Friday, November 2, 2018

Nine Years and Counting - - Favorite Christmas Treats (2010)

On December 13, 2010, the four original Dishes shared some of our favorite holiday treats. I don't know about you, but looking at those photos sure puts me in the mood to start baking! 

It's Beginning To Taste A Lot Like Christmas

Some people say they know the Christmas season has arrived when they see colored lights, decorated trees and yard decorations. Others mark the arrival by the sounds of their favorite Christmas Carols. While I enjoy both the lights and the carols (a lot), for me, it's the tastes and aromas emanating from my kitchen that signal my favorite time of the year - the trays of warm cookies covering every available surface in the house, the happy laughter of the children who share my cookie baking traditions and the two dogs sitting in front of the oven, swishing the floor with their tails as they excitedly await the trays of their very special treat: homemade dog biscuits!

I kicked off my baking this week with two perennial favorites from my holiday repertoire: M&M Cookies and Dipped Log Cookies. My family's love of my M&M Cookies goes way back to my college days when I would make them as a special treat for my (nine year old) younger brother who then sold them at school for a quarter each. (which I discovered many years later) Apparently, they were quite popular! Back then I made them with butter and regular M&M's but nowadays I use Butter Flavor Crisco, which makes them soft and chewy, and green and red M&M's which give them a festive flair. The Dipped Log Cookies are my all-time favorites and the first to disappear at any gathering. They're similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies but with a touch of brandy in the dough. After baking, the warm cookies are rolled in powdered sugar and dipped in rich, milk chocolate. I've never met anybody who could eat just one. I know I can't!


1 cup (1 stick) Butter Flavor Crisco
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag (12-14 ounces) M&M's

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cream Crisco, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in M&M's.

Drop by tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes; until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack.


1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped pecans
Powdered sugar
Melted milk chocolate

Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

Add brandy, vanilla and salt; mix well.

Add flour, stirring until blended; stir in pecans.

Shape dough into 1 ½ x ½ inch logs. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 325°F. for 15 to 20 minutes. Cookies should not brown.

While warm, roll cookies lightly (or dust with) powdered sugar. Place on wire racks to cool. When completely cool, dip one end in melted chocolate. Let stand on wax paper until set.

YIELD: 4 dozen


2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup dry milk
1 egg
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon beef bouillon, dissolved in ½ cup hot water
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 300.

Combine all ingredients and stir well.

Knead dough 2 minutes on a floured surface. Roll dough to a ¼ inch thickness.

Cut into shapes with cookie cutters and place on an ungreased baking sheet. (My baking assistants (a/k/a the kids) love to make these in people shapes. They say, "We eat animal crackers, the dogs should get people biscuits!")

Bake 30 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack.

YIELD: 4 dozen


I have favorites, like the cookies mentioned above, that I make every Christmas but I also enjoy adding a few new recipes to the mix each year so I asked my fellow Dishes; Buffie, Andrea and Gannon, to share a few of their favorite holiday treats with us.

Gannon says...

Most people wrinkle their noses when they hear the word fruitcake, and I admit I always felt that way. But these fruitcake cookies are nothing like any fruitcake you’ve ever tasted. My mom baked them every Christmas for many years, and now I (and my eldest niece, too) have continued the tradition. I could eat them for breakfast, they are so good. Enjoy!


2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 – 4 oz. container candied cherries (I usually do 2 oz. of red and 2 oz. of green for the color)
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
1 lb. pitted whole dates, chopped
½ cup candied pineapple, chopped
½ cup chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to creamed mixture, beating until combined. Stir in fruit and nuts. Chill batter overnight. Drop by slightly rounded tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Another recipe from Gannon is easy to make but oh-so-delicious. Gannon says these cookies can be made all year long, but she enjoys giving them away to friends and co-workers during the holidays. She always make a double batch, because her family is crazy about them!


1 (20 oz.) roll of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough
1 bag Reese’s mini peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough evenly into 9 slices, then quarter each slice and place 1 in each greased mini muffin tin cup. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. While dough is baking, unwrap peanut butter cups. Remove cookies from even and immediately press a candy into each cookie. Leave to cool completely in the pan. Makes 3 dozen.


Buffie says...

While I make a variety of cookies during the holiday season, my most requested sugary item is my Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bonbons. These round little balls of sweet decadence are always the first things to go.


24 chocolate cream-filled cookies, divided
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package (1 pound) powdered sugar

Coarsely chop 12 cookies; set aside.

Place remaining 12 cookies in a food processor; process until fine crumbs form. Place crumbs on baking sheet lined with waxed paper; set aside.

Beat cream cheese, dry milk and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, at low speed until mixture is smooth. Stir in reserved chopped cookies. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of cream cheese mixture into balls. Roll balls in reserved cookie crumbs. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 3 dozen bonbons


Andrea says she "loves Red Velvet anything." After reading her recipe and taking a look at the photo of the cookies she recently made I can hardly wait to make some in my kitchen! Here's the recipe for Andrea's Red Velvet Cookies.



• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1 ¼ cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons red food coloring
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• ¾ cup buttermilk
• parchment paper

Cream Cheese Frosting:

• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• ½ cup butter, softened
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• salt, a dash
• 1 (1 pound) box powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
2. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes, until creamy.
4. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
6. Beat in food coloring and vanilla extract.
7. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
8. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.
9. Drop by ¼ cupfuls 3 inched apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
10. Spread dough to 3-inch rounds.
11. Bake for 15 minutes, until tops are set; cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes.
12. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely.
13. Crumble 1 cookie into fine crumbs to use as garnish. (optional)
14. Make frosting—beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 minute, until creamy.
15. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed 2 minutes or until smooth.
16. Spread about 2 ½ tablespoons cream cheese frosting onto each cookie; sprinkle with crumbs (optional).
17. Store cookies in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Tell me about your favorite holiday treats to make...or eat! One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, November 3, will receive a package of books. (U.S. only)


  1. The chocolate fruitcake from one of Deb Macomber's books - to die for and eggnog chocolate chip muffins, yum.

  2. Lemon Bars and Lemon Biscuits are delightful and the scents bring me joy.

  3. Every year for Chanukah I make Mandelbrot which I love as well as a marble cake. Both are favorites for this time of year and they are enjoyed greatly by all.

  4. Thanks for the yummy recipes! One of my favorite holiday cookies is coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate.

    By the way, thanks for the little gift of your homemade candy. Just delicious!

  5. Yum! I copied out that Chocolate Log cookie recipe - I'm always looking for baking recipes that don't call for eggs (family allergy). I love most anything with dark chocolate.

  6. I LOVE cookies and to bake at Christmas time. I usually do sour cream sugar cookies, Oreo snowballs, snickerdoodles and Russian Tea Cakes.

  7. Kelly, anything with pecans and coconut gets an A in my book!

    Patoct, those both sound delicious. Off to Google!

    Petite, I love, love, love lemon bars. One of my all-time favorites.

    Traveler, Mandelbrot sounds delicious. I'm going to see if I can find a Gluten Free recipe to try.

    Cheryl, I love coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. I don't make them that often though. I have zero willpower. lol Glad you enjoyed the chocolates!

    Di, those Chocolate Log cookies are one of my all-time favorites. You never have to worry about them going stale because they never last long enough!

    Linda, would you share your recipe for the sour cream sugar cookies? Those sound interesting.

  8. My family is fond of making a particular fruitcake that contains a fair amount of dried apricot. It cuts some of the cloying sweetness from the glaceed fruits so that there is more balance. That, dark gingerbread, and other than Christmas cookies, well-coated caramel corn drizzled in dark chocolate are also some of the favorite holiday treats to come out of our kitchen.

  9. Coconut macaroons I’m not fond of baking I just love to eat it lol

  10. I love to make butter cookies with my granddaughters.

  11. Crescent cookies. They are just like the chocolate dipped log cookies, only we make them crescent shaped and we don't dip them in chocolate.

  12. I'm going to make those cookie & cream cheese cake bin bons. They sound delicious. My favorite Christmas cookie has aways been an Italian cookie called Cucidati. I remember my late grandmother & aunts spending an entire day making them. So labor intense but so worth it.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  13. Peanut Butter Cookies.
    Karen T. (Nat's Mama)

  14. Yummy! My favorite holiday cookies to make are decorated sugar cookies. I did these with my mom and sister when I was young, with my kids, and now with the grandkids. It’s a fun tradition. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  15. What a marvellous collection of cookies!