Christmas Cookie Trays - what do you make ahead?

lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan

This seems like such a dumb question, but I have never made a traditional Christmas cookie tray before. I bake - and my husband and teen sons eat - all throughout the holiday season. I might make a fresh batch of cookies or goodies every other day, and when they're gone, I make more. I do make fudge and English toffee and store those in the fridge, as they keep well.
This year, though, I'd like to make cookie trays for some loved ones and their families, as we won't be getting together as usual due to Covid.
So how is that generally done? Do you bake all the cookies/sweets non-stop over a couple of days and then assemble the trays? Or do you bake some cookies ahead of time and freeze them until you're ready to assemble the trays? If that's the case, what cookies have you successfully frozen and thawed? Thanks for any tips you can provide!

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eld6161

Following....

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Shortbread and gingerbread hold up well, so you can bake those first. I don't make assorted trays of cookies. I bake huge batches of the same thing, over and over again :-)

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party_music50

When I used to make / give lots of holiday cookie trays, I'd generally start baking one or two weeks ahead. If I needed to hold them for more than a day or two, I'd freeze each type of cookie separately (i.e., all russian teacakes in one container, etc), because I didn't want the flavors to merge. When it came time to make trays, I'd take as many cookies as I wanted from each container to add to the platter(s).

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arcy_gw

At first I was thinking none but after reading your post I guess I pretty much do all mine and freeze and I have no issues with any of it being perfect. Fudge/snow ball cookies/date filled cookies/almond bark popcorn/Carmel corn/meringues/ginger bread/ 2 kinds of toffee/pecan tarts/several different truffles. I bake before everyone comes home. No other desserts are made during the holiday feasting we just graze off the tray of cookies after each meal.

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Martha Scott

I don't like to home freeze so I bake fresh. My favorite to give are cutout cookies. EVERYONE loves those although they are bit fussier than other kinds (you have to frost).

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CA Kate z9

When I use to do this I would make several different kinds of Refrigerator Cookies. The dough is formed into round or square tube-shapes . The raw dough is wrapped in wax paper and stored in the 'fridge until needed. Other dough would be made into balls and frozen.

When I would need to make a gift plate I would take out all the varioius tubes, slice-off several pieces from each and bake. Same with the frozen balls. The cookies were freshly baked and presented nicely.

I still have 5 or six of my favorites in my data-base, but I'm sure others here have these recipes too.

And, as you mentioned, this might be a good year to do this again. Here's one of the favorites:

Santa's Whiskers

This slice and bake cookie filled with cherries and pecans is rolled in coconut. The cookie's name has been passed through generations of bakers.
Preparation 40 min.
Chilling 1 hrs.
Baking 12 min.


Ingredients:

* 1 cup Butter, softened*
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups red and/or green candied cherries, halved
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
* 3 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Instructions:

Combine butter, sugar, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add 2 1/4 cups flour. Continue beating until well mixed.

Combine cherries and 1 tablespoon flour in small bowl; toss to coat. Stir in cherry mixture and pecans by hand; mix well.


Shape dough into 3 (10x1 1/2-inch) rolls on plastic food wrap. Roll each in 1 cup coconut. Wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm (1 hour).

Heat oven to 350°F. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices with sharp knife. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.

Yield: 10 dozen cookies


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Fun2BHere

I'll be following this thread, too, because I thought sending a variety of cookies to people I won't be able to see in person might be fun. I haven't baked cookies in years, so I'm looking forward to seeing the recipes and methodologies that get posted here. Thank you to all of those who contribute answers.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

These are one I make every year. I do pipe them and garnish with a half or quarter cut marishino cherry. They do spread a bit, not much.


https://www.food.com/recipe/uncle-bills-whipped-shortbread-cookies-46877

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lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan

Thanks for the comments, all, and thank you for the recipes, can't wait to try them!

I imagine any cookies that are baked and then frozen should be frozen before frosting or rolling in powdered sugar? I do plan to include my decorated sugar cookie cutouts, but I'm not sure how well royal icing freezes.

Also, where can I find cute, yet inexpensive, Christmas platters? Lightweight and perhaps under $10? I would probably wrap the platter in foil or maybe cellophane and hand-deliver, leaving the goodies on my friends and relative's porches.

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Raye Smith

Fudge, divinity, toasted pecans - no cookies.

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marilyn_c

When I used to make them, I made a black walnut meringue, fruitcake cookies, pecan meltaways...which is like a snowball with pecans made with half cornstarch, and a chocolate cookie with walnuts.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

For the platters, I’d try a dollar store. Some of their stuff looks pretty good nowadays.

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maifleur03

Cookies that are thawing will have moisture on the outside so powdered sugar once thawed can look a little strange. How strange? Like the cookie is covered with mold.

Some frosting/icing will also absorb moisture but can dry quickly. You have time to do test batches between now and the time that they are needed. If you are sending them crisp thin cookies can easily break and be crumbs by the time they arrive.

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satine100

Check the dollar store for platters or plastic containers with lids. Also I have bought some beautiful odd china plates to use as platters and the thrift stores usually have tons of glass platters.

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chloebud

For the most part, most cookie doughs and baked cookies freeze really well. Drop cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread and gingerbread are all great. What I don't like to freeze are cookies that tend to be more delicate and/or have fairly thin batters, such as florentines, tuiles and pizzelles.

It's always best not to combine different cookie varieties since they can take on flavors, although I know that's not always convenient. I often pack each variety in tins and stack them to tie up with ribbon. I'll buy plain white or silver tins and use whatever holiday ribbon I like.

You can also place the cookies on a plate you like, then enclose it in clear cello wrap pulling it all up and tie with a bow. One year I found some round wood cutting boards for $3 each to use in place of plates. They were small, maybe 8 or 9 inches, but worked great.

You can also use those small inexpensive cello bags for each cookie variety, like these.


Then I'll pack the cookie bags in these plain kraft goodie boxes and tie up with ribbon. Similar to this kraft box...



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heatheron40

I grew up in Ohio. I make buckeyes ;^) LOTS of them. For close friends here in Virginia, I put them in a ziplock freezer bag- usually 2 dozen. Then in a white lunch bag with ribbon. If I needed something for a party, I'd buy a plate from Homegoods, I always keep a few around ;^) I guess there will be no parties this year :^(

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Pfeffernűsse doesn't need to be frozen. They are best when made a couple of months before Christmas, and stored with an apple slice so they can mellow. It's been my family's favorite cookie since I first made them maybe 35 years ago, so we make many batches. It's almost time to get started!

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functionthenlook

Usually, after Thanksgiving I make up the cookie dough that freezes well and throw it in the freezer. Then I take a few days to do a cookie bake-a-thon. I defrost and bake the freezer doughs and at the same time I make the cookies that the dough can't be frozen. I store my cookies in plastic containers in the sunroom. In the winter I call my sunroom the walk in cooler. Then when I need a tray of cookies I just head to the sunroom and make one.

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georgysmom2

I spend a day or two making all the doughs. I drop scoops of cookies on a cookie sheet...you can get 4 -6 dozen cookies on one sheet...I freeze them, bag and label them. Then, when I need to make up a platter, I take out a few of each kind put them on a cookie sheet to defrost and bake according to directions. Some just need to be plopped on a sheet, some need to be flattened or whatever. That's for the bulk of my cookies, roll out butter cookies or gingerbread men are handled separately. Some bar cookies I make, bake, cut and freeze in plastic containers with wax paper between layers.

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shambo

This is a dangerous thread. I hadn’t really thought about Christmas baking because my son’s family is gluten, egg, and dairy free. None of the traditional Greek Christmas sweets fit those restrictions, so we haven’t made anything Greek for several years.

But reading this thread inspired me to call my daughter, and now we’re planning on A couple of baking marathons — baklava, kourabiedes (buttery powdered sugar cookies similar to Mexican wedding cookies), melomakarona (honey-dipped nut cookies), paximadia (sort of like a Greek biscotti), & koulouria (sesame twists).

It’ll be fun working together, and we can give away pretty much everything to in-laws. So, this thread is, indeed, both dangerous and inspirational. Glad I peeked.

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plllog

IME, chewy or soft cookies freeze well, as do firm cookies like shortbread, but thin crisp cookies, ones that snap, will get too soft in the freezer. Baked on decorations, like colored sugar, sprinkles and dragets, freeze fine. Anything loose or soft can go weird. Buttercream does freeze, but it may not get hard enough to stack and can be gummy or break when thawed. Not worth it for cookies. Definitely a do after. OTOH, royal icing, if fully set should be fine, as would painbrush dyes or transfers. Some fillings freeze better than others. Jam in a thumbprint cookie can get gummy, but either it's better in a sandwich cookie, or the gumminess is less noticeable. Curds freeze okay in the jar, but will soak into the cookie or get gummy. Hm... maybe the curd goes gummy in the jar, but it is okay when that's scraped off. Hardened chocolate ganache type filling freezes okay (hardened as in less moisture), but doesn't hold as long. Macaron cookies freeze fine, but some fillings not so much. Easier to fill after.

Especially in these times, individually wrapping the cookies can help keep them nice. We make squares of plastic wrap and cut in half. Put the cookie upside down in the longwise center and bring the bottom edge to meet the top, fold the sides over the center, pinch the top, and tie with a piece of curling ribbon. A shoestring bow is easiest. Too easy to break a cookie trying to curl. If you prefer curls, make them separately and tie them on. We use curling ribbon because it’s cheap, pretty colors and easy to work with, but any kind of tie works. The bows are pretty, and the wraps keep the cookies clean. When you freeze them wrapped, they don't stick to each other and don't have as many texture issues, though they take more space.

Unwrapped cookies come out nicer if you put a sheet of parchment paper between each layer.

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lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan

Thank you all so much, what a wealth of information in this thread! I have carefully read every comment and will begin to strategize my holiday baking soon. I like the idea of doing test runs of my favorite cookies to see how they freeze and also freezing them individually. We have a basement freezer, so I should have the room. I also might try freezing some portioned cookie dough and see how that works out too.

We have a dollar store a town away and if they have inexpensive plastic or tin platters, that would be wonderful. The craft boxes shown above make such a pretty presentation as well...so many great ideas!

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chloebud

Just an FYI...I've bought the kraft boxes at Michael's, but Amazon has some better deals.

Another container idea are just plain silver buckets. Target sometimes has them in that "dollar" section at the front of the store. Michael's has them, and Amazon is another good source. Again, dress it up with cello and ribbon.


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marilyn_c

Speaking of Christmas cookies, does anyone make Rainbow cookies? They are Italian, layers of pink, green and white, contain almond paste and iced in chocolate. I have always loved them but never made them. I have saved multiple recipes on Pinterest. I may finally make them this year.


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chloebud

Marilyn, I haven't but those are so pretty!

One year I made these checkerboard cookies. The recipe (and this photo) was from Martha Stewart. They were easy and fun but took a little time to make.


I make these molasses cookies every year. It's a Silver Palate recipe and they're so good. They bake up round, flat and are kind of plain, so I add dots of royal icing to the edges to dress them up a bit. This is an old pic I took when I used to use Photobucket to post. Long time ago!


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ritamay91710

I am one of those crazy people doing all my baking the night before. Lol.

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Elizabeth

Remember, when packaging, to store crisp cookies and soft cookies separately or the crisp ones get soggy.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

I like to freeze them all on cookie sheets individually and then put them in a ziplock bag with reheating directions on it, if need be, for the savories

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wildchild2x2

I have put together home baked gift plates or boxes every year for friends and neighbors for decades. But it's not happening this year. If I am not supposed to be within 6 feet of people outside my immediate family why would I risk getting them ill with home made food? Funny how we tend to be rather individually selective when we define risk as it pertains to our personal lives. When I finished my riding challenge, my first wish was to bake something to celebrate with my ranch family for their support and encouragement. But I immediately thought better of it.


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tcufrog

I've found snickerdoodles to be very popular. I make big batches of the dough and break it into smaller pieces to freeze. When I want to make some, I put some in the fridge. You don't want the dough to be too soft before you make it. I make the balls and my kids help by rolling them in cinnamon sugar and putting them on the cookie sheet.


I've had good luck with getting deals on decorative boxes and plates at places like Tuesday Morning, World Market, Homegoods. I have a roll of gift basket cellophane and some decorative ribbon I use when I do decorative plates. Since I already have everything except for the boxes or plates it's usually very cheap to do and looks quite nice.

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sheilajoyce_gw

My mother's good friend had a German mother who loved to bake Christmas cookies. The platter of cookies she would give to us was amazing. You want to have some cookies on the platter that are unique in appearance. Frosted sugar cookies provide that, as do Springerles, and Spritz cookies. Spritz are a delicate, cookie press butter cookie and would not mail well. I love to make the shape that looks like a little wreath and pop a half candied cherry in its center. Springerles require a special rolling pin that makes a picture on the top of each cookie. These are typically made weeks ahead and are traditionally served as a hard, dry cookie, but I love them fresh from the oven too.

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Bluebell66

Biscotti is great and freezes well. At Christmas, I like chocolate peppermint and traditional.

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annie1992

marilyn, I make those cookies every year, my recipe has almond paste in them. I love them, but no one else seems to, so I can't make very many, I'll eat them all myself!


I always make trays of various cookies, but most of the dough gets made ahead of time and frozen unbaked. I portion cookies out onto sheets and then just take out a dozen or two, however many I need, and bake them as I need them so they are always fresh. Sugar cookies get rolled and cut out, then frozen on sheets to be baked when various grandkids come over, they like to help decorate.


I've found that fudge doesn't get stale, so I make that a couple of weeks in advance, I even ship a big box of fudge to Elery's grandsons in California and it arrives perfectly edible. Of course, three teenage boys may have lower standards than I do, LOL.

Annie


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cocaty

For those of you who freeze the dough balls, do you thaw the dough before baking or bake frozen? I have a recollection of not having much success trying to bake them frozen although I know others do. Also, do you think the dough could be frozen “bulk”, thawed, scooped/portioned and then baked? Any safety or quality issues thawing the dough before baking? Thanks.

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functionthenlook

I freeze my dough in bulk. I thaw, portion and then bake.

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plllog

The temperature of the dough balls is important. You want warm enough to spread but not butter melty warm, which will have the dough running all over before it has a chance to set. This is why liquid oil does work for so many cookies. Margarine and shortening melt at higher temperatures than butter, so are more tolerant of warm kitchens than butter. For a general rule which should work with any recipe, aim to thaw to “chilled” rather than room temp.

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sal 60 Hanzlik

When I use to bake cookies for Christmas I'd start about two weeks before--bake and frost and put in tin cans and put in the cold place and just make my plate platers-they were always good and no problems with frostings.

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cmm1964

I usually start right after Thanksgiving and do a batch every day or two. I usually make about 8-9 different kinds making sure to have a nice mix of chocolate, spice and fruit varieties. I always do a batch of sugar cookie cut outs as well with royal icing. Make the investment in a graduated rolling pin as it makes the rolling of dough a breeze and each cookie cut out will be exactly the same size. Royal icing freezes very well. To me it’s not as tasty as a buttercream but makes for a nice looking cookie. Can’t decide if I will bake this year as my bloodwork for cholesterol came back elevated. Yes the dollar store is the best place for tins and plates. Shop early as their best stuff sells quickly

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lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan

So many great tips and delicious looking treats, thank you all so much!

I do have a wood rolling pin that I love, that I purchased many, many years ago. It has pairs of wooden rings of various diameters that are placed on the ends, between the pin and the handles...this ensures all my cut-out cookies are the same thickness! I usually cut my sugar cookies at 3/8" thickness.

I've not seen my rolling pin available for purchase for at least five years, but a google search lead me to this one which is very similar (except these rings do not seem to be interchangeable?).

https://www.thecookiecountess.com/products/the-cookie-countess-precision-rolling-pin-3-8

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annie1992

I do thaw the dough balls before baking, and I have frozen sugar cookie dough in a "hunk" and thawed and rolled later. I've also frozen the "slice and bake" cookies in rolls, those pink maraschino shortbread cookies on the platter above were frozen in rolls and sliced while still partially thawed, they don't "smush" down as much when slicing.

When I do bake ahead I make sure I store each type of cookie by itself. I tried making plates a day or two ahead of time but mint or peanut butter makes everything on the plate taste like those flavors. Some people don't mind or don't notice, but I do.

Annie

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cloudy_christine

Chloe, I am in awe at the precision of your tiny dots of royal icing.

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chloebud

Thanks, cloudy_christine! Dots are pretty easy once you get started. I make the cookies year round and leave them plain. The dots are only there for Christmas.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

These are a square that I make. They are great! You may not think so, but they do freeze very well, but do need to be refrigerated after they’re put out.

Pineapple nut bars

Preheat oven to 350

Base:

1 cup flour

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter

Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into ungreased 9x9 pan . Bake for 10 minutes.

Filling:

1 pkg cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

8 ox. Crushed pineapple, well drained – 1 14 oz can

Beat together all but pineapple. Stir in pineapple and spread over base.

Topping:

1 cup coconut (sweetened long thread or fancy)

½ cup sliced almonds

1 tbsp. butter, melted

Toss together coconut, nuts and butter. Sprinkle over filling. Bake another 18-20 minutes, until coconut is lightly toasted. Cool completely.

Glaze:

½ cup icing sugar

½ tsp. rum extract

3 – 4 tsp. milk

Combine sugar, extract and milk, adding enough milk til drizzling consistently. Drizzle over. Rerigerate. Refrigerate any leftovers.


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marilyn_c

Annie, I will probably eat most of them if I make them too.

I forgot, I also used to make sugar cookie cut outs that I iced. I used the recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook. I guess I was a cookie snob. The only cookies I liked were homemade. I am not so picky now.....I will eat store bought sometimes. I don't like Girl Scout cookies tho. I don't get why anyone thinks they are good.

I like Biscotti but have never made it.

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nekotish

I learned a great tip for roll out cookies years ago. Roll your dough out between two sheets of parchment or wax paper immediately after mixing, while the dough is soft. Refrigerate, stacked on cookie sheets for the specified time before cutting or freeze the sheets for later use. My husband also made me 4 strips of sealed wood, two @ 1/4" and two @ 1/8", which I use as guides for my rolling pin so I get perfectly even thickness when rolling out the dough.

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arkansas girl

Just wanted to add if it hasn't already been said, if you freeze cookies that need to iced or rolled in powdered sugar, freeze them nude and then take them out of the freezer as needed and ice them or powder sugar them before you are ready to eat them. I make a lot of cookies and just freeze them as soon as they cool and as we need them, I just take them out to thaw, they take no time at all to thaw out. I make an Italian Christmas cookie all the time and just ice them as soon as I take them from the freezer, they don't even need to thaw first. Pretty much same as rolled in powdered sugar cookies, really no need to have them thaw because they thaw so quickly. These recipes are staples at our house, I cut the Italian Christmas cookie recipe in half...it makes a lot!

Russian Tea Cakes


Italian Christmas cookies

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lovemycorgi z5b SE michigan

This is the rolling pin I use to roll out my sugar cookies and gingerbread men...it makes it so easy to get the same thickness of dough every time! The rings are removable so it can also be used like a regular pin with handles. I bought it off Amazon many years ago, but when I tried to buy one for my sister-in-law, it was no longer available.


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chloebud

lovemycorgi, our daughter has those rings.

Your mention of gingerbread men made me think of this. I squeeze little balls of dough with my garlic press to make "hair" for gingerbread people cookies. Works great for straight or curly hair.

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marilyn_c

Another cookie I used to make for cookie platters was called Brown Sugar Pecan Hearts. I no longer have the recipe for them but it wouldn't be hard to find a similar. They were made with a cookie press, the heart disc, and a pecan half pressed on top before baking them.

I made a few cookies last year just for us. I made whipped shortbread from a recipe I found on Pinterest. I also made several batches of Pecan Meltaways to take to a get together and for Jody's friends. I used to make cookies all the time...but if they are around, I can't leave them alone.


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Hot Rod

Can the whipped shortbread batter be used with a cookie press?

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Louiseab Ibbotson

I’ve never tried that as I don’t have one. I use a piping bag with a large star tip and I always use a half cherry for garnish. I just checked the original recipe and somebody asked about using a press. The answer from the author was that yes, that would work. They did recommend chilling the pressed dough for about 10-15 minutes before baking.

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Hot Rod

Thank you for the input! I will add this recipe to my baking list. :)

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Louiseab Ibbotson

https://www.bestofbridge.com/whipped-shortbread/


That is the link to my recipe. Use only butter, never margarine (super yuck)

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Hot Rod

I only use butter. :) I also use gluten free flour that I buy at Costco - it has never failed me on any of my cookies, and nobody believes me when I say my cookies are gluten-free. :)


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Hot Rod

Coming back to this post - I made the whipped shortbread cookies and they were pretty much a disaster. They tasted fine, but they crumbled to dust at the slightest touch. So I googled and found other recipes for them, and will try again.

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Louiseab Ibbotson

Sorry to hear about the shortbread not turning out for you. I’ve been making that recipe for years. It is a delicate cookie but I’ve never had it to be a problem.

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JoanM

Mama Goose, would you mind sharing your Pfeffernűsse recipe? That is my favorite cookie but I have never tried making them.

Marilyn, rainbow cookies are easy to make if you grate the almond paste. Yes, you will eat them all if you are anything like me :)

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cloudy_christine

What's good recipe for rainbow cookies? I love almond paste.

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joann_fl

Marilyn_C I made the rainbow cookies for the first time last year, they were good. Not really hard to do either, from what I remember anyway. Here is the recipe I used Italian Rainbow Cookies

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JoanM

I use this Rainbow Cookie recipe. I grate the almond paste and add a little almond extract. They are yummy. They remind me of my childhood in NY.

Rainbow Cookies

Taste of home

48 ServingsPrep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min. + cooling

Ingredients

• 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste

• 1 cup butter, softened

• 1 cup sugar

• 4 eggs, separated

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 6 to 8 drops red food coloring

• 6 to 8 drops green food coloring

• 1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam

• 1/4 cup apricot jam

• 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

• Grease the bottoms of three matching 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans (or

• reuse one pan). Line the pans with waxed paper; grease the paper.

• Place almond paste in a large bowl; break up with a fork. Cream with

• butter, sugar and egg yolks until light, fluffy and smooth. Stir in

• flour. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold

• into dough, mixing until thoroughly blended.

• Divide dough into three portions (about 1-1/3 cups each). Color one

• portion with red food coloring and one with green; leave the

• remaining portion uncolored. Spread each portion into the prepared

• pans. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light

• golden brown.

• Invert onto wire racks; remove waxed paper. Place another wire rack

• on top and turn over. Cool completely.

• Place green layer on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread evenly

• with raspberry jam. Top with uncolored layer and spread with apricot

• jam. Top with pink layer. Bring plastic wrap over layers. Slide onto

• a baking sheet and set a cutting board or heavy, flat pan on top to

• compress layers. Refrigerate overnight.

• The next day, melt chocolate in a double boiler. Spread over top

• layer; allow to harden. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut into

• 1/2-in. strips across the width; then cut each strip into 4-5

• pieces. Store in airtight containers. Yield: about 8 dozen.

Notes from the internet searches

Most everyone says to add about ¾ teaspoon almond extract to the dough and to cut before completely cool to keep the chocolate from cracking too much. Some add yellow dye to the plain layer. Grate the almond paste.


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cloudy_christine

Thanks for those rainbow cookie recipes, Joann and Joan.

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annie1992

cc, I use this one, and I use my own homemade raspberry jam, but the other layer is usually peach instead of apricot because I don't grow apricots, LOL.

Italian Rainbow Cookies

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

3-1/2 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

6 to 8 drops red food coloring

6 to 8 drops green food coloring

1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/4 cup apricot jam

GLAZE:


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon shortening

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar 2-3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add almond paste; mix well. Gradually add flour, butter, salt and extract.

Divide batter into thirds. Tint one portion red and one portion green; leave remaining portion plain. Spread one portion into each of three well-greased 11x7-in. baking dishes.

Bake 7-11 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges begins to brown. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Place red layer on waxed paper; spread with 2 tablespoons jam. Top with plain layer and remaining jam. Add green layer; press down gently.

For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread half over green layer. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set. Turn over; spread remaining glaze over red layer. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set.

With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut rectangle lengthwise into fourths. Cut each portion into 1/4-in. slices.

Have fun!

Annie


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cloudy_christine

Thanks, Annie! I do have my own homemade apricot jam, so I really have to try these. I'm guessing no one freezes them? Or if you did, you do the chocolate later. And, am I the only person who does not have three identical rectangular pans? They sound so delicious and look so pretty.

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JoanM

I don’t have 3 pans either. I just bake off each color one at a time. I have not tried freezing them yet so I am curious too. My favorite cookie that I freeze as ready to bake dough balls is Annie’s molasses ginger cookies. I think that is what they are called. LOL

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annie1992

I had some disposable pans that we use for grilling, so I used three of those, they were not exactly 9x13, but close.

I don't freeze them because they don't seem to get stale as quickly as some of my other cookies. I only make a small batch as I'm the one who seems to like them the most, but I wouldn't hesitate to freeze them without the chocolate frosting. I think freezing and thawing would make the chocolate "bloom" and although it would still taste good it wouldn't be as pretty.

For whatever reason I've found that they are better after they "age" for a day or so.

Annie

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phyllis__mn

I make Marilyn's Pecan Meltaways every year; I often make notes on a recipe and this one says "best of this type". I also have to make Marlen's Chubby Hubby cookies every year.......I have a SIL who practically demands them!

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