Sweet treats

If there’s one thing that the holiday season is absolutely promised to bring, it’s a ton of delicious desserts and goodies. While this can make it hard to stay on track, I just plan on hitting the gym a couple of extra days a week to make up for my indulgent days! I love baking Christmas cookies, and this year will be no exception.

While I love the classic cut-out Christmas cookies, I like to work in a bit of variety when I make a platter for the holidays. Sugar cookies are great, but you can only eat so many before you’re onto something else. Here are a few of my classic favorites, and a couple I’d like to try for the first time this year.

Red Velvet Cookies

Tasty

I’m a huge fan of red velvet cake, so these were a must-try for me. With just four ingredients, it’s easy to pull together quickly and easily.

INGREDIENTS
1 box of red velvet cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of oil
powdered sugar to roll the cookies in

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix everything (except for the powdered sugar) into the a bowl. Use a cookie scoop to scoop up round scoops of dough and roll them in powered sugar. Place them on a cookies sheet about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten each cookie with the bottom of a cup. Bake about 8-9 minutes.

White Chocolate Haystacks

Fridge Check

This ‘no-bake’ recipe is easy and quick – melt white chocolate, mix in peanuts and pretzels, drop on a tray and let cool. And they’re delicious!

INGREDIENTS
12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup peanuts
1 1/2 cups thin pretzel sticks, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces

DIRECTIONS
Melt the white chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth and creamy. (Watch carefully as white chocolate burns easily.) Remove from heat and add the nuts and pretzels, stirring until well coated. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Put baking sheet in refrigerator to cool.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mother Thyme

If you like mint chocolate chip ice cream, you’ll love these. The Andes in the mix gives them the perfect touch of mint!

INGREDIENTS
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp mint extract
15-20 drops green food coloring
1 bag of Andes Mints (chopped)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375°F. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) together and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and mint extract. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Add green food coloring and mix until even colored. Then fold in the chopped Andes mints. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls (you may need to shape with your hands), flatten, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Snickerdoodles

Inspired Taste

These are such a classic! The cinnamon-sugar crust is sweet without being too overpowering, and they’re always a hit.

INGREDIENTS
FOR COOKIES
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

FOR TOPPING

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars at high speed. Add egg, vanilla, and beat until smooth. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. Preheat oven to 300°F while you let dough rest 30-60 minutes in fridge. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for topping. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball. Roll this dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and press onto greased cookie sheet. Bake about 10-12 minutes.

Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies

Dish Maps

Gingerbread isn’t always my favorite type of cookie, but the thought of adding chocolate made this recipe irresistible.

INGREDIENTS
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more. Heat oven to 325°F. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes.

White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Cooking Classy

The season of peppermint, these are an easy update on a classic sugar cookie.

INGREDIENTS
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 1/2 cups (15 oz) white chocolate chips
2 1/2 Tbsp shortening
1/3 cup (60g) peppermint bits or finely crushed candy canes

DIRECTIONS
COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar for 20 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar and butter until combined. Mix in egg then mix in egg yolk, vanilla and peppermint extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined (dough with will thick, so stop mixer and mix by hand to get flour at bottom if needed). Scoop dough out 1 1/2 Tbsp at a time and shape into balls. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner, spacing cookies 2-inches apart (chill dough balls that aren’t currently baking in refrigerator on plates). Bake in preheated oven 10-11 minutes (cookies should appear slightly under-baked).

COATING
Place chocolate chips and shortening in a medium microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave on 50% power in 20 second intervals, stirring well between intervals until melted and smooth. Dip half of cooled cookies in white chocolate allowing excess to run off (or slide bottom slightly along edge of bowl) then transfer to wax paper and immediately sprinkle with peppermint bits. Allow to set at room temperature or in refrigerator. 

Post your favorite cookie recipes below!

XO
Amanda

Featured Image | The Bearfoot Baker

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