Holiday baking – Such sweet goodness!

Porter_KCB_final_medium-295x450Hi Readers,

I’m hosting a cookie swap for the awesome Tule team this week and baking dozens of my favorite holiday cookies for the party, along with cookies and candy for the family.

Growing up, it was the tradition to begin holiday baking right after Thanksgiving and my mom would make roll out sugar cookies, butterscotch scotties, Spritz cookies, pralines, fudge, and so much more.  But this recipe below is one my boys love, and so of course Trey Sheenan (The Kidnapped Christmas Bride) is one of my boys, too, so I’ve put McKenna in the Cray Cabin kitchen making cookies for Trey and TJ.

Trey’s Favorite Peppermint Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red food coloring
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and combine well. Divide dough in half; add extract and red food coloring to one portion.
On a work surface, roll out each portion of dough between waxed paper into a 16″x10″ rectangle. Removed waxed paper. Place red rectangle over the plain rectangle. Roll up tightly like a jelly-roll. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or until firm. Unwrap the dough and cut into 1/4″ slices. Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Christmas at Copper MountainAnd here’s another favorite from Harley’s kitchen that she loves to make for Brock Sheenan’s family  (Christmas at Copper Mountain) every Christmas.

Harley’s White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups white vanilla chips or 8 oz. vanilla flavored
1 (3 1/2 oz) jar macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
candy coating, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 375*F. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, margarine, and shortening; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in vanilla chips and macadamia nuts. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375*F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

Do you have a favorite cookie you have to make every year for your family?  Share with me—yes, I know, I know, I ask this every year but I love talking cookies!—and one of you will win a holiday box filled with great reads and festive cheer!  I’ll announce the winner on Sunday, the 21st!



  1. We like cookie cutter sugar cookies…old favorites, but still really good.Thanks for the recipes and Merry Christmas!

  2. yummy. We make sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sometimes spritzer cookies, fudge, chocolates, magic bars, and occasionally gingerbread.

  3. These recipes sound so good. I don’t make homemade cookies. I’m just not that good in the kitchen. But I do remember making cookies with my mom when I was younger. She had that tube thing that made them in different shapes when you put a different end on it. I always loved the green Christmas tree ones.

  4. I love baking cookies and we had a cookie swap party at church on Saturday and we had so much fun and brought home some other cookies that were made by some of my friends, I made double choc. kiss cookies and my daughter made Haley’s white choc. macadamia cookies, they were a big hit.Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. Favorites in my house are chocolate peanut chip cookies, fudge, dipped pretzel, oatmeal cookies with chocolate & butterscotch chips, caramel bars, magic bars (also called 7 layer bars),and peanut blossom cookies (those cookies with the hershey kiss on them). When the kids were much younger we would also make gingerbread men & women (& other shapes), sugar cookies, & haystacks. We would fill a container with the treats for the kids to give to their teachers. Even when they were in high school. In my early years of teaching I worked with a girl’s group at the junior high who always made treats for the teachers. These wonderful young ladies taught me how much fun it was to give to others, especially when we worked together.

  6. Your recipes look delish. Our family loves pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. Shortbread is also a fave.

  7. We always make chocolate crinkies (they’re called crinkles but we call them crinkies) and peanut butter blossoms. So yummy!

  8. We usully don’t do a lot of cookies during Christmas, its mostly candy and pies. I make pecan pies every year. I do have an oatmeal spice cookie that is really good.

  9. My sister makes these amazing Oreo cookie truffles. The Oreos are smashed up and by the time she is done, they are the creamy center of the truffle. And so rich and delicious.

  10. Love to make frosted and decorated with Royal Icing sugar cookies. Gingerbread cookies are also a favorite, they make the house smell wonderful.

  11. Really don’t have a favorite we make. It varies from Chocolate chip, to sugar cookies to peanut butter cookies. I try to bake but I am always end up with cookies too hard or they end up burning on the bottom. 🙁 Sadly I am not a baker. Thanks for the recipe of Harley’s White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

  12. I make Hello Dolly bars. Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, graham cracker crumbs and condensed milk.

  13. We do gingerbread cookies to decorate and then traditional sugar cookies. I also have to get Italian cookies from a local bakery for Christmas. They are delicious and so beyond my baking ability 😉

  14. I mainly just do pretty decorated cutouts. My mom makes lots of different kinds every year though! Amish sugar cookies, brown sugar cookies, cashew cookies with browned butter frosting, etc.

  15. My son and I enjoy baking homemade toll house cookies. Our family favorite that’s not really a cookie but that we make every year is divinity. Merry Christmas!

  16. Such a fun post and giveaway opp. … THank you, Jane! We love almond crescents, oatmeal raisin, and white chocolate chip (chocolate cookies with giant white chocolate chips).merry Christmas to you and your guys!!!

  17. My mother did not bake but I make cranberry pistachio biscotti every year, finished the third batch last night. They make great gifts for everyone from coworkers to the mailman. My husband gets aggravated because I only let him eat the broken ones.

  18. My girls have to make sugar cookies and ice them every year. They both make a special one for Santa! It’s lots of fun and a little messy.

  19. I have a great recipe for chocolate truffles, swedish heirlooms, and thumbprint cookies. Not posting the recipes here though….but I will give them to you;)

  20. I make ginger snaps cookies for my Mom. Now that she is gone I still make them in her honor. My family has a different cookie for each person. The ones my son Nate likes the best are Toffee candy cookies. I have to say my favorite are plain white drop sugar cookies. Simple and yet so yummy.

  21. I love baking cookies and this year I have already baked Christmas cookies for my Mother in law, My Mother and my Sister and that was all back in Europe. So now being back home I need to get baking again. I´m a little tired, jet lag and I have already done a lot of Christmas baking, also with the kids. But I better get at it. Christmas is getting here very soon. And I love cookies. I love the danish “pebernødder” for baking with my kids. But my favorite, and it´s so easy is “specier”. Just butter, powdered sugar and flour.
    My all American favorite is sugar cookies with butter cream frosting. We don´t have does where I´m from and they are just so good. My kids love them too 🙂

  22. I have a vast collection of cookie cutters and I love to bake sugar cookies. I also make gingerbread cookies, fudge, truffels and hot cinnamon candy! Merry Christmas!

  23. Thank you for the recipes they sound good, here’s one we make every year,
    Russian Tea Cakes
    1 cup butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
    3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners’ sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.

  24. I make no bake cookies. Using ritz crackers with creamy peanut butter spread in between then then dip into melted bakers chocolate. Chill for 3-4 hours then serve . Taste like th girl scout pb patties

  25. Our holiday tradition was to make sugar cut-out cookies and springerles. Springerles call for superfine flour, have caraway seeds on the bottom, and use a cookie stamp or roller to press a design in the top. I also remember letting them sit out overnight so they would raise. They were a hard little cookie, good for dunking in hot chocolate.

  26. Decorated sugar cookies. Me, My girls and grandchildren all get together every christmas and make cookies. In fact we are doing it tomorrow.

  27. Snickerdoodles. I lobe them so my baby sister always baked me a batch. She died 7 years ago so I bake a batch and every bite is filled with love andemories of my dearest friend.

  28. Sadly, I don’t have a cookie that I make each year. At this time of year, we have so many cookies around that the last thing I need is another one. My favorite cookie though is a macaron.

  29. My mom used to make refrigerator cut outs and the grandkids did the sprinkles (darn kids took my job when they came along lol) mom passed away 5 years ago and for a few years we tried but gave up because for some reason they don’t taste like hers, so now my niece and I make fudge every year for the family so she still has a little bit of a tradition grandma started

  30. I make The Best chocolate fudge brownies! Melt 200g dark cooking chocolate with 150g butter and 3/4 cup of sugar in a heat proof basin over boiling water. When melted beat in three eggs one at a time, one teaspoon vanilla essence and one cup of plain flour. Bake in a lend slice pan for half an hour at 180 degrees Celsius. Enjoy!

  31. This is our first year not baking trays of goodies. I thought I was ready to take a break but it’s going to be harder than I thought…we are still making the peanut butter cookies with kisses on them, though and probably Mexican wedding cookies. Too favorites of ours.

  32. We always make the vanilla/chocolate pinwheel cookies that my Mom used to make when we were little. Love them and they remind us of when we watched Mom make them.

  33. I don’t bake cookies any more but my sister always tries out new recipes that have peanut butter, chocolate or peppermint in them! I think that Trey’s Favorite Peppermint Pinwheel Sugar Cookies on this page would be a great one for her to make this year!

  34. For years we have made Cry Baby cookies got the cousins from Colorado loving them to. I would make them ahead of the cousins coming and the kids would eat them up and I would have yo bake again.So one year I made them and frooze them, that was the year the kids discovered they tasted even better frozen.

  35. The two that are favorites for my family are Hershey Kiss cookies & Peppermint Puffs cookies. I make 6-8 different types of cookies but those 2 types are a must.

  36. My grandma made Green Wreath Cookies every year for us. We looked forward to these cookie more than any other kind. Now I make them for my grandchildren and my great nieces and nephews. (The adults still love them too!) lol

  37. We will be making sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. I can’t wait to decorate the cookies with my kids. I think I am going to try Melissa McClone’s Gingerbread Man recipe this year. These will go along with Magic Cookie Bars, Lemon bars, pumpkin and cranberry breads, and whatever else sounds fun for us.

  38. The spritz cookies are our favorite. The kids love to use the press and then decorate them. It is always a family time together! Merry Christmas!

  39. I started baking today. Chocolate mint cookies, chocolate chip cookies. sugar cookie cutouts, fudge, peanut butter fudge and chocolate covered pretzels. That of course is just the start. I still have a lot more to do!

  40. Melting Moments are our favorite cookies. Recipe is found on the box of Argo cornstarch. And they really do melt in your mouth!

  41. I make fork biscuits (google the Mary berry recipe) and I’ve adulterated it with peanut butter and choc chips or Nutella on occasion
    I make them and out them in decorative tins for foodie christmas presents x

  42. I make Mary Berry fork biscuits (cookies ) adding in peanut butter choc chips or Nutella spread
    Put them in Xmas Tins for foodie gifts x

  43. I love baking; I make Cherry Surprise(requested by hubby each year), Gingersnaps,
    TV Chocolate roll(cut slices after the roll is made), Peanut Butter Blossoms, etc.

  44. It’s really a snack. Use the small twisted pretzels. Put a Hershey’s kiss on top and bake at 350 till kiss just melts. Remove and put an M & M on top. Or use a Rollo and top with a pecan. Super simple.

  45. before my dad passed away he would make pizzelle Italian cookies I loveed them so light and fluffy and crisp all at once. I havent had the heart to make them with out him just yet maybe one of these days. Still just too soon. I want to try those recipes tho and i will soon

  46. I make them Christmas Sugar Cookies. You can’t go wrong making sugar cookies. Im always tight on money,so its the cheapest way to mke Christmas Cookies.

  47. I make them Christmas Sugar Cookies. You can’t go wrong making sugar cookies. Im always tight on money,so its the cheapest way to mke Christmas Cookies.

  48. I love hearing about all the cookie traditions and suggested recipes! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

    #29 Sandy Pochapin, you are the winner! Please drop me an email with your mailing address and I’ll get the prize on its way to you!

    Hope you all are ready for Christmas and enjoying the holidays!

    Jane xoxo

  49. Jane, I imagine you’ve already awarded your prize, but wanted to leave this thought. My all-the-time favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle. For Christmastime, I make this with the colored sugar of my choice mixed with the ground cinnamon. Merry Christmas 🙂

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