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Cookies and Memories



I love cookies all year round, but there is something special about cookies made at Christmas time. I think it’s the extra love put into making them and the extra cheer when they are shared. I have fond memories of making these cookies with my sister and niece. I have fond memories of smelling these cookies baking in my childhood kitchen and my mom placing them on a holiday platter to share. Below are my top four favorite cookies to make during the holidays.

What are your favorites?

Butter Balls

I don’t think that everyone calls these cookies Butter Balls. I’m pretty sure these cookies also go by the name Snow Balls and Russian Teacakes, but in my house we called them Butter Balls. These delicious cookies melt in your mouth and are PERFECT with a cup of warm coffee.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra to roll cookies in at the end of baking

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans and walnuts are the best)



Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

2. Put softened butter in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix until creamy. Continue mixing and add in powdered sugar and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt, then mix it in with the butter mixture.

4. Finally, mix in the nuts.

5. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls (a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoops makes the perfect sized ball) and place them on a cooking sheet with about 1 to 1 1/2 inches between each cookie. These cookies will maintain their shape.

6. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown. Remove from oven and cool for just minutes until you can handle them. Fill a small bowl with powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until coated.

7. Set the cookies on a cooling rack to continue cooling. When the cookie is completely cooled roll them in the powdered sugar one final time.


*These cookies are great to make ahead and freeze.

*Makes 48 cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I don’t know about you, but in my house peanut butter and chocolate simply belong together and these cookies are a perfect answer to this house rule. I’m ashamed to admit that this recipe is the exact recipe that you will find on the back of the Hershey’s Kiss package. But listen, if it isn’t broke, why fix it!?

Ingredients:

48 Hershey’s Kisses (I’m a purest and simply do the Milk Chocolate, but I suppose you could try some of the other flavors)

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (get the Reese’s if you can find it)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Granulated sugar


Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet

  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 48 cookies.

Snickerdoodles

To be honest, these cookies are not on my top 5 list for favorite cookies to eat. These are actually one of my sisters favorite cookies. As adults we have gotten together every Christmas to make cookies together and these are always on the list. I have fond memories associated with these cookies, so I hope you like how they taste, but also that you make some great memories baking them.



Ingredients:

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp cream of tarter

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon to roll the cookies in

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Mix together margarine, shortening, sugar and eggs until creamy.

  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, cream of tarter and baking soda. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls (a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoops makes the perfect sized ball) and roll them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

  5. Place them 2 inches apart on an uncreased baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden brown.


Oatmeal Raisin

This last cookie I make out of love for my husband and mother-in-law. I mean, I don’t hate these cookies, but they are never the first one I pick up. If you are not a raisin fan you could substitute your favorite baking chips such as chocolate or peanut butter. I admit that these aren’t my go to, but this recipe is by far my favorite and the smiles on my husband and MIL’s face warms my cookie baking heart.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

  3. In a separate bowl whist the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.

  5. Add in the oats, raisins and walnuts and mix it all together.

  6. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop dough and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

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