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Holiday Cookie Exchange

by Jane Worthington-Roth

Every year I get together with friends for a cookie exchange. The holidays are a perfect time to set aside a quiet evening to share stories, drink wine and spend some time together amid the hustle and bustle.

This year I’m making my mom’s recipe for Butterhorn Cookies. I have fond memories of my mom baking these when I was young and this old throw-back recipe is always a welcome treat for the cookie exchange.

Butterhorns are my absolute favorite cookies. There’s no sugar in the dough so they are not sweet but delicately flavored with sour cream and a lot of butter. The crescent shaped cookies can be filled with your favorite fruit preserves or a combination of cinnamon sugar and nuts. The best fruit fillings are those that aren’t too sweet such as a good quality orange marmalade. Since the dough contains a lot of butter, keep the rest chilling in the fridge while you roll out a few cookies at a time.


In a stand-up mixer, mix together:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 pound of butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 cup of sour cream
2 large egg yolks
Press the dough together into a flattened disc shape, wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

For the cinnamon sugar filling, in a small bowl combine:
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, chopped

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the dough into 9 even portions. Use one portion at a time while the rest of the dough stays chilled in the fridge.

Lightly flour a silicone mat and roll the dough into a circle (12”-14” wide). Cut the dough into 8 wedges – a serrated pastry roller makes a pretty fluted edge.

Put about 1½ teaspoons of the cinnamon-sugar-walnuts onto each wedge, being careful not to cover the thin point. Put a dab of water on the point and roll up each wedge beginning at the long end. Bend each cookie into a crescent shape and place point-side down onto a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil.

Continue rolling out and filling the nine portions of dough. This recipe will make 72 cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the cookies and cool on a rack. When completely cool, dust the cookies with confectioner’s sugar. Cover well to store.

If you’d like to make a variety of cookies, be sure to buy good quality fruit preserves.