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Photographs by Jennifer Chong (Food Stylist: Laura Kinsey Dolph; Prop Stylist: Aneta Florczyk)
Photographs by Jennifer Chong (Food Stylist: Laura Kinsey Dolph; Prop Stylist: Aneta Florczyk)

5 Of The All-Time-Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

These are so good you may never look at a holiday cookie in the same way again.

Holidays can be complicated and stressful, but baking sweet treats for family, friends and — of course — Santa doesn’t have to be. Cookies have been part of holiday celebrations for centuries. And, fun fact: The word “cookie” originates from the Dutch word koekje, meaning little cake. You might never look at a cookie the same way again!

Here are five easy, delicious and least-likely-to-eat-just-one cookie recipes — many of which can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer until heating and serving. The most wonderful time of the year just got even more wonderful! 

Jennifer Chong | JChong Studio L

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies 

Makes 30 cookies 

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 

Directions

Whisk dry ingredients together (saving confectioners’ sugar for garnish) in a small bowl. Melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly. Beat brown sugar and eggs with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until thick, about 2 minutes. Combine the chocolate mixture and blend well. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the dough and roll into balls. Toss the balls in the sugar, coating them completely. Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment. Bake until cookies spread, the tops are cracked, and edges are firm, about 12–14 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchen

Jennifer Chong | JChong Studio L

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 24 cookies 

Ingredients

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 bag of Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses (or Peppermint Kisses)  

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat with an electric mixer 1 stick butter, sugar, salt and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth — about 2 minutes. Then beat in flour on low-speed and increasing to medium-high. Roll dough by teaspoonfuls into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake until light brown and puffed, about 8–10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and gently press a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie. Return to the oven until light golden brown, 4–6 minutes. Keep watch so they don’t overcook. Remove and let the pan cool on wire racks.

Recipe courtesy Marthastewart.com

Jennifer Chong | JChong Studio L

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Makes 12 cookies 

Ingredients

6 tablespoons salted butter (room temperature)

⅓ cup dark brown sugar (packed)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy and fully combined. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Gradually mix in flour until just combined. Put mixture onto a floured surface and knead a few times with your hands, then bring the dough into a ball. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick and cut out cookies with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Prick cookie rounds with a fork or toothpick. Place cookies on a large, lined baking sheet and back 10–12 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cookies cool on pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe courtesy Chenée Today

Jennifer Chong | JChong Studio L

Italian Wedding Cookies

Makes 30 cookies 

Ingredients

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup almond flour

2½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup powdered sugar to roll the cookies in before baking 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla for 1 minute until creamy. Add almond flour and all-purpose flour to butter mixture and mix with hand mixer on low speed until combined. Using small cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tablespoon portions and roll into balls. Place the cookie balls 1 inch apart on a lined baking sheet, then bake for 15–17 minutes; keep watch so they don’t brown. Cool the cookies on the baking pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe courtesy Little Sunny Kitchen

Jennifer Chong | JChong Studio L

Chewy Ginger Cookies

Makes 30 cookies 

Ingredients

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

¼ cup molasses

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

Additional sugar placed in a bowl 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar and light and fluffy, about 5–7 minutes. Beat in eggs and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Roll into 1½-inch balls, then roll in sugar and place 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake until puffy and light brown, about 10–12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. (Note: If you prefer your cookies crispy, leave out the baking soda.)

Recipe courtesy Taste of Home

If you’re a planner and want to get a jumpstart on holiday baking, preparing and freezing uncooked cookie dough is a breeze. To freeze cookie dough, put unbaked, preshaped cookies on a baking sheet in the freezer for one hour, then place cookies in a freezer bag or airtight container. (Cookie dough can be frozen for up to three months in a freezer bag or airtight container.) Thaw on a lined baking sheet in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed. Enjoy! 

What's YOUR favorite cookie to make every year? Let us know in the comments below.

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