Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gift Cookies

Every year I make packages of cookies to gift to friends.
Most years, I make a variety of cookies and include 4 of each kind
in the gift baskets.

This year, I decided to do one kind
And gift a dozen of them.

Because so many make similar cookies
(Mexican wedding cakes, Spritz)
I decided to go a different route.

I do love cutout cookies
(not cutting them out but love the end result)
And so I found a Martha Stewart recipe for
Dark Chocolate Cutout Cookies

They came together easily
And I found an extra dark cocoa at the market
which made them even more chocolatey.  

The cookies on the cooling rack
All "nekid"!

And all decorated with Royal icing
And for the trees a shower of sanding sugar.

Of course, I had to keep a plate for us!
Husband Jim would never forgive me!

I put a dozen in a big cello bag tied with a red ribbon

All packaged and ready to be delivered
Which was my chore today!

It's always fun to see the smile a package of cookies brings to a face!


    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
    • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Royal Icing
    • Fine sanding sugar


  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a disk, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured parchment. Brush off excess flour, transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, rerolling scraps as needed. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until crisp, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating once and firmly rapping baking sheet halfway through baking to flatten any bubbles in cookies. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks.
  3. Place icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (Ateco #0, 1, or 2). Pipe outlines and details on cookies. Immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar, and tap off excess. Let set completely, uncovered, at room temperature, at least 4 hours or (ideally) overnight.

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


Rhondi said...

What a lovely treat for your neighbors. I'm sure they look forward to your cookies very year! Wish you were my neighbor. We would get together for tea. I'd make the tea and you could bring the cookies!

Canadian Chickadee said...

Your cookie packages look wonderful. So Christmasy and festive. May I move onto your street? :)

Merry Christmas! xoxo

Michelle said...

Love the dark cut outs…so pretty and unexpected from the lighter ones! Thanks for your kind comments on my "orange slice" tree! Getting ready to bake with the kids, but I will be in touch soon…I found some similar baskets, although on backorder, but I need to find where I put the source =) Merry Christmas, Martha!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Your cookies look wonderful, Martha. Home baked goodies really do bring a smile. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!


Sallysmom said...

Beautiful cookies! I hope you don't think I have lost my mind, but I wonder if you could tell me what happened to the HGTV message boards? I know I used to see you post on there occasionally but when I looked today they were gone.