Inside Cross Timbers Lifestyle's Cookie Jar

COFFEE NUGGETS

Christmas time meant the arrival of these powdery, scrumptious culinary gems courtesy of my aunt, Lena Mae. I have only grown to love them more as the years have passed. Simple to make, these lovely snowballs of goodness are a gorgeous homemade gift for your neighbors or favorite hostess. They are perfect when paired with a steaming cup of coffee or tall cold glass of milk. Turn on the Bing Crosby and sit by the fire.

INGREDIENTS
½ cup butter
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup sifted flour
½ cup finely chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 1. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and coffee until light and fluffy. Add flour and nuts. Mix thoroughly. Chill 1 hour.
  2. 2. Using approximately 1 teaspoon of dough per cookie, roll into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.
  3. 3. Roll the cookie in powdered sugar as soon as you remove it from the oven. Roll the cookies in the 
powdered sugar a second time once cookies are cool.

SANTA’S SUGAR COOKIES

The buttery goodness of these cookies makes it my family’s go-to sugar cookie recipe at Christmas and any other day of the year. I knew we were on to something when a pregnant friend devoured them all at a party and called for the recipe the next day. (And, you didn’t hear this from me, but sometimes the dough never makes it into the oven—it’s that good!) We love the traditional Christmas cutouts to decorate but sometimes make red and white candy cane cookies instead. Nothing says “Welcome, Santa” like a homemade sugar cookie. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (not margarine), softened
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Icing, sprinkles and powdered sugar, as desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 1. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. 2. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on low speed, increasing speed until light and fluffy. 
Then reduce speed to low and beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until blended.
  3. 3. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into two equal balls. Wrap them separately and freeze until firm.
  4. 4. Preheat oven to 350 F. On a lightly floured surface, take a small portion of dough and roll flat. Use your favorite Christmas cookie cutters to create shapes. Make the thickness you prefer, but you may have to adjust your oven time.
  5. 5. Place dough on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. 
Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
  6. 6. Decorate with icing and sprinkles or dust them lightly with granulated sugar or powdered sugar.

For a slight twist, literally, at step 3, mix a few drops of red food coloring into two of the balls of dough. Freeze as usual.

Then, on a lightly floured surface take some of the red dough and roll into long strings. Do the same with the plain-colored dough, then take strings of each color, twist them together and shape in the form of a candy cane. Bake as recommended.