Janet's Notebook
Simple Christmas Cookies for a Cookie Exchange


The Ultimate Chocolate Mint Cookie


One of the highlights of the holiday season, for me, is making Christmas cookies. It reminds me of being a kid in the kitchen with my mother. Every year I attend a cookie exchange with friends and like to try a new recipe. If you are heading to a cookie exchange too, or just want a treat for your family, try one of these simple Christmas cookie recipes.

Spritz cookies are a traditional holiday cookie. The shape is made using a cookie press fitted with differently shaped disks. You'll see them shaped like flowers, wreaths, and, like Jessica Dayon (Schnecksville, PA) used, trees. Jessica took her recipe one step further and created Chocolate Raspberry Spritz Sandwich Cookies.

"My old neighbor made chocolate raspberry sandwich cookies as part of her Christmas cookie platter every year," explains Jessica. "I loved them and developed my own version. These are now a Christmas cookie staple in my house."

The dough is the perfect consistency for the cookie press - not too tough, not too loose. They bake to a perfect buttery cookie. Adding a bit of raspberry extract to the chocolate filling gives the cookie a hint of flavor. Drizzling chocolate on top is a delicious touch. They do bake quickly, so keep an eye on them while in the oven.

"These cookies are like little hand-held coffee cakes and just melt in your mouth," is how Susan Bickta (Kutztown, PA) describes her Mom-Mom Bessie's Sour Cream Cookies. "The cookies are soft and moist with the texture of a delicate white cake and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar."

Susan's easy Christmas cookies are so soft and fluffy they will amaze you. Usually, cookies deflate a little after they cool... but not these little cookies. They fluff up and hold their shape. The cookie is lightly sweet so topping them with sugar sprinkles, cinnamon sugar or light icing is perfect.

Cathy Nunn's (Weslaco, TX) The Ultimate Chocolate Mint Cookie tastes like Christmas in every bite. "These cookies I made by accident and realized I had made the best tasting cookie I ever ate," reveals Cathy. "I was actually going to add some chocolate chips to it and I realized I had none, but I did have the Andes chocolate mint morsels. They have such a wonderful and rich flavor, I won't go back to using plain chocolate chips after this."

The seasonal Andes baking chips are just wonderful in this cookie. Mint and chocolate go so good together. It's a simple cookie that takes no time to whip up. These will be great on a cookie tray or even for the kids to put out for Santa. But grab some milk to wash it down.

Ginger is one of my favorite holiday flavors which is one reason why I liked Marcie Frazee's (Anderson, IN) Great Aunt Mary's Ginger Cookies. Buttery and crisp around the edges but slightly chewy, this is one yummy cookie!

"My husband's great-aunt, Mary Carter, made these cookies for as long as my husband can remember, and made them on a regular basis until she passed away several years ago at the age of 90-something," shares Marcie. "These cookies are soft and always perfectly round!"

The flavor combination is a little different than most cookies similar to this. Ground ginger and cinnamon add a little spice. It's an easy recipe, but the best part is the family tradition behind the recipe.

Denise Nalepa-Hucke's (Green Bay, WI) mom always made these Almond Crescents at Christmastime. After one bite, I know why. They are a delightfully crunchy and nutty shortbread cookie with a nice almond flavor. When coated in powdered sugar, they look adorable. So good! They are fragile, though, so be careful when putting them on a plate.

For me, the Christmas season gets underway once I begin baking in the kitchen. With Christmas carols playing in the background, I can't wait to give my oven a good workout this year. Our Christmas Cookies collection has more recipes filled with the sweetness of the season if you're looking for more baking inspiration. Happy Pinching!



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