7 Delightfully Delicious Christmas Cookies

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwentechaney/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwentechaney/

Searching for the origin of leaving cookies for Santa leads to many different explanations. Some date it to a pagan ritual, associated with the winter solstice. Another historical link ties it to Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, with Santa’s belly that “shook like a bowl full of jelly,” cementing our image of Santa as a man with an incurable sweet tooth. However the Christmas cookie tradition started, it has bonded the two together. So in honor of that “jolly old elf,” here are 7 perfect Christmas cookies to leave for good old Saint Nick, take to a party, or feed your own sweet tooth.

1. Russian Tea Cakes

This cookie goes by a number of names, including Mexican Wedding Cakes. These little, round shortbread-esque cookies are covered in powdered sugar, making them appear as if they were covered in snow, which is perfect for the holidays.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners’ sugar. Yield: 3 dozen.