Holiday Baking! Old-fashioned Butter Cookies & More

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When I was growing up, my mom wasn’t much into the holiday cookie scene. But our plump, permed, sitter, Shirley, was! I can still see her, arms crossed behind her back, peering through black-rimmed glasses and watching (through the window of our new 1970s wall oven) every batch bake.  Shirley shooed us away from the raw dough, convinced we’d die of raw-egg poisoning. But she did let us decorate the cookies–(garish overloads of sugar sprinkles.) In my own boy-full household, cookies are in demand. Here are some they’ve liked best. Happy Holidays!

Raspberry Nut Delight Bars

Grandma Bertha’s Apricot Delight Bars



Jam Tart or Best Bar Cookies

Fresh Cranberry Bars

Marshall Fields Chocolate Frosted Cookies

Buckeyes Candy

Happy Holidays!

Makes 7 dozen

Cookie Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp half-and-half
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Lemon Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter or soy butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Make frosting: Blend sugar with lemon zest and butter. Mix in lemon juice.
  2. Make cookies: Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, half-and-half and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. Divide dough into two balls. Flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or until ready to bake cookies. Preheat oven to 400. Spread two large pieces of plastic wrap on counter, side by side. Place one of the dough disks in the center. Cover with two more pieces of plastic wrap. using a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/6 of an inch. Remove top plastic sheets. Using cookie cutters, dip in flour and cut out cookies. If using colored sugar, brush cookie tops with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove to cooling rack. If not sprinkled with colored sugar, allow cookies to cool and then decorate with frosting.

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