December Recipe Swap: Christmas Cookies

December 2, 2012 | By | Comments (10)
Community Cookbook

Photo by Iain Bagwell

In our community cookbook, we ask readers to submit their best-loved recipes. Here’s a taste of what got the highest raves in the Southern Living test kitchen this month.

WINNER! From the Kitchen of Jennifer Heichel
Andalusia, AL

fruitcake cookies sl s December Recipe Swap: Christmas Cookies

Jennifer’s clever twist on the infamous holiday classic takes the (fruit) cake! It makes about 9 dozen, perfect for swapping. Chock-full of dried fruit and pecans, these chewy two-bite nibbles won’t be relegated to the re-gift pile.

Fruitcake Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound mixed candied fruit and peel
  • 4 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 300°. Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until blended. Stir in candied fruit and peel, pecans, raisins, and cherries. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks (about 20 minutes).

And check out these sensational runners up!

honey orange ginger cookies sl s December Recipe Swap: Christmas Cookies

Honey-Orange Ginger Cookies
from the Kitchen of Ellie Leese
Murfreesboro, TN

“I brought these to my Girl’s Gourmet group last year for our cookie challenge. They were a hit! The orange and ginger give them extra zing.”

cornmeal sugar cookies sl s December Recipe Swap: Christmas CookiesCornmeal Sugar Cookies
from the Kitchen of Robin Warren
Clarkesville, GA

“For me, the cornmeal gives a traditional sugar cookie a more complex crunch,” says Robin. Cut the dough into desired shapes.

Share Your Recipe! If it wows the Test Kitchen, we’ll feature it in the magazine and send you a SL cookbook:

Note: All submitted recipes become the property of Southern Living and may be used for any purpose.



    I am trying to find “Family’s Favorite Fruit Cake” recipe from the 1970’s

    December 12, 2016 at 10:10 am
  2. Lillian Lavine

    This is a great recipe. I used only 1 cup of candied (diced) fruit & peel along with currants, raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, and some dates. Wow…they were incredible. Jennifer Heichel certainly got the ingredients, such as butter, eggs, flour, etc. perfect. Thank you Jennifer for sharing this with us. By the way I was born in Andalusia many many years ago.

    February 23, 2015 at 11:21 am
  3. Shanon

    I used to be recommended this website via my cousin. I’m no longer sure whether
    or not this post is written through him as nobody else recognize such distinctive
    about my problem. You’re wonderful! Thank you!

    September 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm
  4. cookie baking tips

    Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wonderig if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin foor my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    August 12, 2014 at 12:36 am
  5. janet rayner

    HELP: 15 years ago there was a restaurant in Dothan, (Alabama) that served a “Lemon Chess Pie”. I have found many recipes for this, and have baked probably 10 different ones, but none of them compare! The pie I remember had a “crusty” top; but NOT a top crust. I can’t imagine what ingredient would form that kind of crust on top.All the recipes I have used call for cornmeal and flour but that is not the secret, evidently. Anyone know the secret? The restaurant, by the way, was ” THE GARLAND HOUSE”, and the Chess pie was ONE recipe they did not release. Please help! thank you

    December 26, 2012 at 9:06 am
  6. Eniko Warren

    I made these cookies & the taste was fantastic. BUT, they melted flat while baking. What did I do wrong?

    December 22, 2012 at 9:56 am
  7. ellie grieshober

    has anybody ever heard of meatball cookies? They had mint chocolate chips, nuts , reg choco chips & other things in them. I would love the recipe again. lost in move.
    Thank you

    December 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm
  8. Lorne Marr

    This recipe is a bit of a classic. I also use small pieces of walnuts, almond slices and candied strawberries (also cut into smaller pieces).

    December 13, 2012 at 10:08 am
  9. Recipe Roundup 12/3/2012 | DamnFineEating

    […] Christmas Cookies(Southern Living) […]

    December 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm
  10. PD

    I’ve made these cookies in a slightly more spiced-up version for years and just adore them. We call them Christmas rocks. The recipe I use includes 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and one of coffee syrup plus some warm spices–cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom. Over time, I’ve played around with the fruit mixture and now use some dried cherries and dried cranberries along with dates, candied orange rind, raisins, currants, maraschino cherries and diced fruitcake mix. They always win over new fans who ask for the recipe and then glaze over when they see the ingredient list.

    December 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

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