Funfetti Cookies, recipe provided below

It's that time of year. We asked our readers for their favorite holiday baking recipes.They are printed exactly as the person sent them. Sometimes family recipes don't follow a template. We have not put them through a test kitchen, however all of them look good enough to eat and we may try all of them. Hope you enjoy.

One from a Travel Article

Because we love to promote family Road Trips and we just posted a story about visiting Chattanooga, Tennessee during the holidays, we start with a recipe from the Chattanoogan Hotel: Road Trip: 

Chattanooga has a lot going on for the holidays including a Christmas train

Chattanoogan Hotel's Cannoli Recipe

Cannoli Filling:
Yield about 24
12 ounces Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
4 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
4 ounces Cream Cheese
1/3 C Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
12 ounces Melted Dark Chocolate (optional)
2 Cups Mini Chocolate Chips (optional)

Place Ricotta, Mascarpone, Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon and Vanilla into a food processor and blend until smooth and thick. (May take a few minutes)
Once the mixture has thickened place into bowl and fold in chocolate chips. Using a pastry bag without a tip, pipe the mixture into your store-bought cannoli shell. Dip the ends in chocolate chips.
To make your shells more festive may melt some dark chocolate (or any of your choosing) and dip each end of the cannoli shell into the chocolate, garnish with sprinkles and place onto parchment paper and place in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Add your filling.

Variations: (Add in addition to original recipe)

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon Rum Extract
1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin, Solid Pack
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Cloves
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

And Now the Recipes From our Readers:

Molasses Crinkles

Sarah Smith, Rochester, New York

Cream together 3/4 cup of shortening- not butter- and 1 cup brown sugar

Add in 1 egg and blend
Then 1/4 cup molasses.

Add 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp soda, 1 tsp each of cinnamon and ginger.

Slowly blend in 2 1/4 cups flour.

Chill and roll into balls. Roll in sugar and bake without flattening for about 10 minutes.

Sarah’s note: Our family calls them “Breakfast Cookies” a name my late father-in-law coined because they go so well with coffee. Serve with coffee!

Almond Joy Cookies
Cathy Geisz, St. Louis, Missouri

1 (14 oz) package coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped salted almonds
Mix, put on parchment paper
Bake about 12 minutes

Cathy’s note: I stole this recipe from my cousin. For those who don’t like almonds, you can leave them out. They are so good!

The Best Peanut Butter Cookie
Diane Heckenkamp, Affton, Missouri

16 oz. jar of creamy or chunky peanut butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray or use parchment paper which is faster.
With electric mixer; beat peanut butter and sugar until combined, beat in egg. Springkle baking soda over mixture, beat until combined.

Measure teasoon size pieces, roll into ball (or use cookie scoop- medium size)
Arrange on baking sheet one inch apart. With tines of a fork, flatten balls making criss-cross pattern. Make them even in size for even baking.

Bake cookies in middle of oven until puffed and pale golden, not brown—about 10 minutes, depending on size.

Let cool on baking sheets two minutes (very important, these ar fragile!) Better transfer parchment-filled sheets to cooling racks, cookies slide off easily when completely cooled.

Diane’s note: I got this recipe from Gourmet Magazine. I always use chunky peanut butter. It makes 100 cookies, no gluten!

Grandmother's Moon Cookies
John Chapman, Austin, Texas

3 3/4 sticks of butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups toasted & ground almonds
3 cups flour
Sift together and mix with butter to form a dough

Roll out (not too thin) and, using a water glass (or similar),
Cut in crescent moon shapes.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10 -15 minutes.
In a mill or Cuisinart, grind 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 2 vanilla beans.
Sprinkle this on cookies while still hot.

John’s note: They are called moon cookies because they should look like a quarter moon when finished, and they are white These cookies are yummy!

Funfetti Cookies
Patty Wilke, St. Louis, Mo.

1 Pillsbury Moist Supreme Funfetti cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
½ can Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Funfetti Vanilla Frosting

Heat oven to 375. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs. Stir with spoon until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into one inch balls, place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. With bottom of glass, dipped in flour, flatten fo ¼ inches thickness.

Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cook one minute. Then remove from cookie sheet.

Spread frosting over warm cookies. Immediately sprinkle each with candy bits from frosting. Let frosting set before storing. Store in tightly covered container.

Patty’s note: I got this recipe off a Pillsbury Funfetti box. I don’t always use the frosting. Cookies can be made from other cake mixes. Last time I tried the cake box cookies I used Red Velvet cake mix and added white chocolate chips to the dough, I did not use frosting on those.

Another one from a Travel Article

Earlier this week we posted a travel story for those looking to take a holiday road trip. The destination this year is Bardstown, Kentucky. 

Holiday Road Trip: Bardstown, Kentucky is 4 1/2 hours from STL

Here is their special biscuit recipe:

My Old Kentucky Home Biscuit recipe
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

 1tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
1teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk (approximately)
Preheat your oven to 450°F.
 Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.  Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.

Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.

 Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.  You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.  If you like "crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together. Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
Do not overbake.
My Old Kentucky Home's Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits. Pat the dough out with your hands, lightly. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.