12 Days of Holiday Cookies
If I could eat one dessert for the rest of my life, it would be cookies.
I love making old recipes and trying new ones. I love having a taste of the dough while baking them. I love getting flour all over my clothes (or apron, if I remember to wear one). I love scooping the dough onto the baking sheet with my mini scooper. I love the smell that fills my apartment while they're baking. I love being impatient and eating one straight out of the oven before they've cooled. Most of all I love gifting and sharing them with friends and family for the holidays.
Holiday cookies are a whole new level of cookie baking. I used to bake trays and trays in my
little NYC apartment oven (which is basically a glorified Easy Bake Oven) for all of my coworkers. I'd package up a little cookie tasting, one or two of each cookie I made, in a festive baggie and tie a little ribbon around it. I'd pass them out around the office and would be filled with so much joy as I watched my work friends munch on the cookies throughout the day.
I think baking is the perfect gift. You can personalize it with someone's favorite flavors, or you can fill a tray with an assortment of cookies!
I like to make lots of different recipes, some of my old favorites and I'll usually try out a few new ones! This year, I wanted to share some of my go-to holiday cookie picks with you! It's a fun activity to pick out a couple recipes and bake for a few hours while listening to holiday music.
My 12 Favorite Holiday Cookies:
Ginger Molasses Crinkle Cookies - These cookies have all of the spices and flavors of a gingerbread cookie, but without the need to roll out and cut out 50 little men with a cookie cutter. They also look beautiful and festive when the little cracks form on the top and a glisten of sugar!
Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies - These cookies were crazy popular a few years ago, and for good reason. They're a little bit labor intensive but I promise it's worth every minute of the process! With the buttery-richness of a shortbread, combined with the classic flavors of a chocolate chip cookie - these cookies are simply amazing to add to your baking list this year.
Cinnamon Espresso Cookies - My absolute go-to crowd pleasing cookie for coffee lovers and non coffee lovers alike. These cookies form a crispiness on the outside with a soft pillowy center. The layers of flavor make it impossible to have just one!
Life Changing Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies - I'm obsessed with tahini. The smooth sesame seed spread is delicious whether used savory or sweet. This is a Kale Junkie recipe that has become wildly popular! You wouldn't even know these cookies are gluten-free!
Pretzel Shortbread Cookies - I made this recipe in the early days of the pandemic and Peter and I ate the entire tray ourselves in less than 3 days. That's how good they are. The flavor is surprising but absolutely incredible. The pretzel/cookie, salty/sweet combo makes these cookies absolutely addictive.
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies - These cookies were a must-make at my house growing up. The pop of red from the raspberry jam, with a sprinkle of powdered sugar makes these cookies super festive on a cookie platter. The best part is, it's probably the easiest cookie recipe you can make.
Cinnamon Sugar Pillow Cookies Stuffed with Nutella - Just add Nutella to any cookie and it's a winner in my eyes. The taste is all in the name for this one. Fluffy cookies filled with a surprise of ooey-gooey Nutella. It just doesn't get any better.
Snowball or Mexican Wedding Cookies or Cardamom Crescents - It's absolutely necessary to make a snowy-looking, powdered sugar-coated cookie for the holidays and these are my two picks. A classic snowball cookie or Mexican Wedding cookie is always a win, but last year I discovered these Cardamom Crescents and I don't think I can ever go back to the plain ones!
Apple Brown Butter Blondies - Peter's dad likes to remind me almost every time I see him that this is the best thing I ever baked, so it's what I make him for his birthday every year. The apples are great and give it a warm holiday feel, but you can omit them and add in chocolate chips instead.
Biscotti - Am I even Italian if I don't put biscotti on my favorite cookie's list? Although it's not my usual go-to, I enjoy biscotti with coffee or tea from time to time. You can dip the ends in chocolate and top with some sprinkles for extra flare. I think the best biscotti are the most simple!
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - Top these delicious cookies with crushed up candy canes, and it's instantly the picture perfect holiday cookie! If you love the chocolate-mint combo, you must add this to your cookie spread.
Sugar Cookies - The most fun to decorate holiday cookie! You can use the classic holiday cookie cutters, or change it up with new shapes. This is a really fun holiday activity, just make a few different color icings, and get some bright colored sprinkles! I've made these cookies into ring shapes for for friends and family's engagements, into airplanes and clouds for my nephew's 1st birthday, and I've got a few new shapes to try out, too!