Christmas is in a week. Wait, no, less than a week! I made 9 different kinds of Christmas cookies this year and haven’t shared a single recipe yet , so I think its about time.
I’m going to start this Christmas cookie post by talking about weddings. Bear with me here.
There is a tradition at western Pennsylvania weddings that in addition to a cake, we also serve hundreds (sometimes thousands) of bite sized cookies. The cookie table is totally over the top and the point is for there to be too many for guests to eat on the spot, so everyone can put together a little doggie bag of treats to take home as a favor. You can hire a bakery or the venue to put together the cookie table, but in our case my mom’s longtime friend (a nurse by trade) loves being in charge of the cookie table (for fun!). At my brother’s wedding two summers ago she made 500 cookies (for 75 guests) and afterwards I asked her for every.single.recipe.
Cookie table recipes are a little more old school than what you’ll find floating around the internet these days… think 1991 cooking magazine. I think that’s what makes me love them so much. The recipes are simultaneous fresh and nostalgic. Different, yet familiar.
By far, my favorite cookie table recipe is cream wafers. I love how they are customizable for any occasion thanks to the colored frosting inside. I brought them on a tray to a Christmas party last weekend and the host sidled up beside me and begged to know… what are those little white cookies with the red and green filling??? If you look at the recipe below, you’ll notice there is no sugar in the actual cookie dough. They are like fluffy little pie crusts, sweetened by the creaming frosting that sandwiches them together. Pure, simple, perfection.
Chilling the dough is absolutely mandatory. Chilling time is minimum of an hour, but I usually make it a day ahead of time and chill it over-night. When you first start rolling out the cookies, the dough will be hard and reminiscent of pie dough. As you continue to work with it, the dough will soften becoming more similar to that of cookie dough. Just work quickly to keep it from becoming too sticky.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whipping cream (or heavy cream)
- 2 cups flour
- sugar for sprinkling
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- food coloring
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, cream, and flour until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
- Once chilled, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 1 inch circles (I used a shot glass as my cookie cutter). Continue re-rolling and cutting the dough until all of it is used.
- Lay the cookies on waxed paper and sprinkle with sugar. Poke each cookie twice with a fork.
- Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes, or until puffy and set. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire wrack to finish cooling.
- While the cookies are cooling, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth in a stand mixer to make the filling. Add any desired food coloring.
- Use a knife or a piping bag to spread the frosting on the bottom side of half of the cookies. Top with the other cookies.
Merry Christmas, Friends!