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Video: Martha’s Christmas cookies

TODAY recipes
updated 11/30/2010 4:35:29 PM ET 2010-11-30T21:35:29

Recipe: Cranberry coins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
Preparation

We embellished metallic mailing tubes with patterned Japanese masking tapes to create stylish receptacles for our coin cookies.

1) Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add flour and salt; stir just until combined. Stir in dried cranberries. Divide dough into quarters.

2) On parchment, shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. Wrap logs tightly in parchment or plastic. Chill 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (Dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen up to 1 month.)

3) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a sharp knife, slice dough into ¼-inch-thich rounds. Rotate log as you cut to keep it from flattening. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart.

4) Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges just begin to turn golden, 20-22 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Serving Size

Makes 4 dozen

Recipe: Honey-walnut coins

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts, plus 48 walnut halves for decorating
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup mild honey, such as orange blossom, plus 1/4 cup for brushing
Preparation

We embellished metallic mailing tubes with patterned Japanese masking tapes to create stylish receptacles for our coin cookies.

1. Pulse flour, salt, and coarsely chopped walnuts in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes more. Beat in ⅓ cup honey. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat just until combined and dough begins to pull together. Halve dough.

2. On parchment, shape each portion into a round log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 1/2 inches long. Wrap tightly in parchment or plastic, and chill 1 1/2 hours or up to 2 days.

3. Preheat oven to 325°. Let dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rotating log as you go to keep it from flattening. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Press a walnut half into each round.

4. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are pale golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; brush cookies evenly with 4 cup honey. Let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Serving Size

Makes 4 dozen

Recipe: Toffee millionaires

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars plus 1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars (about 10 ounces total)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preparation

These treats have a wealth of luscious components: toffee-and-chocolate candy bars, cream, and buttery shortbread. Wrap a whole pan in cellophane and tie it with a big silver bow.

1. Preheat oven to 300° with rack in upper third. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk to combine flour and salt in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Using plastic wrap, press dough evenly into prepared pan. With plastic on dough, chill 45 minutes.

3. Pierce dough all over with a wooden skewer. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown and center is firm, about 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat finely chopped toffee bars and cream in a saucepan, stirring constantly, over medium-low until smooth. Pour over shortbread in pan; sprinkle with coarsely chopped toffee. Let cool slightly. Cut into squares. Let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Serving Size

Makes 16

Recipe: Glitter ball cookies

Ingredients
  • Glitter ball cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners
  • 1/4 teaspoones salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Sanding sugar, in assorted colors
  • Creamy Ginger Filling (see below)
  • Creamy ginger filling
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Preparation

We used sanding sugar in shades of silver and blue — the perfect palette for a Hanukkah celebration or New Year’s party.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour, and mix just until combined. Shape into 3/4-inch balls (chill dough if too sticky). Place sanding sugar in shallow bowls. Roll each ball in sanding sugar, and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

2. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. let cookies cool completely on a wire rack. Spread 2 cookies with just enough filling to allow them to stick together.

Creamy ginger filling
Beat all ingredients by hand or with an electric mixer on medium high speed until smooth.

Tips

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Filling can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Serving Size

Makes about 2 dozen

Recipe: Double-chocolate cookies with holiday stencils

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (half coarsely chopped, half cut into 1/4-inch chunks)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for decorating
Preparation

Print stencil templates at marthastewart.com/cookies-extras, then enlarge them as desired (we enlarged by 155 percent), and cut out. Trace shapes onto card stock, and cut out with a craft knife. You can also use store-bought stencils.

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk to combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt coarsely chopped chocolate with butter. Transfer chocolate mixture to a separate bowl; add granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium until combined. On low speed, gradually stir in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

2) Place balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons each, or use a 1 1/2-inch ice-cream scoop) on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, 15 minutes. Transfer cookies (on parchment) to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes. (Undecorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

3) Lay stencil on cookie. Using a fine sieve, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top. Lift stencil carefully. Decorated cookies are best served immediately.

Serving Size

Makes about 3 dozen

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