My holiday spirit just so happens to be focused on the important things, like cookies. And what better day to think about cookies than on National Bake Cookies Day! My creativity and love for baking during the most wonderful time of the year stems back from bonding with my mother in the kitchen. I would press and knead my tiny hands into the countless dough of cookies, occasionally sneaking some in my mouth when she wasn’t looking.
We would spend hours to bake, decorate, and pack dozens of cookies for Santa, swaps, parties, gifts for teachers and friends, and to solely indulge for ourselves. Having National Bake Cookies day fall a week before Christmas gives an opportune time to wrap up those last-minute holiday essentials! We decided to work on our Santa bods and share our best and most favorite cookies that put us in the holiday spirit. So turn up the holiday tunes and bake your day a little better with some goodness.
1. Peanut Butter Blossoms – From Hershey’s
- Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
- Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.
- Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
- Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 48 cookies.
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil and arrange saltine crackers to cover full sheet.
- Boil two sticks of unsalted butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar for 3 minutes
- Immediate pour over saltines that is lined with foil.
- Bake for 5-6 minutes.
- Take out, and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes to melt.
- Spread with icing spatula or knife to cover all edges.
- Decorate with choice of sea salt, sprinkles, M&Ms, nuts, etc.
- Freeze for 1 hour or chill for 3 hours.
- Break apart and enjoy!
*optional keep refrigerated for best quality!
From Margo's Kitchen
3. 3 Ingredient Cinnamon Pin Wheels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out pie crust into an approx. 12-inch x 8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle all over with sugar and cinnamon.
- Starting at short end, roll crust until you have a tightly rolled log.
- Slice into 1-inch wide cookies. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until pie crust is cooked but slightly underdone. Let rest on baking sheet for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Gingerbread Cookies
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes on medium-high speed in electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in eggs, molasses and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions and form them each into a ball.
- Gently use your hands to flatten each ball into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Once the dough is thoroughly chilled and you’re ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Unwrap the dough and place it on a large, lightly-floured hard surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough evenly until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick.
- Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes, re-rolling the dough as needed to cut out more. Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp around the edges and on top. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once the cookies are room temperature, feel free to decorate them as desired with the icing (see below) and serve. Or store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
To make icing:
- Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. If your icing is too thin, add in a little more powdered sugar. If your icing is too thick, add in a tiny bit of milk.
- Use a piping bag, or a Ziplock bag (with the corner snipped off), or a plastic squeeze bottle to pipe the icing onto the cookies.
5. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate according to package directions; let cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then the cooled chocolate.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
- Place the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Drop a slightly heaping tablespoon of dough into the confectioners' sugar (the dough will be soft) and roll to coat and form into a ball.
- Place the dough in refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly toss the chilled cookie dough balls in confectioners' sugar and arrange on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
- Let cool on the sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Santa's Trash Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
- In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until smooth. (Dough will be thick.)
- Gently fold in potato chips, pretzels, chocolate chips, and sprinkles.
- Scoop tablespoon-size balls of dough and transfer them to prepared baking sheets. Slightly press them down onto baking sheets and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake until edges are just starting to get golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
7. Lindt Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp mint extract
15-20 drops green food coloring
1 bag of Lindt Lindor Christmas Limited Edition Peppermint Cookie Milk Chocolate Truffles
- Preheat oven 375 °F.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) together and set aside.
- Solicit your kids to unwrap the Lindt mints. Place in a Ziplock bag and chop the chocolate into small even pieces.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and mint extract.
- Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Add green food coloring and mix until evenly colored.
- Fold in the chopped Lindt mints.
- Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory.
- Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to wire racks to cool.
8. Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Once mixed, add the food coloring and beat until combined.
- Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed.
- Beat in more food coloring if you'd like the dough to be a brighter red. On low speed, beat in the chocolate chips. The dough will be sticky.
- Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Scoop up dough and roll into a ball.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake each batch for 11-12 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
- Beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.
- Drizzle in 1 Tablespoon of the cherry juice. Beat and pour the flour into the wet ingredients. Add the chopped cherries.
- Press the dough down to compact it and tightly cover with plastic wrap to chill until firm, at least 4 hours (and up to 3 days). If the cookie dough is not sufficiently chilled, your cookies will spread.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (silicone mats preferred to reduce spreading).
- Shape the cookie dough into balls. (If you find that the balls of dough are sticky and/or have gotten a little soft after rolling- place the balls of dough back into the refrigerator to firm up.)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges. The cookies will puff up and spread slightly.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Allow cooling for at least 30 minutes before drizzling with white chocolate.
10. Eggnog Snickerdoodles
- To prepare the cookies, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, eggnog, and vanilla. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars.
- Add in the flour mixture, stirring until barely incorporated.
- Chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours. (If chilling longer than 3 hours, cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap to avoid letting it dry out.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To prepare the coating, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
- Drop cookie dough into rounded mounds in the bowl of spiced sugar coating. Rotate it until its fully coated; then roll it between your palms into a ball.
- Drop it back in the spiced sugar, coat again, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies at 350°F for 9-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
11. Hot Cocoa Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power), melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
- Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.
- While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°Fand line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets, then flatten slightly.
- Bake cookies about 12 minutes.
- While the cookies bake, cut the large marshmallows in half (crosswise). When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half (cut side down) into the center of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2 minutes. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
- Once cookies are cool drizzle melted chocolate over them and decorate with sprinkles,
12. Jam Tiles
- Beat butter, sugar, egg, extracts and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until creamy.
- On low speed, beat in flour until blended. Divide dough in half; shape each into a 1-in.-thick disk and wrap separately in plastic. Chill 1 hour or until firm.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough and using a floured square cutter, cut out 35 squares; place on one baking sheet, 1 in. apart. Chill in refrigerator 10 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Remove baking sheet from the refrigerator and bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on wire rack.
- Roll out remaining dough and cut out 35 more squares. Using floured alphabet cutters from centers of squares; move squares to a second prepared baking sheet and chill 10 minutes.
- Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are lightly browned. Cool on sheet on wire rack 2 minutes; move to rack to cool completely.
- Spread jam on bottoms of whole cookie squares; top with a cutout letter cookie and sandwich together. Dust faces of cookies with confectioners' sugar.
13. Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water or in a microwave-safe medium bowl on medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until tepid but still fluid.
- Whisk together the flour and salt.
- In a different bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 1 minute.
- Beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, followed by the melted chocolate and the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until combined.
- Hand mix in chopped pecans.
- Roll the dough into marble-sized balls and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10 minutes and removed from the oven, and, using the end of the wooden spoon, make an indentation in each cookie.
Return to the oven and continue baking until the edges of the cookies are crisp, 5 to 10 minutes more, depending on their size.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks and let cool completely.
Make the filling
- Melt the chocolate and oil in a small bowl set over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water or in a microwave-safe medium bowl on medium (50% power), stirring at 30-second intervals. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Using a teaspoon, fill the indentations on each cookie with some of the chocolate mixtures. Let stand until the chocolate sets (or, if you’re the impatient sort, you can refrigerate them to speed things up).
Pair these cookies with these beautiful boxed gift sets!