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There’s just something about the smell of fresh-baked cookies that helps capture the spirit of the holidays. Maybe it’s the warmth of the oven during winter, the effort to make them, the generosity of sharing or maybe it’s just the pure satisfaction of a delicious treat. Whatever the reason, cookies make wonderful gifts or party favors to enjoy with family and friends. Try these sure-fire recipes, we hope you like them.

Apricot Almond Wreaths

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

ingredients

  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 15 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Apricot jam

directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift confectioners' sugar into the bowl of a free stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, a bowl and a hand mixer could also be used.
  3. Add butter and mix on medium until uniform.
  4. Add yolk and mix.
  5. Place flour, cloves, cinnamon and ground almonds in a bowl and whisk until blended. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Wrap dough in parchment paper or wax paper and chill in the refrigerator 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Roll dough out between two floured sheets of parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Using a 1 3/4-inch cutter cut the center out of half of the cookies forming the base for the "wreath".
  8. Make an egg wash by whisking together the egg white and water. Lightly brush the egg wash on the "wreath" cookies. Place sliced almonds onto "wreath" and gently press down.
  9. Bake cookies until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack and cool completely.
  10. Heat apricot jam in a small sauce pan. Strain out large apricot pieces. Allow jam to cool, but make sure it is still spreadable. Spread jam on cookie circles. Place "wreath" on top.

Linzer Cookies

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies (depending on cutter size)

ingredients

directions

  1. Make cookie dough according to box instructions. Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut cookies (a scalloped edge circle was used for these cookies, but other shapes work well too such as hearts). Cut a small circle out of the center of half of the cookies. Bake according to box instructions. Allow to cool on rack.
  2. Spread jam on the top of the cookies that do not have the center cut out. If the jam is too thick it can be heated on the stove top or in a microwave until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on the cookies that have the center cut out of them. Gently place this cookie on top of the cookie with jam on it.

Decorated Cookie Gift

ingredients

  • 1 box Stonewall Kitchen Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 cup icing (color of your choice)
  • decorations for cookies
  • ribbon

directions

  1. Make cookie dough according to box instructions. Roll cookie dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut cookies using a cookie cutter of your choice (a snowflake cutter was used in the image). Bake cookies according to box instructions. Before baking cut a small circle out of the center of each cookie. Bake until light golden brown, time will vary depending on the size of the cookie. Remove to rack and let cool.
  2. Ice and decorate the cookies. Allow icing to harden. Stack cookies and tie a ribbon through the hole in the center holding the stack together.
  3. The cookies in the photo were made using blue coloring in royal icing and sprinkled with white nonpareils.

royal icing ingredients

  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2-4 cups confectioners' sugar, depending on the consistency of the icing you want for your cookies
  • food coloring, optional

royal icing directions

  1. Mix meringue powder with cold water and beat to bird’s beak stage.
  2. Slowly add confectioners' sugar to desired thickness.
  3. Make sure to keep icing covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap because it dries quickly.
  4. Add food coloring if desired. Ice cookies.