12 Days of Cookie Christmas: Day 4 – Nut Cups


Kasey Corra '22

These mini nut cups make for great holiday desserts and gifts for friends and family.

I am terrible at baking. When I was about 11, I went through a half-hearted baking phase, but I didn’t have a growth mindset yet (thanks Montrose!) and each failed attempt at cupcakes inched me closer to self-loathing and frustration. My aunt and my grandmother are terrific Italian cooks and bakers, though, and I’ve been making cookies under their very careful guidance every Christmas I can remember. We usually make five or six types and package them into cheerful holiday Tupperware for just about everyone we know. This year over the course of three days, my aunt, siblings, and I made over 900 cookies. 

Nut cups, like most of our Christmas recipes, have been in my family for generations. Making them is a Christmas card in itself because there are usually at least 3 phone calls to relatives clarifying the recipe or explaining the perfect filling or dough strategy. The dough is super flaky, and these are as good defrosted as they are out of the oven. That said, this recipe makes a lot of nut cups — it’s okay to half or quarter the ingredients if needed. 


Dough Ingredients: 

½ pound of butter – softened

8 ounces of cream cheese – softened

2 cups of All-Purpose flour



Mix all the ingredients together and make 48 balls, about the size of a walnut. Put them into mini-sized muffin pans and press the dough to line the cups. 


Filling Ingredients: 

2 eggs

1.5 cups of light brown sugar

2 tablespoons of butter – melted

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1.75 cups of finely chopped nuts



Mix all the ingredients together and fill each cup with ¾ of a teaspoon. Bake the filled cups at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the filling has risen substantially above the tin.

Hopefully, this recipe or another this week will bring you a little closer to your family during Christmastime. Happy eating!

Kasey Corra ‘22, Co-Assistant Editor-in-Chief