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Old 12-04-2017, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Christmas cookies!

Anyone else a fan of baking Christmas cookies? They're a big part of the holiday for me. I helped my grandma bake cookies every year, and now that she's passed away I carry on the tradition. A lot of them go for Christmas parties and presents (I can't afford to buy a lot for presents, fortunately everyone loves my cookies and fudge), but I eat a lot of them too!


Cookies I bake:

  • Lebkuchen
  • Springerle
  • Gumdrop cookies
  • Frosted sugar cookies
  • Peanut blossoms
  • Sugar balls
  • Thumbprint cookies
  • Pignoli cookies
  • Citrus macaroons
  • Basler brunsli

Yes, all of them! I am a baking machine! Mom wants peppermint-chocolate pinwheels this year too... not sure if I'll do those, I can never get the pattern to look right.

Let me know if any of you want recipes. The last three are gluten free (I have a cousin who has celiac disease) but tasty enough that the rest of the family raids the gluten free platter! What cookies do you make?
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:13 AM   #2
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Besides sugar cookie cut-outs, I try to do different kinds each year. Not sure yet what I'm doing this year.
Here's last year's:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pixlr_20171205100606706.jpg (315.2 KB, 62 views)
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:35 AM   #3
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Burger, that tray in the bottom pic reminds me of childhood! I tried to replicate it with my own kids and it was an unmitigated disaster!
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Definitely! Those in the bottom pic bring back memories and they look so delish! I want some, or a bunch actually
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:51 AM   #5
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I remember Christmas cookie platters like that.
My Mom and Aunt were big on Christmas cookies.
The citrus macaroons sound really good post the recipe please plushkitty.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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They were quite tasty and my Christmas belly is always proof of how much I love cookies!

Plushkitty, could I have the recipe for the lebkuchen, please? My husband is German and I would like to attempt a dessert for when his parents come for our holiday get-together.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:39 PM   #7
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Plushkitty - another fan of your list here.

Second the call for the citrus macaroon recipe - and would also be keen on the peanut blossoms - please

BurgerMePlease - Lebkuchen in German is a something like a generic term for wide range of Christmas cookies; recipes under the name vary strongly from region to region.

Where do your in-laws come from?
Because depending on region, the Springerle or Basler Brunsli might be more down their line.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:27 PM   #8
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Okay, citrus macaroons: https://www.thespruce.com/gluten-fre...recipe-1450962 If you have the time and money, I highly recommend buying real Fiori di Sicilia flavoring from King Arthur Flour. It's a wonderful flavor that goes well in just about any sweet baked good with a mild flavor; sugar cookies, pound cake, French toast... If not, orange and vanilla will work. And don't be tempted to substitute sweetened coconut for unsweetened! Trust me on this. If there's an Indian grocery near you they usually have unsweetened coconut for a good price.

Oh, and use parchment paper or a Silpat. Greasing the pan will not be enough to overcome the macaroons' amazing powers of stickiness.

The lebkuchen I make from my grandma's recipe, so I'll put it in its own post. I'm not sure how authentic they are, but Grandma's parents immigrated from Germany as adults, so she probably knew her way around a lebkuchen.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:46 PM   #9
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Thanks sooo much plushkitty.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:51 PM   #10
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Lebkuchen

Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup finely chopped candied citron
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 egg
  • Powdered sugar
  • Water
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix flour, soda, and spices. Stir in citron and nuts. In a sturdy stand mixer or bowl (if you have strong arms), mix molasses, sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind, and egg. Stir in flour-fruit mixture. If you're using a stand mixer pay attention to the sound of the motor, if it starts struggling you'll need to finish by hand. Dough will be extremely thick and sticky.

Grease and flour a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Use LOTS of grease. If it looks like too much you're doing it right. Fill a small bowl with water. Dump dough onto heavily greased and floured pan. Wet your hands and start patting it into an even layer. When dough starts sticking to your hands, wet them again.

Make a bowl of powdered sugar and water glaze and set aside. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until light brown and firm to the touch. Immediately brush with glaze upon removing them from oven.

Start cutting cookies once they are safe to touch but still warm. I cut them into diamonds. Cut a long strip, then make diagonal cuts along the strip to form diamonds. You can do them all at once, but I find cutting one strip of cookies at a time gives me more control over the shape and size.

Put cookies in an airtight container to mellow. If you're stacking them on top of each other, put parchment paper or waxed paper between the layers so they don't stick.


Recipe Notes

You can use just about any candied fruit or citrus peel for this recipe. I personally prefer citron, but it's hard to find in recent years, so I hunted it down online. Nuts.com is where I get it.

You can also use other kinds of nuts. I just happen to like walnuts.

The original recipe has half as much fruit and nuts. But every year when Grandma and I went to make them, she measured them out and went "Oh, that's not nearly enough!". We always ended up doubling the fruit and nuts.

I have seen so, so many variations on lebkuchen online! It seems to be one of those things like chili, where every cook makes their own version. So BurgerMePlease, I'm not sure if these will be the lebkuchen that your husband had in Germany. They are quite tasty though!
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:01 PM   #11
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You're very welcome, Tracii! Now presenting Grandma's recipe for...

Peanut Blossoms

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped (1 package should work for one recipe)
  • More sugar
Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix all ingredients except Kisses on lowest mixer speed until dough forms. Shape dough into balls and roll in sugar. I use a small cookie scoop for optimal peanut butter to chocolate ratio. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet (I still use a Silpat though).

Bake 10-12 min. Top each cookie with a Kiss while still hot, pressing down.


Recipe Notes

You can use either milk or dark chocolate Kisses for these. I prefer dark, Mom wants milk, so I do half and half.

This is a small recipe. If you're making them for a party or for gifts, or if you just want a lot of cookies around, I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:46 PM   #12
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Thanks!!
They all sound so delicious! What a wonderful time of year!
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:28 PM   #13
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Going to try the peanut blossoms too.
I make a great peanut butter cookie but always looking for other recipes to try.
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:45 AM   #14
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Thank you for the recipes Plushkitty! All of them sound great.

The Lebkuchen recipe is almost identical to the one my mother always made - those are Honiglebkuchen (with honey often substituted by molasses or Rübenkraut in German), which come from Northern Germany - roughly Dutch border to Saxony.
The Southern German/Bavarian variation would be Elisenlebkuchen with more of a sponge dough baked on wafers.
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