Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 16, 2000 - Issue 25


Holiday Cookies

Have a Cookie Making Event


Peppermint Shortbread

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 9 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced peppermint leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Looking for a new, festive holiday snack? Here’s a creative combination of holiday tastes – solid, buttery shortcake and airy, cool peppermint. Mix up this recipe and munch a bunch!

Servings: About 35 cookies
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and flavorings. Add the flour in batches, beating well after each addition, then add the peppermint leaves and salt and beat the mixture until it forms a soft dough. Divide the dough into 3 portions and roll each into a 1 1/2-inch cylinder, using plastic wrap to shape the dough. Chill for 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds and transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to racks to cool. Store in airtight containers.

Giant Christmas Card Cookies

Cookies so big you can fit only one or two on a cookie sheet. After you bake them, add a special icing message or decoration. Then give them away just like Christmas cards.
  • 1-1/2 cups butter or margarine (3 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Colored sugar or crushed sugar cubes (optional)
  • Decorator icing
  • Red cinnamon candies
In a large mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy.

Add egg. Beat well.

Stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well. Cover and chill in refrigerator about 2 hours or until firm enough to roll out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For each cookie roll 3/4 cup of the chilled dough about 1/4 inch thick directly onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (Keep remaining dough in the refrigerator.) Using floured cardboard patterns and a table knife, cut out desired shapes. Remove excess dough. Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar or crushed sugar cubes, if desired. If you want to tie a ribbon in your cookie card, make a small hole in the top of the cookie.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are browner than centers. Let cool on cookie sheets for 8 minutes. With a pancake turner lift cookies onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Decorate cookies with decorator icing and red cinnamon candies. If desired, run a ribbon through the hole and tie a bow. Store cookies in airtight container up to 2 days. Makes 10 large cookies.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread People

  • 1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup mild-flavored molasses
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • Raisins, snipped dried apricots, and sunflower nuts

These gingerbread cookies are especially for kids. The not-too-sticky dough is easy to roll out and the not-too-spicy cookies are crisp and wholesome.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with electric mixer on medium speed until softened (about 30 seconds). Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy.

Add the egg, molasses, finely shredded orange peel, and orange juice. Beat the mixture well.

In another bowl stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Stir into the butter mixture. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll out.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Divide dough in half. Chill 1 half. On a lightly floured surface roll out other half so it's 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookies cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool 1 minute. With pancake turner lift onto cooling rack.

For icing, mix softened cream cheese and honey until of piping consistency. Pipe icing onto cooled cookies. Decorate with raisins, apricots, and sunflower nuts. Store in refrigerator. Makes 24 cookies.

Rudolph's Antlers

Shape chocolate-covered chow mein noodles to look like reindeer antlers. Thre's no mistaking the red maraschino cherries for Rudolph's nose.

  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 of a 6-ounce package (1/2 cup) butterscotch pieces
  • 1 3-ounce can (2 cups) chow mein noodles
  • 12 maraschino cherries, halved
In a medium saucepan melt chocolate and butterscotch pieces over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Stir in chow mein noodles.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet, making V-shape cookies about 2 inches long.

Place a cherry half in the center of each. Chill in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours or until firm. Arrange in an airtight container, placing waxed paper between layers. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Makes 24 cookies.

Holiday Magic Wands

  • 1 cup white baking pieces or chopped candy coating
  • 1 tablespoon butter-flavor shortening
  • Pretzel logs
  • Decorative sugar (optional)
  • Colored candy coating disks (optional)

There's no mixing or baking required for these easy treats, just loads of artistic enthusiasm. Have lots of waxed paper on hand to use while decorating.
In a medium saucepan combine white baking pieces or candy coating and shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted.

Dip pretzel logs into melted candy coating. Place on waxed paper. Allow coating to set up. If desired, place 1/2 cup colored candy coating disks in a microwave-safe measure or custard cup. Microwave, uncovered, on high about 1 minute or until soft enough to stir smooth. Cool slightly. Place in a heavy, self-sealing plastic bag. Cut off a tiny corner of bag. Pipe melted colored coating onto wands. Or, dip one end of wand into a contrasting color candy coating and sprinkle with colored sugar. Chill about 1 hour or until set. Makes about 12.

Make-ahead tip: Store pretzels in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Sleds in the Snow

Powdered sugar "snow" covers the bottoms and tops of these chewy bars.

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the butter or margarine in a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Place the pan in the oven to melt the butter. When the butter is melted, remove the pan.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together brown sugar, chopped nuts, flour, baking soda, and salt.

With a wooden spoon stir eggs and vanilla into nut mixture. Carefully pour the batter over the melted butter in the baking pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Place waxed paper under a cooling rack. Immediately turn pan upside down so bars come out onto the rack. Cool. Sprinkle again with powdered sugar. Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars.



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Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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