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Holiday Treats: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, Dutch Tile Cookies, Chocolate Pudding

The year my son was born, I had no job and no money and was so poor that I gave family and friends cookies and art work for Christmas. (Except for my son who got a few baby toys and clothes, mostly courtesy of my family and friends.) I still remember that Christmas every time I bake cookies, and how incredibly happy I was.

Dutch Tile Cookies

1-3/4 c. unsifted flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
sliced or halved almonds
red and green candied cherries, halved or quartered or whatever

Beat butter, sugar and extracts until smooth. Separately, sift flour with baking power and salt. Add the two mixtures together until well combined. Divide into two equal portions. Roll out each portion of dough between two pieces of waxed paper, try to get it into a 7-1/2 inch square, and then use a knife to cut into 1-1/2 inch squares. (Remove the waxed paper first!)

Place cookie squares on ungreased cookie sheet and decorate with almond pieces and cherry bits. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375 until lightly brown. About 50 cookies.

These cookies are almondy delicious, even when I don't get them into even squares and some end up browner than others. I also tend to go a little crazy with the decorating, using more cherries than perhaps I should when I get near the end. They're a production, but worth it.

The first time I baked these cookies was my son's first Christmas, mentioned above. The two recipes below are aren't really all that holiday-ish, but I make both of them often.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. peanut butter (I think it works best with extra crunchy)
1 c. sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients. Drop tablespoon full on to a cookie sheet. Press down on each cookie with a fork to make that yummy crosshatch thing on the top. Bake eight minutes. Cool, and enjoy. Simple, fast, and really good.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder (the unsweetened kind for baking)
pinch of salt
2 - 2/3 c. milk
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. (I usually do it in the bottom of the saucepan with a wooden spoon.) Add milk slowly and mix together, getting out as many lumps as possible. Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a rolling boil. Don't let the bottom of the saucepan burn!

Let it boil for about a minute or less -- not too long. The pudding should have thickened and will look velvety. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. You can pour it into individual cups and cool, or leave it to cool in a big bowl, as you prefer. Cover before putting in the refrigerator.

Happy holidays!


  1. So many gluten free goodies this year! My mom will be over the moon.

  2. Concerned that your recipe was perhaps missing an item (peanut butter, sugar, and egg?!) and worried about the integrity of the site--not to mention dismayed at the prospect that someone might have a cookie emergency--I promptly decided to test your Peanut Butter Cookie recipe in my own lab (kitchen).

    I am happy to report that they are incredibly tasty! I like them much better than my usual recipe, which is the standard flour/brown sugar/etc we're all used to.

  3. I like the flour/brown sugar ones, too. There's almost nothing that can go wrong when peanut butter is involved.


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