Holiday cookie favorites

Some of our favorite reader-submitted cookie recipes – just in time for the holidays

December 15, 2012
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Observer-Reporter file photo
Carol VanSickle of Washington offers up a plate of Orange Drop Cookies in 2010. Order a Print
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Observer-Reporter photos
Peggy Tinkey of Cecil Township won Canonsburg’s first Christmas cookie bakeoff in 2005 with her Hungarian Nut Horns. Order a Print
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Peggy Tinkey’s Hungarian filled cookies Order a Print
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Aunt Chris’ Apricot Bars made by Mary Jane Jurofcik of Finleyville grabbed readers’ attention in 2007.
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From left, sisters Sharon Ranegar, Donna Bedillion and Gail Briggs show off their holiday specialties, including Briggs’ Lady Locks, in 2009. Order a Print

Around the holidays, the cookie reigns supreme, and everyone has a favorite.

So, we decided to reach back into the Observer-Reporter’s archives to share some of the most popular cookie recipes published during the past decade.

Orange Drop Cookies

• Ingredients

For cookies

1 cup margarine

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup orange juice

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

For orange Icing

1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Juice of 1 orange

Grated orange peel

Combine ingredients for cookie dough; drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. Ice when cooled. For icing, add enough sugar to juice and rind to achieve a consistency sufficient for icing.

Carol Van Sickle,

Washington, 2010

Hungarian Nut Horns

• Ingredients

For dough

1/2 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cake Fleischmann’s yeast

2 cups Crisco

2 teaspoons salt

6 cups all-purpose flour

4 egg yolks

1 can evaporated milk or 1 pint cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

For filling

2 pounds ground nuts

1 stick margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups milk

To make the dough: Dissolve sugar in warm milk and crumble in yeast. Stir in 1 cup flour to make a soft sponge and let rise for 1 hour.

While sponge is rising, cut salt and shortening into flour. Beat egg yolks and add canned milk and vanilla. Stir this mixture into sponge, and combine shortening and flour mixture with sponge and egg yolk mixture.

Knead dough until it no longer sticks to hands, wrap in wet cloth and store in refrigerator overnight. Next morning, divide dough into pieces that will roll into a 12-inch circle. Roll out very thin onto sugar-coated surface. With knife, cut dough into pie-shaped pieces about 3 inches wide and fill with desired filling. Roll up into crescent shapes. May be dusted with colorful decorative sugar prior to baking. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 375 degrees about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the filling: Combine milk, sugar and margarine in pan. Let it come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in nuts.

Little Cherry Cheesecakes

• Ingredients

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 box vanilla wafers

Cherry pie filling

Miniature paper baking cups

Line miniature muffin tin with mini paper baking cups. Put one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cup. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla with mixer until smooth. Fill each cup with cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool completely and top with pie filling. Refrigerate.

Peggy Tinkey,

Cecil Township, 2005

Aunt Chris’ Apricot Bars

• Ingredients

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 (18-ounce) jar apricot preserves

Cream the first three ingredients. Measure out the next five ingredients in a bowl. Put the mixer on the slowest speed and slowly add the ingredients until they are all combined.

Line a 9-inch-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, being sure to allow the foil to extend over the ends of the pan and anchor foil to the pan. Grease the bottom of the pan and a quarter-inch up the sides of the pan.

Press two-thirds of the dough into the baking pan. Spread apricot preserves over the bottom layer, taking care not to spread too closely to the edge to prevent sticking.

Tear off little pieces of remaining dough and sprinkle over the top of the preserve layer. Be sure to sprinkle some near the edge of the pan. As it bakes, the apricot filling will poke through.

Bake 30 to 32 minutes in 350-degree oven. The top should be lightly golden brown. When cool, use foil to lift bars from the pan. Turn over, pull off foil and cut into bars.

Mary Ann Jurofcik,

Finleyville, 2007

Lady Locks

• Ingredients

For dough

2 egg yolks, mixed with enough water to make 1 1/4 cups

2 tablespoons sugar

1 stick butter, plus 3 sticks reserved

4 cups flour

For filling

2 sticks butter

2 cups Crisco

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk, chilled

2 tablespoons vanilla

To make dough: Mix together dough ingredients and chill one hour. Roll out as large as dough will roll and rub 1 stick softened butter all over dough. Reroll into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill one hour. Repeat twice more until all of the butter (1 pound) has been used. Chill dough up to three days.

Cut into manageable portions and roll out onto flat surface until very thin. Cut into strips about 3 inches long and wrap around a dowel covered with aluminum foil. (We use rods long enough to hold two cookies.) Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from rods while still hot and let cool.

Fill a pastry bag with icing, and pipe into cookie shells. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Can be frozen.

Gail Briggs,

Houston, 2009


• Ingredients


4 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

Set aside.

Mix together:

3/4 cup very warm water

1/2 cup cocoa

Mix well; set aside.

Beat together:

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup shortening (can use oleo or Crisco)

Beat until mixture is white and fluffy.

Add to sugar mixture:

2 eggs, one at a time, beating well between each egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add cocoa mixture to sugar and egg mixture. Beat slowly at first to prevent splashing.

Add dry ingredients, alternating with 1 cup buttermilk (can substitute regular milk, but add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to make buttermilk).

Beat dough well after each addition of flour and milk mixture.

Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, turn cookie sheet a half-turn, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cookie is done when pressed lightly on top and cookie feels firm. Let set on cookie sheet for a minute, then transfer to cooling racks. Once cookies are cooled, put cream filling between two cookies to make a sandwich.

For filling

1 cup flour

2 cups milk

Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously with wire whisk. As mixture starts to thicken, beat to prevent lumps. Cool completely.

In mixing bowl, combine:

3 cups powdered sugar

2 1/2 cups butter or Crisco

2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat mixture until creamy. Add paste mixture and continue beating until icing is light and fluffy.

Note: I make 1 1/2 batches of icing for one batch of cookies. Also, filling cookie is much easier when icing is made ahead of time and refrigerated.

Sharon Ranegar,

Washington, 2009

Pinwheel Cookies

• Ingredients

1 cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate

Cream together Crisco, sugar and egg yolks. Add flour a little at a time with milk. Add salt and vanilla. Divide dough in half. Put half back in mixer and add melted chocolate. Mix well. Roll out each half into a rectangle. Place chocolate dough on top of white dough. Roll up lengthwise. Place in refrigerator (overnight is best). Cut into quarter-inch slices and bake in 350-degree oven for 10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.

Donna Bedillion,

Rea, 2009



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