Favorite Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

We all have memories of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Whether chocolate covered, fruit filled or icing topped, holiday baking recipes have to include a few fantastic cookie recipes to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us.

I love easy cookie recipes. Most of us don’t have enough time to accomplish all we hope to, so quick and easy recipes, especially at this busy time of year, make it a bit easier on the cook. That’s always a good thing.

This is a selection of delicious but very easy Christmas cookie recipes that are a perfect fit for the festive season.

Any of these treats would be a wonderful contribution to a Christmas cookie exchange too, where a group of friends each makes a bulk amount of one or two cookie recipes, then trades, so all have a variety of cookies to serve throughout the holiday season.

Create holiday memories for your family with this batch of sweet and delicious easy Christmas cookie recipes.

Christmas Surprise Cookies

3/4 cup of shortening
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Any flavor jam or jelly

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Cream the shortening and the sugar together. Add the egg and mix it all together well. Sift the dry ingredients together and add them to the wet mix. Add vanilla and mix. Drop the dough by teaspoons-full onto an ungreased cookie sheet. With your finger or a spoon, make an indentation in the center of the cookie ball and fill with jam or jelly. Sprinkle coconut over all and bake at for 10-12 minutes.

Fruited Shortbread Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 – 9 ounce jar mincemeat
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg. Stir in the vanilla and the mincemeat. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix. Mix together well. (The batter will be stiff.) Roll into 1 1/4″ balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.

Tip:
You can ice these cookies with a glaze mixture if you would like. Mix confectioner’s sugar with a few drops of milk and vanilla until it reaches a runny but thick consistency. Drizzle over the Christmas cookies while they are still warm.

Almond Christmas Balls

1 cup of soft butter
1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar
2 cups of sifted flour
1 cup of ground almonds
1 teaspoon of almond extract
Candied or maraschino cherries
Granulated sugar (for rolling cookies after baking)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, ground almonds and almond extract and mix until it forms a dough. Roll a teaspoon of the dough into a ball, press down in the middle and place a cherry in the center. Cover the cherry completely with the dough. Bake the cookie balls on a greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 325ºF. Roll in granulated sugar before cooling.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Each of these holiday recipes can be stored in an airtight container for at least a week.

Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes – One Recipe with Many Variations

There are so many Christmas cookie recipes around but often so little time to bake during the busy holiday season.

The solution? A great tasting basic cookie recipe that quickly and easily turns into such a variety of easy to make Christmas treats, friends and family will think you poured over all your favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Let’s start with the basics.

Basic Cookie Dough Recipe

1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter (or margarine) at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the flour. Beat with an electric mixer, scraping the sides of the bowl several times, until the mixture is light and fluffy. With mixer at a low speed, add the flour gradually, beating just until everything is well blended.

Place the mixture on a baking sheet using a tablespoon measure and press down with a spoon to flatten a bit. Or roll our and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake at 350ºF for about 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.

This basic cookie mixture is also the base for the following cookie recipes (all baked in a preheated oven at 350ºF).

Orange Cookies

(Makes about 32)

Add 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest to the recipe. Shape into a log that is about 1 1/2″ in diameter and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Slice dough into 1/4″ thick slices. Place on cookie sheet. Cookies can be decorated with candies, rolled in colored sugar, or cut into pretty holiday shapes before baking. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cherry Coconut Chocolate Squares

(Makes about 54 squares)

In addition to the basic dough you will need:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, well drained and coarsely chopped

Line a 13″x9″ baking pan with foil.

Stir cocoa powder into basic dough mixture. Press evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust looks dry.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, almond extract and baking powder until well blended. Stir in coconut and cherries. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top just begins to brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Lift it out on to a cutting board using the foil ends and cut into 1 1/2″ squares. Squares can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Coconut Pineapple Cookies

(Makes about 36)

In addition to the basic dough you will need:

1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1/3 cup pineapple preserves (use raspberry or apricot if you prefer)

Add 1 cup of the flaked coconut to the basic dough mixture and mix well. Shape the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and roll in the remaining coconut to coat them. Place the balls 1″ apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie with your fingertip.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookie is firm and the coconut is lightly toasted. When cooled, fill each hole in the center of the cookies with the preserves.

You can vary this basic dough to make a wide variety of Christmas cookie recipes. Add other flavorings like maple, ginger or cinnamon. Add chopped dried fruits like apricots or dates. Or bake them plain in holiday shapes and decorate with colored icing.

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. Here’s hoping these quick and easy Christmas cookie recipes help keep the pressure off the cook.

Turtle Shortbread Cookie Recipe

The turtle shortbread cookie recipe is a kicked-up version of an old holiday favorite! Throw in little chocolate, caramel, and some pecans and you have a cookie that looks as good as it tastes!

Ingredients

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) salted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

24 caramel candies, unwrapped

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

2 teaspoons shortening

1 cup chopped pecans

72 pecan halves

Hardware

Large bowl

Small microwave safe bowl

1-quart saucepan

Cookie sheets

Waxed paper

Mixer

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium high speed cream together the butter and almond extract.

Step 3: Stir in flour and salt. If dough is crumbly mix in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of softened butter.

Step 4: Place dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each part into a 1/4-inch-thick circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Step 6: Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Immediately transfer cookies to a cooling surface for 30 minutes.

Topping:

Step 1: In a 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until melted. Keep caramels warm on low heat.

Step 2: In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on high 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until melted and thin enough to drizzle.

Step 3: Dip 2 straight edges of each cookie into melted caramel, then into chopped pecans. Place cookies on waxed paper.

Step 4: On top of each cookie place a dot of chocolate in the center; place a pecan half on top of chocolate. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top of each cookie.

The turtle shortbread cookie recipe makes 72 wedges.

For more information on baking procedures and hardware used in this recipe see our Baking Tips section.

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