14 December, 2023

Our Favourite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Holiday cookies

The holidays are here, which means cookies! We’re here with holiday recipes from Trans Canada Trail’s President & CEO, Eleanor McMahon, plus a staff favourite.

Eleanor’s favourite holiday recipe: Swedish heirloom cookies

holiday recipe: Swedish heirloom cookies

Eleanor McMahon, our President & CEO, shares her favourite crowd-pleasing holiday recipe.


1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sifted icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups almonds, ground

Icing sugar, to dredge cookies

How to prepare

1. Cream shortening and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy.

2. Add icing sugar and salt, and mix well.

3. Stir in flour.

4. Add water, vanilla and ground almonds, stirring well.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.

6. Press down lightly on dough with bottom of glass or measuring cup.

7. Bake at 325 F° for 12 minutes or until done.

8. Sprinkle powdered sugar on cookies using a mesh sifter.

9. Enjoy!

Another staff favourite: lemon sugar cookies

Cookie dough and cookie cutters to make holiday cookies

Bright and not too sweet, these easy to make lemon sugar cookies are a sure hit.


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon lemon zest

How to prepare

mixing bowl of ingredients forlemon sugar cookies

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

2. In another bowl, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.

3. Add the egg and beat well, then add the vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest and mix again.

4. Add the dry ingredients, one-third at a time, mixing until well combined. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten into disks.

5. Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for 2 hours.

6. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Transfer to the baking sheets and bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Cool completely before icing.

8. Decorate with royal icing (optional).

9. Enjoy!

Recipes adapted from: Love & Lemons