Happy Holidays, everyone! I am not going to count this recipe towards the 250-in-one-year goal, as it doesn’t really fit the criteria. There is both sugar and gluten in this one. However, I can promise you that this one time, its absolutely worth it. I made an exception because this recipe is particularly special to my heart.
My mom used to bake up batches this exact cookie recipe for my brother and me every single Christmas, throughout our childhood. I awaited this time of year almost solely based on these cookies. She would press the dough into heavy iron mold castings. Shapes of ballerinas, drums, sleighs, bells, Santa Claus, rocking horses, the list went on. When they were finished cooking, we would ever-so-gently dig the pillowy cookies out of their molds with the edge of a knife. The result was a three dimensional shape which we would proceed to cover in colorful frosting and decals. The taste, awesome. Light, sweet, cakey, divine.
Typically I would down 5 or 6 of these per decorating session. My mom would come to the table and grow wide eyed upon seeing the significantly diminished number of cookies left, asking where so many of the cookies had gone. My brother and I said nothing, our silence and sneaky smiles giving us away. These cookie decorating evenings were always a great source of contentment and joy for me. Lots of giggling and coziness came from sitting next to my mom and brother as Christmas music lulled in the background.
I want to share this particular recipe with you because its still among my holiday season favorites. In fact, I have included it in some of the cookie boxes I have been giving to friends this year. This recipe is super easy and REALLY tasty. Perfect to leave for Santa before bedtime on Christmas Eve alongside a tall glass of milk 😉 or, to just enjoy yourself.
Mom’s Traditional Christmas Cookies
Special note: this recipe works best with cast iron cookie pans. However if you do not have iron molds, roll the dough out with a rolling pin and use cookie cutters to press shapes into the dough that way.
*Note: the dough can be wrapped in cling wrap and put in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight, until ready to use.
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 178 degrees Celsius.
2. Mix butter and sugar together in a medium size bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, and vanilla, mix well.
4. Add flour and stir until mixture is well combined.
5. Press dough into iron molds. OR, roll out dough with a rolling pin and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
6. If baking the cookies on a cookie sheet (having used cookie cutters instead of iron molds), bake the cookies for 8-11 minutes, until the edges are just lightly golden. Or, if using iron mold pans, bake 15 – 18 minutes or until light golden on top.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 minute.
8. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and place on a plate or cooling rack. Or, if using iron molds, place cooling rack over mold and invert carefully. Remove mold and allow cookies to cool.