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The holidays have OFFICIALLY arrived. I could not be more excited because Christmas is my favorite time of year-the lights, the decorations, the gift-giving…and of course: THE FOOD! This year I will be sharing new recipes I’ve created along with some very, very old family recipes. This week, I decided I wanted to create my own Christmas cookies that were representative of an old-fashioned Christmas.
When I think of an old-fashioned Christmas the first thing that comes to my mind is a scene from the 1994 film Little Women starring Winona Ryder. The household was preparing to celebrate Christmas, and oranges had been set on the table as a “treat” for the day. In the true spirit of Christmas, the family packed up their many wonderful goodies and took them to a sick and destitute family that was in far greater need of the nourishment than the March sisters. [Little Women is one of my favorite books and movies EVER, if you can’t tell.]
So, naturally, I wanted to create an old-fashioned Christmas cookie recipe as a nod to this beautiful story written by Louisa May Alcott.
1 cup (2 sticks) of softened unsalted butter
A heaping ¼ tsp of orange zest
¼ tsp of freshly squeezed juice of an orange
2 large eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1 ½ cups of white granulated sugar (set ½ cup of sugar aside for later not to be mixed into dough)
1 cup of brown sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking soda
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a hand or standing mixer, combine: softened butter; orange zest; juice of orange; eggs; vanilla; white sugar; and brown sugar. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda. Next, slowly mix dry ingredients to the dough using your mixer until all ingredients are evenly combined.
Roll dough ½ inch balls using your hands, cover balls completely in granulated sugar and place an inch apart on a cookie sheet that is greased, non-stick or has a layer of parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to sit on the pan for 5 minutes, once removed from the oven. Place cookies on plate or wire rack to cool.
(For garnish like in the photo: completely cover frozen cherries in white granulated sugar. Place on plate with cookies and sprinkle some of the left over sugar on the plate for the perfect winter look!)
These cookies were GONE before the day was over. The recipe made a TON of dough so I froze the rest to use at a later date. If you enjoyed this recipe, follow Deerwood + Jones on social media or sign-up for the D+J Newsletter below. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to All!
Savor the Moment-
Natalie from Deerwood + Jones