These cookies were made for many years by various children of the Folk School staff for the Kids’ Christmas Party, an annual event going back to the beginning of the Folk School time. Held for local kids in the Community Room, it features music, dance, storytelling, crafts, and the arrival of Santa in the Brasstown Volunteer Fire Truck.

The handmade recycled paper decorations in the photo also represent the Folk School’s historic holiday cheer. 

To make the dough, cream together with an electric mixer:

1¼ cups butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar

Beat in:

2 egg yolks (reserve the whites)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Gradually mix in by hand:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

At this point you can chill the dough well covered for several hours or proceed right away. (The dough may also be shaped into balls and then chilled until firm.)

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.

Brush the balls with the reserved egg whites and roll in:

2 cups finely chopped pecans

Place the balls 2 to 3 inches apart on parchment covered baking sheets. Indent each ball with thumb and fill with:

½ teaspoon homemade jam or jelly

Bake for 12–15 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Makes 3 dozen

Cool on wire racks.

Recipe featured above appears in The Folk School Cookbook by Nanette Davidson; Cookbook photography by Keather Gougler, unless otherwise noted.

The Folk School Cookbook:
A Collection of Seasonal Favorites

Arranged by the seasons, the 336-page hardcover book features Southern Appalachian cooking as well as cuisine from other parts of the world—especially those that have helped to shape the history of the school. Folk School regulars will recognize dining hall favorites, Fall Festival fare, Appalachian classics, and treats made for holidays and special events.

Nanette Davidson, cookbook author and former Folk School Resident Artist in Cooking, meticulously collected and curated over 200 recipes including some of the most memorable recipes served family-style in the school’s Dining Hall over the decades.

Between the beautiful photography, illustrations, stories, and the delectable recipes, you’ll be tempted to come to Brasstown for a visit. We hope you will! In the meantime, cook up a taste of John C. Campbell Folk School at home and share it with friends and family.

The Folk School Cookbook is available at the Folk School Craft Shop. Place an order through our online store to have the cookbook shipped directly to you.

John C. Campbell Folk School
About John C. Campbell Folk School

The Folk School transforms lives, bringing people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.