12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies Roundup

Week One – Cherry Chip Cookies

Week 2 – Mint Brownie Crinkles

Week 3 – Butterscotch and Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

Week 4 – Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Week 5 – Chocolate Almond Pralines

Week 6 – Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Week 7 – Raspberry Ribbons

Week 8 – Pretzel Cookies

Week 9 – Mini Pecan Pies

Week 10 – Italian Christmas Cookies

Week 11 – Maple Cream Gingersnaps

Week 12 – Orange Clove Snickerdoodles


Maple Cream Gingersnaps {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

I am not normally a big fan of maple but the unique flavor and undeniable cuteness of these cookies was just too much to resist. The cookies were chewy and spicy while the frosting was sweet and creamy. The color and cut-outs of these cookies were so adorable and added lots of charm to my cookie trays! They were by far the favorite cookie among our friends and Joel’s co-workers.

Ruthanne from Easy Baked recommends using a Linzer Cookie Cutter but since I didn’t have one, I used my biggest biscuit cutter and mini Chrismtas cutters for the middles. And make sure to roll the cookies out thin. Some of mine were a little thick and when they cooked the cut-outs didn’t keep their shape as well.

Maple Cream Gingersnaps
recipe from Easy Baked

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup dark molasses
2 Tbsp. vinegar
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves

Maple cream:
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. maple flavoring
Gel food coloring

1. Cream together butter and sugar.

2. Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar.

3. Blend in sifted dry ingredients.

4. Chill 2-3 hours (this is important– the dough is very easy to roll after chilling)

5. Roll 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick on a floured counter or board (thinner is better!)

6. Cut dough into small, equally-sized cookies (if you want to make cookies with cute cut-outs on one side, you can use a Linzer cutter from Wilton or be creative like I did using a biscuit cutter for the rounds and mini Christmas cookie cutters for the middle – only cut middles out of half).

7. Place on greased cookie sheets.

8. Bake at 375 degrees for about 7-10 minutes.  Check often- take out when cookies have risen and are easily removed from sheet.

9. To make maple cream, combine powdered sugar, melted butter and a little water until a thick frosting consistency is reached.

10. Add maple flavoring (you can add vanilla if you don’t like maple)

11. Divide cream into 2 bowls and color as desired with food coloring.

12. Frost one cookie’s back and top with another cookie.  The filling will harden up and make these very easy to store and serve.

Recipe linked to Full Plate Thursday, Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays, Mangia Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday,  2 Maids a Baking, Fusion Fridays, Foodie Friday, Seasonal Inspiration, Friday Potluck, Sweets for a Saturday and Strut Your Stuff Saturday.

Mini Pecan Pies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

I’ve realized that I should have dubbed this series 12 Weeks of Christmas Goodies rather than Cookies but it’s too late now. I apologize to any of you that were totally excited about pure cookie bliss. Hopefully these will make up for any disappointment. Who doesn’t love a mini treat?

Today, I bring you one of our family favorites…Mini Pecan Pies. These are a must during the holidays in our home. They are usually my brother’s requested dessert. Each person in my family has different favorites so we each get our own dessert. Yes, you heard that right. There are always about 4 desserts at the holidays (if not more) because we just can’t choose and my mom always wants each of us to have our most cherished sweet treat. A few of us usually agree on something pumpkin while the rest go on with their choices. It’s a bit excessive but it has become tradition and you just can’t mess with that.

I am a big fan of crust so these are so much better than a big, traditional pie because the crust to filling ratio is more equal. Plus, there is no rolling involved making me a very happy girl! They are pretty simple to put together and look so cute piled up on a serving tray or in a cookie tin.

Mini Pecan Pies

1 stick butter, room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup flour

1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. butter, melted
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

1. For the crust: cream butter and cream cheese then mix in flour. Make 24 balls from the dough and press in mini muffin tin.*
2. Stir together filling ingredients. Evenly fill dough cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

*This mini tart shaper makes this step so much simpler. All you have to do is place a ball of dough in the mini muffin cup and then press down with the tool. It pushes the dough down over the bottom and up the sides. So simple.

Recipe linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Potluck, Fusion Friday, Holiday Sweet Swap, Seasonal Inspiration, Strut Your Stuff Saturday,  Sweets for a Saturday and A Themed Baker’s Sunday.

Pretzel Cookies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

Ok, so I totally watched Elf last week. It’s not my fault, it was on TV. I couldn’t stop myself. I know there are two camps out there – those that are all about Christmas the second Halloween is over and those that think it is necessary to get past Thanksgiving first. I am usually in the second camp but when I saw that it was on, I just couldn’t resist. It cracks me up every time. Please forgive me.

Although cookies aren’t listed as the four food groups for elves, I totally think an exception would be made for these delicious gems. They are sweet and salty, soft and crunchy….how could you go wrong? I mean, look at the little pretzel pieces poking out. You can’t tell me you don’t get all “super cute” over them. It’s kind of undeniable.

Pretzel Cookies
recipe from The Foodie and The Family
makes 24 Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup pretzels, broken up
sea salt for sprinkling

1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy (2-3 minutes). On low speed, add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop onto the parchment paper in well rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack.

Raspberry Ribbons {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

These are a fun twist on the traditional thumb print cookies that so many people make at Christmastime. They are buttery, crumbly, sweet and tart. And so easy to eat. Joel inhaled about 5 before I could even snap one picture of the final product.

My family has been making these for several years and they quickly became a favorite and must have on the cookie tray. You could switch up the jam to whatever you prefer. Joel grew up with plum jam thumbprints so I think I may try that out next time.

Raspberry Ribbons
recipe from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies and Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp. evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
2. Divide dough into four portions; shape each into a 10-inch x 2 1/2-inch log. Place 4 inches apart on greased or foil-lined baking sheets. Make a 1/2-inch depression down the center of each log. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

3. Fill depressions with jam. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes. Remove to a cutting board; cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place on wire rack.
4. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over warm cookies. Cool completely. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Recipe linked to Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Sweets for a Saturday, A Themed Baker’s Sunday and Holiday Sweet Swap.

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

I had a hard time deciding what cookie to feature next in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies. There are so many amazing recipes that have come to mind and narrowing it down just 12 has been difficult. I made these last fall and I knew needed to bring them back this year. They are amazingly delicious, portable and totally cute. And who doesn’t love a mini dessert? I know I do!

I whipped up the cookies while Noah was taking a nap. When he woke up we went to the fridge to get him a drink and he spied them. Then there was a whine fest. I was not able to eat one without him stealing a bite or two. I guess it’s only fair to share. The cookies are very cake-like and the frosting is not overly sweet. I made these for a football get together we were hosting and they were a huge hit among the pumkin lovers and haters. I don’t understand how you could hate pumpkin. That’s just wrong. It’s one of my favorite flavors ever and somehow I agreed to marry a pumpkin hater. I am constantly trying to convert him and he actually tolerates these.

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
recipe from allrecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. For cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)
3. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
4. For cream cheese filling: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Recipe linked to These Chicks Cooked, What I Whipped Up Wednesday,  Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, This Week’s CravingSharing Sundays and Fusion Fridays.

Chocolate-Almond Pralines {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

So I’m starting to worry more about Christmas now that it’s November. I don’t have any lists started yet. Joel hasn’t given me any ideas. Not that I should be surprised. That happens every year. And his birthday is 6 days before Christmas so I need even more ideas from him. Darn him. He is just asking to be nagged. So it’s not my fault when it undoubtedly happens. Anyway, onto the food. That’s why you are here anyway.

Ok, so these aren’t cookies but they just sounded way too divine and perfect for Christmas to pass up. I’ve never made pralines before and they turned out to be surprisingly easy. These are great but I could only eat one…they are very very sugary. Make sure that the mixture get thick before scooping them out. I think I jumped the gun on some as the first half were a little thin and soft when scrapped off of the parchment.

The perfect little sugary pick me up!

Chocolate-Almond Pralines
recipe from Southern Living Christmas Cookbook

1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted*
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. Kahlua, optional

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve and butter melts.
2. Cover and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to wash down sugar crystals from sides of pan. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft ball stage or candy thermometer registers 238 degrees F.
3. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in chocolate and Kahlua, if desired. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken. Working rapidly, drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly buttered parchment paper. Let pralines stand until firm. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen.

*To toast almonds: scatter in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Recipe linked to Mangia Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy TuesdayWhat I Whipped Up WednesdaySweet Treats Thursday, Holiday Sweet Swap, Cast Party Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Sweet Treats Thursday, Fusion Friday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sweets for a Saturday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday and Full Plate Thursday.