Christmas cookies are one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I love eating them, baking them and gifting them! Every year I would bake 3 batches of at least 6-7 types of cookies to enjoy and give to friends and family. Then kids happened and there went baking all those cookies. I still made the chocolate chip and Hershey kiss cookies that my kids love so much, but that’s about it. This year the kids are a bit older (and all three are in school for 2 overlapping hours 4 days a week!!) so I am going to attempt a more delicious cookie tray this year! 🙂
Each day this week I will post the recipe and some pictures for a type of cookie or two. I am going to start with the most basic ones and if all goes well hopefully they will get better each day.
One thing you will notice with each recipe I make – whatever the standard cookie size is, I probably cut it at least in half. And that’s because I love a small cookie. This way I can eat more of them. Actually, I started to notice at holiday parties and family gatherings, people take a bite or two of a cookie then put it down and that’s it. The rest lands right in the garbage. I think sometimes people just want to taste a cookie and not commit to a massive snack. Also, making smaller cookies yields more cookies per batch. This is extremely helpful when putting together so many cookie trays for gifts and parties.
DAY 1 – Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first cookie I am going to start with is just a basic chocolate chip cookie. I’ve tried so many different recipes – Martha Stewart, America’s Test Kitchen, several “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever” recipes from Pinterest – and I always go back to the Nestle Toll House recipe! It tastes just as good, if not better, than any other recipe I’ve tried and it’s super simple. Check out the recipe here.
Ohhh….and a side note about storing cookies. This is something I heard years ago (no idea where) and it’s worked perfectly. Store cookies in an airtight container with a slice of white bread in the container. You can even cover tightly with plastic wrap before placing the lid on. I’ve been able to store most cookies at least 2 weeks this way! (I have no idea about the science behind this, but it works and that’s all that matters!)
DAY 2 – Hershey Kiss Cookies
Hershey Kiss cookies are a classic in our house. Growing up my mom and grandmother made them every year and this is the one cookie I’ve made every year since I’ve been married. They are fun to make and a good one for the kids to help out with! There are SO many recipes for these – sometimes they are called Peanut Butter Blossoms, Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, etc. and in our house simply Hershey Kiss Cookies. The recipes will all be very similar – the main thing to look for is that the recipe calls for only butter – some will use part butter and part shortening. All butter is the way to go! Check this recipe out here.
DAY 3 – Christmas Cookie Sparkles
The prettiest cookie trays (in my opinion) are full of color. I always struggle with adding color because I tend to make quick and easy drop cookies (standard cookie dough color and probably some sort of chocolate) that all look similar. I came across Sally’s Baking Addiction and had to try some of these beautiful (and so very tasty) cookies! These in particular caught my eye because I’ve had the sprinkles this requires for quite a while and could never seem to use them up. These do kind of sparkle and are the perfect addition to this year’s cookie tray 🙂 I have varied the recipe only slightly, you can find it here.
DAY 4 – Funfetti Shortbread Bites and Striped Fudge Cookie Sandwiches
Two amazing cookies today! I came across the Funfetti Shortbread Bites on Pinterest. Mini cookies and absolutely adorable. Much easier to make than I expected too! These are a perfect filler for any cookie tray! Check out the recipe with my pictures and comments here, or visit Cooking Classy for the original recipe!
The next one is for all you chocolate lovers (that’s me!). These take time to make but they are SO worth it! This is another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction – a website I can’t seem to get enough of this season! Usually I don’t like any recipe that requires rolling out dough (why I will never bake a pie from scratch), but I made an exception for these!!! Check out my version of the recipe and pictures here.
DAY 5 – Spritz Cookies and Peanut Butter Munchies
Day 5 is here a day late – we were up until 3am wrapping gifts…..so I needed at least a little sleep to get through the craziness today will be! The first cookie for today is a spritz cookie. I make these because they taste great, they add some color to my cookie trays, and they have the potential to look so pretty! However, I never seem to have much luck with my cookie press and half of my cookies break on me 🙁 But I make these most years hoping for the best! Spritz cookie recipes are all about the same, check it out here.
It’s only fitting that I end with a chocolate peanut butter cookie. It’s a recipe I found in 2004 (that’s the year I graduated from college, didn’t realize I started baking back then, but that’s what it says on the bottom of the magazine page that’s torn out with the recipe on it) and I remember the first time I made it for my husband it was by far his favorite cookie. I haven’t made this one in years so am really looking forward to having it again this year! Here’s the recipe for Peanut Butter Munchies.