Simple Holiday Cookies

Fuzz started a new school this year and so far I haven’t baked anything for the teachers. Last week the school put out a call for homemade cookies, so I guess it’s time. You’d think choosing a cookie would be easy since I bake every day, but it seems having too many recipes makes it harder to settle on one.

This morning I went through my files and picked a 20 recipes which are simple but excellent.

#1. I made a batch of these Get Well Soon Cookies for a friend. She was instantly cured and the cookies have been getting good reviews ever since.  Okay, so only part of that is true. Either way, these would be great for holiday cookie tins.

#2. The Ultimate Black Bottom Cupcake — Technically, these are cupcakes, but why not take them to a cookie exchange?

Black Bottom Cupcakes

#3. Fine Cooking’s Gingerbread Biscotti is a good bet if you need to make the cookies ahead of time.

gingerbread biscotti

#4. Secret Ingredient Sugar Cookies are excellent!  The dough isn’t great for using cookie cutters, but you can make plain round cookies and decorate with holiday sprinkles.

Sugar Cookies

#5. Graham Cracker Candy — Easy and delicious.

graham cracker candy

#6. Secret Promises made with Dove chocolates.  If you’re a white chocolate fan, Dove has a new soft centered white chocolate square out for the holiday (or maybe it’s permanent?).  I saw them at Target yesterday and have been wondering how they taste.

Secret Promises Cookies

#7. Butterscotch Pecan Crinkle Cookies are perfect for butter pecan lovers.

Butter Pecan Crinkly Cookies

#8. Peanut Butter Marshmallow Krispy Brownies start with a boxed mix which you top with a mixture of marshmallow, Rice Krispies, chocolate and peanut butter.  If you make them a day ahead and chill them overnight, I don’t think they’d be too messy for a cookie party or event.

peanut butter marshmallow krispy brownies

#9. It’s been a while since I made Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies, but they are really good. They’re on the crunchy side, so don’t mix them with soft cookies or they might lose that excellent crunch.

peanut butter butterscotch cookies

#10.  Halfway Cookies are unique. I like the recipe on Apartment Therapy.

bar cookies

#11. Circus Animal brownies might be kind of fun at a holiday cookie exchange or party. It would be better if there were such thing as holiday colored Circus Animals, but the original would be fine.

Circus Animal Brownies

#12. Recommended by Louise, who sends out dozens and dozens of cookies — Tahiti Blondies.  Look how nicely these sit in the box?

Tahiti Blondies

#13. If you’re overwhelmed with shopping but still need to make something fun (and good), another old favorite is Chinese New Year Candy.

chow mein noodle cookies

14. Not exactly exciting or unique, but appreciated greatly nonetheless are Lemon Squares. This was a particularly good recipe.

Lemon Squares

15. Oh, here’s a good one — Eva Longoria’s Pan de Polvo recipe. These cookies were fantastic and perfect for holiday cookie tins. They break up in your mouth like dust.


16. Peanut Butter  Blossoms!  No holiday party is complete without them…unless it’s a peanut-free party.

peanut blossoms

17. Iced Anise Cookies are perfect for this time of year and so pretty.


18. And keeping with the anise/licorice theme, how about some Sambuca spiked Chocolate Crinkle Cookies? There are a lot of really disappointing recipes out there, but I really liked this old one from Gourmet.

sambuca crinkles

19. If you’re worried about quality and quantity, the title of this recipe should get your attention. The cookies are called 50 Good Cookies. They’re light and delicious and keep well.


20. And finally, my very favorite Tex Mex Chocolate Cookies. They’re double chocolate cookies with a hint of cinnamon and a lingering heat from cayenne. One tip: Use natural cocoa rather than Dutch process. I get the best results (fatter, higher-rising cookies) when I make these with Hershey’s Natural Cocoa Powder and high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips.

Tex Mex Cookies

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  1. says

    Oh my, I just made blueberry muffins, but now I want to try all of these, especially the lemon squares, white Dove chocolate ones, and the dark cupcakes!! Fabulous! What did the teacher think??

  2. Louise says

    If you are making them to be consumed the same day, you should really include W Richard Steven’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies. 🙂

  3. says

    From that list my number one choice would be the Tex Mex cookies. I love them, they’re unique, and they’re fun to serve.
    My second choice would be the Eva Longoria cookies. I haven’t made them, but they sound excellent.
    My third choice would be the anise cookies. They’re so pretty, and and it’s a holiday flavor that is too often overlooked.
    You won’t go wrong with whatever you choose. These twenty are all good choices, and you have hundreds more.
    Do you think the Julie Hiasson (?sp) Apricot bars are too messy for a cookie tray? Those are on my all time top five favorite list.

  4. CindyD says

    My list is totally different. I always make Old Fashioned Butter Cookies (aka Cutout Cookies), oatmeal raisin cookies (same recipe as Katrina’s mother) for my husband and Mexican wedding cakes for me. My new favorite is Nestle’s Chocolate Mint Dreams, and I want to make a soft ginger cookie like Paradise Bakery’s this year – still trying to find the right recipe.

  5. says

    Have you tried CI’s new sugar cookie? They’re so easy and very tasty. Ive made both the regular and the chai spice version. I made peanut blossoms yesterday for a baby shower. So popular.

  6. says

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  7. says

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen holiday colored animal crackers, orange at Halloween and red/green at Christmas. But it may have been a while, maybe even since the company switched.

  8. says

    Funny how different schools our — ours doesn’t allow homemade cookies (or anything else). Major bummer. Your cookies look great! I’ve been in the mood for biscotti — I may have to try those.

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