Holiday Treats and Christmas Cookies

Holiday Treats and Christmas Cookies


Aside from the fun of spending time with your family and friends, the best part of the holidays is the cookies and treats. Many of us have holiday recipes that we only break out during this special time of the year.  Here are a few of's favorite holiday recipes.

Almond Cream Wafers

These delightful little cookies are light and buttery, but the almond cream filling adds a fluffy substance to the cookies. This is an all time favorite cookie recipe, although it's smart to save it for special occasions since they are sinfully rich.

1 1/2 cups soft butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 cups flour
Granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour and butter and cream well. After your dough is mixed, cover and chill for an hour or so. The dough needs to be firm and cold before you roll it out.  If the dough is too soft, you will have a mess.

Divide the dough into quarters, roll out one section at a time, and keep the remaining sections chilled. Roll out the dough on a floured cloth. You want the dough to be about 1/8 inch thick once rolled out. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch rounds - for this you will want a floured circular cookie cutter or small biscuit cutters. Make sure you have an even number of cookies since they will be put together into little cookie sandwiches.

Put some granulated sugar on a plate or piece of waxed paper. Carefully transfer each unbaked cookie onto the sugar and turn over so the entire cookie is coated with a thin layer of sugar. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and prick with a fork about 4 times. Bake your cookies for about 7-9 minutes; they should be set, but not brown. Allow the cookies to cool; while they are cooling prepare the almond cream filling.

3/8-cup soft butter
1 1/8 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until fluffy and smooth. If you want more festive filling you can divide the cream into 2 or 3 parts and add drops of red and green food coloring to the icing.

Once your filling is ready, use the baked cookies to make little almond cream wafer sandwiches. Spread filling on one cookie and top with another. Once all of your cookies are put together, you are ready to serve and enjoy.

Chocolate Rum Truffles

This is an extremely rich and delightfully easy truffle recipe which will stun all of your chocolate-loving friends and family.

1/3 c. heavy cream (minus 1 tsp)
6 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp very soft butter
1 tsp rum extract (this is an approximate measure, use the rum extract to taste)
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Chop the chocolate until it is very fine, then put cream into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Wait for a minute or so for the cream to heat the chocolate, then whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. The chocolate should look shiny when you are finished mixing. Whisk in the butter and rum extract. Cover the chocolate and refrigerate for about 3 hours.  It should be firm when you get it out of the refrigerator.

Spoon out teaspoonfuls of the chocolate; roll them in your hands to make little balls. If you want a larger truffle, use a little more of the chocolate, but beware they are very rich so smaller may be better. When you are rolling out your balls you will get messy, but it’s a fun adventure and your kids will love helping.

Put some cocoa on a plate and roll the balls around in the cocoa until they are coated. Shake of any excess cocoa. Cover and refrigerate the truffles again until you are ready to serve them.