So. Last evening I sat in line, in my car, at the Starbucks drive-thru for 25 minutes (because I’m a lazy stereotype) to get a peppermint mocha that I would eventually only drink half of because I hate coffee. And all I could think about? Cookies.

It’s totally time for cooooooookies!

I’m a firm believer that you should never show up anywhere empty handed, and during the holidays homemade tins or trays of cookies are the biggest hit. Mother Lovett used to do it and even when her chocolate walnut fudge would be covered in her own fingerprints, people would still get excited. Sometimes we pair a little cookie tray with a bottle of wine or something, but wine these days is almost expected and occasionally overdone. (Note: I don’t think wine can ever be overdone, so if you come visit me please bring boatloads.)

But really, is there any other time of the year when it’s appropriate to show up on someone’s doorstep with a huge snowman plate covered in like fourteen different kinds of cookies? I think not. I mean, if someone did that to me in say, August, I’d be elated, but it just isn’t happening.

So I bake. Lots. I also find baking cookies for the holidays totally therapeutic. It’s not *work* for me, since I don’t have to make sure I do it in natural light then spend 35 minutes trying to set three cookies on top of each other which inevitably keep tumbling down and then take pictures like a freak to share with my invisible internet friends. No. Baking for holidays can be done in the early morning, late at night, in the rain and with no cameras allowed. I live for it. I blast Christmas music. I baked with Mother Lovett for years and I guess in a way, this is my tribute to her.

Below is what I plan on baking, or shall I say, what I desperately want to bake if I have the time. I’ve shared this list every year and I must say, last year I only got through a little more than half. I’m slightly ambitious. Oh well.

What are you baking? Tell me! Leave links! Share! Better yet, overshare! Use sentences with lots of exclamation points! I love some new (additional?) ideas.

[Clearly. It’s like I have all the time in the world on my hands or something. Oye. ]

brown butter oatmeal chunk cookies: not only will I make these, but I will make some traditional chocolate chips as well… with brown butter. Do it.

giant m&m cookies: my ALL TIME FAVORITE cookie recipe that is the base for every cookie I make now. add some red + green candies and you’re golden.

cake batter chocolate bark: so fun.

peanut butter drizzled chewy milk chocolate cookies: for the pb-chocolate lover in you.

soft gingersnap cookies: not a huge fan of gingerbread, but a huge fan of these. the last three years I’ve QUADRUPLED the recipe. I don’t love gingerbread, gingersnap or anything gingery, but I love these and so does everyone else. They are always a hit.

baklava: last year was my first year trying my hand at this and it’s shockingly somewhat simple. makes a ton.

fluffy snickerdoodles: another fave. forever.

snickerchip doodles: like snickerdoodles… on drugs.

perfect peanut butter blossoms: classssssic. I devour these first.

mocha coconut fudge: a cool twist on something traditionally plain.

butterball cookies: a Mother Lovett staple.

mother lovett’s orange cookies: ditto to the above.

holiday thumbprints: ditto again. sort of like a nostalgia thing.

chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies: similar to the first cookie above, but chewy.

oreo balls! so simple, such a staple. people freak.

chocolate fudge s’mores thumbprints: um, omg. I love these.

red velvet marshmallow thumbprints: those red velvet lover’s lose their mind over these.

gooey chocolate coconut truffles: the easiest thing, like, ever.

coconut oil chocolate chip cookies: hello coconut obsession

crazy confetti compost cookies: red + green sprinkles? sign me up.


Finally, remember when my friend Maria made a cookie cookbook? Well. She has a brand new holiday cookie book with 10 new recipes, and if you didn’t know, she is THEE cookie queen. Best cookie recipes ever. I think this book would make the coolest gift for a daughter or niece or little chick that loves to bake. Let’s just say that if I received this as a tween… I would’ve went nuts.

Uh. Yeah. So have I completely lost my mind? Of course. But we already knew that. Oh well.

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99 Responses to “What Are You Baking For The Holiday Season?”

  1. #
    Pam — November 25, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    What cookies are pictured in the 3rd pic?


  2. #
    Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin — November 25, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    This gets me so excited for Christmas baking! Also, your photos are truly exquisite.


  3. #
    Diane Cooper — November 25, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    I just made Maria’s soft gingersnap cookies with white chocolate chunks last night. Tasty!! I am trying to figure out what to make for a cookie exchange next week… Might have to try a couple of yours too!!
    As usual, love your pics and posts!!!


  4. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — November 25, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    You just made my baking plan much more complicated! They all look much too delicious!


  5. #
    Leslie — November 25, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    No baking involved w/ this one,but every year we HAVE to whip up some Holiday Snack Mix!!! This consists of Chex/Crispix, Cheerios, pretzels, peanuts, M&M’s mixed and covered in melted white chocolate. So yum!!!


  6. #
    Nikki — November 25, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    These cookies are my go-to Holiday cookie. Don’t mind my photos. :)


  7. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — November 25, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    I’ve got to admit I’m not a huge baker, but around the holidays I go absolutely nutzo in the kitchen. I set my expectations so frickin’ high (3 dozen french macarons anyone?!?!?), and I usually end up making a crazy amount of sweets. I try really hard to not make too many cookies though b/c I have my own personal cookie monster in my house aka my husband. I can usually stay away from them, but not him! He already gets on my case b/c he gained over 60 lbs during the 1st three years of our relationship (I’m sorry, how is it MY fault that none of the other women in his life were wizards in the kitchen like moi and cooked nothing but Stouffer’s meals for supper?!?!???!!!!!!????). Now that he’s got all that weight off though I have to try to tread lightly around the holidays…but after seeing your amazing list of cooking I’m almost certain the nutzoid in me will be showing face…this afternoon!!!! :)


  8. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — November 25, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Yay for Christmas baking!!


  9. #
    Hilary — November 25, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

    You have some great recipes planned – might have to try one or two (now to just decide which ones). The only cookie recipe I have bookmarked for this year is this one for Gingerdoodles (part gingersnap, part snickerdoodle). If they come out as good as they look, these will be my new favorite!


  10. #
    Chantelle @ A Tale of Two Pretties — November 25, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS these recipes all look amazinggg. Can’t wait to try them out this holiday season! Thanks for sharing :)


  11. #
    Kathleen — November 26, 2012 @ 1:07 am

    Jessica, I don’t comment very often but I religiously read your blog. I sooo Love it!!! This Christmas Cookie List is off the charts, crazy amazing! I bookmarked lots of these recipe and can’t wait to try them. My favorite Christmas Cookie is a Yugoslavian Christmas Cookie. It has a short bread crust, a thin layer of blackberry jelly (is a thin layer too fruity for you. I hope not :) ), then a meringue topping with chopped nuts. It’s really unique. My second favorite is a Nutella sandwich cookie with a creamy nutella filling.
    Here’s the links if you want to try something new.


  12. #
    Trilbykat — November 26, 2012 @ 2:20 am

    Ha – I’m a dork. I got so excited looking at all your recipes, and for actually sharing my list, that I put it on your last year’s post. So here it is again in all its glory:

    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. #
    Bri — November 26, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    My mom used to have a giant list of things to bake during the holidays. She doesn’t bake as much any more and I’ve been picking up the slack. I think I’ll join you in an endlessly messy but happy kitchen!


  14. #
    Jocelyn — November 26, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    Instead of wine, I’m giving out bottles of homemade apple pie “moonshine.” It’s not technically moonshine, as it is made with grain alcohol, but apple pie grain alcohol does not sound appealing. Anyway, it is delicious.. and if you can drink pie while eating cookies.. this is good.


  15. #
    Shelly — November 26, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    I can’t wait to start baking. I have a request-can you link to the associated recipes in the photos of this post? I know you work so hard, but the little round ones with the white frosting on top are so, so, so cute! Thanks! And, this post is bookmarked.

    I’m making chocolate stuffed brown butter toffee chip cookies for the annual cookie exchange where i only get a little, tiny bit competitive. For general holidays, I’m making white chocolate peppermint bark, snowball cookies, your peppermint patties (I found peppermint oil at the hobby store and will be using that)…and, and, and. I’m sure the list will grow!

    Oh, and Chocolate Cream Pie from Real Simple, November 2012. Had it for Thanksgiving and it is so, so, so simple and yummy!


    • Jessica — November 27th, 2012 @ 8:13 am

      they are already linked in the list! brown butter oatmeal cookies, baklava, s’mores thumbprints and snickerchipdoodles.


      • Shelly — November 27th, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

        So sorry I didn’t see that! I made the first batch of brown-butter chocolate stuffed toffee chip cookies last night and the family is raving about them. Question, if you have time, do you prefer the chocolate covered toffee bits, or the regular ones?

  16. #
    Erin H — November 26, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

    I’ve been trying not to think about holiday cookies yet because I need a week or two of detox post-Thanksgiving so my pants will fit again. But OMG (I think I’m too old for OMG), you’ve got me super excited! And as usual, I’ll sneak a few of your recipes into my plans.

    p.s. Last year’s star cookie was a soft gingersnap with butterscotch chips. Odd combination but everyone wanted the recipe.


  17. #
    megan — November 27, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    you know I’m right there with ya…or right HERE with ya…however that goes, I”m on the baking train…WOO WOOOOOO!!! (super, super geeky love)!

    Love your list…I keep forgetting to check out that giant M&M cookie to use as a base for a couple recipes; thanks for that reminder…

    Not sure you want all 20 recipes on my list…I”m a Christmas cookie baking freak too. Like every new product that comes on the market, I can’t resist trying the new recipes that cross my email, so my list keeps growing, even as I take old recipes off!

    THUS, I always want to email you the Brown Butter Pecan Pillow cookie recipe I found cause, well…BROWN BUTTER! Those are on my list, along with:
    Peanut Butter cup cookies
    Lime Coconut Snowballs (Two Peas and a Pod)
    Grandma’s secret cut out cookies and date cookies (family traditions)
    Candy Cane Snowballs (yes, I am a sucker for snowball type recipes; dipped and topped? yes ma’am…my kind of cookie!)
    Toblerone Almond cookies
    Soft Gingersnaps
    Frech Pistachio Buttercream (my absolute FAVORITES!!!!)
    Almond Sugar Cookies with Almond drizzle
    Irish Cream sandwich cookies (think spiked, soft Oreos…)
    English Toffee Cresents dipped in Dove
    Melting Moments
    Chocolate Mint Dreams
    EGG NOG LOGS (would satisfy your egg nog love without the pasty drink!)
    M&M pretzels with white chocolate
    Capn’ Crunch Balls (everyone loves these and a two year old could make ’em…figures!)

    And, if I can fit it in (and I have enough containers), I’ll make Swedish Coconut cookies and Mocha Logs.

    Don’t you just love Christmas???? I’ll enjoy seeing your creations in a few weeks…EEK! :)


  18. #
    megan — November 27, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    whoa….that was a crazy long obnoxious post… :P I’m not good on editing… :)


  19. #
    Taryn — November 27, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Cake Batter Bark is my all time FAVORITE!!! After your post last year, I’ve made it several times-it’s a hit!!


  20. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — November 27, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    Here are some that often make it on my to-bake list: lemon-glazed shortbread bars, mexican hot chocolate cookies, chocolate peppermint bark, sugar cookies cut in obnoxious shapes (obviously), plain and/or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies….and that’s usually it. My mom makes sugar cookies, cranberry bread, and pecan pie bars (with walnuts), and the kicker: candied walnuts/pecans with kahlua and cocoa powder, whaaaat.


  21. #
    stacy t — November 28, 2012 @ 6:36 am

    my grandma’s fudge. and peanut brittle with salted peanuts bc i like the salt and sweet. i make so much peanut brittle it’s insane. but then again pot – kettle.


  22. #
    Kelly M — November 28, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    Apricot-Sage Cookies – sage/cornmeal wafers with apricot spread between… Yum… It’s the perfect way to use the only herb in my garden that survives this late in the year!


  23. #
    rmd — November 29, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    For the past two years I have gone over board with cookie baking, making around 17 different kinds, double batches of many and ending up somewhere between 1400 and 1500 cookies. Here’s the list from last year…Italian Biscotti, Spritz trees, Spritz snowflakes, eggnog kringla, milk chocolate toffee chip, Andes mint chip, peanut butter chip dipped in chocolate, minty cocoa fudge sandwiches, white chocolate cherry oatmeal, dark chocolate tree cut outs with drizzled white icing, gingerbread men, reindeer cookies, butternut horns, cheesecake slice cookies, raspberry rugelach, chocolate covered pretzels and chubby hubby truffles. This year I’ve regained my sanity and am paring back significantly…I’m working on the list as we speak and trying to keep it well under control…Of all the many cookies I bake, some far more exotic than others, the one cookie that everyone swoons over, that is requested year after year as the favorite is this simple bar cookie…no, not any of my delicious labor intensive international favorites…just a Pillsbury recipe I found a million years ago…it’s rich and dense and buttery and sweet, almost blondie-ish, perfect with a cup of tea….I usually quadruple the recipe and bake in a 16″ square pan. That’s how much people love it.…oh, yeah, and of course, its one of my favorites too…


  24. #
    Jenna @ — November 29, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    Great cookie ideas! I totally agree~ baking holiday cookies especially while blasting Christmas music is definitely not work. I have been looking for some fresh ideas for this holiday season and your oreo balls and s’more thumbprints look awesome.


  25. #
    Brie — December 10, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    While I’m sure you can’t go wrong with any of these recipes, I would personally recommend the Brown Butter Oatmeal Chunk Cookies. I just made them this past weekend and put a post up on my blog dedicated to their delciousness:

    Thanks so much for the recipe, Jessica!!!


  26. #
    ali @ [unrefined] sweet life — December 10, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    love this!! we just made gluten free chewy chocolate chip cookies! easy peasy – yet nothing beats a chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk.


  27. #
    Chrish — October 29, 2013 @ 5:45 am

    These sounds Yummy..!!
    This Christmas Cookies looks so delicious and adorable.
    I love cookies and I am exited to eat this.
    I read your blog its interesting to read.Nice write up..!!
    Thanks For Sharing….



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