Mamatoga's All-Time Favorite Holiday Cookies

There are a few things that absolutely make it feel like Christmastime to me - the smell of pine, snow and cookies!  Jenny and I wanted to share our all-time favorite Christmas cookie recipes.  You know, the ones you only make around the holidays so they are that much more special.  Smelling them bake and tasting the first one brings back memories: from Christmases past.  Not a year can go by without these signature cookies in our homes.  We are also including Bill and Sean's favorites so all of you Mamatoga readers can have four new recipes to try and possibly include in your holiday treat traditions. Julie's Favorite: Saltine Toffee Cookies


  • 4 ounces saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
  3. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread t cover crackers completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Bill's Favorite: Italian Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • sprinkles (sugar, chocolate or rainbow)


  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the creamed mixture until blended. Divide dough into walnut sized portions. Roll each piece into a rope and then shape into a loop. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and golden at the edges.
  4. Once the cookies are cooled, prepare the glaze, add milk for dipping consistency.  Dip the cookie in the glaze and then immediately into the sprinkles.


Sean's Favorite: Butterball Cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts , chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla.
  2. Blend in flour and nuts.
  3. Scoop and roll into balls.
  4. Bake 325 for 22 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven roll into powdered sugar.


Jenny's Favorite: Lebkuchen: German Holiday Cookies


For the Cookies: 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading 1¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon ground allspice 1 egg ¾ cup light brown sugar ½ cup honey ½ cup molasses

For the Glaze: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar 2 Tablespoons water 1 Tablespoon lemon juice


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Set aside.

3. Beat the egg and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.

4. Beat in the honey and molasses until thoroughly combined.

5. On low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

6. Turn the dough out from the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour as kneaded, until a stiff dough is formed.

7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

8. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9×12-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 18 3×2-inch rectangles. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, water and lemon juice and brush or spread on top of the cookies.

10. Allow the glaze to firm, and then store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.