It really should be a holiday unto itself. Cookie Time. That day or days before Christmas that bakers devote to concocting a plethora of sweet bites to feed or gift to family and friends.
When I was growing up, DotMom would spend days in the kitchen, mixing up all of our family favorites, many of which can be found in her “Mixing & Musing Cookbook.” There would be trays of cookies, candies and bars to deliver around the neighborhood and farther afield.
Today I’m going to share my personal top two cookies, but first, I’d like to encourage you readers to share your own favorite Christmas treats. What’s the one cookie that is a must-bake during these last few weeks leading up to Christmas? I’d love for you to share your memories and your recipes. Please email me at email@example.com, or share them through the comment section on this blog.
So here are mine:
This first recipe — No-Roll Sugar Cookies — was DotMom’s go-to sugar cookie recipe, and she didn’t just make it at Christmas time. She had an assortment of small cookie cutters for various seasons, which she would use to imprint a design in the top of these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. They were, without a doubt, DadDon’s favorite, and he would raid the cookie jar nightly in search of his cookie fix.
This is also the cookie that DotMom made most often with her granddaughters when they were young, as it was easy for them to press out the balls of dough, create the design and sprinkle with colored sugars. It’s much less messy and time-intensive than traditional cutout cookies.
The second recipe — Forgotten Kisses — is at the top of my own must-make list. I love the crispy meringue and the bite of mint. During the holiday season, I make them with either the candy-cane striped mint chips that are available at this time or year, or there is one company — Guittard, I think — that makes a chip that is a pretty shade of mint green.
I was both annoyed and fascinated with these cookies when I was young. It was annoying to have to wait until the next morning to eat them (Mom always put a “Do Not Open” sign with threat of consequences on the oven door handle) but it was quite fascinating to see how they turned from the soft pillows of fluff into crunchy meringue cookies overnight.
These days, I also love their simplicity. My stand mixer makes quick work of beating the meringue into hard peaks, then I just have to fold in the chips, drop them onto the cookie sheets, put them in the oven and forget them (hence the name!).
No-Roll Sugar Cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups plus 4 heaping tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream sugars, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add dry ingredients, then vanilla. Mix well.
Roll dough into small balls and press down with a glass dipped in sugar. Use a small cookie cutter to make an imprint in the top of the cookie, if desired, then decorate with seasonally appropriate colored sugars.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, until delicately browned.
2 egg whites
⅔ cup sugar
6 ounces mint chocolate chips (or more — I like them chock full of chips!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat egg white until frothy. Gradually add sugar, a little at a time. Continue to beat until very stiff, about 15 minutes total.
Fold in the chips. Drop by teaspoonsful onto greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper or silicone baking mats).
Put in oven, shut door, turn off the heat and DON’T PEEK for at least 5 hours or overnight.