Recipe: The Best Christmas Cookies

these are recipes for sour cream cranberry bars and peanut butter balls

Holiday Fare

The Best Christmas Cookies

What are the holidays without cookies?

-Julie Ryan Evans

There are so many wonderful things about the holidays, but really the thing most everyone looks forward to the most are the cookies – right? Here are two recipes that my mom has made every year for as long as I can remember. They both are great for giving and look festive for displaying on a buffet or dessert platter.

Actually, neither of them are really cookies, technically, but they serve the same purpose.

Peanut Butter Balls

peanut butter ballsIngredients:

1 18-ounce jar of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy depending on your taste)
1 pound powdered sugar
2 sticks of butter (softened)
1 pound chocolate (almond bark works best)


Mix together ingredients until smooth, then roll into balls. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then dip in melted chocolate using a toothpick. Drop onto waxed paper until dry. Refrigerate afterwards. They also freeze really well, and you can just take out as many as you need at a time.

sour cream cranberry barsSour Cream Cranberry Bars


1 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 ½ cup, plus 2 Tablespoons, flour
2 cups dried cranberries
8 ounces sour cream
¾ cup sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla


Cream butter and brown sugar. Combine oats and 1 cup flour, add to creamed mixture. Set aside 1 ½ cup. For topping. Press remaining mixture in ungreased pan. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, combine cranberries, sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon zest, vanilla and rest of flour. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes until light brown. Cool, and cut into bars (aka cookies), and then keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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0 thoughts on “Recipe: The Best Christmas Cookies

  1. Cranberry bars are great but recipe doesn’t give a pan size. I started with an 11×13, it seemed too big. Then went to a square 8×8. Next time I’d use an 8×11 rectangle cuz mine came out too tall/deep.

  2. In Ohio (The Buckeye State) the top bit of the peanut butter ball would be left uncovered by chocolate so as to resemble the nut of the state tree. And yes, they are delicious and an absolute must during the holidays in Ohio.

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