I’m so excited to have you join us with this month’s Kids in the Kitchen! This month the twins and I are sharing with you not just one, but four of our family’s favorite Christmas cookie recipes.
As far back as I can remember in my childhood, we’ve had a family tradition of making yummy Christmas cookies and breads (one of my absolute FAVORITES is our Pumpkin Bread recipe). At the beginning of December we would carefully plan which cookies and breads we wanted to make that year. Of course, some were guaranteed to be made EVERY year. At the end of our baking frenzy, we’d create various cookie trays to share with family, friends and neighbors. It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions that I’ve continued to this day with my boys.
One of our family’s all-time favorite Christmas cookies are called “Hello Dolly!” I have no clue where the name came from, but that’s what’s at the top of the recipe card in both my mom and grandma’s recipe card boxes. In fact, this was the one cookie that my dad insisted on and looked forward to every holiday season. This recipe is super easy and perfect for budding chefs (as you’ll see in the pictures below!).
The other three recipes I’m sharing with you are straight from my mom and grandma’s recipe boxes: Date Balls, Lebkuchen and Springerle. Date Balls are a delicious mix of chewy and crunchy yumminess. Lebkuchen and Springerle are traditional German cookies passed down from my Grandma’s side of the family (remember my Grandma and her yummy Buttermilk Pancake recipe?). Her father immigrated to the United States from Germany when he was 15 and her mom was part-German. Be sure to download all of these delicious recipes at the end of this post!
Recipe for Hello Dolly! Cookie Bars
Meet the ingredients:
First, crush your graham crackers. Of course, you can skip this step by purchasing pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs. I do have to share though that crushing the graham crackers was one of the twins’ favorite parts of making this recipe. 😉
Next, chop your nuts. Again, this is a step that can be easily omitted by purchasing already chopped nuts. However you once again run the risk of intruding on some kitchen fun — this was also a favorite of the twins! We were at my mom’s house, so they started by using her basic chopper. After awhile I remembered that she has a Pampered Chef chopper like ours at home (similar to this one) and pulled that out, much to the twins’ delight.
Place your 9 X 13 baking dish on the stove and turn burner on low. Add your stick of butter and melt completely. Yes, it’s a full stick of butter, but hey, it’s Christmas and Christmas cookie calories don’t count, right? 😉
Add your graham cracker crumbs. Using a fork, mix thoroughly with the melted butter and then press to bottom of baking dish, to create a crust.
Now add your chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. The recipe calls for 7 ounce bags of each, but I often put in more. Are you ready for another confession? I am one of those weird people who just does not like chocolate (gasp!). So, I typically make one half with all butterscotch chips (YUMMY!), or with a mix of butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips. Of course, everyone I know thinks I’m completely crazy for not liking chocolate. I just say that leaves more for them, right? 😉
Next, add your coconut and then your nuts. I’ve probably shared too much already, but I have to admit that I also don’t like nuts, so I always leave my half “nut free”!
Lastly, it’s time to drizzle your sweetened condensed milk over the top. Since we were at my mom’s and she doesn’t like electric can openers, Chef Joshie got to try his hand at using a manual can opener, which he loved. It’s funny the little things they get excited over!
Finally, bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Cool completely, cut into bars and enjoy!
FREE Printable Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes
As I mentioned earlier, this month I’m sharing FOUR recipes with you! These are recipes our family enjoys every Christmas season: Hello Dolly! Cookie Bars, Date Balls, Lebkuchen, and Springerle. I’m not sure where the Hello Dolly! and Date Balls recipes came from; I just know that they’ve been in my mom and grandma’s recipe boxes since I was a little girl.
The Lebkuchen and Springerle recipes are traditional German recipes from my grandma’s German heritage. Springerle cookies are a hard cookie, perfect for dipping in a hot drink. Here’s a description of Lebkuchen from the German Food Guide:
Lebkuchen, also called Pfefferkuchen, is German gingerbread. These cookies are either rectangular or round, they have a sweet, lightly nutty taste, and their aroma is spicy, a bit like nutmeg and allspice. They are usually soft with a slight crunch from chopped nuts. The Lebkuchen is a traditional Christmas cookie, which is often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.
Click the link below to download a copy of these four Christmas Cookie recipes for FREE!
I hope you enjoy these Christmas cookie recipes as much as our family does! What are some of your favorite Christmas baking traditions?