OC Christmas Cookie Recipes

Carolyn Guzikowski ‘20, Staff Writer

Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes, or “Snowballs” as my family calls them, are classic Christmas cookies. Though their history is not clear, Russian Tea Cakes can be traced back to the 18th century, where they were served with tea. They are also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes or Butter Balls.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4 dozen


1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sifted powdered (confectioners’) sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely-chopped toasted nuts (nuts of your choice)**
Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

* Do not use self-rising flour.

** How to toast nuts – Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking pan (one with walls is best) for toasting in the oven. Cook at 400 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes or until the nuts start to turn golden. Shake the pan halfway through toasting.


In a large bowl, use your electric mixer to cream the  butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

Sift in flour and salt; stir until well mixed. Mix in nuts.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls.  Tip: A small ice cream scoop is ideal for making uniform-sized cookies.

Place dough balls onto ungreased cookie sheets with about 1-inch of space between them.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on wire cooling racks.

While cookies are baking, place the powdered sugar in a shallow dish.  While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar until completely coated.  When cookies have cooled, roll them again in the confectioners’ sugar to give them a nice even coating of sugar.  The first rolling allows the sugar to melt into the cookies – the second rolling gives the finished snowy-white topping.

This recipe is originally from a 1950’s Betty Crocker Cookbook.


Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are perfect for the holidays, especially when filled with your favorite jellies and iced with red and green frosting!


Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen


¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup shortening

¼ cup butter or margarine, softened

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, separated

1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup finely chopped nuts



  • 1 Heat oven to 350ºF.
  • 2 Mix brown sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg yolk in medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt until dough holds together.
  • 3 Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Beat egg white slightly. Dip each ball into egg white. Roll in nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb deeply in center of each.
  • 4 Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Fill thumbprints with jelly.

This recipe was taken from bettycrocker.com


Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

What’s a cookie tray without something pumpkin? These snickerdoodle cookies are amazing for that extra touch of pumpkin every cookie needs.


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 7-9 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen


1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ snickerdoodle cookie mix

Butter, water and egg called for on cookie mix pouch

2 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup white vanilla baking chips


  • 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Open cookie mix; remove and set aside cinnamon-sugar packet. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. Cover and refrigerate dough 15 minutes.
  • 2 In small bowl, pour contents of cinnamon-sugar packet. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into cinnamon-sugar mixture, rolling until coated. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • 3 Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are just set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.

This recipe was taken from bettycrocker.com


Gingerbread Cookies

Welcome the holidays with a batch of spicy and flavorful gingerbread cookies. These cookies make for the best snack with a cup of hot chocolate during those cold winter months.


Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Yield: 7 ½ dozen


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons molasses

2 ½ cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

2/3 cup granulated or coarse sugar


  • 1 In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • 2 Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In small bowl, place granulated sugar. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. On cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.
  • 3 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set and soft in center. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Store tightly covered up to 1 week.

This recipe was taken from bettycrocker.com