Every year I make a ton of holiday cookies to pass out to friends and family. I have been collecting recipes since 2000. Here are some of the every year standards:
Favorites tend to appear over and over because people request them, but I also try to test a couple of news ones every season as well.
Jamie has been imploring me to bake cookies for a special “snack” for his class, so I decided to try out three variations on a theme in one pop!
This basic cookie dough recipe is from an old 2003 issue of Gourmet (he wasn’t even born yet!) that I’ve used for cut-out cookie holiday cookies, which we then frost. The cookie dough is versatile, and you can add different flavors to it, creating a whole new cookie.
I decided to try out three that are school-friendly (i.e. containing no nuts): A lemon one, a chocolate one, and one drizzled with melted chocolate and white chocolate.
Instead of making three batches of dough, I made one batch, divided it into three parts, and then flavored one with lemon and one with chocolate. I drizzled the last third with melted semi-sweet and white chocolate.
Here is the link to the original recipe, and here is my version of three different cookies in one batch. :)
Holiday Butter Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For Lemon Cookie batch:
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
For Chocolate Cookie batch:
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
a little less than 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3.5 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Demerara sugar for sanding (optional)
For Chocolate Drizzle Batch:
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
2. Beat together butter and sugar in bowl of a standing mixer for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
3. Divide dough into thirds and remove from bowl. Wrap one of the thirds in saran in the shape of a 4-inch log. Return one third back to mixing bowl and add lemon juice and zest. Mix until combined. Wrap this lemon dough in saran in the shape of a 4-inch log.
4. Return last third of dough back to mixing bowl and add cocoa powder, baking soda, and melted chocolate to dough. Mix until combined. Wrap chocolate dough in saran and shape into a 4-inch log. Chill all logs for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Cut each chilled dough log into 1/4-inch slices and place on baking sheet 1 -inch apart. For chocolate slices, roll in Demerara sugar if desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway. Cool cookies on sheets for 3 minutes. Then remove to cool completely on racks.
6. Decorate plain batch of butter cookies with melted chocolates by transferring melted chocolate to a sandwich bag and snipping a small hole in one corner. Squeeze bag and drizzle chocolate over cookies in a Jackson Pollack fashion. :) Repeat with white chocolate. Chill to set chocolate for about an hour.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.