Hope everyone is all geared up for Christmas! If your holiday spirit hasn’t reached a fever pitch yet, I might have something to get your motor running. Here are the ten vintage Christmas cookie recipes we tried this year! (If you want to be ultra-festive, you could even sing the list to the 12 Days of Christmas while you read the list. Although there are only 10 kinds of cookies, so you are going to run out of stuff at the end. But you can always wing the last two with artistic humming and maybe some Christmas air guitar.)

1. Annie’s Cookies

Annies cookies

The Verdict: These cookies are GREAT!

From Tom’s Tasting Notes:

Fantastic aroma and nice and soft. Tastes like carrot cake without the carrots. Good with strong flavors and the fruit and nuts are a great combination.

2. Chocolate-Filled Snowballs

Chocolate Filled Snowballs

The Verdict: Very yummy

From The Tasting Notes:

The nut cookie base is good, even on its own. It has a good texture and a good vanilla flavor, but when you add in the chocolate kiss it becomes delightfully decadent.

3.  Frosted Lemon Sugar Cookies

Frosted Lemon

The Verdict: Very Good

From The Tasting Notes:

Cookie itself has faint but noticeable lemon flavor. Good, soft texture for a sugar cookie. The frosting was strong, but otherwise yummy. If you follow the recipe (unlike me) I am sure it would be perfect!

4. Chocolate Cherry Chews with Cherry-Chip Frosting

Chocolate Cherry Chews

The Verdict: Awesome!

From The Tasting Notes:

Almost like fudge in flavor and consistency. Very rich and delicious! Easy to make and they stay moist. The Cherry Chip Frosting is a good match.

5. English Toffee Cookies

English Toffee

The Verdict: Very good and addicting.

From the Tasting Notes:

Chewy and buttery. They hold up really well and make a good addition to a cookie plate because of their texture. These actually age very well, and were BETTER a couple of days after they were made rather than right away. Tom made a note early in testing that they were a little bland, but then two days later crossed that out and wrote: “Nevermind. These are addicting. You just can’t stop eating them.”

6. Almond Bars

Almond Bars

The Verdict: Good, but soft.

From The Testing Notes:

Moist bars with a good almond flavor. Tom didn’t especially enjoy the texture, but I have had a few neighbors who received the cookies tell me that the almond bars were their favorite, so it must be just a taste preference thing. I personally loved them, but I love thick, sweet almond fillings. These were excellent with coffee and stored very well without losing much of their moistness.

7. Snowflake Spritz

Snowflake Spritz

The Verdict: Light and sweet.

From The Tasting Notes:

Good orange and cinnamon flavor. Tasted sweet and light. We both loved it!

8. Christmas Snowballs

Christmas Snowballs

The Verdict: Okay. Cookie was plain and crumbly.

From The Tasting Notes:

A little floury and crumbly, almost a chalky taste. Not very sweet, but cherry inside was a nice touch. Tastes a bit like shortbread on the outside. Cookie could probably be improved significantly by upping the flavoring of the cookie itself or by subbing chocolate for the cherry inside.

9. Gumdrop Jumbos: The Secret Ingredient is Ketchup!

Gumdrop Jumbos

The Verdict: Fun!

From the Tasting Notes:

These cookies ended up not being disgusting, but actually kind of fun. They didn’t taste bad, sort of bland really, but they were soft and thick. The gumdrops were a fun addition. If I was going to make these again I would add some cinnamon. If the thought of putting ketchup in your cookie totally freaks you out, you could omit the ketchup completely and just add more cinnamon.

10. Fancy Layer Cookies

Layer Bars

The Verdict: Not Good

From the Tasting Notes:

Baking a cake batter for extra time and drying it out does NOT make it into a cookie. The bake time on these was way too long. I would say start checking these after 20 mins, and go from there. Also, these could really use some butter, so I would say sub at least half of the shortening for butter. And make sure you space out your graham crackers. Maybe then you will get a good piece of cake out of this.


If you want to hear me talking about vintage cookies and holiday baking in general, I was recently on the Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio! You can listen to an audio file of it here on the Wisconsin Public Radio Archive.


Joy Cardin From Wisconsin Public Radio!

Double Bonus:

Also, for anyone out there who reads Cake Central Magazine (which is an e-zine), The Mid-Century Menu was featured in this month’s “Web Browsing” section:

Capture Cover


Unfortunately, they don’t have the article published online anywhere (you have to buy the e-zine to read it), but it was a fun article. One of my fav highlights was “When we’ve got a cake in the oven and need a little entertainment, we like to pop open our laptops and turn to the Mid-Century Menu.”  Neat!

So, I hope everyone has a great Christmas, and I hope you eat a couple (or more) Christmas treats and cookies this holiday season!

Chocolate Filled Snowballs