What’s Cooking?: Christmas cookies

By Jan D’atri

What makes this the most wonderful time of the year? Well, besides glad tidings, family and the holiday spirit, it’s gotta be Christmas cookies! Nothing puts a smile on faces like a big platter of goodies decked out and adorned with glitter and glaze!

These tricolored cookies are among my very favorite to bake up, decorate and give as gifts for the holidays. Why do I love these cookies so much?

First, this basic stocking cookie recipe is just right. With its combination of butter and shortening, you get the great flavor of butter, and the shortening makes the cookies soft but still great for decorating. Second, they are so colorful, and that color is achieved in such an easy way. All you do is make one batch of batter and color two parts with green and red. Now you have a predecorated cookie that just gets a glaze and a tiny bit of decorating sugar. No fuss. No muss. Just gorgeous and scrumptious cookies that are fa-la-la-la lovely to eat and to share.

Christmas cookies


• 1 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup Crisco shortening

• 1/2 cup butter

• 1 large  Z

• 1 8-ounce carton of sour cream

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

• 4-3/4 cups flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt


Cream together shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add egg, beating until well blended.

Stir in sour cream, vanilla and almond extract, mixing well.

Add flour, baking powder, soda and salt, beating well until dough forms into a ball.

Add to cream mixture and beat well.

Divide into three equal parts. Add red food coloring to one ball, mixing to a bright red color. To the second ball, add green food coloring and repeat process. Do not color third ball. Chill at least one hour. When ready to bake, tear off pieces of each colored dough ball and create a mosaic on a Silpat (silicone baking mat) or parchment paper. Roll out colored dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out designs.

Use up remaining dough scraps by combining them together, rolling out and cutting out more cookies. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. When slightly cooled, brush with icing and add decorative sprinkles. Keep cookies in an airtight container. Cookies can be frozen before they are iced.


• 2 cups powdered sugar

• 1/8 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

• Enough water to create a glaze


Stir powdered sugar, almond extract and water to desired consistency. If glaze is too thick, add more water. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. Glaze should be thin and runny enough for the decorative colors of the cookie to show through.

Watch how-to videos at bit.ly/JanDAtri