When I was a kid, Christmas meant weeks of baking as my mom geared up for the holidays. Most of us don’t have the time or energy to do as much holiday baking as our mothers and grandmothers did in “the good old days” but we still want some Christmas cookies. These are easy–you can make the dough one evening, and spread the baking through an entire week, scenting the house each evening with the irresistible aroma of homemade cookies baking in the oven. Talk about maximum mileage for your effort!
Shaping them isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, as the shapes are very simple. Coating the colored dough with the plain isn’t hard either, as it is very forgiving of our errors. Have a hole? just press some dough over it!
I believe this recipe originally was published (to my knowledge) in the Betty Crocker Cooky Cookbook from 1961. It’s a classic, and if you love cookies, getting either a vintage original or one of the reprints of the 1961 edition is a must-have. It’s also a great gift for someone who loves baking, especially cookies!
Christmas Bell Cookies
This recipe makes an excellent Christmas cookie, easy to make and bake, perfect for everything from cookie exchanges, hostess gifts, serving at home, or taking to holiday parties.
- 1/4 c. shortening
- 1/4 c. margarine or butter
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- red or green food coloring
Beat shortening, margarine, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, soda, and salt; add flour mixture to shortening mixture; blend well. Remove 1/3 of the dough and set aside. Tint remaining dough either red or green. Shape dough into roll 10″ long and 1 1/2″ in diameter. Pinch top side of roll together, leaving the bottom rounded and flared, in a “bell” shape. Wrap dough in waxed paper and chill to firm roll.
With remaining dough, save 1/4 c. dough for clappers. Take remaining portion and place on waxed paper. Roll out dough into square large enough to cover tinted portion, approximately 10″x 4″. Trim edges. Wrap chilled tinted portion in plain dough, cover entire roll with waxed paper and chill again. (if you want the edges coated with sugar coating, do it before chiling the dough) Dough will keep up to one week in the refrigerator