What celebration would be complete without cookies? Don’t show up to your Christmas party with a box of store bought treats, the holidays are a time for family, friends and cookies. Spread the sweet love by baking chocolate peppermint, sugar, peanut butter, rainbow and other classic cookies that say happy holidays. You’ll be the hit of the dessert table with these top 10 holiday cookies.
Here are some favorites from the best bakers around. Following each description, you’ll find a link for the recipe.
The epitome of the holiday season, ginger snaps (or for those who prefer to decorate them, gingerbread), is the cookie with a snap. Covered in crinkles, the addition of cinnamon, molasses and nutmeg will instantly warm you up. The beloved biscuit can be sweetened with some basic vanilla icing drizzled over the top (www.allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-gingersnap-cookies/).
Peanut Butter Cookies
A year-round favorite, peanut butter cookies are the perfect cookie to give Santa as he washes them down with a cold glass of milk. Smush two together for a PB&J cookie. Most peanut cookies have a waffle-like appearance when baked thanks to some handy work with a fork. A classic cookie with everyone’s favorite flavor, you just can’t go wrong serving these on your table (www.sallys bakingaddiction.com/2014/08/03/classic-peanut-butter-cookies/).
Little bites of chewy coconut heaven, macaroons are one addicting treat. Not to be confused with French macarons—the sandwich cookie, which is also delicious—coconut macaroons require five simple ingredients and are superfast to make (www.food network.com/recipes/ina-garten/coconut-macaroons-recipe3.html).
The rainbow cookie is the cookie of the holidays for Italians. The colors, which are not only appropriate for Christmas, are the colors of the Italian flag, which is why you will also see them being referred to as Venetian cookies. Feel free to experiment with colors as well. Perhaps you are celebrating Hanukkah and want to use blue and yellow food coloring on your cookies?
These cookies are bit labor intensive since you have to bake each colored layer in a separate batch, wait for them to cool and then assemble with traditional apricot jam. If you have a stand mixer, your job will be a lot easier. Don’t like apricot jam? Try raspberry, strawberry or even blackberry for that added sweetness. The addition of almond paste gives these cookies that classic Italian bakery taste that so
many people love. Don’t forget those top and bottom layers of dark chocolate ganache. Yum. Refrigerating your cookies
for the right amount of time is key, so make sure to double check the temperature of your fridge (www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rainbow-cookies- recipe.html).
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Hot cocoa meets the candy cane. Another holiday favorite flavor blend is chocolate and peppermint. Double chocolate cookies work best for this one, so the cocoa flavor really comes through. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top for a picturesque visual, or hide them inside the dough for a mystery crunch with each bite. (www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chocolate-peppermint-cookies- recipe.html).
Another labor-intensive cookie in its assemblance, the linzer tart, is a beautiful treat for the holidays. While the bottom layer is just a normal cookie, the top can be hollowed out with any design of your choosing. Many cut out a heart or star, but other mini cookie cutter shapes are available as well. Choose your jam filling (any flavor will do) and begin to fill and sandwich the cookies. Once you’re finished, dust powdered sugar over the top for the perfect snow winter look (www.food.com/recipe/linzer-tarts-191826).
The easiest cookie to make and favorite to decorate among kids and adults alike, the sugar cookie is one versatile treat. The best for cutting out shapes like Christmas trees, bells, candy canes and snowflakes, sugar cookies are simple to bake from scratch and can be made unique with different icing and candy decorations. Make sure you and your little chef dip your cookie cutters in flour every once in a while for a perfectly cut out shape (www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sugar-cookies-recipe.html).
The way a snickerdoodle cookie bakes is quite fascinating. Common ingredients, such as flour, sugar, butter, vanilla and of course, cinnamon, plus the addition of baking soda and cream of tartar, allow for every nook and cranny to consume each sprinkle of cinnamon. These cookies are enjoyed chewy or crunchy, depending on how long you bake them (www.inspiredtaste.net/25457/snickerdoodles-recipe).
A great cookie for the kiddies who love to be the kitchen, thumbprint cookies are not only simple to make, but easy to make your own. While many choose to fill the indentation with jam or a Hershey’s chocolate kisses, you can fill your center with peanut butter, frosting or even some colorful M&M’s. These are the perfect cookie for kids to make, just make sure they’re little thumbprint is big enough to fill (www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/butter- and-jam-thumbprints-recipe2.html).
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Another addicting ball of crumbly goodness, Mexican wedding cookies (also known as Mexican wedding cakes) are super sweet and crunchy. Chopped pecans are mixed in with the shortbread batter for
a dry, but delicious crunch. If you’re a chocoholic, add some cocoa powder to the dough. The balls are then rolled in powdered sugar, which can really pack a punch for those with a sweet tooth. For others who want to cut down on the sugar, plain Mexican cookies are still just as yummy (www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/mexican-wedding- cookies-recipe4.html).