Spreading cheer with holiday cookies

Candy cane cookies (Photography by Catherine Murray)

Baking cookies is a time-honored — and delicious — holiday tradition in households everywhere. While friends, neighbors, teachers, and co-workers always appreciate a plate full of the holiday treats, make sure to save some for Santa!

Christmas Snowballs
Print Recipe
Servings
24 cookies
Servings
24 cookies
Christmas Snowballs
Print Recipe
Servings
24 cookies
Servings
24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spread pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Place nuts in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  4. Combine chopped nuts, flour, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  5. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat water and vanilla extract into butter mixture. Stir in nut/flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Scoop up rounded tablespoons of dough and roll dough between your palms to form balls. Place balls on ungreased baking sheets, leaving 1½ inches between each cookie.
  7. Bake cookies until cooked through but not dry (about 20 minutes). Remove cookies to cool completely.
  8. Place confectioners’ sugar in a shallow dish. Roll snowballs in sugar to coat heavily.
Recipe Notes

Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container 2 to 3 days, or place in the refrigerator to last longer.

Lighter Fare: Chocolate-Mint Meringue Cookies
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by Diane Yoakam
Servings
36 cookies
Servings
36 cookies
Lighter Fare: Chocolate-Mint Meringue Cookies
Print Recipe
by Diane Yoakam
Servings
36 cookies
Servings
36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (optional)
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites, peppermint extract, and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. Transfer one-fourth of the egg mixture to a separate bowl, and gently fold in the cocoa powder.
  5. Return cocoa mixture to original bowl, and gently fold the 2 mixtures together just enough to produce a marbled effect.
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy if desired. Bake about 20 minutes or until firm and bottoms are lightly browned.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes 36 cookies.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 30 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 g fiber, 0.2 g protein

Lighter Fare: Lemon Macaroons
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by Diane Yoakam
Servings
30 cookies
Servings
30 cookies
Lighter Fare: Lemon Macaroons
Print Recipe
by Diane Yoakam
Servings
30 cookies
Servings
30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in coconut.
  3. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 33 calories, 1.2 g total fat (1.1 g saturated fat), 0.3 g fiber, 0.4 g protein

Holiday Candy Canes
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Servings
16 canes
Servings
16 canes
Holiday Candy Canes
Print Recipe
Servings
16 canes
Servings
16 canes
Ingredients
  • 1 cups unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • red food coloring
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (about 10 candies)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white (lightly beaten)
Servings: canes
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract; beat until incorporated, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add flour and salt, mixing on low speed until dough comes together in a ball. Remove half of the dough from mixer and set aside.
  4. Add several drops of food coloring to the remaining dough and mix until color is uniformly red.
  5. Shape each portion of dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm — at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. On a lightly floured work surface, roll 1 level teaspoon of white dough into a 5-inch-long rope. Roll 1 level teaspoon of red dough into a 5-inch-long rope. Twist the ropes together and place on prepared baking sheets. Curve one end down to create a cane shape. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  8. Combine crushed peppermint candy and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Lightly brush cookies with egg white and sprinkle with crushed candy mixture.
  9. Bake until the white parts of the cookies are just coloring, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.