Christmas Cookie Recipes 2018 – Part 2

Part 2 of the Christmas Cookie Recipe Collection is HERE! I’ve been on another baking frenzy these past few days, with plenty of requests coming in for a second blog post with recipes! Ask and you shall receive – I am SO happy to share the cookie love! If you missed Part 1 of this year’s cookie recipes, click here!

In this post, I will be sharing recipes for Chocolate Peanut Butter “Off The Bag” Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Chocolate-Dipped Butter Spritz, Raspberry Almond Thumbprints, Glazed Vanilla Bean Cookies, and a Caramel Marshmallow Toffee Crack!

Chocolate Peanut Butter “From The Bag” Cookies

I can take NO credit for this recipe, you guys. I am simply sharing it. It comes from the back of the bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Baking Chips, and they are SO good.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups (10 oz package) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips

Heat oven to 350°. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda & salt; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not over bake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooking.)

Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 54 cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Original Recipe Link

This is a recipe I’ve been making for YEARS. I found this specific recipe for blossoms, and I haven’t tried a new one ever since. They are one of hubby’s favorite cookies – I usually have to watch to make sure he doesn’t sneak too many before I can give out the cookie tins! The original recipe calls for chocolate kisses – but I prefer using peanut butter cups (the more peanut butter, the better).

1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
2 (9 ounce) bags peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a peanut butter cup into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the cup will harden as it cools.

Chocolate-Dipped Butter Spritz Cookies

Original Recipe Link

Spritz cookies just SCREAM Christmas, don’t they?! They are so sweet, pressed into the cutest shapes, and I absolutely LOVE how perfect they look dipped into chocolate. I modified the glaze slightly from the original recipe, because I wanted more of a waxy finish to the chocolate. My version below includes my modifications.

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon canola oil
Colored sugar and sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Gradually beat flour into creamed mixture.

Using a cookie press fitted with a disk of your choice, press dough 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake until set, 6-8 minutes (do not brown). Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small bowl, microwave semisweet chips and canola oil, in 30 second increments, until melted. Dip cookies in glaze; decorate as desired. Let stand until set.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Original Recipe Link

Another tried and true recipe that I’ve been making for 6 or 7 years straight! These are a crowd pleaser every single year, and I never go a year without making them!! They’re rather foolproof, too – they come out perfectly every single time; whether I make them too small or too big, or just right – they somehow just always work!

Don’t forget to allow for chill time on this recipe! If I’m baking over multiple days, I always do this one at the end of day one, let the dough sit overnight, and have it ready to go the next morning.

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. I like to use a number 50 size scoop. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Original Recipe Link

These are yet another cookie that I just can’t get enough of. I played with a few other thumbprint recipes over the years, and this one is just so classic and simple, and it makes the most perfect little almond cookies. They smell like the cookies my grandma used to make and bring back all sort of warm fuzzy memories.

I use a seedless raspberry jam in my cookies, but you could use any preserves that suit your fancy – blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, mixed berries, oh the list (and possibilities) go on! Some years, I do a mix of various jams, too. 

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon milk

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.

In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.

Glazed Vanilla Bean Cookies

Original Recipe Link

While going through my baking supplies this year, I found a tube of Vanilla Bean Paste I had bought from the grocery store a few months back. It caught my eye because, well… vanilla bean, amirite? And I always love finding excuses to break it out. It’s especially amazing because its an equal 1-to-1 substitute to vanilla extract, so its super easy to use in lots of recipes. I do try to savor it, however, because it isn’t that cheap, but oh man is it delicious! If you’re a vanilla bean fan, you need vanilla paste in your life!

I wanted to find a recipe for a vanilla bean cookie to use this paste for, and after extensive Pinterest-ing, I found this recipe. I slightly modified what was written to use my coveted vanilla bean paste, but you can follow the original link to see how the author uses extract. I also made a slight modification to the sugars because I only had small packets of vanilla sugar laying around.

1/3 cup granulated vanilla sugar (can substitute white sugar)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (I use Taylor & Colledge Organic Vanilla Paste)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350°

In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter, vanilla sugar and white sugar for about three minutes, until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Turn the power to low and mix in the flour mixture just until the dough comes together.

Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough and gently roll them into rounds in your hand. Lay them on the cookie sheet, about two inches apart, and press down slightly.

Bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies just begin to turn golden around the edges. Remove cookies from the oven and let sit for about two minutes, then move them to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds until smooth.

Dip the top of each completely-cooled cookie into the glaze, set back on wire rack and let the glaze set (about 15 minutes). I like to place a paper towel or two under the wire rack for easier clean-up.

Caramel Marshmallow Toffee Crack

Okay, full disclosure moment. My crack did not “crack” this year. I tried a few new modifications, and they did NOT work in my favor. (Not everything is a win, right? LOL) So rather than share my modifications, I’m sharing with you all the actual recipe – which when followed exactly, has never failed me.

12 to 15 chocolate or plain graham crackers
1 14oz package vanilla caramels, unwrapped (about 40 pieces)
1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
1 tbsp. shortening
1 cup toppings (marshmallows, toffee pieces, peanuts, hazelnuts, sprinkles, etc!)

Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan; grease foil. In the prepared pan, arrange enough of the graham crackers, side by side, to completely cover pan bottom, breaking to fit as necessary.

In a bowl, microwave caramel and half-and-half on high until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour caramel mixture over graham crackers in pan.

In another bowl, microwave chocolate and shortening on high until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour melted chocolate mixture over caramel layer in pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with toppings.

Let stand until set. Using the edges of the foil, lift uncut candy off of pan. Break into pieces, or cut into squares.

That’s it for 2018, guys!! I hope you all have enjoyed ALL of the recipes I’ve shared this year! Comment below with your favorite recipes, I need more to reference next year!