Our Annual Cookie Baking Marathon happened a week ago, and we were grateful to be together again (no winter storm this time) to share a cookie-baking frenzy.

This year’s collection:

Mocha Cookies – these decadent chocolate cookies are featured in the Gourmet Cookie Book:  The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941 – 2009, for 1990.  They are moist, slightly chewy, and chocolaty rich!

Frosted Cranberry Drop Cookies

Gianduja Bells **SEE BELOW (I used a small flower cookie cutter instead of a bell) – a great hazelnut/Nutella recipe.

Cashew Brittle – I was looking for a recipe that tasted like See’s Candy peanut brittle. I used 2 cups of raw cashews instead of peanuts, but I would use more next time, maybe even 3 cups. I was really happy with this recipe:

Mandelhoernchen – Thank you, Gesine Bullock-Prado, for posting this recipe on your blog!  I do believe this is the best cookie on the tray this year, and I’ll be making them every year ahead!

Cranberry, White Chocolate, Pistachio Biscotti – this was Martha Stewart’s Pecan Mandelbrot recipe.  We eliminated the chopped pecans and threw in a 1/4 cup Craisins, 1/4 cup shelled pistachios and 1/2 cup Nestle’s white chocolate morsels.  I especially like this recipe because the biscotti has a soft and tender crumb.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

Italian Christmas Cookies

Mixed Fruit and Nut Bark – Chop up one of those 1 lb bars of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s.  Melt half the chocolate in top of a double-boiler.  Remove from heat and mix in the other half of the chocolate until it melts, too. Let it cool a little. Mix in 1 bag of your favorite trail mix. I chose Trader Joe’s Macadamia Mix Gingerly with Cranberries & Almonds. Pour it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread with an off-set spatula and let cool and harden. Break into uneven pieces.

Molasses Sugar Cookies


Thanks to “Ethel” and little a for filling the kitchen with the wonderful smell of home-baked cookies (even the, ahem, slightly overcooked ones :), and for taking the time to gather and honor our cherished tradition.  Love you!


** I’m not sure what happened to the link for this cookie, but I did write down the recipe, so here goes:

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast 1 cup (4 oz.) of whole hazelnuts for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven, or until fragrant.  When the nuts are cool, finely chop and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the nuts with 1 cup sugar and 3 cups flour.  Add 3 sticks cold, unsalted, butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes, and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.

On a lightly floured surface , roll dough to 1/4″ thick.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutter and arrange 1″ apart onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly colored.  Cool pan completely on wire rack.

Spread, or pipe, Nutella on the bottom-side of half the cookies, and sandwich another cookie on top.

0 thoughts on “Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Marathon – ’10

  1. Amanda Jellen says:

    Hey, what kind of cookie press do you use? I just bought a vintage one and I’m pretty psyched to use it. It’s the same one Tyler’s mom has used for forty years. The cookies look beautiful. xo

    • Ann says:

      Hi Amanda – I probably use the same one that Tyler’s mom uses…it’s a vintage Mirro cookie press that I’ve had forever, and I think it’s great! Alyssa used one made by Kuhn Rikon. The plates are pretty, but I’m not in love with this press. Instead of turning the handle on top to dispense the cookie, you press a handle that “clicks” the dough through the barrel and onto the cookie sheet, and I don’t feel that it gives me enough control.

      Hope you have fun using yours, and happy baking!


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