In years past, I’ve shared my rather insane and challenging list of hopeful cookies to make it out of the kitchen.

Sometimes it happens, other times it doesn’t. Most of the time it does. Baking around the holidays is incredibly nostalgic for me. I’m of the psychotic breed of women who will listen to the same song 547 times one day just because of the wave of nostalgia it brings.

And I’m well aware that once I’m no longer a childless and petless chick, things like this may not always happen. But for now, I adore spending 1-2 days straight baking Christmas cookies in my kitchen, blasting music and pretending like Mother Lovett is screaming at me over her shoulder while running into things, attempting to feed me frozen fudge wrapped in dirty aluminum foil that she discovered in the freezer dated “1989,” while also frosting cookies with buttercream left in her fridge from the previous Easter.

These first four cookies below have her name written all over them.

Mother Lovett’s Thumbprint Cookies: pretty! colorful! not my favorite, but a staple around here.

Peanut Butter Blossoms: my all time favorite holiday cookie… except, uh, I take off the Kiss. Not a fan. Riddle me that.

Butterball Cookies: Mother Lovett loved these. My mom loves these. I could leave ’em or take ’em. But they are quick and easy. Done.

Orange Cookies: I think we all know where I stand when it comes to fruit for dessert, but orange cookies are an exception.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies: these are new to the list this year… one of my favorites from 2011.

Hot Cocoa Cookies: I need a few heavy-on-the-chocolate cookies for me. These work.

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies: the day before we make these, I often just google the best recipe for them. Then we decorate them like 4-year olds.

Brown Butter Chocolate Stuffed Toffee Chip Cookies: not sure if these will be the exact cookies, but I def need some brown butter on the tray.

Peppermint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: chocolate + mint must, must, must always make the list!

Fluffy Snickerdoodles: after last year, there is no way I can not include these. Love.

Soft Gingersnap Cookies: probably my favorite non-chocolate cookie ever. I usually make 3-4 batches through the season.

Cookie Dough Truffles: fun and different… they make the plate look pretty.

Oreo Balls: a classic!

Red Velvet Cake Balls: Mr. How Sweet’s favorite… a red velvet cake recipe + cream cheese frosting then dipped in chocolate.

4 Layer Cookies and Cream Bark: this was a HUGE hit last year.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bark: think I’m going to add some crushed cookies to this!

Cake Batter Chocolate Bark: my favorite of all time… can’t pass it up.

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels & Oreos: I glam these up with tons of sprinkles and stuff – they are pretty and fun when added to a plate.


Where ever we go throughout the holiday season, a cookie tray follows. It’s fun. Only second to a bottle of booze. Trust me.

I also have 3-4 new recipes in the works that I’ll share with you in the next few days/weeks. Depending on my storage space and appetite, they will probably also make the list.

And every year I get the question, “but what about the gingerbread?!” Hate to break it to you folks, but I don’t care for gingerbread. It’s okay, but I don’t love it enough (and neither does anyone I know) to push something else off the list. Maria’s soft gingersnaps listed above are better than any gingerbread I’ve ever tasted. Also missing is the common shortbread cookie, which if I’m being honest… is just a little too boring for me. Come on. It’s me. You know I need to trash things up with tons of chocolate and peanut butter and over-Americanize everything I can get my hands on. This list is perrrrfect.

Now if you could just come live with me? Yes… all of you.

K… what treats are you baking this year? Spill it.

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130 Responses to “What Are You Baking for the Holiday Season?”

  1. #
    Katie — November 29, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Have you ever used chocolate stars instead of the kisses? I just baked my first batch of “Chocolate Star Cookies” today which are very similar to the PB Blossoms. I grew up making them with the Brach’s chocolate stars and my friend who I am baking with this weekend makes them with the kisses. I have been reviewing my list from previous years and I have about 50 different items on each list that we have made. The must makes are Rolo cookies, chocolate crinkles, chocolate star, dipped pretzels, round pretzels filled w/ almond bark and M&Ms, oreo balls, butterscotch chip bars, Christmas caramel bars, snowman cookies, gingersnaps, orange white chocolate biscotti, peanut butter fudge, chocolate cherry fudge, sugar, spritz, white chocolate cranberry pecan, caramel crispix, peanut butter balls, chocolate covered cheesecake bites, holiday bars, chewy chippy bars, cappuccino crunch bars. I also plan to make some granola, hot chocolate/chai, soup mixes to include in gift baskets.


  2. #
    Sharon — November 29, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    It’s almost December, right?
    Peanut Butter Bacon Brittle Cookies
    Orange Cranberry Coconut Chews
    Mini Pecan Tarts
    Gingerbread Hermit Bars with lemon icing
    Chewy Butterscotch Bars with caramel icing
    Chocolate Kahlua Cream Cheese Bars
    Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
    Double Lemon Shortbread
    Pumpkin Bars
    Macadamia Nut Cheesecake Squares
    Mom’s Iced Sugar Cookies



  3. #
    Jaimee h — November 29, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

    These are the for sure list so far:
    White chocolate gingerbread blondies-a recipe I found a few years back, these might convert you Jessica
    Triple chocolate swirl almond toffee
    Haystacks- family favorite Chinese noodles, chopped peanuts mix in melted chocolate/butterscotch chips plop blobs on a pan to chill and done
    Melting moments- full of butter they literally melt in your mouth
    Maybe these chocolate sandwich cookies with peppermint buttercream
    Dont know what else yet


  4. #
    Katie — November 29, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    I’m dreaming up a big batch of candycane brownies. my mother-in-law makes more chocolates, brittle and truffles than the whole west coast combined could eat so I’ll stay out of the candy realm… but definitely some classic almond spritz, and maybe a gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting!


  5. #
    Mallory — November 29, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    Oh you DO have a huge list! Don’t worry about the Jello Dessert Recipe I was even talking about here! I’ll have to try some of these cookies… especially the peppermint double chocolate chip cookies… my oh my.


  6. #
    Laura — November 30, 2011 @ 1:25 am

    For me, it’s not Christmas without Russian tea cookies. They’re delicious. And they look like snow balls. What more could you ask for?


  7. #
    Mary W — November 30, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    I think I’ll just use your list. :-)
    A few of our favorites are Giada’s Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk cookies (they are awesome!), Pine Nut Cookies (more savory than sweet, when you need a break from the sugar!), always frosted Sugar cookies, and my yearly attempt to make peanut butter-chocolate pinwheel cookies. I almost always fail, but some day I’ll figure out the trick to making them beautiful and perfect like my Grandma’s.


  8. #
    Lisa S. — November 30, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

    Hi! Your Peppermint Double Chocolate Cookies look awesome, but how many do they approximately bake with each batch? I’m a novice baker, so I can’t begin to guess. Thanks so much–and love your site!


    • Jessica — November 30th, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

      I believe it makes about 30!


  9. #
    Ali — November 30, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    Thanks for the great list! Yum!


  10. #
    Shan — December 2, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    I sent out a few boxes last weekend with:

    Giant Choc chip (my nephews favs)
    Caramel apple spice cookies
    Chocolate mint cookies
    Orange cranberry biscottie


  11. #
    Gayle — December 8, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Fudge, several kinds
    Orange Cranberry Bread
    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Chow Mein Noodle Cookies (maybe)
    My daughter and I make sugar cookies together, those are my favorites!


  12. #
    Trilbykat — November 26, 2012 @ 2:09 am

    First I have to tell you that I love what you’re doing with food and words and pictures. Secondly, as a fellow coconut lover, let me say thank you for the Coconut Hot Chocolate recipe. I can hardly wait to make it. Have you tried Lindt’s White Chocolate Coconut bar? They are delish!

    Thirdly, here is my list: Mini Candy Cane Coconut Cupcakes, Baklava with White & Semisweet Chocolate Drizzles, Honey Roll-Out Cookies, Rugula (my first time!), Biscotti, some kind of variation of my favorite Brownies and possibly some Glazed Nuts. If I have time I may even add homemade Beef Jerky to the list! I can think of a few people that would love getting that.

    I’m also going to make Peppermint Play-Dough for my nephew. And roll some beeswax candles, which is both easy and therapeutic because they smell so good even if you can’t east them. Plus candlelight dinners rock.


  13. #
    113 — April 30, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

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