Cookies for the holidays......part one.

I really, really wasn't ready to hear this, but April over at
Abby Sweets is starting a Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies with this adorable button.

After getting over the initial fright of reading 12 weeks until Christmas in print, I thought: what a marvelous idea! We can peruse cookie recipes and copy our favorites to use when we start baking for the holidays. I would so love to join April's group of cookie bakers, but I know I'll get side-tracked and skip a week.  Or two. So I'm going to sneak a peek each week at April's blog and follow her links to some yummy cookie ideas. If you want to join in, drop on over to her blog, she'd love to have you. I'm going to do the best I can and post some cookie recipes off and on, so with April's idea in mind......here's cookie recipe #1.

Rarely do I post an old recipe, but way back when I started blogging, I posted Giada's Apricot and Nut Cookies. It's a hands down winner. Not too sweet ( I almost feel healthy eating them) and that finishing touch of amaretto frosting can be as thick or drizzly as you want, adjusting the sweetness. Also, you can stick these in the fridge or freezer and slice them as you want to use them. I LOVE that!

Now don't let me hear any excuses like "I don't eat many cookies" or "I only like chocolate" or "my kids will never eat these" or "I'm on a diet". Remember, these are for the holidays! For family. For company. Everyone's going to love them. YOU'RE going to love them; it's become the most asked for cookie recipe at my house. That's why I'm telling you about it first!

Apricot and Nut Cookies with Amaretto Frosting
From Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis, 2008

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
5 to 7 tablespoons almond flavored liqueur (recommended: Amaretto)

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour until just blended. Mix in the apricots, almonds, and pine nuts.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap and shape into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the dough log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2 inch-thick slices. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

For the Icing: Place the confectioners' sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the almond flavored liqueur, until the mixture is of drizzling consistency.

Place the wire rack over a baking sheet. Using a spoon or fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing, allowing any excess icing to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the icing to set before serving, about 30 minutes


  1. Barbara, you must be kidding!!! 12 weeks!!! Summer just ended, horrors how time flies. I guess I have a lot of bookmarking to do if all my favorite bloggers are sharing their favorite cookie recipes. I used to make tons of cookies but now keep it down to a minimum... this looks like a keeper!

  2. We are having 12 weeks until Christmas but Barbara with these beautiful cookies you make me even more anxious for the festivities.

  3. Well...it's already autumn, so X'mas wouldn't be too far away.....so why not?
    Your cookies look fabulous!

  4. This is as bad as Costco who already has their Christmas stuff out for sale. However, I must admit, I did buy two presents today. Let's the Holiday Games begin! :-) Great looking cookies.

  5. Ahhh I am not ready for the holidays yet. But I will gladly eat those cookies.

  6. Neither am I ready for the holidays! Anyway, it will only be a normal weekend for us (no extra day)...

    Those cookies are marvelous! A delicious combination.



  7. These cookies look wonderful! I love cookies that I can make and stow away in the freezer for baking later- December is always so busy. Thanks!

  8. You have to start sometime:)..I love being ready..These sound so good.I did start some shopping:)

  9. These look delicious. And so practical when you can keep the unbaked log in the freezer until needed. I can't believe it is 12 weeks until Christmas! Eeks!

  10. 12 weeks!!?? Oh my goodness... I would be alarmed, except just look at your beautiful cookies! I'm feeling the spirit already! :-)

  11. I have soooooo been in the Christmas cookie mood...the Christmas magazines are hitting the news stand and everywhere I look I see the most amazing treats. Yours really do standout..where do I begin!!!

    Fall hugs my friend

  12. I've seen this recipe and have wanted to try it! It's such a pretty cookie and will be perfect on holiday cookie trays. I love that the dough can be made ahead of time and put into the freezer. 12 weeks....no!

  13. Can't believe we are so soon to Christmas!! Let's start baking! Wonderful recipe, Barbara!

  14. wow these look great I don't like super sweet cookies and I am so looking forward to learning from you


  15. Christmas! 12 weeks! I just bought some Halloween decor today!

  16. The cookies look wonderful! I can see myself eating them for breakfast with a cup of tea. They would be a nice treat for the cookie tray too! 12 weeks? EEK.

  17. I love Christmas times dear Barbara!!! and these cookies look wonderful and delicious!!Love baking too!! ahh waht nice and lovely times! huggs gloria

  18. Oh how fun!! :-) I just saw molasses cookies in the store today and suddenly realized I simply HAVE to start baking NOW!! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. :-)

  19. It's never too early to start the holiday baking. That's what chest freezers were invented for!

  20. Hi Barbara,

    12 weeks until Christmas, oh my!
    Where has the year gone!

    These biscuits look yummy and love the taste of apricot and nuts, thanks for sharing the recipe.

    enjoy the rest of the weekend

  21. Ooo.. Barbara, I still keeping your last X'mas cookies recipe. The white chocolate coated cookies. Hopefully, I can try it out soon. And this sounds as wonderful. Thank you and hope you're enjoying your weekend.
    Blessings, Kristy

  22. Waw, Barbara!! These cookies look so special & so festive too!

    They look original too!

  23. Yikes, twelve weeks, seriously?
    I haven't been on vacation yet. Savannah & Hilton Head here I come.
    As Scarlett would say " I'll think about that tomorrow"
    Great recipe though, will definitely bookmark this one.
    Thanks for sharing, one of your most requested recipes, with us all.

  24. Yikes!! I needed that jolt of a reminders. Ugh.

    I do have some tried and true recipes that my family expects to find in their cookie tins each year. I don't have 12 - I don't think? - but I'll share a couple as I think about it!

  25. I couldn't believe it when I saw this either because it means I need to start my 12 weeks of winter squash! Oy.

    These cookies sound excellent. I really like that they're not cavity-inducing sweet.

  26. T-t-t-t-welve? Gulp. &*^%$#@! Now that I'm thoroughly alarmed, I'd better bookmark this recipe; it looks delightful!

  27. 12 weeks you have to be kidding! These cookies look wonderful, thanks for sharing.

  28. 12 weeks goes by fast!
    Great looking cookies, I can see a whole bunch of those with a nice cup of tea! Delicious flavors in that cookie!

  29. Wonderful cookies Barbara!

  30. I think my blood pressure just spiked! 12 weeks???

    One thing that does help me relax around the holidays is baking and Christmas baking is the best!

    With such a glowing review, I need to try these - they sound delicious!

    Blogger is being temperamental this morning!

  31. I like how there's just enough amaretto frosting to add a special something without overwhelming the cookies. Yummy!

  32. These look absolutely wonderful. I don't have many recipes using apricots, but they are all winners!

  33. Aaaaaahhhhh...did you just say 12 weeks Barbara? That is just too quick. I think I might have to have a few cookies and a good lie down. These apricot and nut cookies sound like just the ticket :)

  34. What an amazing cookie flavour, delicious and sophisticated :)
    Hope you are having a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  35. yum...dont know that i have ever had apricot cookies...passing this one to T....

  36. Hey Barbara, these look wonderful! I do understand your fear or lack of readiness for such a challenge. Christmas cookies can be a project, especially the decorated ones. Ooh, are rum balls considered a cookie?
    p.s. You didn't warm me about the bad drivers here in South Florida;)

  37. I love the flavours in these cookies. I also have standard ones I must make every year - and then there are the new ones I throw in. I can't do these, as my sister is allergic to apricot and there is already one apricot family favourite we make, anyway. But, I am tucking this away to make another time!

  38. Apricot and Amaretto in cookies? I'm swooning already. ;)

  39. Hi Barbara! those are some great looking cookies! :D

    oh, and thanks for your comment on my pad thai! you may skip the pickled turnips, which I did. (hehe) Just stick to the important stuff like i listed down and the rest is in your court! i hope u have a blast making it! good luck!

  40. Oooh, pine nuts! Hooray! Twelve weeks of cookies, twelve weeks of happy tummies. It will be my mission to make every single cookie recipe you post from here until Christmas.

  41. Yikes Barbara! 12 weeks! I'm not ready to hear it either, but I am ready to try some of the yummy recipes you will be offering up to us and gain my same five pounds that I just got off in June from last the last Christmas baking frenzy I went on. These sound like a great start.

  42. Sounds like a must try recipe. I definitely eat plenty of cookies!

  43. These look scrumptious! I love this event which I first heard about from Barbara Bakes (my "adopted" mum ;) ) and I love seeing so many amazing new cookie flavours! :D

  44. Hi Barbara,

    You know I'm very Italian at heart so these cookies with amaretto really won me !! 12 weeks before Christmas? OMG...I feel the stress already !!!

  45. Oh those cookies look great!

  46. love these cookies Barbara - even though i'm just shocked at how fast the year has flown!! and even though i realize it's only October, planning for the holidays now, before things get even MORE crazy is smart! so yes, your cookie post is timely!

  47. I have now picked myself up, put the car keys down, stopped making a Christmas list and focused on this cookie recipe. It sounds delicious and different. Now I am calmly saying "it's twelve whole weeks until Christmas--lots of time" over and over and over!!


  48. Did you sneak into my pantry and notice that I happen to have everything (except pine nuts) on hand for this recipe? Why, thanks! The cookies sound great. I am DEFINITELY going to make these.

  49. I can't believe the holidays are are around the corner. I was thinking of doing something similar, baking lots of cookies and freezing them but I'm running out of freezer space. These cookies look great. I've never used apricot in cookies.

  50. This really is a lovely and creative recipe. First off the nuts and apricot in a cookie is fabulous.

    However, the amaretto frosting is just over the top good. What a great idea.

    Be well

  51. I just found out I'm hosting 10 people here for Christmas, so I'm definately panicking!

    On your Bill Bass meatloaf, what gravy do you serve with it?

  52. Talk about being jolted into reality~ I am going back to the US in a week's time and look how fast this year has passed by!
    These cookies sounds delicious, of course I am a big fan of icebox cookies (convenience) and apricots and pine nuts and almonds, yum!

  53. I know - I can't believe it's only 12 weeks until Christmas! I so wish I could participate,but I think this month is going to be too crazy. But your cookies look perfect for the holidays!

  54. 12 weeks till Christmas?? That does not sit well with me right now!!! Oh well I suppose I need to suck it up and go shopping!

  55. Barbara...ONLY because you mentioned a drizzle of Amaretto...will I accept reading anything about holiday cookies! There's so many more things I want to think about one season at the time!
    Alright then...first, thank you sooo much about the reminder...and secondly for steering me to your friend's blog when my mind set is ready for those holiday cookie recipes ;o))

    Ciao for now,

  56. These cookies sound amazing, especially with amaretto frosting, yum!!!

  57. 12 weeks...oh my I haven't even has time to get over this summer heat....great cookies, I love Giada..yum
    thanks for the link,off to check Amy's sweets

  58. Barbara,
    I'm with you, it is never too soon to be thinking and planning for the Holidays and what a great idea to be adding new cookie recipes and ideas ( then when the time comes we are all ready with great recipes) Your cookie sounds incredible, I would love to give it a try.
    Have a nice day

  59. These cookies sound incredible with all the yummy mix-ins! I especially love the pine nuts in there. I'm always looking for new holiday cookie recipes so I'm excited to follow the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies!

  60. I can't wait for Christmas. I'll be making my Christmas Cakes, pudding and mincemeat at the end of October!

    These cookies look and sound very yummy.


  61. This is my first year baking the twelve weeks and I am really excited about it.

    This is a great cookie to include. As a apricot fan, I love this. I just printed it for future baking.



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