Creative

Five Holiday Cookie Recipes

One of the best part of the holidays is all of the delicious desserts! Try one of these cookie recipes for a creative, delicious treat.

Eileen’s Spicy Gingerbread Men via allrecipies.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  2. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool

Christmas Tree Cookie Stacks by Lindsay Conchar via Delish.com

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Frosting

  • 1 c. butter
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. water or milk
  • Green gel icing color
  • 3 tbsp. red and white pearl sprinkles
  • 18 yellow star sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Dough will be thick.
  3. Make three sizes of cookie dough balls: 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons, and 3 teaspoons. (You should have an even number of each.) Place medium and large cookies on a cookie sheet and press down slightly on each. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 7 to 8 minutes. Place smallest balls of dough on another cookie sheet and press down slightly. Bake until center looks mostly cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. When cookies are done, remove from oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cookie rack to finish cooling.
  4. Make frosting: Beat butter until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons water and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add green gel icing color to frosting and mix until your desired shade of green.
  5. Assemble cookies: Get one size of each cookie. Fit a piping bag with a medium sized star piping tip (I used Wilton 32) and fill bag with green frosting.
  6. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the largest cookie, then add the second medium sized cookie on top. Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the second cookie, then top with the smallest cookie. Pipe a swirl on top of the final cookie and decorate with a star and round ornament sprinkles. Continue building cookie trees, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies by Sally from sallybakingaddiction.com

Ingredients:

  • Sugar/Vanilla Cookie Dough
  • 10 Tablespoons (145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles
  • 24 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

Chocolate Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (52g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 20 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

Directions:

For the sugar/vanilla cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Using a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 full minutes, scraping down the sides and the bottom as necessary. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, beating on medium-high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients on low speed until fully combined. The dough will be very thick. If the dough is extremely sticky, chill for at least 45 minutes.
  2. Roll dough into balls, a little less than 1 Tablespoon of dough each. The dough may seem dry*, but the warmth of your hands will allow it to come together in a ball. Roll into assorted sprinkles and bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look very, very under baked. That’s what you need. Do not over bake. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Press a Hershey Kiss into the center and immediately put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting. Cookies remain fresh tightly covered at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Cookie dough balls may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Roll into sprinkles right before baking. Do not thaw; simply bake for an extra minute or two.

For the chocolate cookies:

  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly add to the wet ingredients on low speed. Beat in the milk on medium speed until combined. The dough will be thick and very sticky. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Roll dough into balls, a little more than 1 Tablespoon of dough each. Roll each ball into confectioners’ sugar to coat heavily. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Press a Hershey Kiss into the center and immediately put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting. Cookies remain fresh tightly covered at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Cookie dough balls may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Roll into confectioners’ sugar right before baking. Do not thaw; simply bake for an extra minute or two.

Candy Cane Cookies by Emma Christensen via thekitchn.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring

Directions:

  1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until fluffy and frosting-like. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and peppermint or almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour and salt just until no more visible flour remains.
  2. Use a stiff spatula to mix the dough a few times by hand to work in any last bits of flour. Divide the dough in half and remove half of the dough. Add 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring to the remaining dough in the bowl. Work the color into the dough with the spatula, kneading by hand, or in the mixer on low speed, whichever method seems easiest to you. Add additional food coloring as needed until the dough is a bright, vibrant red.
  3. Pat both pieces of dough into 1-inch thick circles and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. This will make the cookies easier to roll out and shape.
  4. When ready to bake the cookies, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
  5. Unwrap both pieces of dough. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of the doughs (about 2 tablespoons each). Roll each into a thick rope about 6 inches long. Pinch a red and white rope together at the top, then gently twist them together. Repeat wtih the remaining dough. If the dough starts to break as you roll it or become hard to work with, put it back in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. Transfer the twisted ropes to the baking sheets and gently “hook” the top to create a candy cane shape.
  6. Refrigerate the cookies on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before baking — this helps the cookies hold their shape during baking.
  7. Bake until the bottom edges and the tips of the cookies are just barely starting to turn golden-brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to wire cooling racks and cool completely.

Holiday Shortbread Cookies by Martha Steward via marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/3 cup coarse or sanding sugar (optional), for decorating

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt; process until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until combined. Form dough into an 8-inch-long round or square log; wrap tightly in plastic and freeze until firm, 30 minutes (or up to 1 month).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Dip edges in sugar if desired and transfer to two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on sheets. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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