November 22, 2021

It’s Cookie Season!

With the holiday season upon us and the anticipation of family and friends getting together, it’s time to pull out our rolling pins, tie on our aprons, get busy baking cookies!

Here’s a fun fact you may not have known: according to the History Channel, Americans adopted the cookies and milk tradition during the Great Depression. Parents used this practice in hopes of teaching their children to be thankful and appreciate the gifts they received. Today, we bake cookies to have on hand for parties, neighbors, gift-giving, cookie exchanges, and… any other reason you can name.

No matter what your reason for baking is, here’s a collection of yummy member-submitted cookie recipes sure to make this holiday season the sweetest ever.

Chocolate Star Cookies

Submitted by Bill Manny | Branch member in Waupaca, WI

What you’ll need:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate star candy

Mix all ingredients except chocolate stars. Form dough into balls and roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Put a chocolate star candy on top of each cookie while still warm.

Sugar Cookies

BetterLife member sugar cookies recipeSubmitted by Shirley Znamenacek | Lodge 389 | Nebraska

What you’ll need:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons milk

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and nutmeg. Cut in shortening as for pie crust. Add flavoring, eggs, sugar, and milk; mix well. Roll out and cut in any shape. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.

St. Nicholas Cookies

Submitted by Audrey Speier | Branch member in Ripon, WI

What you’ll need for the cookies:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, cut up
1/2 cup finely chopped slivered almonds

What you’ll need for the royal icing: 
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 tablespoons powdered egg whites
6 tablespoons water

In small bowl, stir brown sugar and milk; set aside. In large bowl, stir flour cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add brown sugar mixture and almonds; mix well to form dough, using your hands. Form into balls. OR if dough is to be sliced, shape into 2 rolls, each 7 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in foil, clear plastic wrap, or wax paper. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

Slice rolls 1/4 inch thick. Or mold cookies in decorative carved wooden molds. To mold, brush cookie mold with flour, dusting every nook and cranny. Press dough into mold to fill completely; scrape off excess. With tip of small knife, loosen dough at edge of pattern. Turn mold over onto ungreased cookie sheet and tap to remove. Or roll dough 1/4 inch thick with patterned rolling pin and cut around cookies to separate.

Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks.

Combine icing ingredients and frost.

Yield: 6 dozen.

Chewy Spice Cookies

BetterLife member chewy spice cookie recipeSubmitted by Karen Ryba | Lodge 106 | North Dakota

What you’ll need:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup white sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves. In another bowl, mix oil and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed and beat in egg, molasses, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix to combine (do not overmix). Roll dough into balls and coat with sugar. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and press down with sugar-coated glass bottom. Bake 10-12 minutes.

White or Chocolate Christmas Cookies

Submitted by Delphia Rosio | Branch member in Antigo, WI 

What you’ll need:
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
5 cups flour

Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients. Alternately add milk and dry ingredients a little at a time. When rolled out, sprinkle sugar on dough and roll in. Cut into shapes.

For chocolate cookies, add 1/2 cup cocoa with the flour.

Yield: 4 dozen+

This recipe was submitted in memory of Martha Samolinski.

Chocolate Krinkle Cookies

Christmas cookie baking with BetterLife member recipesSubmitted by Linda Grove | Lodge 500 | Iowa

What you’ll need:
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix cocoa, sugar, and oil. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine all dry ingredients except powdered sugar. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture and mix until blended. Refrigerate 2 hours or longer. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and coat with powdered sugar. Place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Dipped Gingersnaps

Submitted by Duane Peterson | Branch member in Oconomowoc, WI

What you’ll need:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 (12 oz.) pkgs. vanilla baking chips
1/4 cup shortening
Additional sugar

Combine sugar and oil. Add eggs, beating after each one. Stir in molasses. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Shape into 3/4 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until done. Cool. Melt chips in shortening. Dip cookies halfway; shake off excess. Place on wax paper lined baking sheets to harden.

Yield: 4 dozen

Baking Tip: To cream butter or margarine, allow to reach room temperature. While this requires planning ahead, melting the shortening makes the batter too liquid. If dough is soft and difficult to work with, chill in refrigerator or freezer until firm enough to shape.

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies

Baking cookies from BetterLife member recipesSubmitted by Frances Jirele | Lodge 127 | Minnesota

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (10 oz.) pkg. Nestle Toll House mint flavored, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In small saucepan over low heat, melt one cup morsels. In large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar. Beat in melted morsels and vanilla; beat in eggs. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 10-12 minutes or until sides are set, but centers are still slightly soft. Let stand for 2 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Cool on wire racks.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

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