Mince Cookies and Other Holiday Favorites

We all have special memories of holiday baking. Mmmm, the smell of spicy cookies warm from the oven to greet you when youíve just come in from the cold! Or the joy of receiving a gift of a tin filled with sweet morsels!

To help you create your own fond holiday memories, we offer you a recipe inspired by our Chef of the Month: fragrant little half-moon-shaped cookies filled with spicy citrus, apples, raisins and dates. We also include our most famous holiday treat recipes: Annieís famous Ginger Cookies and Chocolate Truffles and Caitís famous Rum or Bourbon Balls. May your holiday season be filled with joy!


Poppy Seed Dough

2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, sugar and lemon peel. Using a pastry cutter, 2 knives, or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

2. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the egg and the vanilla extract. Use a fork to beat the egg, then use your hands to incorporate it into the rest of the mixture. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

Mince Filling

1 orange, preferably organic
1 lemon, preferably organic
1/2 cup apple juice
2 large apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dates, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum

1. Wash and slice the orange and lemon and place the slices, peel and all, into a blender with the apple juice. Puree, then place mixture in a non-reactive saucepan over low heat.

2. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, then chop into 1/8-inch dice, adding the pieces to the puree in the saucepan as you go. Add the raisins, dates, sugar, salt, and spices, cover, and allow mixture to cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking another 10 minutes, stirring more frequently, until mixture is thick. Add vanilla extract and rum, then set mixture aside to cool.

To Form the Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Take dough from fridge and roll it out on a floured board to 1/8-inch thickness. (You may need to let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes first if youíve let it refrigerate longer than 30 minutes.)

2. Using a cookie cutter or the bottom of a glass, cut dough into 3 1/2-inch rounds. Place a tablespoon of filling on half of each round, then fold over the other half, pressing edges together. Crimp edges with a fork. If you have filling left over, it can be kept covered in the refrigerator for several weeks.

3. Place cookies on a buttered baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

And here are our other holiday favorites:

Annieís Great-Grandmotherís Ginger Cookies

Annieís Famous Chocolate Truffles

Caitís Famous Rum or Bourbon Balls

Inspired by The Greens Cookbook, by Deborah Madison (Broadway Books, 1997) with other favorites by Annie and Cait.


J.L. A.
j A5 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Thanks Annie.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

Great recipes. Thanks.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

gail d.
gail dair7 years ago