5 Christmas Cookie Recipes: Traditional Favorites and New Ones Too

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
December 17, 2013 Updated: March 12, 2018

1. Easy Shortbread

Good old classics with icing as you like!

2 cups of butter, softened

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. With an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar (soften the butter first, or make sure it’s at room temperature). Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour and mix well. Roll the dough and use cookie cutters to make shapes as desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool at room temperature. 

For a different touch, instead of 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, use one teaspoon of vanilla extract and one teaspoon of almond extract, and add 1 1/2 cups of small diced pecans. 


2. Toffee Bars

By Epoch Times

A chocolatey, nutty bar.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 350F.
Beat butter and margarine, add sugar, and beat till fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour to mixture, constantly mixing.
Press evenly into an ungreased 15x10x1-inch cookie sheet. Bake for 15–18 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate morsels over the top. When chocolate is softened, spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Top with chopped nuts. Cut bars while warm into 2×2-inch squares.


3. Gluten-Free Chocolate Shortbread

By Susan Hallett

(Creacart/ Getty Images)

Try chocolate shortbread variant with gluten-free flour.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounces semisweet chocolate 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup rice flour 
2/3 cup whole bean flour
1/3 cup cornstarch 
1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

Preheat oven to 325F. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave and stir it in. Combine flours in a separate bowl, then add cocoa. Add to butter mixture in three additions and stir until a soft dough forms. Refrigerate for approximately an hour.
Form dough into 1-inch balls, placing them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten dough with tines of a fork, pressing to approximately a 1/4-inch thickness. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool completely on a rack, and store in a wax paper-lined cookie tin. These cookies freeze well.


4. Christmas Biscotti

By Susan Hallett

(Daniel Bendjy/Getty Images)

Perfect for dunking into coffee, hot cocoa, or vin santo (a Tuscan dessert wine).

Makes 24 pieces
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon crushed aniseed 
1/4 cup candied cranberries
1/4 cup pine nuts 
2 eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 egg white, beaten for glaze
1 teaspoon white sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and aniseed. Add cranberries and pine nuts. In another smaller bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Flour your hands and transfer dough to a clean floured surface. Shape into two logs and place on a greased pan. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake until golden, approximately 15 to 17 minutes.
Remove logs from oven, cool slightly and then transfer to a cutting board. Lower oven temperature to 275F. Cut logs into 1/2-inch slices. Stand slices in an upright position and continue baking for approximately 35 minutes more or until biscotti is completely dry. Cool on rack.


5. Holiday Tahini Cookies

By Susan Hallett

(Rachel Husband/ Getty Images)

These cookies have an earthy, nutty taste with sesame seed butter, nuts, cinnamon, raisins, and oatmeal.

1/2 cup honey 
6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed butter) 
1/4 cup walnuts or hazel nuts, chopped
1/4 cup raisins 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
Preheat oven to 350º F. Mix honey with the tahini. Add the nuts and raisins. Stir cinnamon into the oatmeal, mix well, and add to honey mixture. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until edges are brown.

Susan Hallett is an award-winning writer and editor who has written for The Beaver, The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings and Doctor’s Review among many others. Email: hallett_susan@hotmail.com

*Image of shortbread cookies via Shutterstock