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Easy Christmas Cookies Recipe With Dried Fruits and Nuts

I grew up watching and helping my mother make homemade cookies. They were always in our school lunch boxes. Here, I share some family faves.

These Christmas cookies are easy to make and so tasty!

These Christmas cookies are easy to make and so tasty!

Origin of This Christmas Cookies Recipe

While I was a teenager, our family became friends with our next-door neighbors. The husband had worked in Mexico for many years, and he and his wife had retired in McAllen. Over the years, they had collected some prized paintings. One particular artist specialized in painting children with big soulful eyes and an occasional tear or two springing from their eyes. I believe the artist was Margaret Keane.

When I painted the face of a Mexican girl wearing a sombrero, Mrs. Tanner admired it, and I offered it to her. I was very proud when she hung it in their home. After gifting her with that painting, she invited my mother and me over one day to show us where she had decided to hang it.

It was the time of year around Christmas, and she had some Christmas cookies laid out on a platter and invited us to help ourselves to some of them. One, in particular, was delicious, and I asked for the recipe. I am happy to be able to share it with you.

Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.

— Sandra Lee

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (set aside 1/2 cup of the flour to be mixed with the dried fruits and nuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts, chopped
  • 7 ounces dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple
  • cooking spray, for greasing the cookie sheets
  • colored sugar (optional), for decorating the top of these cookies
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Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until well mixed.
  2. Add the eggs and blend.
  3. Add the salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to the batter, followed by 2 cups of flour, and continue blending the ingredients.
  4. Put the dried fruits and nuts into a separate bowl and add the remaining 1/2 cup flour mixing the ingredients until well-coated with the flour.
  5. Add that fruit and nut mixture to the batter, and blend well.
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Decorate (if desired) with colored sugar before baking.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, or if using a convection oven, for 9 minutes.
  8. Remove the baked cookies to a wire rack and let them completely cool before storing them in airtight containers.

Baking Notes

  • People who enjoy eating fruitcakes will likely enjoy this Christmas cookie recipe.
  • In place of the dried cherries, I have substituted dried cranberries.
  • I have often used chopped walnuts for the nuts component. Whatever is most to your liking or readily available can easily suit your taste.
  • These cookies also freeze well, so they can be made well in advance and brought out when you are ready to serve them or package them up for gifts.

A pretty tin of assorted cookies to share with friends

— Unknown

I think cookies are sort of the unsung sweet, you know? They're incredibly popular. But everybody thinks of cakes and pies and fancier desserts before they think cookies. A plate of cookies is a great way to end dinner and really nice to share at the holidays.

— Bobby Flay

© 2021 Peggy Woods

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