Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza

This past weekend the girls and I loaded up the van and headed down to southern Minnesota to meet up with my family for our annual holiday cookie baking crazy town sweets fest!

This weekend my girls made our all-time favorite molasses cookies and I whipped up a huge batch of my ginger buttered rum mix.

RaNaye (bless her) made my favorite classic Christmas cookie - the beautiful and delicious Spritz!

I am not positive what Spritz recipe my aunt uses, but if it's not my Grandma Betty's, it's pretty close to it.

Here's my Grandma's recipe as she wrote it:


1 cup butter-not margarine
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond

Mix in order given.

Press [through a spritz cookie press] and bake [on an ungreased sheet pan] at 325F.

That's her recipe and, yes, she left a couple things out! I would start checking at 10 minutes and remove by 12 or 13 minutes to avoid over baking. They should seem a little under cooked when you pull them out and they will set up to be chewy and delicious when cool. Rest on the pan out of the oven for a minute, then remove to the counter until cool.

The brilliant colors are made with a gel food coloring-and lots of it. Keep the colored doughs separate and experiment with bits of other colors together to make different visual effects.

Every year, we try to make most of Grandma's classic Christmas cookies. By "we" I actually mean my sister Patty, aunt RaNaye and cousin Amanda, since I tend to be the black sheep of traditional cookie making. I was happy to make it down this year and hope to keep it up through the years.

Considering there were only 5 or 6 of us swapping cookies, we went a little overboard. Undoubtedly a trait we inherited from our Grandma Betty.

Off the top of my head, here are the classics in my family:

These cute Santa cookies, decorated "just so" plus a plethora of other cutouts (each with their own special touch), some kind of cereal wreath made with what I am guessing is marshmallow fluff, peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies and chocolate covered pretzels.

Missing this weekend were Baby Jesus cookies, those clusters of chocolate covered nuts and raisins, and caramels. Hopefully they will make an appearance when we get together later this month! Along with the good!

Keep warm and enjoy!


  1. Wow! Those are amazing! And I totally want to see the baby Jesus cookies.

  2. Thanks Ellen! It was pretty amazing, seeing all those cookies layed out on our makeshift sawhorse tables :) Baby Jesus cookies are a round of cookie dough with a dollop of some kind of date or fig filling. The left and right sides are folded in to "swaddle" the filling. The bottom is folded in and a bit sticks out the open top (like a burrito I guess) to give the effect of a baby in a blanket. My mom's favorite!

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