Christmas Cookies – Cinnamon Lemon Spiral Cookies

Almost like a cinnamon roll! Perfect for a holiday breakfast addition or just to have around for snacking during the holidays. Would also make a nice statement on a Christmas cookie plate.

Cinnamon Lemon Spiral Cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups butter
1 tablespoon (packet) yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup scalded milk, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

I cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of cloves
Zest of one lemon, finely grated

In a large mixing box, combine Flour ½ cup sugar and cut in the butter until it resembles peas in size. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm 1/4 cup of water and all it to the milk, vanilla, and eggs, mixing together well. Add to the flour mixture and mix into a ball of dough. Cover with greased/vegetable oil sprayed plastic wrap and refrigerate eight hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or use light coating of vegetable oil spray.

On a well-floured board, roll out the dough into a rectangle about one-quarter thick. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and lemon zest and sprinkle liberally over the rolled out dough. Roll the dough up along the long size, pinch the edges closed and roll onto the seamed side. Cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch slices (thinner is crisper/thicker is more cake-like) Place cut slices on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of your cookies. Cool a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Glaze cookies while still a bit warm.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon or so of finely grated lemon zest
Enough fresh lemon juice to form a glaze.

Christmas Baking – German Lebkuchen


German Lebkuchen

A spicy, fruity, Christmas cookie bar. I’ve probably shared this before but it bears repeating. Besides what better way to get the scent of Christmas into your home.

3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups dark, brown sugar
1/4 pound mixed, candied fruit*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
Confectioner’s sugar
Juice of one lemon
Grated rind of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8 x 10-inch baking pan, dust it lightly with flour. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs one at a time to the brown sugar, beating well after each addition. Stir in the candied fruit and spices. Into another bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, combining well. Spread the cookie batter into the prepared pan and bake it for 15 minutes or until golden.

Add lemon rind and enough juice to confectioner’s sugar to make a thick icing. Spread the icing over the warm cookies. When the icing has set, cut into serving size squares.

*Soaking the candied fruit in brandy over night greatly enhances the flavor of the finished cookie!

Easy Stir, Drop, and Bake Sugar cookies


Although I may have shared this before, tis the season to start thinking about warm kitchens and quick treats to start welcoming in the holiday season which will be here all too soon!

Stir, Drop and Bake Sugar Cookies

2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each of finely grated lemon zest and  orange zest
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs until foamy; stir in oil, vanilla, and sugar. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture. Combine until smooth. Drop by teaspoonsful about two inches apart on very lightly greased cookie sheet. Dough should be rather soft. Sprinkle a bit of sugar on each cookie before baking. Colored sugar is fun if it is on hand. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

This was one of the first cookies of my memory. It takes only a few minutes to throw together and is easy for older children to make on their own. On rainy days, my mother would make me these along with a cup of hot cocoa. Rainy days and warm kitchens are great! Memories!

Pumpkin Drop Cookies

Always nice to have a last-minute, go-to recipe at hand in case you have to stretch the dessert offering for unexpected guests or need a little something to tide people over as the turkey finishes roasting to perfection. Given the season, one is most likely to have an extra can of pumpkin on hand and could put this cookie recipe together in quick time. Nothing like coming into the house to the scent of fresh cookies exiting the oven.

Pumpkin Drop Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Either line baking sheets with parchment or use vegetable oil spray to grease them.

1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (plain will work, too!)
1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Freshly-grated zest of one orange
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup dried cranberries (plump them in warm water and drain before adding.)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together the shortening and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs thoroughly. Add in the vanilla, orange zest, and pumpkin. Stir together the dry ingredients and blend into the creamed pumpkin mixture. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.

Drop dough in heaping spoonfuls (teaspoon or tablespoon size, you decide!) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for approximate 10-15 minutes depending on size. When light brown and slightly firm to the touch, remove to a cooling rack. Glaze with orange icing. If you have some holiday sprinkles on hand, go for it! 🙂P1050989

Orange Icing
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Enough fresh orange juice to form a glaze.

California Cowboy Cookies




This is a fun cookie and is open to most any change you’d like to make to it. If you like to make it more spicy, cinnamon works here. You can use any flavor of chocolate chips you prefer. I like walnuts but if I have pecans on hand, you will find that change in my cookie. You can even snip up pieces of those orange gum drops and add them to the dough. Okay, so you noticed . . . there are oats in the recipe but we can’t really call it another oatmeal cookie . . . can we?

California Cowboy Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white baking chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Blend the dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, extract, and zest. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in baking chips and walnuts.

Form dough into 1/4 cup balls. Place on greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Flatten to approximately 3-inch rounds. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden and browned around the edges. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 30 cookies, depending on size.

Butterscotch Apple Cookies – Simple and Good!

This is a relatively quick cookie to get into the oven. A nice afternoon surprise with a cold glass of milk. They could even be considered a breakfast snack when you are in a hurry with a cup of coffee. Simple enough for random munching but elegant enough for the holiday cookie place, too.

Butterscotch Apple Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup or honey
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup grated apples (be sure to peel them before grating)
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment or use vegetable oil spray.

Cream shortening, brown sugar, corn syrup (or honey) and eggs in a bowl and beat thoroughly. Mix in the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Mix well. Stir in the vanilla and the rest of the ingredients.

Drop by small spoonful or use cookie scoop of your size choice onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges and set in the middle. Remove to cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Rosy Raisin Catsup Cookies

This is a fun one to make in that it has a ‘secret’ ingredient. With a lemon glaze and a few colorful sprinkles, it could have a place on your Christmas cookie offerings this year.

Rosy Raisin Catsup Cookies
1 cup softened butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Grates zest of one lemon
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup catsup
½ cup raisins, coarsely ground
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with either parchment paper or a light spray of vegetable oil spray.

Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the white and brown sugars and beat until well incorporated and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and zest to blend.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture with the catsup. Fold in the nuts and raisins until just mixed.

Drop tablespoons of dough about two-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until set and golden brown. Place cookies on cooling racks and brush with lemon glaze and, if you desire, sprinkle with some colored sugar or other such decoration. Plain glaze is good, too!

Lemon Glaze
Juice of one lemon and enough powdered sugar to form a thin glaze. Using a pastry brush to ice the cookies makes the task easy and quick. You can also just drizzle it on, too.

Burnt Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

A favorite around our house is most any kind of oatmeal cookie. The only argument is whether to add raisins or not. This recipe always comes to mind when I notice the bananas aging rapidly on the kitchen counter.

Burnt Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed, dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup very ripe, mashed bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal*
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup mini-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper or use vegetable oil spray.

Cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Mixture should be well-combined. Add bananas, vanilla, orange zest, ground cinnamon oats, flour, and baking powder. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Scoop teaspoonfuls (a cookie scoop comes in handy about now!) onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies set a few minutes before removing to cooling rack. You will get 3-4 dozen cookies depending on the size.

*No fast-cooking oatmeal in the house. I’ve used regular oatmeal with success. I just run it through the food processor for a few spins to break them up a bit.

Burnt Butter Icing

Melt ½ stick of butter in a small pot and let it brown but not burn. Add a cup of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and enough milk or cream to form a spreadable glaze. When the cookies are cool, brush each one with the icing and let set.

Zucchini-Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

a04121154The further we get into summer, the more abundant the zucchini and carrots seem to be. I’ve known some years when gardens produced so many zucchinis that people almost shuttered their windows when they see anyone coming up the walk with produce from their garden! Anyway, this is a simple, chewy sort of plain cookie that makes a good snack with a cold glass of milk or afternoon cup of hot tea.

Zucchini-Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup butter
3/4 cup honey
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
grated zest of one orange
½ cup finely grated zucchini
½ cup finely grated carrots
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup of one or a combination of the following: chopped dates, raisins, dried cranberries, or dried apricots.

Preat oven to 375 degrees. Use vegetable oil spray or parchment to prepare baking sheets.

Cream together the butter and honey. Blend in the egg and beat well. Combine the dry ingredients and mix in alternately with the zucchini-carrot mixture. Stir in the oats and chosen dried fruits.

Drop by teaspoonsful on prepared baking sheets. Bake for approximately 10 minutes depending on your oven. Makes about four dozen cookies.

For an added treat either dip tops in melted chocolate or glaze with lemon icing. Your children might not even guess about the vegetables and fiber you are sneaking into the cookies.