This is my all-time favorite Christmas cookie recipe. I came up with this recipe to replace the powdered-sugar coated pecan cookies that my grandmother used to make.


  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar + 2 tbsp, plus lots more for sprinkling on cookies
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract (optional)
  • 1 scant tsp salt
  • 5-6 cups of all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a standing mixer beat softened butter until very light and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and orange extract if using, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  3. Add flour a little at a time until soft dough is formed that can be handled easily
  4. Taking about a teaspoonful at a time, (I use a small ice-cream scoop) roll into a small ball.
  5. Place on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 15-20minutes.
  6. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar while still hot. When cookies are cool, roll them in powdered sugar again.
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