I take Holiday cookie platters very seriously. Once I start baking a batch during the month of December, I immediately move into this slightly crazy meditative state, not stopping until I’ve made at least 5 varieties in a weekend. (You do have to enjoy baking or else you’ll make yourself miserable) If I had more time this I would make at least 8 batches. They make great gifts for neighbors, work parties, etc.
Variety is of the utmost importance. I like to make one cut-out recipe, something spiced, and maybe a filled version as well. I also listen to feedback from my taste-tester family and friends and make amendments as needed.
This is a variation of a cookie platter that I’ve made for many years. Some of the recipes I’ve been making for 5-10 years, and one standard has been part of my family celebrations for at least 20.
The Almond Cookies are the old favorite, originally from an old Slovak-American cookbook that was my grandmother’s. The cookbook is long gone, but the written version remains in my records. Enjoy.
Almond Cookies / Makes 4 dozen
Cream 1 cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Add 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 egg yolks, beat until light. Add 2 2/3 cup flour sifted flour and 1/2 tsp. salt, mix well.
Roll into 1 inch balls. Drop in the 2-previously-separated egg whites and place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press down each ball with 1/2 an almond or a fork (or both!)
Bake for 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Polish Apriot-Filled Cookies: Highly recommended and so worth the work.
Coconut-Orange Snowballs: Also highly recommended, and a little less time-consuming.
Christmas Cutouts with Vanilla Icing: A solid recipe, though perhaps not my favorite cookie overall.
Molasses Crinkles: Good, but I’m remembering another recipe for molasses cookies that I enjoyed more. I’ll have to revisit this later…