Sweeties are a fluffy, glazed almond flavored cookie that is unique to Texas. While usually pink in color, we switched things up and made red and green Christmas Sweeties! They are one of our favorite Christmas cookies to make every year!
Red and Green Christmas Sweeties
Our family moved to Texas in the summer of 2004, to a small town called Lake Jackson.
Around Christmas of that first year, we were introduced to a cookie called Sweeties. My daughter’s high school class made them in great quantities for a bake sale.
This was the first time I had ever seen these adorable cookies. Her school made them in red and green and they looked so pretty and festive.
And their taste was wonderful. They have an almond flavor and they taste a little like a sugar cookie but their texture is more delicate.
Each cookie is painted with an almost flavored sugar glaze that makes them sparkle. I like them also because they have the traditional Christmas colors of red and green.
Since 2004, we have made these cookies for the holidays and they are a family favorite. They are easy to make and are always a big hit.
What You Need to Make Sweeties
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For the Dough
- Butter — Use unsalted butter, as we do add salt to the recipe
- Sugar — White granulated
- Almond Extract — This gives Sweeties their distinct flavor
- Flour — The recipe calls for all-purpose flour. I used Bob’s gluten-free baking flour for my batch. I loved the taste and flavor.
- Baking powder
- Cream of tartar — See notes on this below
- Red and green food coloring — Use normal food coloring—not gels. I tried gels for my first batch and it did not work well. I had best results with the inexpensive food coloring I found in my grocery store.
For the Glaze
- Powdered sugar
- Almond extract
Kitchen Tools Used
Can You Skip the Cream of Tartar?
The recipe calls for a small amount of Cream of Tartar.
Cream of tartar helps with the distinctive taste and texture of the Sweeties. It’s not very much and I haven’t tried making them without it, so I recommend you keep it in.
How to Make Sweeties
Before you start, note that the dough gets refrigerated for two hours before baking. Also, they have a tiny bit of cream of tartar in them. The other ingredients are common in many kitchens, but that may not be something you have on hand.
Cream the butter and sugar with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Stir in remaining ingredients, taking care not to over-mix.
Divide the dough evenly into two bowls.
Add a little red food coloring to one and mix in. You don’t want to totally mix it in, just so the color is lightly spread through the dough.
Add a little green food coloring to one and mix in. You don’t want to totally mix it in, just so the color is lightly spread through the dough.
Refrigerate dough for about 2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Flatten each ball slightly.
Bake for 12 minutes, but keep a close eye on them. Don’t overcook. You don’t want these to brown at all!
While the cookies are baking, mix your glaze ingredients in a bowl.
When cookies are done, remove from oven and place on rack. Put a towel under the rack to catch any extra glaze.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of glaze on each cookie. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
How to Store Sweeties
Store in an airtight container. Do not store with any other cookies.
Try to make them just one layer, but if you need to stack, place a layer of parchment or wax paper between the layers so the glaze doesn’t stick to other cookies.
They should last up to a week, but do taste best within the first couple day.
Tips to Make the Best Sweeties
Mixing the dough: The recipe says to not over mix. You add the dry ingredients by hand. Under mix it slightly because you will be mixing it a little more when you add the food coloring.
Baking: Watch these. You don’t want them to brown or over cook.
More of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes:
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
- Russian Tea Cakes with Hershey’s Kisses
- Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Lace Cookies
- Christmas Thumbprint Cookies
Christmas Sweeties Cookie Recipe (Printable Copy)
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Christmas Sweeties Cookie Recipe
- Mixing bowls
- Cookie Sheet
- Cooling rack
For the Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs (large)
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 4 cups flour
- 1 TB baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- red and green food coloring
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 TB milk
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add eggs, mix in one at a time.
- Stir in remaining ingredients but do not over mix.
- Divide the dough into two bowls.
- Add a little red food coloring to one and mix in. You don’t want to totally mix it in, just so the color is lightly spread through the dough.
- Add a little green food coloring to one and mix in. You don’t want to totally mix it in, just so the color is lightly spread through the dough.
- Refrigerate dough for about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Flatten each ball slightly.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Don’t overcook. You don’t want these to brown at all.
- While the cookies are baking, mix your glaze ingredients in a bowl.
- When cookies are baked, put them on a rack to cool. I like to put a towel under the rack to catch the glaze.
- With a pastry brush or spoon, spread about a teaspoon of glaze over the tops of each cookie.
- Allow cookies to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Do not store in same container as any other cookie.
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