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Here are a few of my special Christmas cookies, which may be new to you. I like rich cookies, that look like they took some effort (even if they are actually very easy) for special occasions like Christmas. These are some of the lesser known ones, while my most favorites have pages of their own, which I will link at the end of this post.

assorted special cookies

Plate of assorted special cookies

“Lesser known” only means that I rarely see them on lists of loved cookies, or displayed for Christmas. I collected the recipes because they are delicious and turn out well. some are well known in certain cuisines… like the first up: Kris Kringle from Germany!

Kris Kringle Cookies

Kris Kringle is Santa, or Father Christmas in the German tradition, although the name came from Martin Luther’s idea of Christkind. So, right away, we understand that these cookies are a Christmas tradition.

Kris Kringle Cookies

The Kris Kringles are a delicate cooky that is well worth the time. They can either be formed in small circles or pretzel shapes.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Course Cookies
Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • ½ cup soft butter or Margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 hard-cooked egg yolks sieved
  • 1 egg yolk raw
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 Tblsp lemon peel grated
  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 1 egg white + 1 Tbsp. water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • ½ cup almonds finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  • In medium bowl, with wooden spoon: beat butter, sugar, egg yolks, cardamom, and lemon peel til well blended. 
  • Stir in flour; mix with hands to blend. 
  • On lightly floured surface roll out 1 of two parts of dough to a 7x6 inch rectangle. 
  • Cut each rectangle in half, and then cut crosswise into 12 strips (you will have 48 strips in all). 
  • With palms of hands, roll each strip 4 inches long. Form into a ring or pretzel shape, pinch to seal.
  • Place on cookie sheets and brush with egg white beaten with 1 Tblsp water. 
  • Make topping: Combine almonds with sugar. Sprinkle over tops of cookies 
  • Bake cookies 10-12 minutes til golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool 

Notes

Cooking hard boiled eggs ahead, saves time and makes it easier to shell the eggs. 

Auntie Mary’s

This rates at the top of the list for my children: rich cream cheese dough surrounding a creamy chocolate filling. It, too, is a molded type of cookie- rolling and shaping the dough, so it will need refrigeration time in the preparation.

Auntie Mary's Cookies

Auntie Mary's are a cream cheese cooky, so they should be kept cool. Watch that the chocolate for the filling is melted on very low heat- no scorched chocolate!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Cookies

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder

Filling:

  • cup sweetened condensed milk
  • cup chocolate morsels
  • ½ cup walnuts finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Cream butter and sugars with cream cheese til fluffy 
  • Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Divide dough in quarters, wrap, and chill
  • Make filling: combine sweet. cond. milk and chocolate cooking over medium heat til melted Stir in walnuts and cool. 
  • Heat oven to 350℉. Grease cookie sheets.
  • Roll each quarter of dough to 10x6 inch rectangle. Spread 1/4 of filling down center section and fold in thirds over filling. With spatula transfer rolls to cookie sheet seam side down.
  • Bake 20 minutes til lightly browned.
  • Cool, sprinkle with confectioners sugar, and cut in 12 diagonal slices. 

Notes

All of these cookies are fancy Christmas cookies. They should be packed carefully and frozen. I use waxed paper between the layers. Anything made with sour cream or cream cheese will not keep well unfrozen. Those should be eaten within a week, if not stored.
Keyword christmas cookies, cream cheese dough

Pecan Drops

These are simple drop cookies which are a cinch to make, but placing a pecan nut half on each one makes them special and festive. The recipe is not for a lot of cookies, but can easily be doubled or tripled for cookie exchanges or big family get-togethers.

Pecan Drops

Buttery, nut dropped cookies crowned with a pecan half.Wonderful with coffee.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup butter or margarine softened
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup flour
  • cup  pecans finely chopped
  • whole pecan halves for each cookie

Instructions
 

  • In large mixer bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beat til light and fluffy. Beat in cream of tartar. 
  • Stir in flour and chopped pecans. 
  • Drop by heaping half teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Press pecan half into center of each. 
  • Bake in preheated oven at 300℉ until golden brown (23- 25 minutes) Remove at once to wire racks to cool.