Christmas is getting close, and it’s always been one of my favorite holidays. I love picking the perfect gift for the people I care about and then seeing their faces when they open it. In my younger, less anti-social (or rather, less filled with work during normal hours) days, I could wander the malls forever (back when we had more malls here. And not really forever, but for a while). I love the lights, the people, the sounds, the smells…

And the cooking. I get all kinds of domestic for Christmas. Or at least, a little. I like making sweets. The years have taught me that working with a bunch of guys (I’m frequently the only, or one of two, women on my team at any job), a lot of them single, means that food makes great gifts for my coworkers.

One year, two of my best friends at work were single guys. I found this cookie recipe and pretty much tried it out on them disguised as a Christmas gift. It went over so well that I’ve made it my go-to every year. I think the response was something like ‘next time you get bored, if you wanted to make these again…’. Making these will occupy my kitchen this weekend, at least for a little bit, because fortunately they’re really quick and easy to make.

Lemon Cream Cheese Holiday Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (you can substitute any kind of extract here. I’ve used cherry and orange as well. Sharper flavors stand out better)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Red and green food color (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 c), grease 2 baking sheets
  2. Beat together cream cheese and butter at medium speed
  3. Beat in sugar, milk, and lemon (or other extract)
  4. (optional) split mixture into two bowls. Add 2 drops of red food color to one, and 2 drops of green to the other. Divide flour into two equal parts.
  5. Beat in flour, 1/4 cup at a time until blended.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips

  • Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
  • Using a spoon, flatten each cookie slightly
  • Bake cookies about 10 minutes, until set and golden.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies