Get in the holiday spirit early! The best Christmas cookie recipes
What’s that? Thanksgiving hasn’t even passed so it’s too early to be getting into the holiday spirit? Nonsense. Being on the brink of Thanksgiving is the milestone that gives us permission to start celebrating all the other holidays. It’s not called holiday spirit for nothing. Thanksgiving counts as the first in a series. Christmas, here we come!
We’d thought it’d be fun to share some of the best Christmas cookie recipes to bring to your fireside. 2020 is in need of a huge dose of sugar to take the edge off all the bitterness. Not to mention that word on the street is Santa’s immune to the Rona and will still be shimmying down chimneys this year. He’ll be in need of some sugary reinforcements too.
Soft Christmas cookies
If you’re looking for a traditional Christmas cookie recipe that’ll give you that soft sugar cookie goodness, this recipe from Allrecipes is the one for you. It’s also the most generic, so you can have fun picking whatever Christmas cookie cutout shapes you like.
3 ¾ cups of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 cup of softened margarine, 1 ½ cups white sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, frosting & toppings of your choosing
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together, then set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover the dough and chill for two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Grease cookie sheets. On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using the Christmas cookie cutters of your choosing.
- Bake them for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are barely brown. Remove them from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
- Decorate with Christmas cheer.
Oatmeal cookie cups: Apple pie edition
These oatmeal delights are from Delish.com. You could technically fill these cookie cups with any filling you want. We’re going to stick with the apple pie version. Feel free to try out other Christmasy combinations and tell us about the yummy results!
1 cup of softened butter, 2 tablespoons butter (for cooking the apples), cooking spray, 1 ¼ cup brown sugar (divided), ¾ granulated sugar (divided), 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour, 1 ¾ cups rolled oats, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ kosher salt, 4 cored peeled finely chopped Granny Smith apples, 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, caramel sauce for serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease 2 muffin tins with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, add 1 cup of butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat until light & fluffy. Add eggs & vanilla and mix until evenly combined. Add flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt and stir until just combined.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough into muffin tins, and press to flatten. Bake until cookie cups are golden brown and set for 18 to 20 minutes.
- While cookies are still warm, make the cups. Spray the bottom of a small shot glass with cooking spray and press shot glass down into the center of each cookie to create cups. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire cooling racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and cook until they begin to soften. Add the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 c granulated sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook until soft and caramelized.
- Spoon apple filling into cups. Drizzle with caramel and serve warm or at room temperature.
Pillsbury reindeer cookies
If you’re looking for a super easy cooking project for the kids, be sure to try this Pillsbury reindeer cookie recipe. Children always find ways to make messes but this recipe really minimizes the possibilities.
1 roll of Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies, ¼ cup all purpose flour, 1 cup vanilla frosting, 64 small pretzel twists, ¼ cup (about 64) semisweet chocolate chips, 16 cut in half gumdrops
- In a large bowl, break up the Pillsbury cookie dough. Stir or knead in the flour until well blended. Reshape the dough into a triangle-shaped log (think triangular prism from your second grade math class). If the dough ends up being too soft to cut into slices refrigerate it for up to 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. With a thin sharp knife, cut the dough into 32 (1/4-inch) triangular slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place the slices 2 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 7 to 11 minutes or until set. Then cool them for 1 minute before removing them from the cookie sheets to a cooling rack. Let them sit for about 15 minutes so they cool completely.
- Frost the cookies with the vanilla frosting. Place 2 pretzel twists on each triangle near corners for antlers. Lightly press 2 chocolate chips into each cookie for eyes and 1 halved gumdrop for a nose. Store the cookies between sheets of waxed paper in a tightly covered container if you don’t plan on devouring them all at once.
Candy bar cookies
These charming cookies wear a candy bar disguise and can morph into all kinds of Christmas flavors depending on what toppings you choose. They look dazzling but are actually really simple to make. Impress your family with your baking prowess with these candy bar Christmas cookies from Good Housekeeping.
Non-stick baking spray, ¾ cup butter, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 large egg, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups all purpose flour, ¾ cup caramel, ¼ cup toffee bits, ¼ cup broken pretzels, ½ toasted coconut, 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take a 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan, line it with foil, and then douse it with some nonstick baking spray.
- Beat butter, brown sugar, and salt until creamy using a mixer on medium-high speed. Then beat in the egg & vanilla extract. With the mixer now on low speed, beat in the flour until just combined. Once this is done, transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. With lightly floured hands, spread it into an even layer.
- Bake it for 25 to 30 minutes or until a deep golden brown color around the edges. Make sure to let it cool completely before proceeding to the next step.
- Spread caramel sauce atop the crust. Then top it with toffee bits, broken pretzels, and toasted coconut. Next, drizzle the crust with melted bittersweet chocolate. Chill to set the cookies for about 1 ½ hours. Cut your masterpiece into 2-inch squares and voilà!