Sweet Treats for The Christmas Cookie Tray

Wednesday 30 November 2022


Christmas Cookies

I always loved this time of year when my children were growing up. I would spend the few weeks in the run up to Christmas baking all sorts of treats for my children and family to enjoy over the holidays. I also used to like making up Christmas Cookie Trays as gifts for my family and friends. 

There wasn't always a lot of money to buy gifts for others, but I always knew that a cookie tray was something that could put a light in anyone's eyes!

Of course, my children had their favorites that they liked me to bake such as Candy Cane Cookies. Somehow mine never came off looking as pretty as they did in the magazines, but the children didn't mind. They loved them all the same.

Each year I would do them a gingerbread house or some other gingerbread creation.  I had so much fun decorating them.  This Gingerbread Cookie Wreath was always very popular.

One year I actually did a Gingerbread Tree, which took me hours and hours to decorate.  The children loved it!  It was covered with gummy bears and all sorts of sweeties.  The decorations slowly disappeared over the holidays, but I never did see anyone in particular eating them. It must have been the Elf on the Shelf.

One year I decorated our Christmas Tree with gingerbread men and popcorn & cranberry garlands.  That, I think, was my absolute favorite tree of all time.

I thought it would be fun today to share with you some of my favorite cookies that I like to bake for the holidays. I also thought it would be nice if you could share some of your favorites in the comments section. Let's share!

Raspberry Thumbprints

RASPBERRY THUMBPRINTS - It wouldn't be Christmas without a few of these on the cookie tray. They have a short buttery texture which is perfectly set off by the dollop of raspberry jam in the middle. I like to give them a sweet drizzle glaze to dress them up.

Condensed Milk Snowballs

SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK SNOWBALLS -With only 5 ingredients, these make a quick and easy Christmas cookie. Everybody loves them. Not too sweet, they are puffy, but are very reminiscent of shortbreads. These are fabulously delicious.

Sugared Date Squares

SUGARED DATE SQUARES - Delectable little bites of Christmas happiness I only make once a year. There is no baking required. Dates, walnuts, crisp rice cereal, etc. Things are heated and mixed in a saucepan, then pressed into a pan. Once they are solid you cut into squares and roll them in icing sugar.  These are a real family favorite.

Whipped Shortbreads

WHIPPED SHORTBREADS These always turn out perfectly with no faffing about or trouble.  Easy peasy lemon squeasy as they say. Simply beat everything together, drop on the pan, decorate with a bit of cherry or some sprinkles and bake. These are the easiest and tastiest shortbread cookies you could ever make.

Eggnog Thumbprints

EGGNOG THUMBPRINTS - Crisp, short, buttery and filled with plenty of eggnog flavor. Mix up, roll into balls, indent the center and bake. A lush eggnog buttercream icing fills the center of the finished cookies.

Italian Christmas Cookies

ITALIAN CHRISTMAS COOKIESThese are not Biscotti in the sense of the crunchy dunking Italian Biscotti, but rather they are soft buttery vanilla pillows of scrumminess.  Adapted from a recipe found on The Merchant Baker.  These are simple, quick and delicious to make. Very pretty.

Gingerbread Biscotti

GINGERBREAD BISCOTTI - The smell of these cookies baking will rock your world to heaven and back again. Crisp and spicy, perfect with a nice hot cup of mocha.  These are beautiful on a cookie tray, or gift them to a good friend along with a nice mug and a container of their favorite coffee blend.

Rugelach Cookies

RUGELACH COOKIESCrisp buttery cookies rolled around a delicious walnut, honey and cinnamon filling.  The recipe can be successfully cut in half, in which case I recommend you leave out the egg yolk. They are a tiny bit faffy, but well worth the effort. Plan ahead as the dough needs to chill. 

Ginger Cut Outs

OLD FASHIONED GINGER CUTOUTS - Cut them into stars or gingerbread men, or whatever shape you wish to cut them into. These deliciously crisp and spicy cookies are a wonderful addition to any holiday tray.

Dutch Almond Cookies

DUTCH ALMOND COOKIES - These delicious cookies won a Christmas Cookie contest at Canadian Living Magazine. I clipped the recipe from the magazine years ago and have been making them every year since. Crisp, buttery, almondy with a sweet almond filling. These are fabulous. 

Mary Berry's Shortbreads

MARY BERRY'S SHORTBREAD - This is the perfect shortbread. Baked in a round, marked into wedges prior to baking.  I guarantee nobody will be sorry if you give them a tin filled with these short buttery cookies/biscuits!

And there you have it, some of my very favorite Christmas Bakes. This is by no stretch everything I love to bake at Christmas, but I can guarantee each of these recipes is an absolute winner!

What are the cookies/bakes you have to make each Christmas for your family?  Let's share recipes!

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  1. Your Christmas Cookie Trays must have been a hit with your family and friends, Marie. These are my favourites to make at Christmas along with my Whipped Shortbread: Nanaimo Bars, Peanut Brittle, Cherry Balls, Peanutbutter Balls and Millionaire's Shortbread. I've often made the easy peasy fudge where you use melted Baker's Chocolate, Eagle Brand Condensed Milk and walnuts. So delicious! Happy Baking. Love and hugs, Elaine (in Toronto).

  2. These look fabulous, Marie. I may have to add some new ones to my list! I make Drumkikars, Italian wedding cookies (Jingle Balls), shortbread rounds, a raspberry bar and sometimes a ginger cookie, along with your gingerbread lemon bars and lemon biscotti. Might have to ramp it up this year!


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