Holiday Cookies with SHF/IMBB

Sunday, November 27, 2005

the Great Cookie SwapAs grown up kids, we often have family flavor favorites that we cling to our chests like worn out teddy bears. My Mom’s marzipan-raspberry Ribbon Cookies are one such item. I remember seeing them in our kitchen growning up, being pressed flat under weights. Each colored cake layer combining with the others to form such a tight wonderful cookie. I loved the permission to squish the dickens out of these as part of their making! These cookies have also informed my adult sweet tooth, contributing to my craving for the combination of almond, raspberry and chocolate swirled together in a single bite.

My grown up palate has also brought newer cherished flavor combinations to my holiday celebration, alcohol flavors I didn’t appreciate as a youngster. Chocolate Rum Balls are a favorite that Judah and I made, in our first steps of attending parties as grown ups, delivering these little booze bombs into the unsuspecting hands of our hosts.

Both of these cookies are delights in my holiday repitoire, ones I’m glad to contribute to this years Holiday Cookie Swap…

Chocolate Rum Balls

This recipe is such a straight forward classic. This version is found on the epicurious website, yet is easily altered to form a myriad of different variations. A nice feature of this cookie is that it doesn’t require oven time… oh yeah, and the rum is a nice feature too.

Great Balls o' RumOver a double boiler or in a microwave with gentle heat, melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate. When melted, stir in:

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 Tbs corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of rum
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • one pinch of salt

In a food processor, bash together into tiny bits:

  • 10 ounces of vanilla or chocolate wafers
  • 1 cup of walnuts

Mix this cookie nut mixture into the melted chocolate mixture and thoroughly combine. Pour 1/2 cup of granulated sugar onto a plate. Roll the rum ball mixture into 1 Tbs sized balls and give a finishing roll in the plated sugar.

Makes approximately 45 Rum Balls.

As one can see the variations on this recipe can go wild…
- White Chocolate Peppermint Balls: substitute white chocolate and peppermint schnapps.
- Ginger Spice Balls: substitute crunchy ginger snaps and use spiced rum.
- Biscotti Rum Balls: substitute crushed biscotti cookies and your favorite almond liquer.

Ribbon Layer Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F.

ribbon cookieBlend together till smooth:

  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs

Mix in to the above mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

When the above mixture is smooth and all the ingredients incorporated, mix in:

  • ~ 2 cups flour

Divide the batter into three equal parts, approximately 1 3/4 cups of batter each. Leave one part naturally colored, and color the two remaining parts: one with green food coloring, and the other with red food coloring.

Bake each batter color separately in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish lined with wax paper. Spread the alloted batter thinly and evenly in the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes each at 350°F. Lift out the wax paper lined cakes and cool on a wire rack.

Assembly: place the green layer of cake on a foil covered cookie sheet that has been turned upside down, (making it seemingly without sides). Spread approximately 2-3 Tbs raspberry jam evenly on the cake layer. Next, carefully place the white cake layer on top of the jam covered green layer and cover its top with 2-3 Tbs raspberry jam. Lastly place the red layer of cake on top of the white layer creating a red-white-green jam layer sandwich. Place foil or wax paper over the top red layer, and cover with a cookie sheet. Weigh down the layered cakes with 2 -28 ounce cans of tomatoes (or something equal in weight) and refrigerate over night.

Icing: in a sauce pan over low heat, melt:

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Tbs butter

Whisk in 2 cups of icing (powdered) sugar, and slowly add 3-6 Tbs hot coffee until a smooth consistency is achieved. Cool slightly and pour over the top of the layered cakes. allow to set up approximately 30 minutes before slicing into 1 inch square shaped bites (trust me, tiny is better).

These are such tempting sweet little bites. I should warn you, there will be no resting while they are in the house!


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posted November 28th, 2005 at 5:36 am

I have always loved the look of those ribbon cookies, though I’m quite sure I haven’t had them in a few years. Great choices for SHF/IMBB, Mcauliflower.

- Nic
posted November 28th, 2005 at 7:11 am

I was just commenting to a friend last night that I’ve never tried or made a rum ball in my life. Your biscotti rum ball idea may just change that!

The ribbon cookies are gorgeous, what a wonderful childhood memory!

- s'kat
posted November 28th, 2005 at 8:34 am

I love reading all these cookie swap posts. Thanks for the balls recipe and the ribbon cookies are so pretty.

- Lynne
posted November 28th, 2005 at 2:12 pm

Those look great – and what wonderful holiday memories. Now I’m curious, which of these is coming to the holiday party so I can snatch up a few???

posted November 28th, 2005 at 6:21 pm

A delightful treat for both the eye and the taste bud!

posted November 28th, 2005 at 9:47 pm

thanks for the comments y’all! I’m slammed with work/volunteer stuff right now, but can’t wait to see everyone else’s sweets!

Oh yeah, show me your goodies! :)

posted November 28th, 2005 at 11:30 pm

hey – did you make those for cookie swap last year too?
They somehow awaken a memory hidden somewhere inside my little brain.

  • I did! I posted this recipe last year when swearing off eating anymore Christmas cookies :)


- sam
posted November 29th, 2005 at 4:30 am

Everything looks and sounds delicious.

- Jane
posted November 29th, 2005 at 8:14 am

then I am not going crazy. How could I ever forget such an striking-looking cookie.

- sam
posted November 29th, 2005 at 9:24 pm

Your rum balls look like they’d go good with your cupcakes from last month! What a great new year’s treat!

Very nice entry, The ribbon cookies look amazing!

posted December 2nd, 2005 at 2:36 pm

Really lovely choices!

- LisaSD
posted December 8th, 2005 at 7:38 am

The recipes look delicious, I will have to give them a try.

- Jane
posted December 7th, 2017 at 9:36 am

Wow, I was looking for a layer cookie recipe. That may just be the one. Looks amazing..I am hoping I have luck with them though, anyone else tried them yet, besides the pro? Happy Holidays!

Pro- me? You flatter- I’m not a pro, just crazy ;)
They are rather fancy looking and not a huge amount of effort. The taste is big, so small squares will be a good size to cut.

– McAuliflower

- J.Susanne
posted December 22nd, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Happy Holidays! I tried your ribbon layer cookies and they were so easy and came out divine! I have to make several more batches for my family and friends! Superb! Kudos! I felt like a pro afterwards!

so great to hear! Thanks for the feedback.


- J. Susanne
posted December 23rd, 2017 at 6:27 am

I emailed you at the other address, not knowing if it accurate or not. My question is: how do I go about storing the ribbon layer cookies? The first batch didn’t need storing-my family ate them the same day. Now I made more and don’t know how to store them until Christmas. Thanks so much!

J. Susanne

Responded to your email, but reposted here for the info:

They should be fine in an air tight container until then. To further ensure that they don’t dry out before then- you could store it uniced and uncut in an air tight container and then ice and cut the day before Christmas?

Another strategy for longer term storage is to freeze the layered cake before you ice and cut it. Just wrap it up well in several layers of plastic wrap and then an outer layer of foil.



- J. Susanne
posted January 6th, 2007 at 6:05 am

I cannot read any of the text at the website today. Did it get smaller or is it a problem with my laptop? I don’t know if I will be able to even read your reply either. I will x out and come back in and see if that helps..otherwise I seriously need to go to the eye dr. lol…

J. Susanne

No changes on our side. You should be able to change the text size in your web browser: view / text size / increase.
Hope that helps!


- J. Susanne
posted December 10th, 2007 at 11:03 am

oh – really like the idea of changing up the rum balls using biscotti!

posted January 1st, 2021 at 6:11 pm

I like your recipes. I have recently been getting creative ideas with rum balls and variations. I’m having a ladies night and was planning on making white chocolate peppermint ones. I didn’t have an exact recipe, so here yours is! The only difference is that I will be using peppermint menthe instead of scnhaps.. we’ll see how it comes out. I will also be making a chocolate version with coffee liquer.. we shall also see how it turns out!
Thank you, and next time I have a party I will be including your ribbon cookies!!

- Brittany
posted December 20th, 2021 at 12:14 am

YUM YUM YUM YUM! Ribbon cookies are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- randomlittlelady