South Central WI Archive
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2010
Written by 

Garcher Family Christmas Cookies


1 pound butter, softened

2 pounds (8 cups) white flour

6 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 packet yeast or 1 cake yeast, 2/3 ounce

2 cups milk (or enough to make dough sticky)

Fruit filling: Your choice of poppy seed, apricot, nut, cherry, prune, apple — choose from any jam or fruit filling you like.

Making the dough:

Warm 1 cup of the milk in the microwave or on the stovetop to 105 degrees, and add the yeast. Let the yeast develop for 5 minutes until bubbling on top.*

Cut softened butter into the dough to create a pea size texture.

Beat your eggs to combine, then add the milk and yeast mixture. Combine this with the flour and butter dry mixture. I do this initially with a large spoon, but then use my hands. Continue adding the remaining milk until dough is sticky. It should be stickier than a bread dough. No kneading is needed!

Form dough into 2 balls and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator. This recipe makes a lot of cookies so you can use half and freeze the rest for later.

Making the cookies:

Divide one of the balls into quarters. Roll out one quarter of the dough to about 11 inches by 17 inches. Cut in 2-inch squares. I do this by making one long cut down the center of the rolled out dough, then cutting the remaining dough in half longwise. Repeat. Then cut crosswise to get your 2-inch squares. Use a ruler as needed. Repeat process with the remaining quarters of dough.

Take a small dollop of your fruit filling of choice and place in the center of each square. Traditional flavors include poppy seed, prune, nutmeats or apricot. You can also use this dough to go a more savory direction and use cheese or veggies.

Assemble the cookies by taking the opposite side corners and pinching together. Use a little water to get the corners to stick.

Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy your family and friends.

*“For active dry yeast, the water temperature should be between 105 and 110 degrees for proofing. While 95 degrees is the best temperature for yeast to multiply, that’s not quite warm enough for proofing active dry yeast. It needs the extra warmth to dissolve and become active.” (Source:

Debi Morton

Debi Morton owns Driftless Depot Organic Market, Deli & Café, 140 Winsted St. in Spring Green. She is a lifelong foodie, chef and advocate of eating seasonally. Debi and her husband are also organic and biodynamic growers of fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit or call 608-628-1001.

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