Please share your all-time favorite holiday recipe and I will compile them all into a PDF cookbook that we can each download; if you have a picture or a story about the recipe, please include it. Perfect gift for friends and family!
This is my favorite cookie recipe from the holidays. It's my most requested cookie by friends and family. I've also made it for a few family weddings as well.
Creamy Caramel Cups Recipe
6 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
14 oz. bag of caramels
½ cup canned evaporated milk
½ cup sugar (powdered sugar creates a much smoother topping and that's what I have been using for the last few years)
½ cup Crisco
1/3 cup canned evaporated milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ cup chopped nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. To prepare the shells, combine cream cheese, butter, and flour. Press into miniature cup pans to form a shell. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes until light brown. Remove from pans.
3. To prepare filling, place the caramels and canned milk in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave about 8 to 10 minutes on medium power. Stir. Pour into prepared shells and let cool.
4. To prepare topping, combine sugar, Crisco, canned milk and vanilla in a bowl. Mix until fluffy. I use the whisk on my mixer to make it fluffy. Decorate cups as desired. I prefer a cake decorator. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.
1 : Line 8-inch (2 L) square baking pan with waxed paper; set aside
2 : Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan; bring to rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate chips, vanilla and nuts (if desired) until marshmallows and chocolate melt and blend.
3 : Pour into prepared pan. Chill until set 4 hours or over night. Cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) squares. Store in refrigerator in sealed container.
For variety, substitute 1/2 cup (125 ml) dried fruit, chopped toasted almonds or hazelnuts for the walnuts.
These are our favorite Christmas cookies. I'll put the recipe for the German Gingerbread Spice below too. It's what makes the difference between this gingerbread and regular gingerbread.
1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup white granulated sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons German gingerbread spice(Lebkuchengewurz)
½ teaspoon salt
Beat the butter in a large bowl on high speed for a few minutes until fluffy and pale in color. Add the white and brown sugar and beat for several more minutes until the mixture is no longer gritty. Add the molasses and the egg and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, German gingerbread spice(Lebkuchengewurz), and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time using a wooden spoon.
Place the gingerbread dough on the counter and form it into a large smooth mound. Divide it into 4 equal portions and flatten each portion into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Take out one disk at a time, leaving the others in the refrigerator. Roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper to a thickness of about ¼ inch. Use a gingerbread cookie cutter, or cookie cutters of your choice, to cut out figures. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the figures to the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining disks. Gather up the scraps of dough, reshape into a disk and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before using.
Bake the gingerbread cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly browned around the edges. Let the cookies cool for at least 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely and then ice them.
This is an authentic spice recipe and it is so delicious. The star anise is a little expensive pre-ground so I buy it whole at the grocery store and use my spice grinder. We put it in pancakes, coffee creamer and season whipped cream with it. To me it just smells like Christmas. My son opens the container and smells it every time he goes into the pantry.
Growing up my Irish-American mom wanted us to learn about the culture of my German-American father. One of the cookies we made at Christmas was Springerle cookies. I loved the anise seeds on the cookies. As a little girl, her parents would buy them from a German baker who lived nearby. Someone gave her a springerle mold after she was married and she started making them at Christmas using the old 1950's Joy of Cooking recipe. One year when I was a teenager, I asked about making the cookies with her. Unfortunately, the mold was lent out to someone and never returned. That was the last time I had Springerle until 2004.
That fall of 2004, I came across a man named Gene Wilson, who carved Springerle molds. I was so excited and called my mom up. She asked if I was going to get one. With four little ones, I knew it was out of our budget. On Christmas day, I opened my gift from my parents and there was a Springerle mold from Gene Wilson! Oh, what joy I had at that moment. The next day, I tried my hand at making the cookies and I've been doing it ever since. It is also one of the few cookies my dh looks forward to baking. Below is the recipe that I use. It came with the Springerle cookie mold.
Whole Egg Springerle Cookies
The cookie dough must be made rolled and stamped 12 to 24 hours before baking.
Springerle should be made on a dry day as high humidity
prevents the cookies from drying properly.
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp anise oil
4 cups confectioners' sugar*
grated zest of 1 lemon
4 cups all purpose flour*
1 tsp. baking powder
Optional: 2 Tbsp. whole anise seed
* First sift, then measure by spooning gently into a measuring cup and
leveling off the top with a knife.
Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed for 10 minutes, until they are very pale and thick. Reduce mixer speed to medium; add anise oil. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating continuously. After all the sugar has been added, beat on high speed for 10 minutes longer. Stir in grated lemon zest.
Sift flour and baking powder together into another bowl. Grad-ually stir into egg mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with a large wooden spoon until dough is smooth. Transfer dough to a floured pastry board and knead by hand for 5 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth and doesn't stick to your hands. Wrap dough securely in Plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Lightly butter (or spray with PAM) two large cookie sheets (not the air insulated variety). Optionalut anise seed into a small plastic bag and crush them lightly with a rolling pin. Sprinkle crushed anise seed evenly over the cookie sheets.
Lightly dust a pastry board with flour or confectioners' sugar. Break off one-fourth of the chilled dough, leaving the remainder tightly wrapped in plastic (at room temperature if you are working quickly, or return to refrigerator if you not). Working quickly, because it dries rapidly, roll out dough with a standard rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Dust top of dough lightly with confectioners' sugar, flour, or cornstarch.
Dust the mold to be used with confectioners' sugar and shake off excess. If using flat Springerle boards, press them firmly into the dough, to stamp the designs on the dough. If using a Springerle rolling pin, roll it only once firmly across the sheet of dough. With a fluted pastry cutter, pizza cutter, or sharp knife, cut the imprinted dough into individual cookies, each with a separate design in the middle. (If you plan to use the cookies as ornaments, punch a hole in the top of each with a skewer or matchstick. After baking, put a ribbon or piece of yarn through the hole to hang cookies on the tree.)
Use a spatula to transfer Springerle cookies to the baking sheets, placing cookies 1/2 inch apart Roll, stamp, and cut the remaining dough, re-rolling any scraps, until all the dough has been used. Let unbaked cookies sit in the open air, uncovered, in a warm room (away from children and pets) for 12 to 24 hours to dry thoroughly.
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake cookies on the middle rack of the oven, one baking sheet at a time, for 12 to 15 minutes. [* A slower oven at 225 degrees will give you cookies with great detail but it will double the baking time.] Watch carefully; don't let them over bake. They should be white on the top and pale golden on the bottom. Immediately remove the cookies from the baking sheets and transfer them to wire racks to cool for at least 1 hour. Brush remaining anise seed (if used) into an airtight container to use for storing Springerle.
When they have cooled completely, put them into the container with half an apple or a slice of bread set on top of the cookies, to make the Springerle soften while their flavor is developing. Cover container tightly. Leave cookies in container for at least 1 week (and up to 4 weeks), changing the apple or bread every few days to prevent mold from growing.
After their flavor has been allowed to ripen, Springerle can be eaten or stored for longer periods in the freezer. Stack them in a plastic freezer container, with a piece of wax paper between each layer of cookies. Serve Springerle with coffee, tea, or a glass of chilled, not-too-dry, Alsatian, Rhine, or Mosel white wine. Makes approximately 60 two-inch-square Springerle cookies. (yield will vary, depending on size of cookie molds used.)
Note: Springerle cookies can be left totally white, or the designs on them can be painted with edible coloring materials.
__________ The above printed copy for the Springerle recipe and instructions
is primarily from an article by Sharon Hudgins, "Edible Art," Pages 130-137, The World and I Magazine, December 2001.
Mix together and then divide dough in half. Chill for 1 hour. Roll out half of dough 1/8" to 1/4" thick, cut into shapes. Bake at 375*F for 12 minutes. Makes 5-6 dozen.
We like to use Egg Yolk Paint as a different means of decorating cookies and it's super simple to make.
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon water
Divide the mixture in several small cups. Add a different color food coloring to each. Use new little paint brushes to paint sugar cookies before baking.
A friend in elementary school shared this recipe with us (she has since passed on in a car wreck in high school), but her recipe lives on and it is the BEST gingerbread recipe.
Jenny Woodson's Gingerbread Men
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
In a big bowl, combine butter and sugar with a fork until smooth. Add molasses, egg. Combine. In another bowl mix dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir well. Shape dough into ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2-4 hours. Sprinkle flour on counter. Roll out to 1/8" thick. Cut gingerbread men and bake at 350*F for about 6 minutes.
Chocolate Covered Cherries
As a kid in the 1950s my Aunt Erna made wonderful candies at Christmas. When we were at her house she stored these candies on the stairwell in a big ceramic bowl going upstairs to the unheated attic. The kids all played in attic. I had a 101 excuses to go down the attic stairs so I could steal a Candy. She died when I was 13 so I did not get her recipe. Thirty years later in 1993 my mom died, I received her recipe box. Yep, I found the recipe in her box. Since then I have shared with only one person. This is my Christmas gift to you.
Aunt Erna’s Chocolate Covered Cherries
Drain a jar of Maraschino Cherries
With or without stems
I then lay them on a paper towel to dry off
Beat until soft 1/2 cup butter (yes use butter)
Add very slowly 1 pound Powered sugar (3 1/2 cups)
Beat until very light
Add 4 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls with a dry off cherry in the middle. Roll this in some powered sugar and shake off the extra. Set aside on wax paper.
Melt 4 ounces unsweetened bittersweet baking chocolate with 2 tablespoons butter and 1 inch square of paraffin. Add 5 drops of vanilla. Dip the candy into the chocolate and set on wax paper to dry. Be sure to cover the stem if you have them on the cherries.
Cut squares of plastic wrap to wrap around the cherries once they are set. Next hide them so I do not steal them.
You may have to add more powered sugar when you start rolling the butter and powered sugar. If it is sticky it needs more powered sugar or it needs to be cooled. Once you start working with it you will be able to tell which to do.
When you roll the candy in the powered sugar make sure to shake off any extra or the chocolate will not stick.
You can put nuts or dried fruit inside instead of cherries. I have added Kahlua to the butter and powered sugar mix. Some years I used drunken cherries.
I have used white Almond Bark for a coating. With a sweetened coating it might be too sweet but dear daughter likes white chocolate.
I have never liked the Chocolate covered cherries that you buy in a box.
I have made this totally by hand or using a hand held mixer .One year for Christmas I asked for a Kitchen Aid mixer specifically to make these candies.
One of the must-have's at Christmas time is this old fashioned cookie. I was intimidated by the recipe at first, but like many older ones, once you do it it actually is pretty simple. Just repetitive because the original recipe makes a LOT of cookies!!!
I learned to make Kieflees (but not how to spell them - does any REALLY know how to spell that word?) - from my DMIL many years ago. We spent happy times in the kitchen rolling and filling - and shooing DH and DBIL away from the cookies hot from the oven.
DH has forever complained that DMIL makes the cookies too small and with too little filling. So DMIL would always make one or two HUGE ones just for him.
When I make the cookies I do tend to use more like a Tbsp than a tsp of filling in each one. Just play with it and see how much filling you like - and how much filling you can get in there without them splitting open during baking. Which is just TERRIBLE. Because you can't serve that cookie. You have to eat it. Quickly.
12 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
6 cups flour
1 lb butter
12 eggs whites beaten stiff
1 lb. powdered sugar
3 lbs nuts, ground fine (I use an attachment on my KitchenAid Mixer to do this, Food processor would probably work too)
1 tsp vanilla
For Filling: Beat egg whites stiff. Mix ground nuts and powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Fold into the egg whites slowly, 1 cup at a time, do not beat.
For Dough: Have butter soft, but not melted, cut into flour. Beat egg yolks slightly. Add sour cream and blend into flour well. Let stand overnight in the fridge. Form into balls size of a walnut.
To Assemble: Roll out each ball and put one teaspoon of filling on each - more or less to taste! (Overfilling will make the dough split as the filling will puff up and expand in the oven.) Roll up and curve to form a crescent. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until straw colored.
Toss cooled cookies in powdered sugar if desired. Also good plain.
Baked, cooled cookies can be frozen. Thaw in fridge or on countertop. Toss again with powdered sugar if you like!
I make this for Christmas Eve dessert and it is AWESOME!
I recommend prepping- up to adding the pecans- the day before- you are going to be serving it. The longer it soaks, the better!
Pumpkin Bread Pudding:
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1.5 cups half and half
1 cup whole milk
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
French bread- cut into 1” cubes
½ cup toasted pecans
For serving: Heated Caramel sauce, (homemade)whipped cream, extra toasted pecans
Whisk together brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt
Whisk in eggs and egg yoks. Pour in the half and half, milk, pumpkin and vanilla
Place breadcrumbs in an extra large mixing bowl. Pour half and half mixture evenly over breadcrumbs. Let rest 10 minutes.
Spoon mixture into a buttered baking dish. Press down on the cubes to even them out a bit.
At this point, you can put this in the fridge and let it set. I did mine a full 24 hours prior to baking it.
Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
Serve warm with drizzled caramel sauce, homemade whipped cream, extra toasted pecans- or whatever
toppings you would like. For ex: A brandy or whiskey sauce would be excellent! Or a chocolate sauce
You can set this out with the toppings and allow each person to top to their preference.
The first 2 recipes were my grandmas. Every year for Christmas she would make these. They would be stored in big blue enamel roasters the week before Christmas. Us kids would always sneak cookies when we came to visit.
The lattice cakes was moms recipe. She always filled them with home made plum butter.
6 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter ( or 1 cup butter and 1 cup lard)
1 pint sour cream
2 yeast cakes ( or a 2 ounce cake)
3 Egg yolks
Cut butter in to flour. Mix sour cream, yeast, salt and egg yolks together and add to flour mixture. Roll into 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls about 1/8 inch thick. Place filing in center and roll into crescent shape. At this point you can brush with beaten egg white and roll in granulated sugar or wait and roll in powdered sugar after they are baked. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or in greased muffin tins.
Fillings: Mix fine ground walnuts with granulated sugar, vanilla ( to taste) and a little milk to make a thick paste.
Can also be filled with Solo poppyseed filling or any kind of thick preserves.
Beat butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour to form dough. Roll 1/8 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Beat egg whites and brush cookie tops. Top with walnuts and sugar mixture ( 2 cups ground walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar). Bake on parchment sheet at 375 for 12- 18 minutes.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Add flour gradually to creamed mixture. Mix well. Line 2/3 s of the dough into a 13x 15 pan. Cover with plum butter. Criss cross top with remaining dough. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 4oz can sweet potatoes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter
Drain sweet potatoes and put in a deep casserole and mash with remaining ingredients.
Cover and place in 350 degree oven for an hour.
Beat 3 eggs and 1 cup of sugar
Add 2/3 cup pumpkin, then add
3/4 cup flour,
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Grease 12" x 15" jelly roll pan ( I use a 1/2 sheet cake pan) Line with waxed paper. Pour batter in pan and spread.
Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Bake at 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Turn out on towel sprinkled with powered sugar.
Carefully remove waxed paper
Roll up cake with towel For large slices roll from short end, for small slices roll from long end.
Unroll towel and carefully slip onto waxed paper with nut side down.
1/2 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz softened cream cheese
Spread on filling and roll back up. Cut into desire size slices.
For gift giving I wrap in plastic wrap tying the ends with ribbon like a piece of candy. If rolled for smaller slices - slice and place on plate or in a tin lined with parchment paper.