The 25 Recipes of Christmas Are Coming!

Last year, I posted 25 Cookies of Christmas. I’ve always loved advent calendars, and the cookie recipes mailed out by the folks at Taste of Home and Food Network inspired me to create my own list. I wanted to continue the tradition this year, but knew that finding 25 more cookie recipes would be a challenge.

After polling some friends, I decided to focus on appetizers and snacks this year. Starting on December 1, I will post one snack or appetizer recipe a day. I’ve focused on appetizers that I could see the family actually eating. You will find no fancy nonsense like pate or caviar. You also will not find seafood, since I don’t like much other than the occasional fish and chips. There are mainly handheld savory snacks with pork or beef. There is lots of cheese, and there are a few dips.

I hope you find something that interests you in this year’s collection of appetizers, but if you were thinking you wanted something sweet instead, you can always try one of the 25 Cookie recipes:

  1. Pumpkin Cookies
  2. Preacher Cookies
  3. 7 Layer Cookies
  4. Ethel’s Sugar Cookies
  5. Blueberry Oat Bars
  6. Original Girl Scout Cookies
  7. No-Bake Candy Cups
  8. Orange Cookies
  9. Hidden Mint Cookies
  10. Chex Snack Bars
  11. Brownie Bon-Bons
  12. Glazed Nut Bars
  13. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
  14. Golden Oatmeal Bars
  15. Carrot Cake Cookies
  16. Triple Chocolate Brownies
  17. Butter Pecan Cookies
  18. German Chocolate Cookie Bars
  19. English Cookies
  20. Chocolate Chipped Brownies
  21. Paula Deen’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies
  22. S’mores Snackin’ Cups
  23. Pineapple Cookies
  24. Oatmeal Carmelitas
  25. Monster Cookies

 

S’mores Cookies Bars

A recipe from the May 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “Graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow topping, and milk chocolate chips baked into a bar is a fun twist on this iconic graham cracker dessert.”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups marshmallow topping (such as Marshmallow Fluff)
  • 2 cups milk-chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.
  3. Mist foil with cooking spray.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; mix well.
  5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes.
  6. Beat in eggs until well combined.
  7. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  8. Divide dough in half.
  9. Press half of dough into pan until dough is uniform and flat.
  10. Spread with marshmallow topping and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  11. Scatter remaining dough over in clumps. Don’t worry about covering the top; marshmallow and chocolate chips should peek through.
  12. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  13. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan, peel off foil and cut into bars. To make it easier to cut the bars, cover and refrigerate them for at least an hour or up to overnight. Use the foil overhang to remove them from the pan. Peel off foil, place on a cutting board and slice.

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

A recipe from the April 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “These delicious treats are best served with a tall glass of milk.” That’s true of most cookies though.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, honey and vanilla.
  3. Stir in Rice Krispies and oats and allow mixture to cool.
  4. Stir in raisins and chocolate chips.
  5. Form mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in chopped peanuts, pressing to coat.
  6. Makes 24 cookies.
  7. Store in refrigerator.

Chilled Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

A recipe from the July 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains, “Simple to make and costing less than 10¢ per serving, dessert does not get any cheaper than this! For variety, you can use a different type of cereal, or swap chopped nuts for the coconut.”

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed

Directions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Place a small skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add coconut and toast, stirring constantly, until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a bowl; let cool.
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, corn syrup and peanut butter.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and cocoa.
  7. Continue stirring until chocolate chips have melted, then stir in cereal and toasted coconut until well coated.
  8. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Makes 40 cookies.

Raspberry Blondies

A recipe from the August 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains that “These blondies will smell amazing when they’re fresh out of the oven, but resist the urge to jump right in. For easier cutting, cover and refrigerate blondies for at least 1 hour or up to overnight before slicing into bars.”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans or mixture of nuts
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on all sides.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  5. Stir in brown sugar until moistened.
  6. Let cool slightly.
  7. Off heat, whisk in egg and vanilla.
  8. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  9. Stir in nuts.
  10. Scrape batter into baking pan, smoothing top with a spatula.
  11. Scatter berries over batter.
  12. Bake until blondies are set in center, about 30 minutes.
  13. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  14. Grasping overhanging foil on opposite sides of pan, lift out blondies and place on cutting board.
  15. Cut into 16 squares and serve.
    Note: For easier cutting, cover and refrigerate blondies for at least 1 hour before slicing into bars.

Monster Cookies

For Christmas day, there’s nothing like Monster Cookies, the best in over-indulgent cookies. I found the recipe five years ago in Paula Deen & Friends: Living It Up, Southern Style. I made them for the cookie exchange at work that year, and have returned to the recipe whenever I want the perfect treat. Monster Cookies are the twenty-fifth of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ½ cup M&M’s
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4½ cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix eggs and sugars in large mixing bowl.
  4. Add salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add baking soda and oatmeal, combining well.
  6. Stir in M&M’s, chocolate chips, and raisins.
  7. Drop cookies onto prepared cookie sheets.
  8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
  9. Let cool 3 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in tightly covered container.

Time Required: 45 minutes

Servings: about 3 dozen

Oatmeal Carmelitas

This recipe comes from someone I worked with at NCTE, Sharon. She brought them to a cookie exchange we had at the office, and I became thoroughly addicted. Oatmeal Carmelitas are the twenty-fourth of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups margarine or butter, softened

Filling

  • 6 oz. pkg (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • 12 oz jar caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 tbsp flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease 13" x 9" pan.
  3. Measure flour by dip-level method into large mixing bowl.
  4. Blend in remaining crust ingredients with electric mixer at low speed until crumbly.
  5. Press half of crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Set remainder aside for topping.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes
  7. Sprinkle warm crust with chocolate chips and nuts.
  8. In small bowl, combeing caramel topping and 3 tbsp flour.
  9. Drizzle caramel mixture evenly over chocolate chips and nuts.
  10. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture.
  11. Bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.
  12. Cool completely. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set.
  13. Cut into bars.

Time Required: 45 minutes plus cooling time

Servings: about 3 dozen

Pineapple Cookies

Another cookie from my great grandmother, Pineapple Cookies are a special treat. They’re the kind of old-fashioned cookie that you’re not likely to get unless you can make them yourself. The recipe was passed to us by my mother’s father’s mother, Kate. Pineapple Cookies are the twenty-third of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  2. Grease and flour cookie sheet
  3. Cook sugar, cornstarch and pineapple over medium heat until thickened. Set filling aside to cool.
  4. Cream together sugars, shortening, and eggs.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.
  6. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
  7. When the sheet is full, drop a smaller spoonful of the pineapple filling into the center of each cookie.
  8. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

S’mores Snackin’ Cups

Want s’mores, but don’t have a campfire handy? This oven-warmed treat is an easy alternative (and a good bit less messy). S’mores Snackin’ Cups, another Girl Scourt recipe, are the twenty-second of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) package graham crackers
  • 6 Herskey’s chocolate bars
  • ½ (10.5-ounce) bag mini-marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Line two muffin pans with muffin cups, or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Break the graham crackers into pieces and place a layer in the bottom of each muffin cup.
  4. Break up the chocolate bars and put a layer on top of the crackers.
  5. Add another layer of crackers and chocolate.
  6. Evenly distribute the marshmallows over each muffin cup.
  7. Bake in preheated oven until the chocolate melts and marshmallows brown slightly.

Variations

  • Make one giant pan of S’mores by layering treats in a cast iron skillet or pie plate and then baking according to the instructions.
  • Substitute Teddy Grahams and chocolate chips for fun alternative.
  • For the original campfire version, use a cast iron skillet. Place the skillet in a corner of the campfire, rotating the pan ¼ turn every 3 minutes, until the chocolate is melted and the marshmallows are golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Time Required: 20 minutes

Servings: about 2 dozen

Paula Deen’s Magical Peanut Butter Cookies

These aren’t exactly the kind of cookie that you typically associate with Paula Deen—they’re sugar-free, and there’s not a stick of butter in sight! I have no idea why the recipe works (where is Alton Brown to explain it?), but it does. The original recipe is available from The Food Network. Magical Peanut Butter Cookies are the twenty-first of my 25 Cookies of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1⅓ cups Splenda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Mix peanut butter, 1 cup Splenda, egg, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, combining completely.
  4. Roll the dough in your hands, into about 1″ balls.
  5. Place on cookie sheet.
  6. Dip fork in remaining Splenda, and press on balls to create criss-cross design.
  7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle cookies with some of remaining Splenda while still warm.
  8. Cool several minutes on pan before removing (to avoid breaking).

Variations

  • For a crunchier cookie, stir ½ cup chopped peanuts into the batter.