled-out white dough; press gently to form even layer. Starting from the short side, roll up dough tightly to form a log; wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 min. or lightly browned. Let stand 2 min. before transferring to wire racks. Cool completely.

Rosenmunnar (Swedish Thumbprint Cookies)
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup any flavor fruit jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add sifted flour, and mix well. Shape dough into 1 inch diameter balls and place on cookie sheets. Imprint your thumb in the center to make a 1/2 inch indentation. Fill with your favorite preserves. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.

Rum Balls
3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup ground pecans
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons rum flavored extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, mix vanilla wafer crumbs, ground pecans, cocoa, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, water, and rum flavoring together. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls, and then roll in remaining confectioners' sugar. Store, covered, about a week before serving.

'Tis The Season Coconut Macaroons
1 (14 ounce) package flaked coconut
1 (14 ounce) can Nestle Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Nestle Toll House Swirled Holiday Morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Foil-line and grease baking sheets.
Combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract in large bowl. Stir in morsels. Drop by level tablespoon on prepared baking sheets; press each cookie lightly with back of spoon. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Walnut-Filled Pillows
1/2 cup cold butter (no substitutes)
1 (3 ounce) package cold cream cheese
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ground walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, cut butter and cream cheese into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using your hands, blend mixture together until smooth dough forms, about 3 minutes. Pat into a rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. For filling, combine the walnuts, sugar, milk and vanilla.
Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 17-1/2-in. x 10-in. rectangle; cut into 2-1/2-in. squares. Place a level teaspoonful of filling in the center of each square. Moisten edges with water; fold in half and seal with a fork. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Brush with egg. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup molasses
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 cup white sugar for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, and then the molasses. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, heaping the measures if you like a lot of spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture just until blended.
Roll the dough into small balls, and dip the top of each ball into the remaining white sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are cracked. Bake longer for crispy cookies, less time for chewy cookies. Cool on wire racks.

FRUIT CAKES

Boiled Fruitcake
2 cups chopped dried mixed fruit
1 cup roughly chopped glace cherries
1/4 cup candied mixed citrus peel
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 2/3 cups sifted self-rising flour
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Line one 8x3 inch round cake tin with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine mixed fruit, cherries, citrus peel, walnuts, sugar, butter, milk, mixed spice, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Stir in flour and eggs. Pour into the prepared pan. Wrap outside of pan with brown paper or newspaper. Bake at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 40 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and continue to baking cake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove cake from oven, and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack, remove paper, and cool completely. Cake can be stored for up to 6 months wrapped in foil and in an airtight tin.

Christmas Fruitcake
1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
1/8 cup chopped dried mango
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
1/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dark rum, divided

Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6x3 inch round pan, and line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.

Easy Light Fruitcake
1 pound candied cherries, halved
5 candied pineapple slices
6 cups golden raisins
1 1/2 cups candied mixed fruit peel
1 cup almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 almonds, split

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Line the bottom and sides of two greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans, and 1 round 4 1/2 inch x 3 inch deep pan with brown paper. Grease the paper. In a large bowl, stir together cherries, pineapple, raisins, mixed peel, 1 cup pecans, and 1 cup flour. Mix until fruit is coated with flour. In another large bowl, cream the butter or margarine and sugar together. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in orange juice and vanilla. Combine 5 cups flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in floured fruit and nuts. Mix. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Fill each pan 3/4 full. Arrange split almonds over tops. Bake for about 3 hours, until toothpick comes out clean. Cover with foil if top gets too dark while baking.

Mom's Best Fruitcake
1 pound Brazil nuts
1 pound pitted dates
3/4 cup candied cherries
1 pound candied pineapple
3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line 2 small loaf pans with parchment or wax paper. In a large bowl combine Brazil nuts, dates, cherries and pineapple. Over the fruit and nuts sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well. In a small bowl combine eggs and vanilla; beat until foamy. Pour over fruit mixture and mix well. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

White Fruit Cake
2 cups butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar
8 eggs, separated
2 ounces candied citron peel
2 ounces candied orange peel
1 cup dried currants
1 1/2 cups candied pineapple chunks
3 cups golden raisins
1 1/2 cups candied cherries
4 cups pecans, chopped
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup orange juice

Chop pineapple, raisins, and cherries. Combine chopped fruit with currants, peel, and citron; soak in orange juice overnight. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Place a small pan of water in the oven. Line one 5 x 9 inch loaf pan and two 3 x 8 inch loaf pans with parchment or doubled waxed paper. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioner's sugar. Stir in beaten egg yolks. Stir in fruit, juice, and nuts. Mix in sifted flour. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites to peaks. Fold into batter. Fill pans 2/3 full. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until golden brown, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Sources: allrecipes.com & kraftfoods.com

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