Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Cookie Jar's Top 25 Holiday Treats

Of all the treats here, my cookie category is the largest-partly because I am a cookie fanatic, always jumping on every interesting looking recipe I can find to try. For Christmas, all of us have our favorites-and if I could make them all I would, but we'd be inundated with enough food to feed an army!

What's my family's favorite holiday treats? Need ideas for things to give away, or that are easy for the kids to help you make? This list is of my family's favorite recipes throughout the years. Every recipe has been tried, devoured, begged for from friends and family, and while the older posts don't have a photo (a casualty of having an unintended food blog-I'm working on that), believe me, they are all amazing recipes and turn out well.

Ready with the spatulas? Go! Look for the * to indicate recipes that are easy to make with small kids.

Family Favorites:

Black Forest Cherry Cookies - a rich chocolate cookie filled with walnuts and maraschino cherries, topped with chocolate icing and a cherry half. Hubs LOVES these, and they freeze well!

Santa Cookies

*Ginger Gems - buttery, spicy little bits rolled in sugar, these are a favorite in our house. I love to give them to fellow teachers as a gift. Make sure to use real butter. (* kids can help roll the dough into balls and then into sugar)

Rum Balls - so decadent, and SO delicious! Rich and chocolatey, we love these! They make great gifts.

Orange Chocolate Brownie cookies with M&Ms - definitely MY favorite cookie, these are a hit with kids. You don't have to make them with orange flavoring, just use vanilla extract instead.

Chocolate Brandied Raisin Cookies- dark, full of chocolate, rolled in sugar with a hint of rum, these are cookies the adults will fight over.

Butter Tart Squares - don't have time for tarts? Make squares. They are just as good and easier to store.

Butter Tarts - It's not Christmas without butter tarts. Kevin and I steal them from the freezer because I like them best cold.

Great for Giving away:


*Chocolate Cherry Mice - Fun to make with the kids, these are made of Hershey's Kisses, maraschino cherries, and almond slices

Home made Oreos - Work intensive but these cookies are just amazing!

Chocolate Candy Crinkles - these are fun to roll with the kids, and they are very impressive in a cookie basket. Plus they are super for anyone who loves Hershey's kisses.

*Peanut Butter Cup Cookies - I can't eat peanut butter, but if I could these would be my favorite. Rolled in sugar and topped with a mini peanut butter cup, these are decadent and delicious. Kids can help roll the dough into balls and then into sugar.

*Easy Rolled Sugar Cookies - If you don't like the rolling and cutting part of sugar cookies, these give you all the flavor without the work. I love the sour cream in the dough. Kids can help roll the dough into balls and then into sugar.

Sugar Cookies

*Traditional Sugar Cookies - More old school sugar cookies are great because you can freeze the dough, then pull out and bake /ice when you need them. Kids can help cut them out or ice them.

Haystacks 2

*Reindeer Poop Cookies - These no bake cookies are perfect to make with kids, and if you want to have some fun include this poem! As a child these were my favorite, and I loved stealing them from the freezer.

Roll and Cut out Cookies:

Gingerbread Houses and Cookies - Or better yet, How to Make a Gingerbread House without Losing your Mind and Flinging it Across Your Kitchen in Frustration. Makes a mini gingerbread house and some cookies. Doubled makes three small houses. Really easy if you follow the tips. If I can make it, anyone can-and I say this because I really DID throw a gingerbread house across my kitchen.

Coconut Mango Butter Cookies - use any jam, or even your favorite curd, as filling with these delicious coconut butter cookies.

*Vanilla Shortbread - A good, basic shortbread. Kevin always loves them with a candied cherry pressed into the middle.

Chocolate Ganache Cookies - work intensive but absolutely worth it, as these are filled with decadent chocolate ganache.

Super Rich and Decadent Bars or Desserts:

Cappuccino Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake Cappuccino Brownies - a cross between a cheesecake and a brownie, these are very rich and delicious.

Chocolate Caramel Brownies -brownie topped with Rolo candies and drizzled with butterscotch ice cream sauce? How could you go wrong with that?

Maple Pecan Sticky bars - like eating a pecan pie from your hand. I can't make these, I'd eat the whole pan.

Pumpkin Squares -a family favorite, and has won accolades from friends. Tastes a bit like carrot cake with cream cheese icing, but is a great cold square.

Turtle Bars - nuts, caramel, and chocolate make these bars decadent. Hubs took them to work and they were devoured in minutes!

Candy Cane Brownies - brownies topped with chocolate chips and bits of crushed candy cane. YUM.

Cheesecake -the only cheesecake recipe that I use, because it's simply the best.

What are YOUR favorites? Feel free to leave links in the comments!
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