Recipe for Merry Christmas Cookies

December 8, 2006 § Leave a comment

My mother clipped this recipe out of Parade magazine sometime in the mid-70s. They’re not fancy (although you could dress them up), but they’re sturdy, tasty, and they don’t get (too) tough through many re-rolls.

We never used the frosting “paint” on these cookies; my mother reserved that treat for the gingerbread ones (that I wouldn’t touch). And hanging delicious cookies on a Christmas Tree seemed as ludicrous to me as a kid as it does today.

I’m posting them here partly because my computer finds the recipe delicious, too, and eats it every year.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract [Ed. or almond extract, if you’ve got an unholy love for it, as I do.]
1-2 tablespoons milk or water
(I have also added 1 teaspoon nutmeg to this recipe for many years )

Combine softened butter with sugar; beat until fluffy. Beat in egg until creamy. Stir dry ingredient together; beat in. Add vanilla or lemon extract and enough milk or water to make dough pliable. Gather dough into ball (may be wrap and refrigerated or frozen to store).

To bake, roll or press out about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Shape dough trimmings between fingers to make strips; place these on cut outs for decorative accents. Decorate with colored sugars or jimmies before baking if preferred to frosting. Bake 375 degrees until firm and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Decorate with frosting.

Frosting “Paint”
Sift 1 cup confectioner’s sugar; stir in 1 tablespoon water or lemon juice. Tint with a few drops of food coloring or fruit juice. Force through pastry tube to form line. To “paint” on frosting add another teaspoon of liquid, spread on cooled cookies with a small art brush. Finish with decorative sugars [Ed. But FOR THE LOVE OF GOD don’t get any on the pan if you plan to remove the cookies from it. Ever.]

To make hanger for Christmas tree:
Cut a hole near the top of each cookie with the point of a knife or a straw, or make a loop of dough and press this firmly to the top of the unbaked dough to secure then bake together. Or loop colored string and press ends into dough at the top of each cookie before baking. Bake string side down in pan to secure.



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