It's a family tradition in Zack's household to make Christmas cookies and one that I really wanted to take on in our household as well. Since we got together at 18 (Zack) and 16 (me) I have helped his mom nearly every year to bake them. Considering the fact we are away from our families this year we decided to each choose our favorite and establish our own tradition. And of course that meant including our pal Amy. We used traditional recipes since these are traditional cookies. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?! Here are each of our favorites.
Hailey - Salted chocolate chip cookies
Original nestle toll house recipe topped with seesalt. Still my number 1!
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12-oz. Pkg.) nestlé® toll house® semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375° f.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
*May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
Zack - Peanut butter blossoms
We found the recipe here & simply added Hersey's kisses while they cooled.
- 1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, and butter until smooth. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour mixture, beating to combine.
Pinch off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Using a fork, press balls in a crisscross pattern, flattening to a 1/2-inch thickness.
Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Amy - Cinnamon stars or zimtstern cookies
- 3 egg whites
- 1 pinch of salt
- 250g powdered sugar (still trying to convert to cups haha)
- 1.5 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or cherry schnapps (kirsch)
- 350g finely chopped almonds
- small star cookie cutter
Beat the egg whites and salt together in a medium bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
Add the powdered sugar, and mix together.
Set aside a little less than 1/2 a cup of this mixture.
Add the cinnamon, lemon juice/kirsch, and almonds to the remaining egg white/sugar mixture and knead together.
Sprinkle a surface with sugar and roll out the dough to about 1/4” thick (make sure you keep it even. I used a little bit of flour to roll it out as the dough is very sticky.)
Cut out dough with star cookie cutters.
Brush on a layer of glaze on each cookie not going past the edge. Let dry for 5-6 hours (go watch a movie! Take a nap!)
Bake in over for 3 to 5 min in the middle of the oven at 480 f . Glaze should be a hard shell after baking (without browning)
Photography by Amy Frances.