In my home, the family tradition of Crescent Cookies is the official start to the Christmas season. We decorate our tree, put some Charlie Brown Christmas music on and bake Crescent Cookies. When I asked my fellow TBMB writers to send in their favorite holiday cookie recipes to share with our readers, I was touched by the sweet memories surrounding each treat. We hope you enjoy these recipes and for more ideas, check out our Tampa Bay Moms Blog Holiday Cookies on Pinterest. And please pin your own personal favorites!
So let’s pull out our cookie sheets, dust off our mixers and rally the kids to the kitchen — it’s time to get our cookies on!
REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUP COOKIES – SUBMITTED BY SHERISS CROSSKEY
This was the cookie Sherriss Crosskey grabbed at Barnes & Noble when she first met her husband. Nothing like a sweet start!
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
32 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (each cut into 4 pieces)
Mix the ingredients down to the vanilla. Add the baking soda, salt and flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. These are big cookies so place six scoops per baking sheet. Use your hand or back of the scoop to slightly flatten each scoop of dough. Cook for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cookies from oven and lightly press 8 cut up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over the top of each cookie. Return to oven for 2 more minutes. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes before placing on cooling racks. This recipe makes 18 cookies.
“NANA’S FAVORITE” COCONUT RASPBERRY BARS – SUBMITTED BY SHAWNA BERGER
For more than 30 years, Shawna Berger’s mother made these bars for Shawna’s Nana because Nana loved raspberries. Although Shawna’s Nana has been gone for many years now, these raspberry bars are a major presence at the holiday table, as is Nana’s spirit.
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. milk
1/3 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
7 oz. flaked coconut
Combine the flour, baking powder and 1/2 cup butter in a medium mixing bowl, mixing well. Stir in 1 egg and the milk. Press mixture into a greased 12×8-inch baking dish. Spread jam over the mixture and set aside. Cream 1/4 cup butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually adding sugar and beating well. Stir in remaining egg and vanilla, mixing well. Add coconut, stir well and spread the mixture over the jam. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until coconut is golden. Cool and cut into 3 x 1/2-inch bars. Yields about 1 1/2 dozen bars.
THE CLASSIC SUGAR COOKIE , SIMPLIFIED – SUBMITTED BY JENETTE CRONK
When you want to bake and decorate cookies with your kids, but you don’t want the mess and stress of it — follow Jenette Cronk’s advice and buy the Pillsbury already-made sugar cookie dough. Cut the cookie dough in 1/2″ thick slices and bake according to the directions. Give your kids the Betty Crocker decorating icing packs, which dry in four minutes, and colorful sprinkles and call it a fun, easy and festive day!
PISTACHIO CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES – SUBMITTED BY LAURA SHIVERS
Many of us have memories of baking with our moms and it’s the same for Laura. Just as she baked with her mother and sister, she now bakes this cookie recipe with her two children. She first made this cookie when her son was just a few weeks old. Her goal – a recipe which is easy but doesn’t taste like it. Enjoy!
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker ® sugar cookie mix
1 box (4-serving size) pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet) Or substitute pistachios for the chocolate chips, or do both!
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, pudding mix, eggs and remaining ingredients, mix well. Use small cookie scoop to drop dough 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Don’t over bake – leave them on cookie sheet at room temperature to finish baking and cool. Yields 2 dozen.
LEONA’S HOLIDAY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS – SUBMITTED BY LINDSAY CHURTON
Imagine opening up a care package full of these homemade sweets from your grandmother every Christmas season? Our fellow writer, Lindsay, receives such a gift every year from her grandmother, Leona, from South Carolina. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls and White Chocolate Crackers are two of her favorites. You can’t eat just one!
1 box confectioners sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
2 sticks margarine (or 2 sticks butter)
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 tbsp. shortening
Mix sugar, graham crackers crumbs, peanut butter, coconut flakes and vanilla. Melt margarine (or butter) and pour over mixture. Mix well and form into 1 inch balls. Store these in the refrigerator to harden before dipping into hot melted chocolate. Melt 6 oz. of chocolate chips and 1 tbsp shortening in double boiler (the shortening helps thin out the chocolate for a smoother and easier coating.) Dip balls and coat completely in chocolate. Either use a wooden chopstick or skewer to dip the balls, or use two forks to gently lower ball and cover with chocolate. Place on wax paper to cool. Store in a container and refrigerate them. Recipe makes up to 100 small balls.
LEONA’S HOLIDAY WHITE CHOCOLATE CRACKERS – SUBMITTED BY LINDSAY CHURTON
1 box of Ritz Crackers
1 jar of peanut butter (creamy is easier)
1 block of white chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp shortening
Place peanut butter in between two crackers. Break white chocolate into small cubes and place into double boiler with 1 1/2 tbsp of shortening. Melt,then lower the crackers into melted chocolate with a fork and lightly toss the cracker cookie into the melted white chocolate. Use fork to remove covered cracker and place on wax paper to cool. Gently remove once cooled. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Recipe yields for approximately 70 depending on size of Ritz box.
CRESCENT COOKIES – SUBMITTED BY BRIGHT OWENS
Now this cookie has been around the block! I grew up calling them Crescent Cookies, other people know them as Butter Balls, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes. Sounds like everyone has a claim on these melt-in-your-mouth cookies and for good reason. These are delicious and easy to bake! My mom taught my brother and I how to make them, and she learned from her mother, Reba. Now I’m teaching my kids how to make them and the tradition lives on. Enjoy these cookies with a nice glass of cold milk at night, or a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp confectioner sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or no nuts for the nut-free folks)
1 stick of softened, room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioner sugar to coat finished cookies
Combine ingredients in bowl and mix until blended a ball of cookie dough forms. Pinch off dough and roll and shape into crescents or balls. Place 1 inch apart on un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly edges are lightly golden or firm to the touch. Don’t over bake. Let cookies cool and then roll them into confectioner sugar.
We hope you enjoy these special recipes, and please share your own in the comment section below, or pin to our Holiday Cookies Pinterest Board. Enjoy the holiday season!