Easy Cookies for Christmas Gifts

One of the most thoughtful and least-expensive Christmas gifts one can give is a tray of homemade cookies.  Whether you’re baking for a few family members or a large group of friends or co-workers, a couple of hours spent in the kitchen is better than a couple of hours fighting traffic and irate shoppers in the local shopping mall or department store.  The best cookies for gift-giving purposes are those that make multiple dozens, take simple ingredients, and are easy to give on a plate or in a box.

Mexican Wedding Cakes, also known as Russian Tea Cakes and Snowballs among other names, are an easy-to-make cookie that has five ingredients and makes approximately four dozen cookies.

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioner’s (10x) sugar plus extra for rolling

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped nuts (often pecans or walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 300-degrees F.  Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla; blend in flour and nuts.  Shape into 3/4″ balls by rolling in hands, and place on ungreased or silicone baking sheets (can be placed close together – because they don’t spread).  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until creamy in color.  Cool on rack until warm to the touch, then roll in confectioner’s sugar; if desired, roll in sugar a second time after completely cooled.

These Chocolate-Peanut Butter Chip Bars make a flavorful addition to any cookie tray or box.  Another five-ingredient recipe, these bar cookies can be cut to any desired size, usually making two to three dozen bars.

1/2 cup butter or margarine (one stick)

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

12 oz. chocolate chips (one package)

1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line 9″ x 13″ pan with foil, and melt butter or margarine in pan in oven.  Sprinkle crumbs over butter, then pour milk over crumbs.  Top with both types of chips and press down into crumbs and milk.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely and cut.

Magic Bars, also called Hello Dolly Bars, are another simple cookie that adds a wealth of flavor to your gift.  Another bar cookie, these will also yield two to three dozen cookies, depending on how you cut them.

1/2 cup butter or margarine (one stick)

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup flaked coconut

1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.  Line 9″ x 13″ pan with foil, and melt butter or margarine in pan in oven.  Sprinkle crumbs over butter, then layer chocolate chips, coconut, and walnuts.  Pour milk over the top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely and cut.

Source:

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