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Get all of your holiday baking done in one afternoon. Versatile and family-pleasing, this recipe makes eight different holiday cookies with a variety of flavors, textures and shapes in about three hours!
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 4 ½ cups self-rising flour
- Cream together butter amp; sugar; stir in eggs and flavorings.
- Stir in self-rising flour until thoroughly mixed.
- Divide dough into 8 equal portion.
- Make fillings and toppings (below) and prepare cookies.
- Bake on greased pans at 400 degrees for 15-25 min. (depending on shape and thickness) until lightly browned.
- 2 c. 10x sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp milk
Mix all ingredients until smooth; yields about 1 cup 10x sugar glaze
Fillings and Toppings:
- Ribbons- Shape one portion into a 12″ long log. Make a ½ ” deep depression with the handle of a wooden spoon: fill depression with any flavor of jam or jelly. Bake in a jelly pan and cool slightly on a cooling rack. Slice into 12 cookies, then drizzle with 10x sugar glaze.
- Snowballs- Add ½ cup finely chopped walnuts to one portion with a food chopper. Roll into 12 balls. Bake and roll still-warm cookies in 10x sugar. Re-roll when completely cooled.
- Pistachio Trees- Add ½ cup finely chopped pistachios and green food coloring to one portion. Separate and roll into 2 balls. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle, 1/8″ thick. Place circles on prepared pans then cut each into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter. Press ½ pretzel stick into bottom of each “tree” to form trunk. Drizzle warm cookies with 10x sugar glaze (tinted green) then sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios while glaze is still wet.
- Candy Cane- If desired, add ½ tsp. peppermint flavoring to one portion; separate into three portions, tinting one red , one green, and leaving the third plain. Roll each portion into a 12″ rope then twist them and roll lightly together. Slice into 1″ portions and flatten each slightly. Bake, then drizzle warm cookies with glaze and sprinkle wet glaze with crushed candy canes.
- Chocolate-Covered Cherry- Shape one portion into a 12″ long log; cut into 12 pieces, then make a depression in each with your thumb. Place a cherry (from a can of premium pie filling or use maraschino cherries) in each depression. Bake and cool. Drizzle cooled cookies with melted baking chocolate or baking chips mixed with a little shortening.
- Cheesecake Tarts- Microwave 4 ounces of cream cheese for 30-40 seconds, until very warm, but not hot; stir in ¼ cup sugar and one egg white (reserve yolk for another filling). Shape a portion into a 12″ long log; cut into 12 pieces and make a depression in each with your thumb. Fill depressions with cream cheese mixture and bake. Drizzle with some heated strawberry jam or top with cherry pie filling.
- Pecan Tarts- Combine 2 Tbsp. melted butter with ¼ cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg yolk, and ½ cup finely chopped pecans. Shape a portion into a 12″ long log; cut iinto 12 pieces. Make a depression in each piece with your thumb and fill each with some of the filling, then bake.
- Peanut Butter Cup- Add 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder and 1 tsp. water to a portion. Roll into a 12″ long roll and cut into 12 pieces. Press a mini-peanut butter cup into each portion and bake. Cool completely before handling.
- Clean up is easier and baking sheets can be reused faster if lined with foil. Just slide the entire batch off, along with the foil, to cool.
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