Christmas just isn’t Christmas without delectable sweets! Many families have tried and true favorites that make an annual appearance, whether the recipe is passed down for generations or it’s a newer addition sure to become a longstanding tradition. We thought we’d share some recipes our own friends and families demand each December—maybe they’ll become favorite holiday treats for you, too.
James, our president of U.S. operations, has family roots in Iowa. Each year at Christmas they would enjoy a tender, melt-in-your-mouth traditional Norwegian and Swedish cookie called “kringla.” He said, “Even though we aren't of Scandinavian descent, it's quite probable that our family had friends who were. I am unsure of the origin of our recipe for kringla, but I definitely have fond memories of it being a featured part of the cookie spread at holiday gatherings at my grandparents' farm home. It's pretty easy to make, and once you try it, you won't be able to stop at just one.”
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix sour cream and sugar well. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients and vanilla. Chill. Shape as desired (traditionally kringla is shaped like a small pretzel). Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly brown.
ANDES MINT COOKIES
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping down the side of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Scoop by the rounded tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, placing the dough balls about 2-inches apart.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are set around the edges but still soft in the center.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently press an Andes mint into the center of each cookie. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes or until the mint is soft and melty. Take a butter knife and carefully spread the melted mint over the top of the cookie, leaving a little border. The mint will become the frosting for the cookie.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely so the chocolate mint frosting can set up.
BEST SOUTHERN PRALINE PECANS
- Set out parchment paper for making the pralines on and have a tablespoon sized scoop hand and ready to go.
- Add everything but the pecans, salt and vanilla extract to a medium pot and heat over medium heat. Stir regularly until it begins to foam and boil.
- When it begins to foam and boil, stir constantly until it reaches 236 degrees.
- Remove from heat and add the pecans, salt and vanilla extract.
- Stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 3 1/2 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. The longer you stir, the thicker the mixture gets. You don’t want it to get too thick, or it’ll be hard to scoop the pralines and they’ll dry more firm.
- Quickly drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto parchment paper and allow them to cool and firm. If the mixture is too thin and spreads more than you want, stir a little bit more. If the mixture starts to cool too much as you’re scooping, place it back on the warm burner (but don’t turn it on) and let it keep the mixture warmer. I find it helps to stir the mixture after every few scoops.