Coconut & Oatmeal Cookies

Jeff grew up making these cookies and even made them one year for a Christmas cookie auction, so I wanted to preserve it as a family recipe. The shortening makes the cookies nice and chewy. Note that the dough does tend to spread and flatten quite a bit in the oven.

I haven’t made this one gluten free yet, but make sure you use a gluten free flour blend (maybe with a few extra tablespoons), gluten free oats, and uncontaminated other ingredients.

Coconut & Oatmeal Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2 doz
  • Difficulty: medium
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Don’t place the dough balls too close together because they will spread in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. Flour (or gluten free flour with a few tablespoons extra)
  • 2 1/2 c. Rolled Oats (or gluten free oats)
  • 1 1/2 c. Coconut Flakes
  • 4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 c. Shortening
  • 3/4 c. Corn Syrup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Directions

In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, oats, coconut, baking powder, soda, and salt. Blend in shortening until the mixture is crumbly like pie dough. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Roll into balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies should be light golden on the bottom.

 

 


 

Russian Tea Cookies

These cookies have a lot of names, but we always called them Russian Tea Cookies. And they’re traditional at our house at Christmastime. We make big batches and add them to cookie plates for our neighbors.

If you’re making this one gluten free, you’ll just want to use cup for cup flour instead of regular flour.

Russian Tea Cookies

  • Servings: 36
  • Difficulty: medium
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Small, popable cookies great for Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Butter, softened
  • ½ c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 ¼ c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ c. Finely Chopped Nuts (Walnuts or Pecans)
  • Powdered Sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add flour, salt, and nuts. Mix well. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until set but not brown. While cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. Cool and roll in powdered sugar again. Makes 3 dozen.


 

Peanut Butter Magic Middles

Man, I love these cookies. The recipe is adapted from one in a cookie magazine that my roommate had–these won an award at a fair. They do take quite a bit of time, but they’re always delicious and impressive. The original name was “Peanut Butter Munchies”–but I never liked the name, and people always wonder how the peanut butter got in the middle. Haha. The answer is forming the chocolate dough around a peanut butter ball, then pressing them flat with a glass dipped in sugar.

I haven’t tried making this gluten free yet, but I’ll definitely use cup for cup flour and let you know how it goes.

Peanut Butter Magic Middles

  • Servings: 32
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
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Soft chocolatey cookies with a peanut butter filling. Delicious but time-consuming.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 ½ c. Flour (or gluten free flour)
  • ½ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ c. Butter, softened
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • ½ c. packed Brown Sugar
  • ¼ c. Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Filling

  • ¾ c. sifted Powdered Sugar
  • ½ c. Peanut Butter
  • (2 Tbsp. Sugar for dipping glass)

Directions

Preheat to 350°. In medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Beat in flour mixture. Form chocolate dough into 32 balls about 1 ¼“ in diameter. Set aside.

For filling, combine powdered sugar and peanut butter until smooth. (Add more peanut butter if it’s too dry.) Shape mixture into 32 (3/4”) balls. Slightly flatten a chocolate dough ball; top with peanut butter ball. For each cookie, shape chocolate dough over filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into a ball. Place balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the 2 Tbsp. sugar. Bake for 8 minutes or until just set and surface slightly cracks. Let stand 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool.


 

Homemade Oreos

This recipe comes from my sister-in-law Stephanie. These are always very popular, and might even be considered whoopie pies because of their rather cakey chocolate cookies and white filling. Whatever they’re called, they’re always delicious.

I haven’t tried making this gluten free yet, but you’ll want to use gluten free cake mixes and check the texture before baking.

Homemade Oreos

  • Servings: ?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Cakey cookies with white filling.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 Devil’s Food Cake Mixes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 ½ c. Shortening

Filling

  • 2 pkgs. Cream Cheese (16 oz. total)
  • ½ c. Butter
  • 4 tsp. Vanilla
  • 4-6 c. Powdered Sugar

Directions

For cookies, mix together all ingredients and form into small round balls on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes.

For filling, mix together and spread on one cooled cookie. Then place another cookie on top of frosting and press down.


Ginger Snaps

These ginger snaps are actually soft and delightful, so maybe they aren’t technically snappy. But they’re amazing for Christmas. This recipe comes from my sister-in-law Stephanie’s family, and they are always a delightful spiced addition to any cookie plate.

If you’re making this one gluten free, I haven’t tried it yet. But all the ingredients except the flour are naturally gluten free, so I’ll just try swapping out gluten free flour for regular flour.

Ginger Snaps

  • Servings: haha, a lot?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Soft, full of spices, and perfect for Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. Sugar
  • ¾ c. Butter
  • 1 ½ Shortening
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¾ c. Molasses
  • 5 c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
  • 4 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 3 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. Ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp. Allspice

Directions

Beat sugar, butter, shortening, eggs, and molasses. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Roll into balls and drop into sugar. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350° for 10 minutes.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the king of cookies: Chocolate Chip. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a warm chocolate chip cookie. Or as my brother and I say, “Mm, cookie goo.” Haha. Of course room temperature cookies are also great, but warm cookies are Homer-Simpson-drool-inducing. Most standard chocolate chip cookie recipes are basically the same, but this one seems to have more butter than some–it’s just the recipe off the back of the Ghirardelli bag, but boy is it delicious.

If you’re making this one gluten free, you may want to add a little extra cup for cup flour and cook it a little longer. I did make these cookies gluten free once, and they got pretty flat. They were delicious and I froze the extras, but they were a little flat. I may also want to try making big scoops and getting them nice and cold in the fridge beforehand so they hold their shape better. Oh, also, if you’re getting chocolate chips out of a giant bag, just be careful that you haven’t contaminated it with a flour-covered measuring cup from previous uses. You’re always safe to use a new bag instead.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: medium
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Buttery and heavenly.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Butter, softened
  • ¾ c. Sugar
  • ¾ c. Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 ¼ c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum, plus maybe a little extra)
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 c. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color (about  4 minutes). Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend flour, baking soda, and salt into creamed mix. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet or Silpat. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

 


 

Congo Bars

Not sure why these are called Congo Bars, but they’re basically slightly gooey chocolate chip cookie bars–and we always begged my mom for them when we were kids. Although, the last time I made them, they didn’t seem sweet enough. Maybe I’ll try the recipe again and update it. In any event, I have many fond memories of these treats.

I haven’t tried making these gluten free yet, but I’d just swap out cup for cup gluten free flour for the regular flour.

Congo Bars

  • Servings: 12?
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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A delicious cookie bar.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Shortening, melted
  • 1 1/3 c. Sugar
  • 1 1/3 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 c. Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt (heaping)
  • 12 oz. pkg. Chocolate Chips

Directions

Melt shortening. Combine with sugars and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Add eggs to cooled sugar mixture. Mix well and add dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Spread in greased oblong cake pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

 


 

Carrot Cookies

My grandma made these every year for Christmas, and they inevitably ended up on a plate of goodies that we delivered to each of her neighbors. Yes, they’re called “Carrot Cookies”–but the flavors that really come through are the orange in the glaze and the walnuts in the cookies. The texture is more cakey than a traditional cookie, but I always forget how delicious these carrot cookies are. They’re one of my brother’s very favorite cookies.

I haven’t tried making these gluten free yet, but when I do, I’ll substitute cup for cup flour for the regular flour. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Carrot Cookies

  • Servings: 38
  • Difficulty: medium
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A cakey Christmas cookie, with flavors of orange and walnut.

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1 c. Shortening
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 c. Grated Carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 c. Walnuts, chopped
  • 2 1/4 c. Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ scant tsp. Salt

Icing/Glaze

  • 2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • Juice and grated Rind of 1 Orange

Directions

For cookies, combine sugar, shortening, and egg. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well; drop on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 14 minutes.

For icing, mix together ingredients, and frost cookies while they’re still warm but not extra hot. Add more powdered sugar if not thick enough. Makes about 38 cookies.

 

 


 

Black Cat Cookies

If a brownie married a sugar cookie, you’d get these wonderful chocolate cookies. I think these are called “Black Cat Cookies” because they started as a recipe from one of those Halloween recipe books many years ago, like the small ones you’d find at the checkout stand. I remember the cats had candy corn eyes and red hot candies for a nose. We’ve made those, but I’ve also used cookie cutters to make bats, witches, cats, and vampires. The dough holds pretty well with the cookie cutters even after baking in the oven–I don’t bother rolling out the dough; I just smash pieces of the dough flat with a cup and then cut them out with the cutter.

If you’re making these gluten free, I haven’t tried making these gluten free yet. But when I do, I’ll just substitute cup for cup gluten free flour and possibly bake a little longer.

Black Cat Cookies

  • Servings: 24?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich, chocolatey, and great for Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Butter, softened
  • 2 c. Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Vanilla
  • 3 c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
  • 1 c. Baking Cocoa
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch top of cookie to form ears. For whispers, press a fork twice into each cookie. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set. (Optional decoration: Immediately after removing from oven, press on candy corn for eyes and Red Hots for noses.) Makes 2 dozen.