December 2023 -- Holidays in the Kitchen

For December, we asked you to send in a recipe for real cookies!
Here are the tasty submissions.

This month's challenge sample came from Debbie Colombo. 


Debbie has shared her recipe for Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

2 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs 
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 package (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chunks 
1 package (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Melt unsweetened chocolate in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Remove from heat and cool. Beat eggs in large bowl until foamy. Add oil and sugar; beat until light and frothy. Blend in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and melted unsweetened chocolate. Mix in flour until smooth. Stir in chocolate chunks. Shape dough into walnut size balls. I lightly spray with butter flavored Pam, or you can use parchment paper. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until firm in center. Do not overbake. Remove to wire cookie rack to cool. When cookies are cool, melt chocolate chips in double boiler. Dip cookies halfway into melted chocolate. Return to wire rack and let set. 

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies


From:  Linda Patterson

I admit, I am a lazy procrastinator! Hence, I’m sending you the most popular, easiest, best ever cookie recipe on the last day of the challenge.

Everyone makes chocolate chip cookies, but do they cheat and use Bisquick®?


So good and so easy!!!


Bisquick® Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep 10 MIN  ●   Total 35 MIN   ●   Servings 24





1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups Bisquick ® mix
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1/2 cup pecans



Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Add Bisquick mix; beat on low speed until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Onto ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set on edges and golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.



From:  Cindy Botasso

This recipe takes awhile to zest all those lemons but it’s worth it!

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From:  Laura Miller

Anise Cookies

Cookie ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
· 2 TB shortening
· 3/4 cup granulated sugar
· 4 large eggs
· 1 ½ cups flour
· 2 ½ tsp baking powder
· ¼ tsp salt
· 1 tsp anise extract - you can also use Anise seeds

Glaze ingredients:
· 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
· 1 ½ tsp milk


  • Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C)
  • Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.
  • Mix the eggs first in a separate bowl.
  • Add half of the egg mixture and beat well.
  • Repeat with the second half of the egg mixture.
  • Mix in the anise extract or seeds.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add to creamed mixture gradually (you may not end up using all of the flour mixture.)
  • You want the dough soft, but not sticky.
  • Place by spoonful or ball of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Note:  The bottom should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light.
  • Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.
  • Mix milk by hand into ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar.
  • Slowly add the remaining confectioners’ sugar to make a thick glaze
  • You may drizzle the glaze onto the cookies, or dip the top of each cookie into the glaze.
  • Place glazed cookies on wax or parchment paper.
  • (Optional) Sprinkle each cookie with colored sprinkles of your choice while glaze is still wet.
  • Once the glaze has hardened, they are ready for eating.


From:  Mary Johnson

During the 1980’s I worked at Hallmark in Montana.  Each Christmas my boss’ wife would bring in big trays of homemade cookies for the whole crew.  They were all yummy, but my favorite was this cookie-bar.  ( Quantity depends on how large you cut bars.) 

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars


·1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
·1/2 cup butter, melted
·1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
·1 cup (6 oz.) butterscotch-flavored chips
·1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
·1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
·1 cup chopped nuts


·HEAT oven 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

·COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.

·BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.

·For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up by edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual bars.


From:  Fern Rouleau

Fudgy Mint Cookies.  Click here for the recipe! 

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From:  Cheryl Polito

I got this recipe from a goat symposium and the lady made them with craisins and raisins. Best I ever ate.

Oatmeal raisin/craisin cookies
2 sticks butter
2 C oatmeal
1/2 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t vanilla extract
2 t baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1 C raisins or 1/2 C raisins and 1/2 C craisins
1 C pecans
Before starting,  boil one cup of water and soak the raisins and/or craisins in the hot water.
Cream butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs together in a large bowl. Combine dry ingredients, stir into creamed mixture and mix well. Drain the raisins and/or craisins well. Add raisins, craisins and pecans to the mixture. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350° till light golden brown (about 15 minutes). Let cool and enjoy.

From:  Beth Grabau

I gave out this recipe on the zoom today… I know it is a casserole, but they told me to submit it anyway.  They thought it fit in (or maybe bring a smile to peoples faces)…Close to Christmas I am having problems finding one of the ingredients, otherwise I would have sent a photo.  It doesnt talk about substitutions, but I might have to. Haha.


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From:  Barbara Bower

English Toffee Cookies


1/2 lb of butter or margarine
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream together margarine and sugar well
Stir in vanilla and flour.
Spread in a 10 1/2 “ x 16 pan - a jelly roll pan. (DO NOT GREASE)
Bake 15 minutes and remove from oven
Immediately sprinkle chips on cookies, allow to melt and spread evenly over the top.
Sprinkle nuts on top.
Let cool slightly before cutting into squares

I have been making these cookies since Home Economics class in high school. The recipe originally called six 5 cent chocolate  candy bars.


Chinese Almond Cookies


1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup ground almonds

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream butter and sugar and extract.
Sift flour and baking powder and gradually mix into butter mixture.
4. Stir in almonds: form into balls using rounded spoon
5. Roll in sugar and place in cookie sheet.
6. Press flat with glass (you may need to grease bottom of glass; if you desire top each cookie with an almond.
7. Bake for 10 minutes

My Mother made these cookies every Christmas.


From:  Rusty Smith

Here are some biscuit recipes for you from my school exercise book.  I hope you can read them, I was only about 10 and they have been well used since.  Butter was still rationed so we substituted margarine (marg).

Happy Christmas to all.

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From:  Lori Ebiner

Here are my Grandpa's favorites.

Grandma's Pecan Snowball Delights

1 cup chopped Pecans
1 cup butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups A.P. flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Extra powdered sugar to roll balls in.


Finely chop pecans. Set aside. Cream margarine and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together. Add vanilla. Stir flour, salt and pecans into dough.  
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them an inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated (400 degree) oven until set but not brown. About ten minutes. 
Roll cookies in powdered sugar while warm and once again when they've cooled. Makes a couple of dozen cookies.

***This is a picture of Dorothy O. after she's spent a long day preparing these gigantic cookies. She's ready to put on a Hallmark movie and have a nice warm cup of mulled wine! She says Merry Christmas to all and happy baking!

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From:  Terry and Christine Unnold

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This recipe has become a family favorite.  My daughter found this Dorie Greenspan recipe several year ago when my son cheekily announced that the only thing on his list for Santa was World Peace. 

According to Chef Greenspan in her cookbook, "The World Peace Cookie lives up to its name: If everyone had it, peace would reign o’er the planet."

Click here for the recipe!


From:  Elizabeth Lubera

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For the December challenge, I decided to do my own miniature baking project -- which I call “Merry Mini Cherry Pie" -- using a mini baking set that my daughter bought for me.

I rolled out real dough with a mini rolling pin, added cherry pie filling and then cut the dough into strips to create a lattice top.

Finally we baked the pie for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. We liked the mini pie from the kit so much that we made more pies in a smaller, more authentic miniature scale. See the photo for the recipe but be aware that the amounts reference the mini baking tools included in the set.



From:  Anita Myers

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Sift together in small bowl and set aside:
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

In large bowl, cream together:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup shortening

Add these ingredients to creamed mixture, blend, and then add in flour mixture.  Blend well:
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. vanilla butternut flavoring

Fold into dough mixture:
1 - 12 oz. pkg. butterscotch morsels
1 cup chopped walnuts

Chill dough for at least one hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Shape into balls using a rounded tablespoon for each.  Roll in flaked coconut.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 2 to 3 minutes until cookies begin to flatten.  At this point, place 1/2 maraschino cherry on top of each cookie.  Bake approximately 10 minutes more or until they just start to brown slightly.  Remove from cookie sheet with a spatula and cool on wire rack.  (I usually form the cookie balls all at once and then have them ready to roll in the coconut as I'm preparing the next batch for baking.)


From:  Bev Fleming

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From:  Ann Pierce

Family and friends love this easy and not too sweet  wedding cookie recipe. I regularly make them for last minute gifts and goodies.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp water
1 c chopped pecans
Powdered sugar

Mix 1 c flour, butter and sugar. Add vanilla and water. Mix in remaining flour, then the pecans. Roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread so they can be close together. Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes until very lightly browned. Cool and then roll in powdered sugar if desired. Store in a tin.  These cookies keep well in freezer for up to 3 months.  Makes about 4 dozen balls.


From:  Alician Pearce

These have always been a favorite of mine since I was little.... my Grandma would make these every year.....

Graham Crakers Cookies (they probably have an official name, but that is what we call them)

1 box graham crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar packed
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350*

Line a jelly roll pan with your graham crackers. Leave them whole, and break apart if you need to to get all the way to the edge of the pan. Cover the crakcers with the pecans. If you like more pecans you can add more.

Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, stir constantly for 3 minutes. Take off the heat and pour over the graham crackers and pecans. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool before serving.


From:  Dia Crissey-Baum

This recipe came from my sister-in-law who got it from her mom (my mother-in-law).  All I have is the list of ingredients but you basically make them like sugar cookies.


My MIL always decorated them the same way, with the same cookie cutters, but my kids and I are a little more flexible.  It’s a fun part of the holidays to decorate the cookies with them, even though they’re 15 and 20 now. (and I don’t have to worry about them sneezing into the dough as much!)  The picture is from when we made them in 2021.


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Anise seed cookies

1C butter
1C sugar
1t salt
2 eggs
1T cinnamon
4T anise seed, whole
2 ½ C plain flour


Combine ingredients and refrigerate overnight (or at least for an hour).  Roll thin, cut with cutters.  Bake at 350 until slightly brown (8-12 minutes or so.  You have to watch)

Once cooled, ice with any sugar cookie icing.  Here’s one to keep it simple.  I found this one online, so it’s not particularly special to me.  The icing dries hard and shiny.


Sugar Cookie Icing

1C powdered sugar
2t milk
2t light corn syrup
¼ t vanilla or almond extract
Food coloring


Stir the powdered sugar and milk until smooth.  Beat in syrup and canila until icing is smooth and glossy.  Add more syrup if it’s too thick.  Divide icing into bowls and add food coloring (I found this doesn’t make very much icing and we had to make several batches).  You can dip the cookies, paint them with a brush or spread them using a knife.



From Barbara Thornton-Hill:  This is a good cookie!

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For the recipe for these Salty-Sweet Chunkers, click here.


From Shanley Pease:

Although it's not a cookie, my Christmas specialty is sugared pecans.  This is the best recipe I've ever tried for candied pecans.

-butter for cookie sheet
-1 egg white
-1 tablespoon cold water
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp salt
-1 lb whole pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter a cookie sheet and set aside.  In a large bowl, whip egg white and water until peaks form.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt and add to egg white.  Add pecans and mix thoroughly.  Spread on buttered cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool and store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


From Julie Stuckmeyer:

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St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 large egg, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs, beaten, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg and vanilla; add to flour mixture and stir to combine. Press on to the bottom of a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.


From Judie Dresser:

I entered this recipe in the San Diego County Fair.  The format is the entry form I submitted.

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From Barbara Antol:

Here’s a Christmas favorite of ours. They’re cute and tasty. 

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Click here for the recipe!


From Vicki Scidmore:

This recipe was made by a friend.  This is my kind of cookie – easy!

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From Martha Bates:

I have had a cookie bake every Christmas for friends, neighbors and co-workers.  My highest cookie count was 179 dozen cookies; this year I am down to 75 dozen!  Everyone enjoys a free gift, especially if it is homemade.  Here is a favorite cookie recipe with a funny story to go with it!


 My daughter and I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas and decided to have a small dessert.  Because our family are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus Cookie".  It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and they said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not".  Well, I said, would you let me buy the recipe?  With a cute smile, she said, "Yes."  I asked how much and she responded, "Two fifty."  I said with approval, just add it to my tab. 

Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00.  I looked again and remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf.  As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe - $250.00"  Boy, was I upset!  I called Neiman's Accounting Dept. and told them the waitress said it was "two fifty" and I did not realize she meant $250.00 for a cookie recipe.  I asked them to take back the recipe and reduce my bill and they said they were sorry, but because all the recipes were this expensive so not just everyone could duplicate any of our bakery recipes....the bill would stand.  I waited, thinking of how I could get even or even try and get any of my money back.

 I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250.00 and now I'm going to have $250.00 worth of fun."  I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover will have a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus for nothing.  She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this."  I said, "I's sorry but this is the only way I feel I could get even", and I will.

 So, here it is, and please pass it to someone else or run a few copies....I paid for it; now you can have it for free. (Recipe may be halved):

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal**
24 oz chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 8-oz Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp vanilla

 Cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda.   Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts.  Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 112 cookies.

**measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.


From Jackie Williams:

Our cookie Favorite over the years.  We add raisins and sometimes nuts to the batter.

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From Lesia Lennex:

Here's my favorite recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies:

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From Lena Tovey:  

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My favorite cookie my mom made for Christmas.

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) butter
12oz. Semisweet chocolate chips
1. 10oz. Bag of colored miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cup (about) nuts or shredded coconut
Tin foil
Melt chocolate & butter. Once chocolate starts to cool mix in marshmallows.
Spray tin foil with cooking spray put sprinkle with coconut, add chocolate mixture. Then roll into a log, refrigerate the log until firm. Then cut into pieces. Enjoy.


From:  Grace Mlynowski

Here's my recipe that was given to me by my mother many years ago.


Ranger Cookies. They are chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup shortening or softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat cereal flakes or corn flake cereal
1/2 cup coconut


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix thoroughly together the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in remaining ingredients.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Immediately remove cookies from the baking sheet and allow to cool.


From:  Kathy Koons

Kathy shares, "You guys made this month's challenge really hard! Why, you ask? Because I start Christmas cookie baking on October 1 with the goal of having the bulk of them made by the end of November. Yesterday's batch was #17 for the year. My older daughter will make one when she comes  home in a couple of weeks and the final batch is Forgotten Cookies (aka Meringues), which are always done the evening of December 23. Those are the only ones that don't go into the freezer.  I couldn't choose on my own. So, I called said daughter and she helped me pick from this year's selections. The one she chose is one that has been in the rotation for 8 years. So, you know it is good."

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Click here for Kathy's recipe.


From:  Jackie Browder

Rice Krispies Treats

3 tbsp butter
1 pkg marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal


1. Melt butter in large pot. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir.
3. Use butter spatula to evenly press mixture into 13x9x2 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2 inch squares.


From:  Darlene Wilson

Sour cream cookies.

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix ingredients and form cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 13 minutes.


From Kim Kehoe:

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