Our Missouri Life Ambassadors recruited talented home bakers from around the state who generously shared their favorite Christmas cookie recipes. You’ll find more delicious cookie recipes in the November/December 2022 issue of Missouri Life.

Download and print our Great Statewide Cookie Exchange Recipe Book that includes all the recipes from our cookie exchange along with personal recollections from the bakers.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Contributed by Jamie Launius, Desloge (St. Francois County)

Jamie says, “I have been a baker/cake decorator for eight years now. I followed my dream and opened a store (Lou Lou’s Cakes) in November 2021. What is a storefront bakery without the very best selection of cookies out there? My favorite cookie is an oatmeal raisin, or at least it was. Not a lot of people care for raisins, but I knew I had to have some kind of oatmeal cookie in my store. I wanted to make something different and thought, ‘What about apples?’ After some trial and error, I came up with this lovely cookie recipe. It is the yummiest and chewiest oatmeal cookie you have ever had. Turns out it was the “no-bake look” that
draws people in, even though this is a baked cookie.”

1 apple, shredded
1⁄2 cup butter, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking apple
1⁄2 cup applesauce
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3⁄4 cups flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cook apple in a tablespoon of butter until soft. In a mixing bowl, mix butter, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients until well-combined. Fold in the apples. Cover batter and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop 3-ounce balls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Chocolate Mint Cookies
Contributed by Sharon Catron, St. Joseph (Buchanan County)

Sharon says, “As a woman with five kids and four grandkids, I’ve made dozens of cookies through the years. I always have homemade cookies in my freezer and my grandkids know to go to the freezer for cookies. Because of this, they gave me the name ‘Cookie’ instead of Grandma. I asked all my kids what their favorite Christmas cookie was, and they all said the Chocolate Mint Cookie. This cookie combines their love of chocolate and the Christmas feeling you get with

12 tablespoons of salted butter
1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons of water
2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄4 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
45-47 Andes mints, unwrapped
Hard peppermint candy, crushed

Combine butter, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and let sit for 30 seconds, then stir until the chips are melted.

Turn off the heat. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk the flour and soda in a second bowl. Add eggs to the bowl with the chocolate mixture and mix immediately until smooth. Add flour mixture to the chocolate and egg mixture in 3 additions, mixing after each addition. Do not overbeat.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and space 2 inches apart on greased or
parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake until set for 7 to 9 minutes, rotating pans during baking. Immediately place 1 Andes Mint on center of cookie and let soften, then spread the melted candy over the tops of the cookie and sprinkle with crushed peppermint. Transfer
cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Christmas Cranberry Cookies

Christmas Cranberry Cookies
Contributed by Cindy Merx, Potosi (Washington County)

Cindy says, “As kids in 4-H, my uncle, brother, sister, and cousins all had steers. I would help them but had no interest in having my own. Instead, I was inside at Grandma’s … baking cookies. I would take Grandma’s recipes and play with them. This is how the Christmas Cranberry Cookies came about, and actually use what Grandma had in her cupboard.”

1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange, pineapple, or mango juice
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup milk
2 1⁄2 cups fresh cranberries (must be fresh), chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars for five minutes. Beat in juice and egg. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add to cream mixture, alternating with milk. Begin and end with flour mixture, Add cranberries, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool. Makes approximately 5 to 6 dozen.


Contributed by Cookie Hawkins, Buffalo (Dallas County)

Cookie says, “The sights, sounds, and smells of the season can bring back memories. Evergreens, fragrant candles, homemade fudge, and great-tasting cookies are some of my favorites. My husband’s Aunt Gladys always made these cookies.”

2 1⁄2 cups flour, sifted
2 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1⁄2 pound (2 sticks) butter (do not substitute margarine)
1 cup chopped pecans.
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, for coating

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With your hands, mix all ingredients until well-combined. Shape dough into small balls. Bake for 35 minutes. Sift 1 cup powdered sugar and roll balls in sugar as soon as they come out

of the oven.

Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Contributed by Joyce Stewart, Cuba (Crawford County)

Joyce says, “My first experience with this recipe was when our youth group at the Methodist church in Cuba layered the ingredients into quart jars and sold the jars as a money-making project. I loved the recipe and have used it many times. I sometimes call it the Breakfast Cookie because it is ‘healthy’—not much sugar or
shortening, and with oats, fruit, chocolate, and nuts. It doesn’t get much better than that!”

2⁄3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries
2⁄3 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup English walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl, then add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets and let cool on wire rack. Makes approximately 2 1⁄2 dozen cookies.

Contributor’s Note: This is the official recipe; however, I
like to double the recipe and add chopped English walnuts or pecans, and I use butter-flavored Crisco instead of the butter or margarine.

Diane’s Sugar Cookies

Diane’s Sugar Cookies
Contributed by Diane Wilson, Holliday (Monroe County)

Diane says, “Because I have made these cookies for over
45 years, I don’t remember why I chose the recipe … I think it must have chosen me. They are a favorite of our family. I’m pretty sure I would be asked to leave the family dinner if I didn’t show up with these at Christmas. I have made as many as 22 dozen to share. Although making them at Christmas began my love affair with these cookies, I have expanded to Valentine’s Day, St.
Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, and Halloween. My husband always says, ‘They just melt in your mouth!’”

2⁄3 cup margarine, softened
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
4 teaspoons milk
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour

Thoroughly cream margarine, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg, beat until light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients and blend into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half; chill one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees for a nonstick
baking sheet). On a lightly floured surface, roll to 1⁄4-inch
thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan. Decorate with frosting. Makes two dozen.

Contributor’s Note: I use canned frosting because the
consistency is perfect, and I like the vivid red and green colors for Christmas. Be sure to leave the cookies out on the counter for the frosting to set before packaging in containers.

Ginger Balls

Ginger Balls
Contributed by Sharon Hayden, Maryville (Nodaway County)

Sharon says, “This is a recipe my mother and her mother, my Grandma Pedersen, made for our family, more so at Christmas. The cookie is soft, not a ginger snap. I personally have not done this, but if not rolled in the sugar before baking, these cookies can be iced and decorated for the holidays.”

3⁄4 cup shortening (may use part butter)
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 egg, beaten
4 teaspoons molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add the beaten egg and molasses. Combine the dry ingredients by stirring or by sifting. Add to the first mixture and blend together. Shape dough into 1-inch diameter balls. (Contributor’s Note: I use a small scoop to keep the cookies more uniformly sized.) Roll each ball in sugar and place on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheet a bit before removing to rack.

Grandma DeLuca Cookies

Grandma DeLuca Cookies
Contributed by Pat Tamburrino, Joplin (Jasper County)

Pat says, “In 1908, my husband’s grandmother, Carmella Tomasello, left Sicily for a new life in the United States. Soon after arriving, she met Michele (Michael) DeLuca. They fell in love and were married. They moved to Chicago and raised a large family. When Carmella and Michele’s grandson Michael and I were married, I loved going to the family holiday celebrations. One of the treats I looked forward to were the cookies Grandma DeLuca always made. She was prudent about how many she would take out of her cookie tin for each meal. I learned later that the cookies had a proper name: Cuccidati.”

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup sugar
3⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into chunks
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4 cup milk, if needed

Grandma’s way: Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand.

Pat’s way: In bowl of food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add chunks of butter a few at a time and pulse to mix. After butter is incorporated, add eggs and vanilla, mix well. If the dough doesn’t come together well, add 1⁄4 cup milk. Remove dough from the processor bowl and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling (at least 1⁄2 hour).

Contributor’s Note: Grandma’s recipe calls for soaking dried fruit in brandy or Marsala wine until plump and soft. She put all the fruit through a food grinder before mixing in the other ingredients.

12 ounces fig preserves
6 ounces pitted dates
6 ounces dried apricots
1⁄2 cup dark raisins
5 ounces dried cherries
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
1⁄2 cup mini chocolate chips
1⁄4 cup almonds, finely chopped

Grandma’s way: Put ground up fruit in a bowl. Add other

Pat’s way: Clean food processor bowl and put in all filling ingredients. Process until well-mixed but not puréed.

1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Cut into 3 pieces. (It’s easier to work with smaller portions.) Return unused dough to the refrigerator while you work with each piece. Roll dough to measure about 6 by 9 inches and 1/4 -inch or a little less in thickness. Place a generous amount of filling down the center. Mix egg and water and use this mixture along one long edge of dough to seal. Roll dough around the filling. Cut into 1⁄3-inch slices. Repeat the process with the remainder of the dough. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or orange juice
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla, almond, or anise extract

When cookies are completely cool, stir together all frosting ingredients and spread frosting over the cookies. Sprinkle with multicolored sprinkles.

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies
Contributed by Cindy Harrell, Sikeston (Scott County)

Cindy says, “This is my grandmother’s recipe and a very old recipe. My grandmother died when I was eight years old. We always had these cookies at Christmastime, and I always think of her when I make these cookies. I use butter instead of margarine, so I adjusted the recipe. I added a little red sugar sprinkle, but these cookies are great just the way Grandma used to make them.”

1⁄2 cup shortening
1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat often to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening, butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. In separate bowl, stir together flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda. Add dry mixture to cream mixture and work together like pie dough. Form into balls and press flat with a glass dipped in sugar. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes approximately 4 dozen.

Mrs. Schermes’s Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Brownies

Mrs. Schermes’s Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Brownies
Contributed by Candi Lordo, Branson West, (Stone County)

Candi says, “All the Christmas presents I give are cookies. In a typical year, I will make at least 20 different kinds in three days. There is one I make every year and that’s Mrs. Schermes’s Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Brownies. Mrs. Schermes was my mom’s best friend and she made them for Girl Scout treats and many other occasions. They are yummy and bring the memories of those days back to me again.”

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
1 package (8 ounces) chocolate chips
Optional: pecans, either chopped and mixed into
batter or whole and placed on top of batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Batter will be stiff. Spread in a well-greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes. When cooled somewhat but still warm, cut into 1 by 1 1⁄2-inch pieces and roll in granulated sugar.


Piparkukas (Latvian Gingerbread Cookies)
Contributed by Ruta Grasis, Weatherby Lake (Platte County)

Platte County Ambassador Sally McDowell says, “Ninety-seven-year-old Ruta Grasis is originally from Latvia, a small country near the Baltic Sea. During World War II, the Soviet Union invaded her country, sent her father to Siberia where he died, and the family lost everything. Ruta, along with their mother and brother, immigrated to the United States after the war where she married a fellow Latvian, August Grasis. Ruta and her family have never forgotten their Latvian traditions. Every year at Christmastime, Ruta celebrates her heritage by baking Piparkukas (pronounced pepperkooks) from her mother’s handwritten recipe.”

1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup butter
1⁄4 cup honey
1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup or molasses
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Orange zest to taste
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 egg (plus 1 additional egg for egg wash)

In saucepan, combine sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, and orange zest. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in 1⁄2 cup flour with a wooden spoon, until smooth. Let mixture cool, about 1 hour. Stir in 1 egg, vigorously, until mixture is smooth. Add remaining flour and combine dough with hands and form into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until soft enough to roll. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Break dough into quarters. On a lightly floured surface and with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each portion to 1⁄8-inch thickness. Cut out with shaped cookie cutters. Combine remaining pieces of dough, roll and cut until all dough is used up. Place cookies on lined cookie sheets, brush with beaten egg wash and bake for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove cookies to cool.

Strawberry Marzipan

Strawberry Marzipan
Contributed by Sandy Selby, Missouri Life editor-in-chief

Sandy says, “My mom loved making these strawberries because they added bright sparkle to her cookie boxes. The plastic hulls used to decorate them are reus-
able. Woe to any family member who carelessly discarded one.”

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups shredded coconut
1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored Jell-O
Coarse red decorator’s sugar

Combine all the ingredients in food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and easily shaped. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, form mixture into strawberry shapes. Roll in decorator’s sugar and top with a plastic
strawberry hull (available at Amazon.com or baking supply shops).

Wedding Cookies

Wedding Cookies
Contributed by Julie Gillpatrick Pace, Kansas City (Clay County)

Clay County Ambassador Jeff Smith says, “Julie shared this recipe because it brought back memories of family and assisting her mom with making them for family events, especially Christmas. They are often called Italian Wedding Cookies, but in Julie’s Scotch-Irish home, they are just called Wedding Cookies. With being small, dense, and having great flavor, they make a perfect cookie for shipping to friends and family during the holidays.”

1 cup butter, softened
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped pecans
Garnish: powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter and powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-blended. Beat in vanilla, water, and flour. Stir in pecans. Shape dough into
one-inch balls and arrange on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. When cool, roll cookies in powdered sugar. Makes about three dozen.