Now that we’ve gotten through Thanksgiving, the holidays are officially in full swing. And as we dust off the decorations and start buying presents, there’s also one other tradition that seems to really take shape during this time of year: baking. But not just any kind of baked goods, but we all seem to love making cookies during the holidays. Whether they are good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies that kids often leave for Santa Claus or the mini balls of dough covered in rainbow sprinkles that’s usually served in Italian homes, we can’t help but nosh on more than our fill in sweets. But with all the varieties of holiday cookie recipes out there, sometimes it’s hard to choose what to take on.
Not to worry, we’ve hand-picked some classics like gingerbread and thumbprint cookies, and also some fun whimsical ones including eggnog and chocolate peppermint biscuits for your next cookie exchange party or holiday dinner.
And if don’t know your way around the kitchen, don’t fret. None of these step by step recipes are too difficult.
5.) Eggnog Meltaway Cookies
Nothing says Christmas more than egg nog. And if you’re a fan of the beverage, then you’ll absolutely love this recipe for eggnog meltaway cookies. Using nine ingredients, most of which are easy to find, it’s pretty straightforward.
Once you have measured out all the ingredients, you can toss them into a food processor like this Cuisinart model and pulse it until everything is combined. Then scoop out portions of dough, roll them into balls and place them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Place them in the fridge for half an hour, then put in the oven at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. While the cookies cool, mix powder sugar and nutmeg on smaller tray like this one then roll each cookie in the powdery sweetness and serve.
4.) Thumbprint Cookies
If eggnog isn’t your thing, then maybe the traditional thumbprint cookie is a better option. Known as Hallongrotta, or “raspberry cave” to the Swedes, it was created in the 19th century and has evolved into different variations over the years. The recipe follows a similar process as the ones above, except the fun thumb imprint you put into each one.
The key is to keep the cookies roughly the same size, which you can do with a mini scoop like this OXO one, which has has a plastic lining that will make it easier to grip onto. Once the balls are laid out on a greased or non-stick cookie sheet, then you can take a teaspoon to press a little dent into each one, or if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can use your actual thumb. Pick out your favorite jam. (If you want to be traditional, then you can use raspberry jam, but any flavor will do.) They will bake in a 350°F oven for 14 minutes.
3.) Double Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Are you craving chocolate? Well, we’ve got a recipe that isn’t your typical chocolate chip cookie but has the same concept. Celebrity cook Donal Skehan has a recipe for double chocolate candy cane cookies, which will make these peppermint candies more than just an ornament on the tree.
Like many other cookie recipes, you will need to cream brown sugar and butter in a stand-up mixer like the iconic KitchenAid. Then follow with the egg, wet ingredients and then dry ones. Mix well then scoop spoonfuls onto a greased or lined sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are crisp. Finally, when you take them out of the oven, carefully press candy cane pieces into the cookies before they cool. Putting the candy into freshly baked cookies right after they’re out of oven will keep them in place. Avoid putting them into the batter before baking, because they will melt in the oven and won’t look as good. #NailedIt
2.) Lavender Shortbread Wreaths
This list wouldn’t be complete without a recipe from Bon Appétit. Senior food editor Alison Roman revamps the shortbread recipe by turning them into pretty wreaths. After watching the video above, you may think it’s a little labor intensive. But there’s something special about making everything from scratch.
Once you’ve made the icing and baked the shortbread, you can start decorating. And that’s where the fun begins! Aside from the icing, the recipe calls for freeze dried fruits. You can buy those pre-made, but if you’re in the DIY mood, you can use a dehydrator to make your own toppings for these cookies. You can also make this a family affair with everyone decorating their own cookies.
1.) Gingerbread Cookie Ornaments
The holidays don’t seem complete without gingerbread and ornaments. Lucky for you, we have combined the two with this recipe from Tastemade.
Like the other recipes, this is also easy to follow. When you have the cooled dough rolled out, you can finally play with the cookie cutters, which can fit your Christmas, or Hanukkah celebration. Once they’re cut out to the shape you want, place them on a silicone lined cookie sheet and be sure to use a skewer to poke a hole at the top of each one. You bake them at 350°F for eight to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 10 minutes for crispier ones. And don’t forget to decorate them!
If you just can’t bake, then buy. Here are some of our favorites that can be delivered to your home.