Saturday, December 14, 2013

'Tis the season for COOKIES!!

Thumbprints, tassies, gingerbread, sugar cookies...decorated or not, sprinkles, pecans or chocolate's all GOOD!!

Since this is the season for cookies, cookies and more cookies! I thought I'd share a few of the Brown family favorite cookie recipes this year!

The first year I was married, Mr. B's Grammy made something she called Ginger Cakes. I fell in love with the first bite and wrote the recipe one down on lined paper. Last year I framed that recipe even though it looks like it weathered a kitchen storm with all the spots and stains on it. We still make it over the season...if it sits a week in an airtight container (I like a big popcorn tin that was left over from last year) it's even better than it was the day it was baked.

Ginger Cakes
1 pint of brown sugar
2 pints of Brer Rabbit New Orleans Syrup
1 pint of boiling water
1 1/2 pints of lard (I cheated and used Crisco)
2 teas. cinnamon
2 teas. ginger
2 Tablespoons baking soda
Flour to make stiff (NOTE: This takes approximately 5 pounds)

Stir together in order given adding soda and flour last. You'll have to mix it with your hands toward the end of the process. Then pat into cookie sheet pans (bar pans) and bake at 350 degrees until done. It's done when a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Turn upside down on a clean cloth and glaze.

I stick of softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 T. milk or cream
Powdered sugar to make a medium heavy glaze.

Cool completely, cut into squares and store between layers of waxed paper in air tight container. Makes several cookie sheets full

Out here in the south, we have pecan trees and Christmas means pecan tassies which are little bite sized bits of heaven. OR thumbprint cookies, which are melt in your mouth goodies that are every bit as addictive as chocolate.

Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts
1 Cream the butter and sugar on high speed for about 3 minutes.
2 Add eggs and beat well after each one.
3 Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Add nuts and mix well. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350F.
4 Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on lightly greased or sprayed cookie sheet.
5 Press down with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Do not press too hard or the cookie will fall apart.
6 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling. If you are filling them with your favorite jam, this is he time to do that. If you are using a chocolate kiss, press it into the indention or (Our favorite) fill the indention with a dollop of your favorite butter cream frosting.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Dash of salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of milk

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus one large egg white

Preheat oven to 350°.

1.                   To prepare pastry, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and dash of salt in a small bowl. Combine cream cheese, butter, and milk in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until blended (mixture will be crumbly). Press flour mixture into a ball.

2.                   Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 3 to 4 times. Divide dough into 24 portions. Place 1 dough portion into each of 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Press dough into bottom and up sides of cups, using lightly floured fingers.

3.                   To prepare filling, divide pecans evenly among muffin cups. Combine brown sugar and remaining ingredients; spoon about 2 teaspoons filling over pecans in each muffin cup.

4.                   Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and filling is puffy. Cool in cups for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around outside edge of each tassie; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And happy baking!

What is your favorite Christmas cookies? In addition to the three I've listed I LOVE my son-in-law's sugar cookies but alas no matter how hard I try to make them they never turn out as good as his. I'm sure he must throw in a little extra holiday spirit!


  1. Now I'm hungry. Great post, though, because Baby Galen and I just made cookies last night. Sadly, I use the pre-made just put on the pan and in the oven type. I do love sugar cookies though!

  2. Merry Christmas, Shana. I tried a new recipe yesterday...1 lemon cake mix, 1 egg, 1 8oz container of thawed Cool-Whip. Mix together. Drop by teaspoons into a bowl of powdered sugar (about a cup). Roll into a sugar covered ball. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen and they're delicious. Planning to try other flavors of cake mixes soon.

  3. Ahh, that's cute, Carolyn. I'm a cookie-baker dropout. For Christmas. My favorite cookie and only cookie I make is chocolate chip cookies, with double the chocolate chips! What's a bite of chocolate chip cookie worth if it doesn't have a bite of chocolate? My heroine had this in common with me in A SEAL Wolf Christmas. :) I wonder why! LOL

  4. Oh my... I probably shouldn't even LOOK at this post! Scrumptious!

  5. Terry, ohhhhh, double chocolate chips...I'm packing my bags to come to your house.

  6. Christmas cookies! And these all look decadently delicious, Carolyn. We have a thumbprint cookie recipe ourselves that we take out around this time of year. It's seen a lot of use and has the stains and spots to prove it. Fortunately, I have it stored in a recipe file on the computer so I can always print out a virgin copy.

  7. Cheryl, you must love cookies as much as I do. I can shut my eyes to cake and to most pies but not cookies...hello, my name is Carolyn Brown and I'm an addicted to cookies...

  8. Pamela, smart idea to put it on the computer and print out fresh copies. My daughters have asked me to frame a few of my mama's recipes and my sister's (in their handwriting) for them to hang in their kitchens. I didn't have time this Christmas...maybe next year. Happy baking!

  9. We too make a thumb print but use almond extract and grape jelly. Yours sound good too!

  10. catslady...Oh! My! Goodness! That sounds absolutely scrumptious. I'm going to tell my son in law about that idea! Those two flavors would blend deliciously!

  11. Ooh, I will have to try Carolyn's recipe! My hubby has an oatmeal cookie recipe that makes these wonderfully light cookies (that I adulterate with things like chocolate chips since I agree with Terry that every bite should have chocolate). Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

  12. E.L.F., thanks for stopping by and happy baking.

  13. Those ginger cakes remind me of what we call 'Nan cookies', because my nana always made them.

  14. Crescent cookies. However, I'm gluten-free, so I take what I can get.