Christmas Cookies

As most Moms in the world and people for that matter, I love this time of the year.  I love the decorations, the lights, the food, the cookies, the gifts, the parties, and, of course, the reason for celebrating...Baby Jesus.  

Baking is one of the many perks of the Christmas season.  My friend, Annie, has an amazing cookie party every year, but, unfortunately, I missed it this year because I was out of town.  Big bummer.  Sooo, today Luke and I spent the day baking cookies for our neighbors.  I chose to stick with 3 cookies, as more than that can get a bit overwhelming.  We made almond sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and grinch cookies.  I wanted a bit of color in the boxes, hence the grinch cookies.  Plus, they are super, super easy.  Hope you try!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 t vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
sugar for decoration
1 11 ounce bag of Hershey kisses

1.  Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars.  Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla.
2.  Gradually add flour, baking soda, and salt.
3.  Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar.  
4.  Bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
5.  Place Hershey kiss on each cookie while still hot.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

Almond Cookies from Confections from the Cody Kitchen

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter; cold
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 t almond extract
2 3/4 cup cake flour (I used all purpose flour.  If using all purpose flour, take out 2 tablespoons per cup of flour.)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 T corn starch
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
sugar for decoration

1.  Cream shortening, butter, and sugar.  Beat in eggs and almond extract.
2.  Gradually add flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt.
3.  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4.  Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar.
5.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Grinch Cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (1 lb. 1.5 ounce) or sugar cookie recipe
1/2 cup butter; softened
1/2 t mint extract
8-10 drops of green food coloring
1 egg
1 cup Andes mint chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

1.  Mix sugar cookie mix with butter, mint extract, food coloring, and egg.  Stir in chips and chunks.
2.  Drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

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