christmas cookie recipe

Angel Wings / Chruschiki

Angel Wings/Chruschiki

Angel Wings are what a lot of people call these fried, delicate cookies. In my family, we also call them Flancate (Slovenian) or Chruschiki (Polish). After posting a picture on Facebook, I learned they have even more names. Many nationalities make versions of these cookies. We made them in class the other night and everyone enjoyed them.

The dough is a mixture of 8 eggs yolks, white wine, a little salt and flour. Very similar to pasta dough. They are a tradition in my family. I try to make them at least once during the holidays.

I use a  pasta machine to roll out the dough. You can roll them out by hand, but a pasta maker makes the job a lot faster and easier. Also, if the cookies sit around and start to dry out before you can fry them, they tend not to grow as much. They are cut, shaped then fried. They puff up a lot when fried. More than doubling in size.

Once cooled, they are dusted with powdered sugar. Because they are rolled so thin, a single batch can make a hundred cookies or more.

Part of the fun of making them, is watching someone eat one for the first time. They are delicate and will sometimes fall apart when you go to bite into one. Then there is the powdered sugar. Let’s just say you don’t want to be wearing black.

Angel Wings/ Flancate / Chruschiki

8 egg yolks

2 ½ -3 c. flour, plus extra for rolling

½ c. white wine – I sometimes use sherry

1 t. salt

oil or shortening for deep frying

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Combine egg yolks, wine and salt mixing until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of the flour and continue adding flour until dough is very firm, but still pliable. It is better to add more flour later than to add too much too soon. Knead or mix the dough in a mixer for 5-8 minutes. Kneading dough, or mixing in a stand mixer strengthens the dough. Divide dough into thirds, cover and allow to rest 1 hour.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough out into thin strips. Cut strips diagonally into 1 ½ inch wide pieces. Cut a small slit in middle of dough and pull one end through, pulling until dough is long and somewhat twisted. Work with small amount of dough at a time to avoid drying out. Dry dough will tear and be hard to work with. You can use a pizza cutter or a pastry wheel with a zigzag edge. Cook dough, a few pieces at a time in a skillet with either oil or shortening 2 inches deep and heated to a temperature of 375 degrees. Pastry will cook in 30 seconds or so. Remove when lightly brown and drain on paper toweling. Cool and dust with powdered sugar. Makes at least 100, depending on how thin you can roll them. We have gotten as many as 200 from a single batch.

Note: If you have access to a pasta machine, the rolling time will be greatly reduced. Use the machine to roll the dough uniformly and quickly. There is no substitute for experience. After making a batch you will learn just how the dough should feel and how thick to roll the dough. If too thick, the dough is not as tender. Too thin and they fall apart to easily. Also, get a friend or two to help you. The are a lot of jobs to do and the time will fly with some assistance. Besides, you’ll have plenty to share with family and friends.

Freshly fried Angel Wings

Snow People

Snow People

These cookies are adorable and fun to make. They also taste really good. They are a fun cookie for kids to make. The cookies are made from a rich, cream cheese dough. They stay soft in the middle, with a little crunch on the outside. They are even cuter if you use the candy-striped kisses available this time of year.

Snow People

Dough:

4 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1 c. butter, softened

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2 c. sugar

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

¼ t. almond extract

Decorations:

Mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms

Kisses, whole, or mini peanut butter cups, halved

Frosting:

2 c. powdered sugar

Few drops green food coloring

Milk

Extra powdered sugar for sprinkling

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and flavorings then stir in dry ingredients. Chill dough overnight. For each snow person rolls out 3 balls of dough, 1-inch, ¾-inch and ½-inch in diameter. Place balls in descending order on ungreased baking sheet. Press together lightly.  Use 2 mini chocolate chips for eyes in smallest ball and use either chips or mini M&Ms for buttons (2 on largest ball and 1 in medium). You can also add a tiny dot of frosting once they are cooled for the buttons, too. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 18 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute then remove to rack to finish cooling. Combine powdered sugar with green food coloring and just enough milk to make a frosting that can be piped. Use a little dab of frosting to attach either a chocolate kiss (unwrapped) or half of a peanut butter cup as a hat. Pipe a small amount of frosting to form a scarf. Dust cookies with a little extra powdered sugar for snow when finished decorating. Makes about 48 cookies.

Chocolate Sparkles

These cake-like cookies are always a favorite in my house. they are full of chocolate flavor and easy to make. The sparkle comes from the sugar they are roll in just before baking. So if you are looking for a chocolate cookie for your holiday cookie collection- you might want to try these.

Chocolate Sparkles

1 c. butter, softened

1 ¼ c. sugar

2 eggs

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted

½ t. vanilla

2 2/3 c. flour

2 t. cream of tartar

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

¼ c. sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, chocolate and vanilla. Stir in next four ingredients. Chill dough. Shape dough into 1” balls and roll in ¼ cup sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400- degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Makes 5-6 dozen. 

Cookie Candies

Cookie Candies

There are so many cookies I bake this time of year, I could never pick a favorite. There are some cookies that are a MUST bake, however.

These cookie-candies are one of them. They get their name because, once decorated, they look like little pieces of candy.

Under the sprinkles are rich and tasty oatmeal shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are always a favorite of mine. I think I make half a dozen varieties of shortbread.

The dough is easy to handle. You just shape small amounts into shapes like circles, squares and ovals. They hold their shape. Like most shortbread, they bake at a lower temperature than other cookies. They also bake a bit longer. They should be a little golden on the bottom when done.

After they are baked and cooled, the cookies are dipped in melted chocolate and then in assorted toppings. You can dip them in sprinkles, finely chopped nuts and coconut. Pretty and tasty.

Cookie-Candies

1 c. butter

¾ c. powdered sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 c. flour

½ c. rolled oats

½ c. chocolate chips

¼ c. milk

finely chopped nuts

assorted sprinkles

shredded coconut

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats. Shape teaspoonfuls of the dough into different shapes like rounds, ovals, cones cubes etc. Try to make them look like little candies. They will hold their shape very well while baking. Bake in a 325- degree oven for 20-25 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet. Cool. In microwave safe dish combine chocolate and milk and melt. Dip tops of cookies in chocolate mixture and then in one of the toppings you have. Chocolate topping will harden up after a while. Makes about 4 dozen.

Cream Wafer Cookies

Cream Wafer Cookies

Cream Wafers  are a little more work than most cookies, but they are worth it. They are the most requested cookies of all the ones I make. The secret is the dough, which contains no sugar. It is made from only three ingredients- flour, butter and heavy whipping cream.

When baked, they turn into flaky layers that melt in your mouth.  Seriously, if you want to really impress this holiday season, show up at a party with these cookies.

Cream wafers are coated in sugar before baking. You can use tinted sugar, if you like. Once baked and cooled, they are made into little sandwich cookies, using a buttercream frosting. You can also tint the frosting if you like.

Because they puff when baking and become thicker, and you are using two of them to make the sandwich cookie, be sure to roll them out pretty thin.

Here is the recipe. Hope you enjoy!!

Cream Wafers

1 c. butter
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
2 c. flour
extra fine or granulated sugar
Frosting:
¼ c. butter, softened
¾ c. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
food coloring, if desired

Mix butter, cream and flour well. Wrap and chill at least an hour. Roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut out into 1½ inch rounds or even little hearts or stars. Transfer cookies to a sheet of wax paper heavily coated with extra fine or granulated sugar and coat both sides. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and prick each cookie 4 times with a fork. Bake at 375-degrees 7-9 minutes until lightly browned and puffy. Cool on rack. Mix frosting ingredients. Put 2 cookies together with frosting to make “sandwiches”.

Soft Butter Cookies

Soft Butter Cookies

If you are looking for a truly tender cookie, this may be it. These cookies are so delicate, they just melt in your mouth!!

The secret ingredient might surprise you. It is oil. Yes, I know I said butter cookies – they also contain butter. But the combination of oil and butter makes them soft and delicate, even days after baking.

They also contain both granulated and powdered sugar. Not your typical cookie recipe, for sure.   This just may be my “go to” butter cookie recipe from now on.

You don’t have to chill the dough and they roll very easily, without sticking to your fingers. You could chill the dough, but let it warm up a little before rolling. The dough can also be made ahead and frozen- I tested it.

In class last night we pressed the tops in colored sugars, nonpareils or sprinkles before baking. You can also bake them plain, then dip in melted chocolate and sprinkles or nuts after baking,

Soft Butter Cookies

1 c. butter

1 c. oil, I used avocado oil

1 c. sugar

1 c. powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 t. baking soda

1 t. cream of tartar

½ t. salt

4 ½ c. flour

In mixing bowl, beat together butter, oil, sugars and vanilla. Once well blended, beat in eggs. Stir in the baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, then add the flour, mixing until well combined. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into one inch balls and press tops of cookies in sprinkles or colored sugar, if desired. Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, or until light golden on bottom. Leave cookies on baking sheets 3 minutes before placing on cooling rack. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Snow People Cookies

Snow People

These cookies are adorable and fun to make. They also taste really good. They are a fun cookie for kids to make. The cookies are made from a rich, cream cheese dough. They stay soft in the middle, with a little crunch on the outside. They are even cuter if you use the candy-striped kisses available this time of year.

Snow People

Dough:

4 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1 c. butter, softened

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2 c. sugar

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

¼ t. almond extract

Decorations:

Mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms

Kisses, whole, or mini peanut butter cups, halved

Frosting:

2 c. powdered sugar

Few drops green food coloring

Milk

Extra powdered sugar for sprinkling

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and flavorings then stir in dry ingredients. Chill dough overnight. For each snow person rolls out 3 balls of dough, 1-inch, ¾-inch and ½-inch in diameter. Place balls in descending order on ungreased baking sheet. Press together lightly.  Use 2 mini chocolate chips for eyes in smallest ball and use either chips or mini M&Ms for buttons (2 on largest ball and 1 in medium). You can also add a tiny dot of frosting once they are cooled for the buttons, too. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 18 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute then remove to rack to finish cooling. Combine powdered sugar with green food coloring and just enough milk to make a frosting that can be piped. Use a little dab of frosting to attach either a chocolate kiss (unwrapped) or half of a peanut butter cup as a hat. Pipe a small amount of frosting to form a scarf. Dust cookies with a little extra powdered sugar for snow when finished decorating. Makes about 48 cookies.

Cookie Candies

Cookie Candies

There are so many cookies I bake this time of year, I could never pick a favorite. There are some cookies that are a MUST bake, however.

These cookie-candies are one of them. They get their name because, once decorated, they look like little pieces of candy.

Under the sprinkles are rich and tasty oatmeal shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are always a favorite of mine. I think I make half a dozen varieties of shortbread.

The dough is easy to handle. You just shape small amounts into shapes like circles, squares and ovals. They hold their shape. Like most shortbread, they bake at a lower temperature than other cookies. They also bake a bit longer. They should be a little golden on the bottom when done.

After they are baked and cooled, the cookies are dipped in melted chocolate and then in assorted toppings. You can dip them in sprinkles, finely chopped nuts and coconut. Pretty and tasty.

Cookie-Candies

1 c. butter

¾ c. powdered sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 c. flour

½ c. rolled oats

½ c. chocolate chips

¼ c. milk

finely chopped nuts

assorted sprinkles

shredded coconut

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and oats. Shape teaspoonfuls of the dough into different shapes like rounds, ovals, cones cubes etc. Try to make them look like little candies. They will hold their shape very well while baking. Bake in a 325- degree oven for 20-25 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet. Cool. In microwave safe dish combine chocolate and milk and melt. Dip tops of cookies in chocolate mixture and then in one of the toppings you have. Chocolate topping will harden up after a while. Makes about 4 dozen.

Soft Butter Cookies

Soft Butter Cookies

If you are looking for a truly tender cookie, this may be it. These cookies are so delicate, they just melt in your mouth!!

The secret ingredient might surprise you. It is oil. Yes, I know I said butter cookies – they also contain butter. But the combination of oil and butter makes them soft and delicate, even days after baking.

They also contain both granulated and powdered sugar. Not your typical cookie recipe, for sure.   This just may be my “go to” butter cookie recipe from now on.

I found a sheet of paper with the ingredients written on it. No directions, just ingredients listed and a notation about cooking time and oven temperature. I wish I knew where I got the recipe. I would certainly give the source credit. I did increase the amount of vanilla a little. You don’t have to chill the dough and they roll very easily, without sticking to your fingers. You could chill the dough, but let it warm up a little before rolling. The dough can also be made ahead and frozen- I tested it.

I dipped the tops of the raw cookies in nonpareils, then baked them. I also dipped some in sprinkles. You could leave them plain, then roll in powder sugar, once baked and cooled, or drizzle with melted chocolate.

Soft Butter Cookies

1 c. butter

1 c. oil, I used avocado oil

1 c. sugar

1 c. powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 t. baking soda

1 t. cream of tartar

½ t. salt

4 ½ c. flour

In mixing bowl, beat together butter, oil, sugars and vanilla. Once well blended, beat in eggs. Stir in the baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, then add the flour, mixing until well combined. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into one inch balls and press tops of cookies in sprinkles or colored sugar, if desired. Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, or until light golden on bottom. Leave cookies on baking sheets 3 minutes before placing on cooling rack. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

These cut-out cookies are a classic, and always part of my holiday cookie baking. I will confess to having an enormous assortment of cookie cutters, so there is almost no end to the shapes I might use.  This time of year I am making trees, stars, snowmen and more.

These cookies are crisp and sturdy enough to stand up to frosting, without being too hard. They also hold their shape well when baking.

I use royal icing to frost them, and an assortment of sprinkles and other candies. Royal icing is made with egg whites or  powdered egg whites. The advantage over a butter cream, is that royal icing hardens, making the cookies easy to pack and stack. You don’t need much- just a thin layer. Tinting the frosting different colors is a big part of the fun. Depending on how much time you have, you can get really creative with decorating.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
3 T. milk
Extra sugar for sprinkling, if desired
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Beat in milk. Heat oven to 375-degrees. Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/3- inch thickness. Cut out with lightly floured cutters and sprinkle with sugar or colored sugar if you like and if you are not going to frost them. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely. Frost when cooled. Makes about 4 dozen.
Decorating your cookies:
You can use a buttercream frosting, if you like,  however the topping I prefer is royal icing. Because royal icing contains egg whites it gets hard. Cookies have a smooth appearance and can be stacked. When making royal icing, use pasteurized egg whites or powdered egg whites. Raw egg whites pose a risk of salmonella.
You can also use colored sugar and sprinkles and mini chocolate chips for eyes.

Royal Icing

1 lb. powdered sugar
½ t. cream of tartar
5¼ t. egg white powder
6 T. water
½ t. vanilla, optional
Assorted food coloring
In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add water and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Divide into small bowls and tint each batch as needed. Keep bowl covered with a damp towel while waiting to use so frosting will not dry out.

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