Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

Great Cookie Recipes, Especially for the Holidays

I'm curious what your families favorites are when it comes to cookies and where you find your recipes. Do you like to make rolled out decorated cookie cutter cookies? Or are icebox, bar, or drop cookies more your thing? 

I love looking at the pretty decorated, iced, sparkly, sugar cookies but I hardly ever make that kind because of the time involved. When it comes to bar cookies I've only made two bar type cookies in my whole life, lemon bars and chess bars. I love love love lemon bars from scratch.

What I make the absolute most though are drop cookies, they are fast and I can crank out a lot of these in the shortest amount of time. There are a lot of recipes for great drop cookies too. I've found most of my families recent favorites online. 

Sparkling Butter Toffee Cookies, I confess this is one I love more than the rest of my family does. (The link goes to Land O Lakes site and this recipe.)

My husband, my in-laws, and many of my hubbies co-workers are absolutely mad about these cookies, White Chip Island Cookies. (Again the link goes to Land O Lakes.)

When I need a batch of cookies quickly I make Brownie Drop Cookies.
I first saw this recipe on a box of brownies. I tried to find a link to post here but haven't found the right one. Anyway all it takes to make them is leave out the water from the brownie mix recipe then cook them up like you would any drop cookie. (Leave plenty of room between them though they will spread.) Since I don't have the link I can't say for sure the temperature or time but I think I bake teaspoon size drop cookies at 325 for about 8 minutes. I check them and bake longer if needed. If you like the edges of a pan of brownies though these cookies are like having nothing but edges. :D 

For the holidays I usually try one new recipe each year, along with one or two other batches of our favorites. 

Last year to make it easy to have cookies on hand for company I made my batches as usual. I would bake one tray, then scoop the rest of the dough and freeze it on a baking tray. Once frozen I'd save the balls of dough in a gallon zip bag. Then anytime we wanted more it was easy to just take out enough for a tray or two (a variety was possible on one or two trays also) let them thaw while the oven preheated and bake them up. 

I'm looking forward to holiday baking this year. 

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I bake up goodie trays every year for teachers, our son therapy, friends and family. I would love to do the cut out and decorated cookies, but they don't seem to work for me. I tried making some one year to hang on the tree as decorations, besides putting some on the trays to give away. Can't get it to roll out no matter what I try and using cookie cutters were just as worse. So I do drop cookies, cookie bars, muffins and sweet breads. I got my mom's Betty Crocker cookbook and other assorted cook books I have. Here's what I usually make:

chocolate chip cookies
chocolate crinkle cookies
peanut butter chippers
Linzar bars
Can't Leave Alone Bars
Chocolate Fudge
Christmas Bark
Banana Nut Bread/muffins
Pumpkin Bread/muffins
Capaccino muffins
Hawaiian Bread

Sometimes I'll toss in a new recipe in there. The platters/trays I make usually end up weighing almost 20 pounds...lol I get the platters and containers from the Dollar Tree and the decorated bags to put them in. I have a bunch of lollipop molds and I let our son do those up.
These really are hard to leave alone. They are addicting and not good for the blood sugar levels..lol It's a mixture of sugar cookie with fudge. Yummy!!!!

Can't Leave Alone Bars

1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz.) white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cubed

In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, eggs, oil. Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 inch cake pan.
Set the remaining cake mixture aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, chocolate chips, and butter.
Microwave, uncovered, until the chips and the butter are melted. Stir until smooth. Pour over the crust.
Drop by teaspoonfuls of the remaining cake mixture over the top. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool before cutting. Makes 3 dozen
Wow Tabby I like your line up of cookies! When I worked in advertising I'd bake on the weekends and fill up the freezer then make a bunch of trays and baskets to share with friends and co-workers, I considered the baking my therapy for all the stress at work. LOL I doubt my doctor would see it that way because I sample too much.

I didn't mention them but I also like to make sweet breads, pumpkin, banana and coconut are my usuals. I played with my pumpkin recipe recently. (I think the original recipe is straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.) Now I split the batter from my pumpkin bread and mix in a tablespoon on molasses to half it adds a little extra sweetness and a richer flavor to that part of the batch I sprinkle brown sugar and pecans on top of the loaves before I bake them for a nice crispy topping.

Yum I feel a baking mood coming on soon. ;)
To all you bakers this is me standing in your driveway holding a sign will work for cookies...I like baking to an extent, then I'm over it. One year a friend and I decided to do the sugar cookie thing. We baked all day and ended up with hundreds of cookies, when the decorating started that sucked...like the 5th cookie in we were done. I still have the remaining tube icing in my pantry. (probably need to toss it)

On another note I know that Polk Moms did a cookie exchange a couple of years ago. I was not able to go but wanted to and think it sounds like fun to maybe do this year. Anyone else willing to bake and trade...
Wow, a cookie swap would be great on here for the holidays. I've never been to one but heard alot about them. Some of the ladies on the cooking groups on Yahoo I belong to get together to swap cookies and recipes. They happen to live close enough to each other.
Tabby, I saw that you added cookie recipes to PolkMoms as stand-alone threads. Why not add them to this thread, too? That way if someone would like to thumb through cookie recipes and not sure what they're in the mood for, they will have plenty of options.

I am VERY excited to see this thread started! I can not wait to see more cookie recipes added. : )

I thoroughly enjoyed our past cookie swap and would be thrilled to do it again. It sounds like we might be getting some interest. I'll go and make another thread on that topic. :)
Here is the only peanut butter cookie recipe my husband likes. (I love PB cookies, DH not so much so I was happy to find something he did like.)

This is from the Jif web site.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies
1C sugar
1C packed brown sugar
1C Jif creamy peanut butter
1/2 C butter flavor shortening
2 lg eggs
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 10 oz bag peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 350.
Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter and shortening in a bowl or electric mixer, beat at medium speed until well blended and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add gradually to sugar mixture at low speed. Mix just until well blended. Stir in peanut butter chips with spoon (dough will be stiff.)
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Make crisscross marks on top with floured fork tines, smoothing edges of cookies if necessary.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops are moist. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.

I've been looking and I'm thinking of doing a cookie bar maybe. This Elegant Almond Cookie Bar looks good!

Also, this cookie recipe, Maple Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies, just won first place for a Betty Crocker cooking contest. If it's a winner for them, it could be for you too.

I've always liked Wilton's sugar cookie recipe ( a pretty basic recipe I think). They come out tasty and not to hard to handle the dough. I prefer decorating the cookies to making them. I should partner up with someone - they bake them, I'll decorate them, that's the fun part for me. Anyway, like I said this recipe comes out pretty good and is what I'll use a lot coming up soon. http://www.wilton.com/idea/Sugar-Cookies

I love Southern Living Magazine in print and online.  While clicking around there I found a link for seventy, yes, 70! recipes for various types of cookies.  If you can't find something to float your fancy there, then you're just not trying hard enough. ;)

Southern Living's List of 70 Best-Loved Cookies

I love making cookies as gifts, how about you?

If you're in the gifting spirit and good with the mixing but want to skip the baking consider a cookie in a jar.  I found a link with several recipes and ideas that you may find inspiring.

I hope you'll be inspired to post your favorite cookie recipes to share in this thread.  :)

Thanks Shawn for the link.  Will go to check it out.  Making goodies this weekend to start shipping out to family.  Here's a quick and easy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that I use every year.  Sometimes I'll add a Hershey's Kiss in the center or chocolate chips into the batter.  I also put the mix back to the fridge, use my cookie scoop to take out and roll in regular or colored sugar.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

1 cup brown sugar or regular sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

chocolate chips or kisses optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Mix peanut butter, sugar, egg and extract (stir in chips at this point).  Drop by teaspoonful 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes till golden brown, remove, let cool a couple minutes then transfer to cooling rack.  If you add kisses, put them in the center just as they come out of the oven.  Makes about 2 dozen.

I had to miss work today to stay home with a sick kiddo so I am about to start baking some cookies for the holidays.  The sugar dough is made and is chilling in the fridge before I start to roll it out.  I am also planning on making brownie cookies with caramel and chocolate kiss centers, chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter cookies.  My husband requested gingerbread men but I don't have the ingredients for them and am not about to drag the sick little one out to the grocery store ;)

I will have to check out the link Southern Living's 70 cookies recipe.  I don't usually make bar cookies but would be interested in trying some if they don't look too complicated.

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