Christmas Cookie Project

I’m not a cookie baker, or baker in general, so when I bake something it’s got to be well worth it. I’ve been baking these cookies every Christmas since the early ‘90s. They taste like a warm hug. 

They were famous in my old West Side neighborhood of St. Paul and known as “the cookies.” We loved delivering them to our neighbors and friends. What joy.

This recipe comes through my mother-law, Claire Peper. She received the recipe from her friend Harold. The recipe submitted is the one Dr. Berris typed for us. They freeze well, so multiply the quantities to snack on. Great with coffee and tea. Tip: I use the Ginger People organic minced ginger (on the shelf at the Co-op) instead of mincing my own. Big time saver and tastes delicious.



4 ounces unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces

½ cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon powdered ginger

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely diced


Mix butter and sugar in a bowl with a pastry blender or mixer until fairly smooth. 

Add fresh ginger, powdered ginger, vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well and gather into a ball.

Using portions of ball, make 1 inch diameter rolls about 10 inches long and wrap in plastic wrap. There

Should be 2 ½ rolls or logs wrapped in plastic. Refrigerate overnight or several hours until firm.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Place oven rack in the middle position in the oven. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, slice logs thinly- one log at a time while the rest remain refrigerated.

Place ½ inch aparton the baking sheets. Place 1 cube of crystallized ginger in the center of each cookie.

Bake one sheet at a time until edge is slightly golden, 8-10 minutes when edges are slightly firmer than the center. They will harden as they cool with baking sheet on wire racks.


May double recipe- use same sheet of parchment until all cookies are baked.

Cookies freeze well in plastic freezer bags. 

Shortbread Christmas Crack from Chez Jude



  • 35 Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup salted butter

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 12 ounces mini chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/4 cup Heath toffee bits


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, make sure your pan has a lip.

2.  Arrange the cookies in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.

3.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then add in the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, making sure the sugar has fully dissolved. Pour the butter mixture over the cookies making sure to fully coat.

4.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until bubbly.

5.  Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top of the bubbly cookies and let sit for a few minutes. Once the chocolate chips look shiny, use a rubber spatula to spread the chocolate out to cover the cookies.

6.  Sprinkle the melted chocolate with chopped pecans and toffee bits. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill for 1 to 2 hours. Remove from the fridge and cut into pieces and enjoy!

Lace Cookies  from Ann Mershon


These delicate cookies are a favorite that came from my mother-in-law.


1 ½ cups  quick oats

1 ½ cups brown sugar

¾ cup butter,melted

1 egg, beaten

Dash of salt


Mix and let sit for one hour. Drop by heaped ¼ teaspoon on a cookie sheet. 

You should either use a non-stick cookie sheet or parchment. Space them well because they run together.

You’ll learn from your first sheet.


Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

The Best Snickerdoodles Recipe (according to Bob)  from Ginny Padzieski

Makes 3 dozen

1 cup Butter, softened

1 /2 cups Sugar (+3 Tbs, see below)

2 Eggs

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp Cream of Tartar

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

2-3 Tbs Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream together butter and sugar.

4. Add eggs and blend well.

5. Add flour mixture and mix well.

6. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.

7. Place 3 inches apart on uncreased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

8. Bake for 9-10 minutes.

Scandinavian Almond Bars     from Paul Benoit via Gwen Mattice's kitchen

(At the holiday luncheon potlucks if you wanted one of these bars you didn't wait until after the meal.)

1 3/4 C flour

2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 C butter

1 egg

1/2 t almond extract


1/2 C sliced, chopped almonds

1 C powder sugar

1/4 t almond extract

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.  In another bowl beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add egg and 1/2 t almond extract and beat well. Add flour mixture and beat until mixed.  Divide into 3, make 12" roll, flatten till 3"wide on uncreased cookie sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with 2 T almonds.

Bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 minutes. While warm, cut 1" strips on diagonal and immediately remove them to the wire rack. Cool on wire rack.

Stir together powder sugar, 1/4 almond extract and enough milk to make drizzling consistency. 

Drizzle over cooled bars.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies   from Judy Curtis




½ C Softened Butter 

1½ C Sugar


1 Egg 

1 C canned Pumpkin 

1 tsp Vanilla Extract



2½ C all purpose Flour 

1 tsp Baking Powder 

1 tsp Baking Soda 

1 tsp Salt 

1 tsp Nutmeg 

1 tsp Gn. Cinnamon


1½ C chopped Walnuts (optional} 

1 C Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Ready in 30 - 60 minutes; Makes 4 Dozen Cookies

1)         Preheat oven to 350 F; grease cookie sheets.

2)         Cream #1 in bowl till light & fluffy

3)         Add #2 and mix well.

4)         Dry mix #3 separately and then add to above. Mix well.

5)         Stir in walnuts & chocolate chips.

6)         Drop teaspoons-full onto greased cookie sheet.

7)         Bake 15 minutes or until light brown

8)         Cool on wire rack.

9)         All Cookies to be authorized for eating by Bill Curtis



At the WISE celebration on June 18, 2019, Annie DeBevec provided cookies pressed with our new logo.

New Zealander's Shortbread Cookies 

Preheat oven to 300F. 

1 cup butter (may need 1 more TBS) 

3/4 cup powdered sugar 

1/2 cup cornstarch 

1 1 /2 cups flour 

Beat butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Mix in cornstarch and flour. 

This dough should be easy to handle. If it feels too soft, then add a bit more flour. 

On a floured counter, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick, cut into square cookies. 

Prick each cookie with a fork. Place on greased cookie pan and bake 25-30 minutes.

"Healthy" Chocolate Cookies  from Pat Kruse


2 boxes of Baker's Original semi-sweet chocolate, divided. If you can't find the original box use 4 boxes of regular semi-sweet (16 oz total) 

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened 

2 eggs 

1 tsp vanilla 

1 /2 cup flour 

1/4 tsp baking powder 

2 cups walnuts or combination of walnuts and pecans 


Preheat oven to 350· 

Coarsely chop 1/2 of the chocolate squares; set aside 

Microwave the rest of the chocolate in large microwavable bowl on HI 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. 

Add sugar, butter eggs and vanilla; stir with wooden spoon until well blended. 

Add flour and baking powder; mix well. 

Stir in chopped nuts. 

Drop rounded teaspoon of dough onto ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake 12-14 minutes or until cookies are puffed and feel set to the touch. 

Cool on baking sheet 1 minute. Remove to wire racks and cool completely. 



Recipe for Ginger Slice  from Annie DeBevec

While living in New Zealand in 2009, I met friend, Molly, who loved the Kiwi's Ginger Slice and made it her mission to find the best version of this treat in all the tea shops and bakeries in our nearly city of Dunedin. I should note here that Kiwis call bars "slices". They think we are quite mad to call something we eat a bar, which they liken to a sandbar or an iron bar! Molly took me on several of her scouting missions and we finally found the best slice. I was also able to get the recipe from Jo Seagar, a famous chef in New Zealand, though I changed it a bit to match Molly's favorite slice. 

Ginger Slice 

6-7 oz. butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 1 /2 cups flour

1 teas. baking powder

1 teas. ground ginger

3 small pieces crystalized ginger, chopped small

Ginger Icing 

1 /3 cup butter 

1 cup powdered sugar 

1 Tbls. maple syrup 

1 Tbls. corn syrup 

1 Tbls. ground ginger 

Preheat oven to 375F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and powdered ginger. Mix into creamed mixture. Add crystalized ginger and stir well. Knead the dough a minute or two on a lightly floured board. Press dough into a 9x13 greased pan. Bake 20 minutes or until light brown. Meanwhile, mix all icing ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir constantly until the butter melts and the icing is smooth. Pour the icing on the baked slice while the slice is still hot. Cut into squares while it is still warm. 

Happy baking! 

My family doesn't have a cookie tradition. I grew up making many different cookies, packaging them separately, then going through the containers to take a few of each out so we would have a nice assortment on the tray.

One favorite is the ginger cookie. Soft on the inside, crunchy around the edges. It's not colorful or fancy, just darn tasty! 

Ginger Cookies   from Julie Carlson


3/4 c. shortening 

1 c. sugar 

1 /4 c. molasses 

1 egg 

2 c. flour 

2 t. baking soda 

1 /4 t. salt 

1 t. cinnamon 

1 t. cloves 

1 t. ginger 

Roll in small balls, roll the balls in sugar. 

10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

This WISE recipe exchange motivated me to look back through my cookie recipes. I have good memories of my mom making these date pinwheels at Christmastime. They aren't a fancy cookie, but they are moist and tasty! Why did she make them only at Christmastime? I think because it was the one time of year when dates were available in rural WI grocery stores! I'm making them today in memory of mom! Enjoy, Sue Futterer

Dgte Pinwheels from Sue Futterer

1 lb. Pitted Dates

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup margarine or butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Combine dates, first amount of granulated sugar and water in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil on medium. Reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if necessary while simmering, until dates are softened. Remove from heat. Add walnuts. Stir. Let stand for 10 minutes.


Cream margarine, brown sugar and second amount of granulated sugar in large bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat until smooth.


Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Add to margarine mixture in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition until no dry flour remains. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll out 1 portion between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 8 inch (20 cm) square.  Discard top sheet of waxed paper. Spread about ¼ of date mixture evenly on dough, leaving ½ inch edge.  Roll up tightly, jelly roll style, using waxed paper as a guide.  Wrap with same sheet of waxed paper.  Repeat with remaining dough portions and date mixture, wrapping each roll with waxed paper.  

Chill for at least  6 hours or overnight.  Discard waxed paper from 1 roll.  Cut into ¼ inch slices.  Arrange about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until golden.  Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.  Repeat with remaining rolls.

Makes about 10 ½ dozen (126) pinwheels. 

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake from Chez Jude


2 ¾ cups flour 

1 tsp baking powder 

½ tsp baking soda 

1 tsp salt 

¾ cup softened butter

2 cups white sugar 

4 lg eggs 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

¼ cup orange juice 

2 tbl orange zest + dash of triple sec oil 

1 cup sour cream+

2 cups fresh cranberries dust with flour leave whole +3/4

Orange Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar 

3 tbl orange juice

  • Mix until smooth in a small bowl.


•          Preheat oven 350 degrees

•          Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt - set aside

•          Stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy

•          Mix in eggs one at a time

•          Add vanilla until all is well combined

•          Slowly add in orange juice, orange zest and oil until well combined

•          With mixer on slow speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the sour cream in 1/3 's, ending with dry ingredients

•          Mix all until just combined

•          Very gently fold in the cranberries

•          Spray bundt pan with non-stick baking spray or with softened butter and dust lightly with flour.

•          Pour batter evenly into bundt pan

Chocolate Chip Dried Cherry Pistachio Biscotti  by Chez Jude

1 ¾ cups flour 

¾ cup sugar 

1 tsp baking powder 

¼ tsp salt 

1 stick butter 

¾ cup dried cherries 

1 cup choc chips 

1 cup unsalted pistachios coarse chopped 

2 eggs 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

1 parchment lined cookie sheet or jelly roll pan

1.         combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt

2.         cut in butter

3.         stir in dried cherries, chips & nuts

4.         whisk eggs & vanilla together

5.         stir into dry ingredients until forms a mass

6.         turn out onto floured board

7.         gently press together and form 12" cylinder

8.         cut in½ and pull each½ until they are 12" long each

9.         bake 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden & firm to touch

10.       cool logs peel away parchment paper

11.       slice on diagonal 1 /3 inch thick

12.       place cut side down on baking sheet & bake again at 325 degrees 10-15 minutes longer until golden

13.       cool completely place in covered storage container

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies   from Chez Jude

Serves 24 Serving = 1 cookie

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup powdered sugar 

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 

¼ tsp salt 

½ cup butter softened 

2 large egg yolks 

½ tsp vanilla extract 

2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts finely chopped 

1/3 cup Nutella


•          Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

•          Combine flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a bowl

•          Beat butter in mixing bowl until light and fluffy stir in egg yolks

•          Add egg yolk mixture and vanilla to butter and beat well

•          Add flour mixture to butter mixture beat until just combined

•          Turn dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and knead 6 times or until smooth and shiny

•          Shape dough into 24 1 inch balls roll sides of balls in nuts pressing gently

•          Place balls 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper

•          Press thumb into the center of each cookie

•          Bake for 1 O minutes

•          Remove cookies from pan cool completely

•          Spoon a ½ tsp of nutella into center of each cookie.

For me, cardamom and almond are the flavors of winter because they go so well with both strong dark coffee AND champagne. How good is that? 

This recipe comes from my great Aunt Ruth, a swedish immigrant who became a cook for a prominent Minneapolis family back in the day. These cookies became part of our family Christmas cookie plate repertoire and I've enjoyed them for as long as I've been alive. 

Aunt Ruth's Cardamom short bread from Barb Heideman

1 cup butter 

1 /2 cup brown sugar 

2 tsp white granulated sugar 

1 egg 

1 tsp almond extract 

1 /2 tsp crushed whole cardamom seeds 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

Cream butter with sugars; add egg, almond extract , and cardamom. Blend in flour 

Fashion into balls about 1 inch in diameter, roll in sugar, and place on cookie sheet. Flatten the balls with a cookie stamp or the bottom of a glass or jar. Bake 400 degrees for 10-15 min. Store in a cookie can, refrigerated.

AMARETTO BISCOTTI  from Linda Harvey

ACTIVE: 30 min   TOTAL: 2hr 10 min MAKES: about 30 cookies

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 

2 teaspoons baking powder 

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

½ teaspoon salt 

5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup sugar 

2 large eggs 

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur 

1 teaspoon almond extract 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 cup raw almonds 

1 cup chocolate-covered almonds 

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1.         Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, liqueur and almond and vanilla extracts until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Fold in the raw and chocolate-covered almonds.

2.         Dust your hands and the dough with flour; divide in half and shape into two 3-by-12-inch logs on the prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. Bake until puffed and set, about 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cutting board.

3.         Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Slice the logs crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces; arrange cut-side down on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake, flipping halfway through, until dry and golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

4.         Place the semisweet chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Drizzle on the biscotti (I like to dip one side in the chocolate instead of drizzling); let set for 30 minutes.

These freeze well, I put mine in a container in the freezer; I have not tried a plastic bag. ENJOY!!