Christmas Cookie Special: Nicotera’s Bakery Cookies

by Joanne on December 10, 2014

Something new is happening around here. A never been tried before experiment.  It’s not going to be exciting, it’s going to be challenging. What is it?  It’s Time Off From Running for Joanne. It’s being forced upon me by a bad knee.  Something I’ve never had to deal with before.  I’ve had bad hips, hamstrings and feet but never a bum knee and I don’t like it. 

I recently read an article about how important time off is.  It helps our body realign itself, inflammation go down, and micro tears heal.  We won’t lose our hard earned fitness in two weeks and that just might be all we need. In addition, for the experienced runner, and after 15 marathons, I legitimately claim that title, 10 – 12 weeks of training for the next marathon is all that is needed. 

I’m probably not going to make it two weeks without running but I’m going to try my best to keep my pace to a walk and focus on strength training.  Come the weekend, I might try running a few steps on the treadmill to see how the leg feels.  After doing the elliptical today, my knee stiffened up pretty badly and I took that as a sign to back off.  So bring on the challenge and lets hope I can keep my sanity.

Nicotera’s Bakery Cookies

If you don’t make any other cookie this holiday season, this is the one to make.  Make the basic dough then divide it and add any flavoring you like.  


In my version below, I added fresh lemon zest and juice.  The cookie is tender and light.  Sweet and satisfying.


Makes 2 – 4 dozen depending on how you shape the cookie.



  • 1 cup trans fat free Crisco
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 TBS 100% maple syrup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or full fat milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract – other flavorings of your choice.
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • zest from 1 large lemon (optional)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • *1 egg plus milk for brushing tops prior to baking.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat shortening with sugar until creamy.  Add maple syrup and beat well again.

Add eggs and beat until fluffy.  Add cream or milk and vanilla an other flavorings and beat..

Blend in flour, baking powder and salt.  Dough should be soft enough to handle, tender but not sticky.  Do not over mix.

Let dough relax for 10 minutes under a cloth, away from draft.  Roll it out 1/4 inch thick if you like and use a cookie cutter or form into 1 1/2 inch “buttons”.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg yolk and milk mixture and decorate with sprinkles.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes depending on size.  Do not over bake.


What is your recovery routine from exercise or other stress inducing rituals?

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  • At 2014.12.10 19:40, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

    Your cookies look good! Sorry about your knee. I had to deal with that for a while, too. Weight training is a good way to keep exercising when you can’t use your knee. Hope your knee heals soon!

    • At 2014.12.13 14:13, Choc Chip Uru said:

      These christmas cookies are so cute 😀
      I hope you heal up soon, ready to race again!

      Choc Chip Uru

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