Holiday Sweets: Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

Guarantee your spot on the “Nice” list by greeting Old St. Nick with a super-tasty treat. We turned to an expert, Tony Ridgway, whose namesake bakery, Tony’s Off Third, is celebrating its twentieth year in business.

   “We use a great all-purpose cookie recipe that’s a big hit with kids and visitors from the North Pole,” he says. “We make them during all the major holidays, because they produce a really nice, smooth surface that’s perfect for intricate decorating.”

   For home bakers who want to impress Santa with their culinary skills, check out Ridgway’s holiday cookie recipe, along with other delicious cookie recipes, here.

Tony's Christmas Sugar Cookies - Tony's Off Third - Holiday cookie recipe

Tony’s Christmas Sugar Cookies

Makes 20 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 oz. almond paste
  • 12 oz. soft butter
  • 2 1/2 oz. egg yolks
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

Method for cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the sugar and almond paste with a mixer until smooth. Add room temperature butter and mix until well blended. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing in each thoroughly before adding the next. Slowly add the all-purpose flour and mix until well combined. Roll out cookie dough to desired thickness and cut out designs with Christmas cookie cutters. Place cookies on baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies cool in the refrigerator for four to six hours before decorating.


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

Method for Icing

Combine all ingredients and mix until lumps are gone. Add milk to thin consistency, based on your preference. Separate icing and add a drop of food coloring at a time to obtain desired color. Ice with spatula or use a pastry bag for more intricate designs.


For more holiday cookie recipes, head to page 2.

The following two recipes come from Naples resident and top-notch home baker, Donna Feinsmith. Her holiday cookies are legendary among her many friends, family, and business associates, who have been known to scheme and plot to get extra cookies in their allotment.


Crescent Delectabites

   Makes 3-4 dozen

  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups Pecan Meal or finely chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • Additional powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6-8 oz. Semi-Sweet chocolate chips, melted

What you need:

1 small piece of paraffin wax, the size of a quarter

A cutting board covered in wax paper that fits flat on a shelf, in your freezer.

2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla until blended, gradually stir in flour and nuts
  3. Shape into a small ball, roll the ball on wax paper into a 2- 2 ½ inch long piece and form into a crescent shape
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, in the upper third of oven 10 minutes or until firm but NOT brown,  let cool, but  while slightly warm, gently roll each cookie into the additional powdered sugar.
  5. Place cookies on the cutting board covered in wax paper and place in freezer for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Melt in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and a small piece of paraffin wax, the wax will thin out the chocolate and will help it set up.
  7. Take the board with the cookies out of the freezer, with the cookies still on the board, drizzle the  chocolate over the cookies and place the cookies back in the freezer for a couple of minutes, until the chocolate sets up.
  8. Place cookies in a tin or cookie box with wax paper in between layers of cookies


Very Easy Chocolate Chip Brownies

You may double the recipe and freeze extra

  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted
  • 4 oz. Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate (Orange Box)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1  6 oz. bag chocolate chips chopped (optional) or Walnuts chopped, or both


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, on low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring often. When melted, take off heat, let cool 5 minutes.
  3. Add sugar, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mix well after each egg. Add vanilla and salt, mix well. Add flour, mix well. Add chocolate chips, into batter, mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased 9×12 inch pan, glass or metal pan, spray with Pam.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Insert a wood toothpick into the center; you want it to come out dry.  Do not confuse the melted chocolate chips with wet batter.
  6. Take the brownies out of the pan when they are warm, it is a lot easier. Cut into squares and again into triangles.


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