Yield: Yields about 4 dozen drop cookies
These tender little cookies are the easiest route to holiday cookie success because they require no rolling, chilling, or cutting. For an elegant look, dip the tops of the unbaked dough balls in coarse sanding sugar or chopped toasted nuts. To gild the lily even further, drizzle or dip them in Basic Glaze or Royal Icing and add dragées or sprinkles. You can easily double this recipe.
New! Use the HolidayCookie Recipe Maker to customize your Christmas cookies with your favorite flavors, icings, and decorative toppings.
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Make Ahead Tips
You can cover and refrigerate the shaped, unbaked cookies overnight, or freeze until firm on the sheets and then transfer to zip-top freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in single layers on cookie sheets for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before baking.
Baked, undecorated cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before decorating.
Decorated cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Coffee Dough: Dissolve 1 Tbs. instant espresso or coffee granules in the vanilla paste or extract before adding with the egg.
Almond Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract and 1/3 cup ( 1-1/2 oz.) finely chopped toasted slivered almonds with the egg.
Chocolate Dough: Reduce the flour to 6-3/4 oz. ( 1-1/2 cups) and add 2 oz. (1/2 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy, to the flour mixture. Increase the sugar to 1-1/4 cups.
Lemon Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 1-1/2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest with the egg.
Mint Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract with the egg.
Orange Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest with the egg.
Spice Dough: Add 1-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, and a pinch of finely ground black pepper to the flour mixture. Use vanilla as directed.
For flavor variations, the vanilla amount may vary
These were easy to make, but the vanilla version tasted bland on its own. I sprinkled chopped roasted hazelnuts on top, but there was no added flavor, since they weren't baked inside the cookie. Decided to frost them with vanilla frosting, and then they were a huge hit. When I make them again, I will try the spiced cookie version.
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