What can I say, having to make 10 dozen Christmas cookies for the family cookie exchange was daunting me in the back of my mind these past to weeks. What to make, what to make? After looking through all the December Bon Appietit magazines that have a special place on the shelves in my basement, I had nothing. Until, I found this recipe online. It seemed very simple and with a lot of leeway for creativity I decided to use this recipe.

1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
food coloring (optional)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
dates, nuts, chocolate chips, or maraschino cherry's for cookie filling

Heat oven to 350. Mix butter, sugar, vanilla and few drops food coloring (optional) thoroughly in a standing mixer. Work in flour and salt until dough holds together. (If dough is dry, mix in 1 to 2 Tbl of light cream or milk.
Mold dough by Tbl around cherry (or whatever filling you choose). Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set but not brown.
Cool; dip tops of cookies into icing. If desired, decorate with sprinkles, coconut, nuts, etc.

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 1/2 tablespoon light cream or 1 1/2 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix ingredients until smooth. Add food coloring if desired. For chocolate icing, increase light cream to 3 Tbl or milk to 3 Tbl and stir in 1 ounce melted unsweetened chocolate.

These cookies were very good and simple enough that I could whip out 10 dozen in a little under three hours, and that includes decorating. For the cookies, I chose chocolate centers, and with the decorating, I did green and pink icing with wither pink and green coconut or ground chocolate and hazelnut. I think they ended up being very cute and I think they will be one of the favorites.

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