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Happy Holidays! Cookie Recipes from Our Homes to Yours

December 4, 2014

In the spirit of the season, we would like to share some of our team’s favorite holiday cookie recipes. We hope you will enjoy these delicious treats as much as we do. Happy holidays from Nelnet!

 

hermitDawn Knight: Hermit Bars

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups brown sugar – packed
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) – softened
  • ⅔ cup dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups raisins

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour one standard jelly roll pan (cookie sheet) and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cloves.
  4. With mixer on medium, beat together brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in molasses then egg and mix until combined.
  5. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  6. Use a spoon to stir in raisins.
  7. Scrape edges of bowl with a plastic spatula.
  8. Flour hands then carefully press dough into even layer on the floured cookie sheet.
  9. Bake 17-19 minutes depending on oven. Remove when toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely before slicing into bars.

Notes:

These cookies age well and can handle a little air exposure. They are very moist and last several. Slicing Tip: A pizza slicer is a great way to ensure even slicing.

Dawn Knight, National Manager, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Dawn Knight, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

 

Photo credit: food.com

Photo credit: food.com

Kristin Tobias: Green Cornflake Wreaths

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons green coloring
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 5 cups corn flakes
  • 32 large marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons Red Hot candies

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows, and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the food coloring, vanilla, and cornflakes.
  2. Quickly drop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto waxed paper, and form into a wreath shape with lightly greased fingers.
  3. Immediately decorate with red hot candies. Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from waxed paper, and storing in an airtight container.
Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

 

Photo and recipe credit: foodnetwork.com

Photo and recipe credit: foodnetwork.com

Lou Murray: Mini Date-Nut Snowballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 1/2 ounces pitted dried dates (about 14)
  • 15 small raw almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Spread the coconut on a plate. Put the dates, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Form rounded 1/2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls with your fingers, then roll in the coconut, pressing to coat.

 

Lou Murray, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Lou Murray, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

 

Photo credit: bettycrocker.com

Photo credit: bettycrocker.com

Megan Freese: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Star Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • 3 dozen milk chocolate stars

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Stir together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, shortening and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate star firmly in each cookie; cool on wire rack.
Megan Freese, Communications Intern

Megan Freese, Communications Intern

 

Photo and recipe credit: revengebakery.com

Photo and recipe credit: revengebakery.com

Ron Hancock: Twinkie Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cream Filling:

  • 2 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 jar Marshmallow Fluff
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all of the cookie ingredients on high with an electric mixer.
  3. Once it’s mixed well, put the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  4. Grease cupcake tins with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each mold about 3/4 of the way full with dough.
  5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. While the cookies are baking, mix together the Marshmallow Fluff, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla on medium speed with an electric mixer
  7. After it’s light and fluffy, slowly add in the hot water and mix on high for another 30 seconds.
  8. After your cookies have cooled, put your cream filling into an icing gun or a small plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Using a toothpick, or a small pointy object, pole a hole in the bottom of the cookie and move it around to create space for the cream.
  9. Pipe the filling into the hole.
  10. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and serve.
Ron Hancock, National Manager, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Ron Hancock, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

 

Photo and recipe credit: allrecipes.com

Photo and recipe credit: allrecipes.com

Anne Del Plato: Spicy Gingerbread Men

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.
Anne Del Plato, Eastern Reginal Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Anne Del Plato, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

 

Photo and recipe credit: tasteofhome.com

Photo and recipe credit: tasteofhome.com

Jim Harris: Holiday Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Green food coloring
  • Red-hot candies

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Shape into three 10-in. rolls; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.
  2. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, milk and food coloring until smooth; transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag; drizzle over cookies in the shape of a Christmas tree. Place one red-hot at the top of each tree.
Jim Harris, Managing Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Jim Harris, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Don B permalink
    December 5, 2014 1:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing these great treats.
    Anne, best gingerbread cookies I have ever had. Just the right amount of spice.
    Ron, very tasty, moist and rich. Has the good flavor of a Texas win over Oklahoma.
    Lou, your nut snowballs were a little dry but had lots of flavor and were rich in taste.
    Megan, love the PB and chocolate combo. My friends ate all of them
    Kristin, my great uncles second wife used to make these. Always a family favorite.
    Jim, your cookies were delicious. But I heard you simply copied this recipe and never really made them.
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS
    Don B.

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