What Are You Baking for the Holiday Season?
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.
131 Comments on “What Are You Baking for the Holiday Season?”
After seeing those fluffily snicker doodles for the second time I HAD to try them.. they just came out of the oven and they are perfect! plump and delicious- and the perfect companion to decorating for Christmas.
I’m hosting a cookie swap this year and I’m making my all time fav xmas cookie, the bite-sized Betty Crocker Cream Wafers. Addictive, made with real cream. Healthy.
I started a Cookie Exchange board on Pinterest….it’s actually only confused me more on what else to make. http://pinterest.com/thelifeingreen/cookie-exchange/ One of each? Ha.
Fun stuff! The women in my family have a tradition of baking for one weekend, and we make all of the Christmas cookies for all of us – 6 women total – and here’s our list:
Sugar cookies (not my fav)
Thumbprints (but we roll them in chopped walnuts, not coconut….)
Peanut Butter Blossoms (my hubby’s fav)
Cream Wafers (from the Betty Crocker cookbook – YUMMY)
Russian Teacakes (looks like your butterball cookies, but the pecans are chopped up not whole)
Krumkake if we’re feeling daring
Hope you enjoy your cookie baking!! We’re going on 10 years now w/this tradition. So far it works!
I found a gingerbread men s’mores cookie that I want to try. I also plan on making sugar cookies and letting my girls decorate them. There will be more I’m sure as I am trying to compile my list. I love baking during the holidays and remember when my mom would make candy, cookies, and make up huge baskets with all those goodies and fruit to give to the neighbors. She went all out and I loved helping. Great memories!
Wow. My buttons popped off of my pants just now just reading that list. I’m not crazy about gingerbread either… but I really want to make a gingerbread house to decorate and EAT! Need to find a cookie that will still taste good even though it’s firm enough to build a house out of! Any ideas? Maybe some crispy homemade graham crackers?
SERIOUSLY??? Oh great…now I looked up your Mother Lovett’s Coconut Thumbprints…must make them…I’v never heard of Coconut on a thumbprint and, although I have had a thumbprint that I love, I stopped making it cause it was too “typical”…this is new and fancy and I just have to try anything with coconut and frosting…P.S. did you know for about a year, they sold red and green coconut? Yeah…just a year… :)
okay, just one more comment on this topic (can you tell I’m starved for a friend who loves baking at Christmas as much as I do???? NOT desperate…starved…)…I read through and saw you want to make a recipe with Browned Butter in it and I make a fantastic recipe with Browned Butter Frosting…it’s a soft drop cookie that bakes up all puffy, and then you frost with melt in your mouth brown butter frosting and top it with a toasted walnut! Let me know if you want the recipe!
That sounds amazing!!
I love cookies :) This makes me want to bake each and every kind right now!
I ALWAYS make bourbon balls: http://southernfood.about.com/od/bourbonballs/r/bl81212f.htm
and sometimes also rum balls: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/chocolate-rum-balls-i/detail.aspx (which I like even better because it uses MORE liquor)
and ALWAYS ALWAYS date balls: http://southernfood.about.com/od/datecookies/r/blbb385.htm
Oh, and sometimes – I use gingersnaps in the bourbon balls, instead of vanilla wafers. Just to switch it up a bit.
I was lamenting on facebook last night that I have the longest cookie list ever because I NEED the classics, but WANT to try the new stuff….but I will probably stick with the classics. They just ARE Christmas.
Thumbprints (rolled in walnuts, my “new” twist is to fill with cranberry jam instead of my mom’s traditional raspberry).
Cookie batter truffles (this is a new one)
I think I will try your snickerdoodles cuz I’ve never had one!
Mexican wedding cookies
Rocky road bars
Peanut butter bars
Brown Butter Babies
Salted Peanut Caramel Cups
Chocolate Dipped Cocunut macaroons (fromJoy the baker)
Annnnnnnnd…..maybe some gingersnaps. If I get to them. Not ma fave but someone who sleeps in my bed with me sure does. Happy Baking Jessica!!
Every year I bake butter tarts and thumbprints for sure, It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without them! But my favourite cookie to make at christmas is Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies, I don’t care much for gingerbread but I love these!
My list isn’t finalized this year, but I’m adding your Hot Cocoa Cookies to the list. I always make a chocolate cookie and decided to give this recipe a try. I’ve already made a batch of chocolate chip (my husband’s favorite…I know, he’s boring) and I made your Fluffy Snickerdoodles the other night…best Snickerdoodle ever! Happy Baking!!!
I’m not going to “bake” anything…more like dip everything in chocolate. So far I’ve done:
Peanut butter balls
Cookie Dough Truffles
Rocky Road Bark
Chocolate covered oreos
Chocolate covered pretzels
I plan on making as many peppermint/mint+chocolate treats as my family (let’s be honest, just me) can stand. Including those yummy brownies you posted awhile ago!
Well, for starters, your snickerdoodles dough is in the freezer waiting to be baked. Can’t.Wait.
I have a list a mile long of things I’m making, from cake pops to truffles to maple candies to toffee. I’m also making a recipe I made up for cranberry white chocolate chips cookies that is to DIE for. We always make so many cookies…they’re just perfect as gifts.
Gingerbread for sure – I agree with you on the nostalgia thing and even though gingerbread isn’t the best cookie in the world there is something so nostalgic about it! So Christmas-y!
I’m definitely going to check out a couple of your recipes this year but I also love to do a chocolate/vanilla minty pinwheel that my husband loves!
Thanks for sharing!
This year I’m going to make:
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Molasses Spice Cookies
White Chocolate covered Oreos
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mexican Chocolate spiced balls
and if I have time, beer marshmallows
Thank goodness for my winter break from school, or else I’d never get any of those done!
What a great list! And these cookies look yummy!
You just opened up a huge can for me. I have been trying to narrow down my Christmas cookie baking list, then here you go and shove me right back to square one with a whole list of many which I haven’t even considered until now! How will I ever make up my mind now?? ;)
Great list! Today I am going to bake some German christmas cookies, like “Vanillekipferl” do you know them? You should bake them, because they are soooooo yummy!!!
Here I found a recipe in German:
I prefer the ones without eggs.
If you baked them, please let my know, if you like them ;-)
Kisses from Munich,
Oh I am sorry, I mean found a recipe which is also in English http://german.about.com/library/blrezepte02b.htm
I’m ok without gingerbread and shortbread! All of these cookies sound crazy-yummy! Mmmmm.
great list!!! I definitely want to bake some cookies, and I’ve been wanting to make some caramel corn as well!
I am baking a blueberry pie and an apple-caramel-pie :) they are so good!
I decided last week that I am only making 2 things:
1. Your Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
2. Chocolate dipped cranberry-pistachio biscotti
People love getting biscotti. It’s great with their morning coffee! I am sure that I will end up adding more. I really want a recipe for a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips that is chewy.
On my list this year (and every year)
-Rocky Road bars (with marzipan and dried cranberries to make it a bit more Christmassy)
-Shortbread (because I’m in Scotland and it’s illegal to not bake shortbread)
-Nanaimo bars (because I’m Canadian and I need that bit of Canadian in my Christmas)
-Cranberry and White chocolate biscotti biscuits
-lemon drizzle cupcakes (because my neighbour would cry if he didn’t get some of these for Christmas)
Usually I’ll add a few more things to the list as I go. But those are the staples.
Ho HO HO!!
Being a Southern gal, I like baking pies at the holidays. This year, I’ll be baking lots of hand pies and turnovers and maybe even some classics like mincemeat.
I love to cook cookies at the holiday time, like you, two days straight. Thats the best stomach ache a girl can ask for! Overload of cookie dough batter and fresh cookies out of the oven. I can’t wait!!! Thanks for sharing your recipes!! I’ll will be looking them over when I get to work!! he he
We always make a lot of different cookies- but by far the favorite of everyone’s is the Italian Rainbow cookies (some people call them 7 layer cookies) OMG! Delicious little moist, cake-like almond layer cookies, rasberry jam sandwiched in between and topped with dark chocolate- heavenly!!! It’s a 2 day process but so well worth it.
I have already made double-decker fudge, white chocolate raspberry fudge, and chocolate mint sandwich cookies.
I baked nutmeg logs yesterday (halving the rum extract) and need to frost them today.
Still left to do: Chocolate Peanut Butter Middles (surprise peanut butter center, people still mention these to me a year later), Almond Cream Cheese Bars, Chocolate Toffee Bars, and Chocolate Cherry Bars.
That’s what’s going on my cookie trays. I’m also wanting to try a new recipe for eggnog cupcakes for our church dinner in December. And, I’ll have to make a batch of peppermint caramel corn (homemade caramel corn with melted Andes peppermint crunch baking bits drizzled over top).
My husband insists on his grandmother’s ‘fruit cake cookies’. (They are one of those secret family recipes from the back of the label on the can of ‘eagle brand milk’.). And my daughter likes to have sugar cookies for Santa.
If I’m feeling it, there also might be cranberry pistachio biscotti.
My grandfather’s fruitcake cookies, except I’m leaving out the bourbon and the bourbon soaked paper towel from the bottom of the bag because these are going to church…. and I don’t really want to get the little kiddies buzzed. However, it doesn’t seem like my grandparents ever had qualms about getting us a little buzzed, between these and the whiskey sauce on the bread pudding.
I am a mom of four kids and I still bake like this at Christmas! A passion (ie obsession) is a passion. My mom made 18 kinds of cookies, I narrowed it down to 10….ish! My kids know I am a bit particular in the kitchen and they still love baking days. Oh, and kids are all about listening to the same song over and over.
Chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate, fresh cranberries and toasted pecans is a favorite.
As a Mom with 3 daughters I just wanted to say I think you will find that when you are a chick with a child…. the tradition of baking cookies will become much stronger. I too am very sentimental and nostalgic when Christmas comes around. Not only do I have the Christmas music going but somehow the TV always ends up on those sappy Christmas shows!! My list never remains the same with one exception. My daughters ALWAYS wanted to do sugar cookies. To me it is all about the time we spend together making memories and remembering the Christmas’ of the past., the cookies are just the icing on the cake!!
i’ve been dying to make these molasses butterscotch espresso bars!
look at all these cookies! i’m completely inspired to start my Christmas baking now.
Sad to say, I bake only cookies to frost. The dough I use comes staight out of a tube (both sugar and gingerbread). Before I had kids, I did really awesome things ( like cinnamon rock candy, buckeyes, wedding cookies, etc) and some year I’ll revert back…..I hope.
P.S. After you are no longer a childless and petless chick, you will listen to those nostalgic songs 1,265 times a day, and you will blast the radio and bake with SPECIFIC intentions. Trust me.
I love the holidays! It’s just an excuse to bake a million different types of cookies. I’ll def be trying to make the red velvet cake balls since I have an obsession with anything red velvet!
Already made and decorated a gingerbread house with my 2 yr. old grandaughter – most fun EVER and it totally looked like a 2 yr. old decorated it – she was SO proud. Have another waiting on my dining room table to decorate for myself. As for cookies, tend to make more candy than cookies at Christmas – fudge, pralines, and divinity are my staples. Must have cookie is a decorated sugar cookie cut in a heart shape and turned upside down to make Santa’s face. Will be trying the cookie dough bark for sure!
Okay, I need to start making my shopping list. I want to make all of these, seriously!
I think I will be one busy lady!
I am planning on making red velvet cake balls for all of my friends this year, but I’ve never made them before. How do you make the ones you mentioned above? How much frosting do you mix in with the cake crumbles? How do you mix everything together? I thought that dipping the red velvet cake balls in white chocolate would look really pretty and festive….
Thanks for all the fun inspiration. :-)
I make the cake in a 9×13 pan, then let it cool a little. Once it’s cool, mash it up and combine with cream cheese frosting – if I have some on hand I used about 1 1/2 cups, and if I don’t I just use 1 container (like Pillsbury or something) in it. Mix it all together, roll into uniform balls, then I set on a baking sheet and FREEZE until I’m ready to dip. At least a few hours – this makes dipping so much easier! Then only remove them in batches to dip so the end ones aren’t a mess. I actually store them in the fridge (my husband loves them that way) but set them out before we have a party or take them somewhere.
Thank you so much! I appreciate the help! Happy baking!
All of those cookies sound fantastic! I make a ton of different cookies and candies for the holiday’s as well. This year my staples are: decorated sugar cookies, molasses crinkles, peppermint bark, brandy soaked cherry cordials, caramel corn, and spritz. I love this season and can’t wait to bake up these treats! I might have to add a few of yours to the list as well.
what a great list — it’ll definitely help me out when it comes time to bake for my coworkers & friends :)
oops, hit submit too fast lol..I’m planning on making holiday themed cookie dough pops :) i’m going to cover them in white chocolate and then add christmas themed/colored sprinkles all over and wrap them up in cellophane wrappers with a cute christmas colored ribbon! the cookie dough will be edible cause it won’t have raw eggs in them!
Yum. I’m obsessed with cookie dough so these sound fantastic. You may also want to try adding a little bit of peppermint extract and candy cane pieces into the mix. I did this last year (and have the recipe on my blog) and they were very holiday appropriate and a delicious twist.
nice list- I am a list kind-a girl (can I call myself girl at age 50??)
What else? hmmm… pecan crescents (Mexican wedding), rice krispie treats drizzled with white chocolate and Christmas sprinkles, fudges (p-nut butter, walnut, white choc macadamia, peppermint), 2 ingredient pumpkin spice cookies (going to find an awesome maple glaze for these!), M&M, haystacks, nutter butter acorns, choc coated popcorn, peppermint pretzel rods, and.. and.. and.. shoot, I don’t have my list here at work… ooopps am I at work? better get back to it!
great posts… as always
oh yeah- I used to make Almond Joy cookies, but fiance deathly allergic’ so they are no longer on the list… bummer :(
I absolutely love your Butterball Cookie recipe! I’ve made it countless times for family and friends. I’m planning on making quite a few different types of cookies this year, and those are definitely on the list. I’ve adapted the recipe a bit– substituted maple syrup for the vanilla and added cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the dough– to give them more of a holiday flavor. Thanks for blogging about everything I love, like bacon and butter and family. :-)
It seems so early to think about holiday baking and yet, the blogger cookie exchange is just around the corner and packages have to be sent off soon to reach the troops before Christmas so in reality, it’s not at all. I’ve been debating back and forth about what I’ll make. Like you, I love the classic cookies I grew up with but the experimenter in me also cannot help but want to make up my own cookies.
Here are some of the ones I’ve made in the past and loved:
-Banana Cream Cheese Mounds – http://pink-apron.com/2008/12/smells-like-the-holidays-in-my-kitchen/
-Candy Cane Cookie Dough Truffles (I’m kind of obsessed with cookie dough truffles and this version is especially holiday to me) – http://pink-apron.com/2010/12/candy-cane-cookie-dough-truffles/
-Egg Nog Cookies (Because I love, love, love egg nog) – http://pink-apron.com/2008/12/holiday-cookie-extravaganza/
As for this year, I also want to try doing a candy can version of the classic blossom cookie (with some peppermint kisses on top) and am thinking I’ll do some classic sugar cookies as well for my care package to the troops. I received the coupons to try various Duncan Hines products and thought it would be fun to send sugar cookies and a few different frostings and sprinkles for decorate your own cookies.
I remember your cookie dough truffles last year so vivdly!! I think I am changing my plan and going to make those!! :)
You’re too sweet! Oh in stumbling back upon your orange cookies, I don’t know if you’ve discovered it yet but you should so get some dried orange peel. I use it all the time and it is so much handier than zesting and the flavor is the exact same.
I love so many Christmas cookies. My family does a traditional cut out cookie that you have to make the night before so it’s fully chilled, but they are so so so good. I love to make my Great Grandma’s molasses cookies with glaze and my other Great Grandma’s German Sugar Twists. They are to die for.
Other than that, it’s cinnamon roll wreaths and fudge and man, don’t get me started!! Yum!
Thanks for the posts, laughing until I cried and almost peed my pants. You see, I went back to the posts about the bachelor pad—so true! and the recipe post. It will be 10 yr on Christmas Day that my mum died at age 82. She had been healthy until about 5 days before and died with dignity as she had lived. My sisters and I were there and have hilarious memories of her (non) cooking. She was born in London, her dad was the American ambassador to India, Turkey, or some place like that due to the ornate object d’art (?) she left, and her mum was Irish. As you know English food is not known for being inspiring, healthy, or having any texture. In which other culture are “mushy peas” revered? Upon arriving in America, college at UCLA, marriage, and 3 girls, she discovered Betty Crocker. A few “oldies” crept into her repertoire: mini cream puffs were the first thing I learned to cook, and in her later years she loved to cook souffles. She kindly invited me and Mr. Tolerant each time though he often declined. She also was an avid bridge player and did become a wicked cookie/bar maker. My sis wound up with the recipes, I with all the photos and most everything else (too bad sis doesn’t like jewelry, lol) as we have a 4-car garage. One of these days, sigh, we will get together and go through everything. Many of our hilarious experiences, girls’ trips, cooking fiascos, and the like remind us of her. Thanks for such a fun way to use my morning while my yeast bread rises and the turkey stock simmers. :)
I just went through my recipe cards. Seriously. Like this morning on my break. I decided they were not Christmassy enough, so I’m going to have to pull out my old baking magazines from my “holiday baking” container in the garage. Yay. I like your list though — some nice suggestions that I may use. :)
Also, I’m going to toot my own horn a little here. I made some spiced apple caramels the other day. They were amazing. Seriously. You should add these to your cookie trays. Trust me. Oh yeah, and I posted the recipe today! http://www.newlywife.com/spiced-apple-caramel-recipe/