• Holiday Cookie Favorites

    Holiday Cookie Favorites

    Favorite Holiday Cookies

    No holiday dessert table would be complete without colorful, flavorful cookies that are easy to make and fun to eat. From jam-kissed thumbprints to classic gingerbread men, these holiday cookies are perfect for cookie swaps, family get-togethers, and more.

    Gingerbread Cookies

    These playful gingerbread men are sure to delight at your next holiday gathering. This Food Network recipe calls for a zesty orange icing that’s simple to make and complements the spicy ginger.

    gingerbread-men-on-plate
    Photo Credit: Food Network

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
    1 2/3 cups sugar
    1 orange, zested
    4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. baking soda1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. ground allspice
    2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup dark molasses
    1 lemon, juiced

    Easy Orange Icing
    1 cup powdered sugar
    Zest of 1 orange
    1 to 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
    1/2 tsp. orange liqueur
    1/4 tsp. light corn syrup

    Directions

    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt, then whisk to blend.

    3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.

    5. When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower mixer speed and add the dry ingredients. Blend in the egg mixture and remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half, then press the two halves of between waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes.

    6. Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, then transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Classic Sugar Cookies

    Sugar cookies are a holiday staple, and this Food Network recipe provides an ideal foundation for decorating. You can make the royal icing (which we’ve included), or use your imagination with sprinkles and other fun accents!

    Photo Credit: Food Network

    Ingredients

    1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp.fine salt
    3/4 cup superfine sugar
    1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

    Royal Icing
    4 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/4 cup meringue powder
    Food coloring, optional
    Decorating sugar, for topping, optional
    Sprinkles, for topping, optional

    Directions

    1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
    Beat the superfine sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; then beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until incorporated.

    2. Divide the dough into 2 discs about 1/4 inch thick, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, or about 1 hour. Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    3. Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and arrange about 2 inches apart  on the sheets.

    4. Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack, then let cool completely.

    6. For the royal icing: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder and 1/3 cup water with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Beat in the food coloring if using.

    7. Decorate the cookies with the icing; top with decorating sugar and sprinkles if using.

    Graham Cracker Thumbprint Cookies

    These cookies taste as good as they look, thanks to crunchy graham crackers and a sweet jam filling. You can make the dough ahead of time if needed, and feel free to use whatever jam you have on hand.

    pile-of-graham-cracker-thumbprint-cookies
    Photo Credit: The Ktchn

    Ingredients

    15 sheets graham crackers (5″x2.25″ graham crackers or 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
    2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp. fine salt
    6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1 tbsp. packed light or dark brown sugar
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/3 cup jam

    Directions

    1. Process the graham crackers in a food processor until completely broken down into crumbs with a sandy texture. Add the flour and salt, then pulse to combine.

    2. Cream the butter, 2 tbsp. of the granulated sugar, and brown sugar with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Fold in the graham cracker mixture until just combined, then refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

    3. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

    4. Place the remaining sugar in a shallow bowl or on a plate, then using a spoon or cookie scoop, measure 1 1/2 tbsp. of dough from the bowl. Roll between the palms of your hands to form a ball, then roll in the sugar until fully coated. Place on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining dough.

    5. Use your thumb to press down on the center of the ball of dough, then fill each with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

    6. Bake until the cookies have set and the edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a flat spatula to transfer to them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

    These chocolate cookies from Allrecipes are a simple and delicious addition to your holiday cookie repertoire. The key is to roll the cookies in confectioners’ sugar before you bake them, which creates the dramatic “crinkle” effect.

    chocolate-crinkle-cookies-on-a-plate
    Photo Credit: LolFoodie

    Ingredients

    1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 cups white sugar
    ½ cup vegetable oil
    4 eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ cup confectioners sugar

    Directions

    1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, then stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.

    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls, then coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar.

    3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

    Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

    This recipe from King Arthur Flour is simple to make but delivers big-time peanut butter flavor!

    peanut-butter-cookies-on-a-plate-with-a-glass-of-milk
    Photo Credit: King Arthur Flour

    Ingredients

    1/3 cup vegetable shortening
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup vegetable shortening
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two baking sheets by lightly greasing them or lining with parchment paper.

    2. Beat together the shortening, sugars, egg, vanilla, and peanut butter until smooth; then add the flour, baking soda, and salt. It may take awhile for this rather dry dough to come together; and when it does, it’ll be quite stiff. If necessary, drizzle in enough water to make the dough cohesive.

    3. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them. Use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/2″ thick, making a cross-hatch design.

    4. Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes, until just barely brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack.

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