3 Christmas cookie recipes your family will love

From my family to your’s - enjoy!

Christmas Cookies on Live in the D

My family has always loved to make cookies, I have distinct memories of dragging over a chair from the kitchen so I could be the right height at the counter to help my dad make chocolate chip cookies. It was our job to dump in the ingredients when he told us to (and then we try to sneak bites of the dough when he wasn’t looking). So during the holiday season, when everyone gets the urge to bake, my family goes all out!

Instead of making a bunch of cookies in one day, we make a different cookie every week leading up to Christmas, sometimes more! So I wanted to share with you some non-cut-out Christmas cookies that my family loves to make.

Apricot Cookies

Michelle Oliver's Apricot Cookies (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

First, we have the apricot cookies. These were my Grandma Oliver’s favorite cookies. It makes sense considering she loves butter, and these cookies have 3 sticks of butter in them! It’s two shortbread-like cookies with apricot jam in the middle and dusted with powdered sugar. Every time I have them, they remind me of her, and I think these are my favorite as well.


4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1.5 tsp. baking powder

3 sticks butter (salted)

.5 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs (beaten)

about 12 oz. Apricot Jam/Apricot Pie filling


Preheat oven to 375

Blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and butter together using a fork. (A mixer will send the ingredients flying everywhere). Once the butter is in smaller pea-sized chunks, add in two already blended eggs and mix some more. Towards the end, start using your hands to form the dough into two equal balls. This batter is very dry and loose, so it doesn’t all need to stick together. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Press half the dough into the pan and flatten it into a nice even layer. Lift it out and set it aside. Press the other half of the dough into the cookie sheet, no wax paper this time. Spread the apricot jam/pie filling over the top. It shouldn’t be too chunky, but you want good coverage. Leave about a centimeter on all sides because the jam will spread. My mom uses a 50/50 mixture of jam and filling, I have used just jam before and it works just as well. Now here’s the tricky part, flip the other half of the dough in the wax paper on top of the apricot jam, and prick it with a fork. Bake in the oven at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut, and serve!

Toffee Squares

Michelle Oliver's Toffee Squares (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

I will say, these are probably our most popular Christmas cookies. If we ever run out of cookies, and with a family of 6 we did that on occasion, we would just quickly make another batch of these chocolate-covered delights because they are very easy and quick to make. We adapted this recipe from an old Betty Crocker recipe.


1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter (softened)

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

.25 tsp salt

4 oz. chocolate (a whole chocolate orange works best)


Preheat oven to 350F

Begin by mixing together the brown sugar, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla. Then stir in the flour and salt, and press the dough into a cookie sheet. Then bake them in the oven at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes. The time varies greatly because my family disagrees on how crispy these cookies should be. My dad likes them more on the crispier side so he bakes them closer to 30 minutes. My mom prefers them chewier and bakes them between 20 and 25 minutes. I generally aim for 25 which makes the edges crispy and the inside soft, a happy medium between the two. When they are done to your liking, take them out and immediately sprinkle on the chocolate so it melts. The original recipe calls for chocolate chips, but to make it more Christmasy, my family and I like using a chocolate orange, when we have them. Spread the chocolate over the crust, and let cool. Then cut them into squares and serve.

Russian Tea Cakes

Michelle Oliver's Russian Tea Cake Christmas Cookies (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

These are taken from the same Betty Crocker cookbook, but again, we altered a few things. While not as big a fan of them as a kid, I really love them as an adult. They are very butters, not too sweet, and I love the crunch of the nuts.


1 cup butter (softened)

.75 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2.25 cups flour

.25 tsp salt

.75 cup finely chopped nuts

More powdered sugar for finishing


Preheat oven to 400. Mix together butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Then, mix in the flour, salt, and nuts until the dough all holds together. Break the dough into small chunks and shape it into small balls, a little smaller than a golf ball. Place them on a cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart, and cook for 10-12 minutes. Put powdered sugar in a paper bag, add the cooked cookies a few at a time into it, while still warm, and shake them around until coated. This will make about 4 dozen cookies.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a Multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.