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Milton Hershey School Reveals Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas is a special time for any child, and it is no different at Milton Hershey School. MHS students, whether they are at school or in their student home, enjoy the taste of the holiday season through Christmas cookies. The MHS Bake Shop uses cookie recipes from our School History vault to surprise students and staff (many who are alumni) with some of the Hersheys’ most beloved desserts.

Ida Gray, who worked at the school, shared that Milton Hershey liked sugar cookies and got them from the school’s bake shop. In the 1950s, housemothers planned in advance, submitting supply orders for holiday baking as early as November 10th.

Noontime concerts, begun in 1989 and held in the rotunda of Founders Hall, showcased the musical talents of students of all ages. The concerts were open to the community and a favorite for many. In addition to the music, the audience enjoyed hot cocoa and the school’s popular sand tart cookies made by the school bakers.

A cookbook, “Kooking for Kids” created by housemothers for housemothers in 1966 contained recipes popular with the students, including Brownies, Whoopie Pies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Drops, Brown Sugar Cookies, and Fudge Cookies.

Here are a few of Milton Hershey School’s most cherished Christmas cookie recipes to enjoy:

Fudge Cookies


  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Combine ingredients and boil 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add 3 cups of oatmeal or 1 ½ cup oatmeal, 1 ½ cup coconut, and 1 tsp. vanilla.
  3. Drop by tablespoonful onto wax paper.

MHS Sand Tarts


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


    1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
    2. Add in four eggs and vanilla, mix to incorporate.
    3. Sift the baking powder and flour, and mix into the batter, until just together. Be careful not to overmix.
    4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until very thin.
    5. Cut into desired shape.
    6. Brush with egg wash (beat 1 egg with a little bit of water to loosen)
    7. Decorate with sprinkles, cinnamon sugar, or colored sugar as desired.
    8. Bake at 350 degree for 8-10 minutes, cooking time will vary depending on the thickness.
    9. Cool and serve.

Peanut Blossom Cookies


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Nonstick spray for cookie sheet
  • 5 dozen (one 11-ounce package) HERSHEY’S Kisses, foil removed


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Spray cookie try and set aside. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll cookies in sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
  3. Bake until very light brown and puffed, 6-8 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and lightly press a HERSHEY’S Kiss into the center of each cookie, allowing it to crack slightly. Return to oven until light golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely, and store in an airtight container.

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