Gather the family and create a lasting December tradition by baking holiday treats together.

Traditional holiday baked goods make sweet gifts or celebration party foods. Choose classic favorites or traditional European cakes. Sweeten up your holiday by adding your personal family twist to these five great baking recipes this Christmas — they’re sure to turn into instant family classics to be passed down for generations.

Traditional Sugar Cookies

7 ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
2 cups softened butter or margarine
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract


– Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
– In a separate bowl, cream together butter, or margarine, and sugar until fluffy.
– Beat in eggs, adding them one at a time.
– Stir in vanilla.
– Gradually blend in sifted ingredients.
– Cover dough with plastic wrap, and chill for at least two hours.
– Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
– Grease cookie sheets.
– Separate chilled dough into several small balls.
– Roll out one dough ball at a time to approximately a one-quarter inch thick on floured surface.
– Use Christmas themed cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
– Bake each batch for six to eight minutes.
– Thoroughly cool on racks before decorating as desired to make 8 dozen cookies.

Candy Cane Twist Cookies

2 cups butter
2 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
5 cups flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies


– Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
– In a bowl, mix together butter, powdered sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract.
– Mix until smooth.
– Add flour and salt, and mix together until smooth.
– Roll out strips that are approximately four inches long each, and place on greased baking sheet.
– Shape the tops of each strip to curve down slightly, resembling a cane.
– Bake for eight to ten minutes.
– In a separate bowl, crush peppermint candy.
– Immediately sprinkle the candy onto the cookies while they’re still warm.
– Allow to cool on rack, and serve 8 dozen candy cane cookies to guests.

Gingerbread Men

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
Icing and candy decorations


– In a bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
– Beat while adding molasses, eggs and vanilla.
– In a separate bowl, sift together the dried ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves, and then stir into the molasses mixture.
– Mix well, using your hands, and then separate the dough into six balls.
– Wrap each ball in plastic wrap.
– Refrigerate for at least one hour.
– Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
– Remove dough balls from refrigerator and roll out each one to approximately a one-quarter inch thickness.
– Use cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread men.
– Bake for eight to ten minutes.
– Take out of oven and allow to thoroughly cool before decorating with icing and candy decorations of your choice.

Buche de Noel (Yule Log)

2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar
½ and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
½ and ¼ cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt


– Use parchment paper to line a jellyroll pan.
– In a bowl, whipping cream, ½ cup of powdered sugar, ½ cup cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla until it is thick and appears stiff.
– Refrigerate
– Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
– In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with ½ cup sugar until thick.
– Blend in 1/3 cup of cocoa, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla and salt.
– In a glass bowl, use clean beaters to whip egg whites into soft peaks.
– Slowly add ¼ cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks.
– Immediately fold yolk mixture into the egg whites.
– Pour batter into the jellyroll pan.
– Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
– Remove cake from oven and flip cake out of pan onto a clean dish towel that has been dusted with powdered sugar.
– Pour refrigerated ingredients onto cake and roll the cake up with the towel, starting at one of the short edges.
– Refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust top with powdered sugar before serving.

Christmas Wreaths

1 cup butter
8 cups miniature marshmallows
2 teaspoons green food coloring
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups cornflakes cereal
2 small packages cinnamon red hot candies


– Melt marshmallows and butter together using a microwave or a double boiler.
– Add corn flakes, extracts and food coloring
– Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto greased wax paper.
– Form into a wreath, or “O”-shapes.
– Decorate each wreath with 3 red hot candies.
– Allow to cool.
– Lightly grease your clean fingertips to pick up the cooled wreaths, and place on a lightly greased serving tray to serve.

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