BR Bakes

We asked our staff for their favorite cookie recipes and they delivered.

Scroll for a dozen of our BR family-favorite cookie recipes.

Kristina Hopkins’ Mini Merry-cherry Cheesecakes

Ingredients (cheesecake):
3 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Foil baking cups

Topping ingredients:
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 can cherry pie filling
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese. Add 1 C. sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add 2 tsp. vanilla. Beat ingredients for 3 – 4 minutes until fluffy. Fill foil baking cups ¾ full. Place filled baking cups on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300° for 35 – 40 minutes. Allow baked cheesecakes to cool for 5 minutes. Mix sour cream with ¼ cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread 1 ½ tsp. on each cheesecake. Top with 3 cherries. Return to oven for 5 minutes to set topping.

Yields 25 – 30 mini cheesecakes

Back Story:
This is my mom’s recipe that she’s made for years. I borrowed the recipe from her to make these as my dish to pass for my first Christmas with my boyfriend’s family (said “boyfriend” is now my husband). Needless to say, these mini cheesecakes helped win over the family and have been a staple dessert at Christmas ever since!

Dot Hogan’s Famous Fruitcake Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter
3 eggs, well beaten
3 cups flour – 2 for cookie dough, 1 for dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup milk
2 cups dried apricots – chopped
2 cups dried pineapple – chopped
2 cups dried cranberries (Craisins) (Note: you can substitute any dried fruit you like here, raisins, dried cherries, etc., or reduce amounts of these and add more types of dried fruit. Don’t exceed 6 cups total or you’ll never get them mixed in.)
7 cups pecans – chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter, add eggs. Sift together 2 cups flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add flour mixture to creamed ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Add 1 cup flour to dried fruit and combine to coat evenly. Add dried fruit and nuts to dough and combine (unless you have an industrial mixer, mix this by hand with a BIG spoon). Drop by spoonful on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake approximately 25 minutes. The time will vary slightly depending on your oven. Start checking at 22 minutes, it may take up to 28 minutes. Partially cool them on cookie sheets, then move to wire rack to completely cool.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 ½ cups flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter and cream cheese. Add extracts, salt and egg yolk. Blend well. Add flour and blend until incorporated. Cover and chill dough at least 2 hours or overnight. On floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired holiday shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely, then decorate.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen depending on size

Raspberry Meringue Kisses

3 ½ tablespoons raspberry gelatin powder
3 egg whites
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/8 tsp salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add gelatin and sugar gradually and beat until stiff and sugar is dissolved. Mix in vinegar and fold in chocolate chips. Drop tablespoonfuls on cookie sheet lined with brown paper. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the cookies in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove from paper and let cool.

Makes about 8 dozen

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups crunchy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter

Mix all ingredients but chocolate in a bowl until well-blended. Form the mixture into 1-inch spheres (A melon baller is great for this). Place balls on cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until firm. Melt chocolate chips. Dip balls into melted chocolate to coat completely. Refrigerate to set chocolate and to store.

Makes about 100

White Chocolate Funfetti Blondies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 ounces good-quality white chocolate, shaved or finely chopped*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup confetti quin or jimmie sprinkles

*Good-quality white chocolate will have cocoa butter listed as one of the first ingredients. Stay away from white baking chips, which legally can’t be called white chocolate as they are made from partially hydrogenated oils instead of cocoa butter. They won’t work in this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper; lightly butter parchment. Melt butter in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add white chocolate; the residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt the chocolate. If necessary, microwave on medium power in 10-second intervals, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Stir in sugar and brown sugar. The mixture may appear to separate a bit at this point which is normal. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold in flour, baking powder, and salt until almost incorporated, then fold in sprinkles. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until top is set and lightly crackled and edges are golden brown. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out cleanly with only a few moist crumbs attached. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Lift out blondies using edges of parchment paper as handles and cut into 16 even squares. Blondies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to a week.

Nutty Chocolate-raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup dutch-process cocoa
1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter, softened (1/4 pound, or 1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
6 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Take 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a 1” ball. Roll in nuts. Repeat with remaining dough. Place dough balls 2″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a 1-teaspoon round measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Fill indentations with ó teaspoon jam. Bake until cookies are set, about 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets, then remove to racks. When cookies are cooled, drizzle with melted white chocolate. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

German Molasses Cookies

1 cup butter
1 ¼ cups light molasses; 1 12oz. jar
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ to ¾ tsp ground cloves


Melt butter into a saucepan; add molasses and brown sugar and heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Pour into a bowl; cool. Sift remaining ingredients together; add to cooled mixture in fourths, mixing until blended after each addition. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until easy to handle, using additional flour if necessary. Wrap in moisture-vaporproof material; refrigerate and allow dough to ripen one or two days. Roll one fourth of dough at a time about 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface; cut with a 3-inch round cutter or fancy cutters. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F about 7 minutes.

Note: For gingerbread men, roll dough ¼ inch thick and cut with a gingerbread-man cutter. Bake about 13 minutes.

Makes about 8 dozen cookies

Shortbread Cookies

1/2 lb. of butter
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
Pinch of baking soda

Mix all 4 ingredients together. Knead, then divide dough into 3 parts. Roll out one part at a time and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 250-275° for 30 minutes. Each cookie must be pricked and sugared before putting into the oven.

Makes about 60 cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms 

1 ¾ cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
½ cup peanut butter.
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Cream ½ cup butter and ½ cup peanut butter. Add 1 unbeaten egg and vanilla. Beat well. Blend in dry ingredients gradually; mix thoroughly. Shape dough into balls using a rounded tsp. Roll ball in sugar and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in moderate oven (350*) for 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Top each cookie with a chocolate star, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around the edge. Return to oven. Bake 2-5 minutes longer until golden brown.

Aunt Diane’s Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 

¾ cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips (11.5 ounce bag)*
*for White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, replace milk chocolate chips with:
¾ cups chopped dried cranberries
1 ¼ cups of white chocolate chips

-OR for colorful cookies:

2 cups of mini or regular M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream first 6 ingredients until really fluffy. Add next 3 ingredients that have been stirred together, no need to sift. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Drop rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from oven, but leave on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Move to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Original Recipe: Submitted to the 2006 St. James Catholic Church Altar and Rosary Cookbook by Diane Durin

Lemon Shortbread Cookies 

Ingredients (cookie):
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp packed, finely grated lemon peel
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅛ tsp kosher salt

For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup lemon juice

In mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar. Add lemon peel and lemon juice; mix well. In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mix just until blended. Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness. Slide wrapped dough onto a cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from plastic wrap; cut with small cookie cutter dipped in flour. Place on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes. Cookies should remain pale. Cool on wire cooling racks. Drizzle with glaze. Makes 1½ dozen cookies.

Original Recipe: Submitted to 2016 We Energies Cookie Book by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Ready, set, bake! We dare you to eat just one.