Back to top

If you haven’t already joined in the spirit of baking and cooking new recipes this year while we stay safe at home, now’s the time to start! A few of our board members have shared some of their favorite cookies recipes for this time of year. We can’t wait to try them! 

Melt-a-Ways

[This is a recipe] from my great grandma. (My mother knew her grandmothers as Grandma Upstairs and Grandma Downstairs because she had two sets of grandparents who shared a two-flat in the city. It’s really cute!) — Trustee Hannah Hyman

Melt-a-Ways

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 tsp. water
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Cream butter, shortening and sugar.
  2. Mix in water and vanilla, then flour and nuts.
  3. Form into flat bars approximately 1 inch thick.
  4. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least 4 hours.
  5. Cut into small squares and place on UNGREASED sheet.
  6. Bake at 325° for approximately 15 minutes.
  7. Do not brown the cookies.
  8. Remove from sheet, cool slightly and dip in powdered sugar. 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I have always enjoyed making peanut butter blossom cookies to share for any occasion. I think that they are fun to make because you get to unwrap all of the Hershey's Kisses, maybe eat one or two in the process, and then when the cookies are just right you get to smoosh the Kisses into the soft, right-out-of-the-oven cookie. It is very satisfying to see the chocolate melt ever so slightly as it gets properly seated in the fluffy peanut butter cookie. This is my favorite recipe for them. — Trustee Jillian Bernas

Peanut Butter Blossoms

From the New York Times:

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (or other creamy nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk, half-and-half, oat milk or nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  Nonstick spray or vegetable oil for cookie sheet (optional)
  • 5 dozen (one 11-ounce package) Hershey’s Kisses, foil removed

Directions

  1. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing thoroughly. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray, oil or line a cookie sheet with nonstick liner and set aside. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. (For a precise number of cookies, divide the dough into 5 pieces, and shape each piece into 12 balls.)
  3. Roll cookies in sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake until very light brown and puffed, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and lightly press a candy kiss into center of each cookie, allowing it to crack slightly. Return to oven until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely and store in an airtight container.

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookies

About 10 years ago, I went to the Heartland spa in rural central Illinois for a week. The food was delicious and healthy!  This cookie recipe is from their “Heartland Spa Recipe Collection”.  The cookies are great and they are pretty easy to make as well. — Trustee Erin Flannigan-Davies

White Chocolate, Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a baking sheet with pan spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the moist mixture, and mix well.
  5. Stir dried cranberries into the batter until mixed well. Fold in the white chocolate chips, mixing gently, making sure not to fall apart.
  6. Measure batter into 1 oz. serving. Place on lightly sprayed baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes, or until cookies begin to turn golden. 
  8. Let cool before removing from sheet pan. 

Sugar Cookies

These are the amazing sugar cookies we always made growing up. We cut out holiday shapes in the dough and frosted and decorated the cookies. — Trustee Julie Wroblewski Bosshart

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 c. oleo or butter
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. tartar
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture.
  3. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

Grandma Ann’s Italian Lemon Ball Cookies

Each Christmas time I would spend nights at my grandparent’s house in Chicago and my Grandma, Ann Forte, would whip up a batch of her famous Italian Lemon Ball Cookies with me as her little assistant. She made me a flowered apron and would let me stir the batter and drop the cookies onto the baking tray. The glaze is my favorite part, she would make one batch for the adults with a splash of Limoncello. Since her passing a few years ago I try to carry on this tradition by baking these each Christmas time. I hope you’ll enjoy these cookies. — Trustee Anita Forte-Scott

Grandma Ann's Italian Lemon Ball Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (soft)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (non-imitation is the best)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup milk

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (aka confectioners’ sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (soft)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
    • You can use 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of Limoncello instead
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions

Prepare and Bake Cookies:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 1 to 2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture. Beat until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and mix to combine.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated. The dough should be the consistency of a very thick, sticky cake batter.
  6. Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon each) to portion the cookie dough onto parchment paper (or silicone mat) lined cookie sheets. Leave 2” between each drop of cookie dough for even baking.
  7. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown. Do not over-bake. These will be like a scone consistency.
  8. Carefully remove from the oven. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Be sure they are cooled before adding the glaze.

Prepare and Apply the Glaze:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, lemon juice/(Limoncello if wanted), and lemon zest until smooth.
  2. Place the wire racks (with the cookies on them) over some foil or baking sheet or paper on your counter.
  3. Use a spoon to top/drizzle each cookie with a heaping teaspoon of glaze. Use the back of your spoon to spread the glaze all over the top half of the each cookie. Or, you can dip each cookie into the bowl with the glaze. 
  4. Return each cookie to the wire rack and let the glaze finish coating the cookie(drip) and let set until the glaze firms up a little, appx. 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Additional Notes:

  • If your glaze looks too thin, you can add more powdered sugar a tablespoon or two at a time. Mix well. If it looks too thick, add milk a teaspoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached. This is a glaze, not a frosting. It should drip a little down ad around the cookie.
  • You can add more lemon juice/Limoncello and zest to the glaze if you prefer a stronger lemon flavor.
  • Top with a tiny sprig of mint for a festive flair.