Almond Butter BuckeyesInspired by the nuts that fall from Ohio’s famous buckeye trees, these Almond Butter Buckeyes are a year-round treasure from The Buckeye State. Photography courtesy WMMB.




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December 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes

Perfect For A Holiday Party—Or Delicious All Year Round!


CAPSULE REPORT: With the holiday season upon us, bakers everywhere are dusting off their rolling pins and gathering up their measuring cups. Every corner of the country has its own unique spin on holiday cookies and candies, with recipes that are often inspired by local ingredients or a reflection of traditions unique to the people who live there. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is eager to share this year’s annual collection of holiday recipes—all inspired by regional baking traditions. But no matter how different the recipes might be, there is one ingredient they all have in common: real butter. Cookies made with real butter have a far more delicious taste and texture (and the calories are the same as margarine). For cookie-baking tips and tips for baking with butter, along with more recipes, read the prior year’s Christmas cookie article.

This is Page 1 of a 4-page article. Click the black links below to view the other recipes.


Apple Cider Buttons

The Northeast is one of the country’s leading apple-producing regions. These sweet little sandwich cookies pay homage to the crop with a tart apple jelly that offsets the luxuriously dense butter flavor that surrounds it. Recipe yields 3 dozen mini sandwich cookies.

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, optional
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider jelly
  • Decorative sugar, for garnish
Apple Cider Buttons

*Apple cider jelly is available from many online gourmet retailers. Apple jelly or another preserve may be substituted. Homemade apple cider recipe is below.

Apple Jelly Ingredients

  • 6 cups fresh apple cider
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 box (1-3/4 ounces) of sure-jell dry, sugar-free pectin

Cookie Preparation

  1. In medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture. Cover dough; chill at least 2 hours, or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Shape dough into 1/2-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly flatten half the balls with bottom of a juice glass to create “bottom” layer of button. Sprinkle rounded button tops with decorative sugar.
  4. Bake cookies 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly brown on bottom edges. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, spread bottom cookies with 1/4 teaspoon apple cider jelly; place cookie top on jelly. Store unfilled cookies in airtight container, in refrigerator, for up to 1 week, and filled cookies for up to 3 days. Bring cookies to room temperature before serving.

Apple Jelly Preparation

  1. Combine 6 cups fresh apple cider, 4 cups sugar and 1 box (1-3/4 ounces) sure-jell dry, sugar-free pectin in saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring mixture to boil; stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  3. Remove from heat; skim off any foam; pour into clean sterilized jars. Refrigerate to set (or process according to canning instructions).


Almond Butter Buckeyes

This buttery and nutty chocolate confection was inspired by the nuts that fall from Ohio’s famous buckeye trees. Come holiday time, they are produced (and consumed) in mass quantities in “The Buckeye State,” as well as in neighboring states throughout the Midwest. Recipe yields 4 dozen cookies.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups almond butter*
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum or 1-1/2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

*You may substitute peanut or cashew butter for almond butter; omit almond extract if you use a substitution.

Almond Butter Buckeyes


  1. In large bowl, combine butter, almond butter, rum, almond extract and confectioners’ sugar using electric mixer. Dough will be smooth and firm.
  2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm; about 30 minutes.
  3. After dough balls have completed refrigeration, melt chocolate in shallow, microwave-safe dish. Heat 30 seconds; stir; then continue in 10-second intervals, stirring after each cook time. Chocolate should be melted and smooth.
  4. To dip balls, insert a toothpick about 1/2 inch into the ball, dip into melted chocolate—leaving a small circle of dough visible at the top—and place on parchment paper to dry until chocolate is firm. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.


Continue To Page 2: Pistachio Biscochitos  & Wintermint Wafers

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Recipes courtesy WMMB. All other material

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