How Sweet Eats

My 2021 Holiday Baking List Is Here!

It’s the best time of year! My holiday baking list is here!

This is such a huge tradition for me that started with my grandma. I can’t wait to hear what you’re baking this holiday season. It’s the only time I actually enjoy baking!

I scaled back cookies SO much last year – I’m excited to make some fun platters and boxes this year for friends and family. It’s one of my favorite things to do!

For years, Lacy and I would make some things together. Every year, we’d make a buche de noel together. We usually do this at like 11 at night and it takes us way longer than we expect, haha. This bon appetit one is the best. We also ALWAYS make Tracy’s citrus peels and amaretto – I can’t pass those up. If I do the amaretto on my own, I will gift most of it to friends! Seriously we have made these things since the year Tracy posted them, so… a really long time. It’s so fun.

Finally, we also make my version of whiskey pretzels! Everyone really loves these too. They are a fun snack to gift people. I also like to make a batch of my caramel chipotle chex mix and gift that too.

Finally, here is my favorite holiday baking playlist! If you follow me on spotify (at howsweeteats), you can see all of my other holiday playlists too.


Below is my ideal list of what I’d love to make!

Always: the chocolate crinkle sprinkle cookies in The Pretty Dish. They are unbeatable! I also have a new sprinkle cookie coming next week.

Royal cookies. A new one from two years ago – we adore these.

Also, my cashew butter buckeyes! and maybe regular buckeyes? Sometimes I love them, sometimes I’m over them.

My peanut butter blossoms for sure. Definitely my all time favorite and a cookie I just can’t get enough of.

And these lemon crinkle cookies, Everyone freaks over them.

My soft snickerdoodles and these chewy chai snickerdoodles. I can’t ever choose between them!

These soft gingersnaps. Sometimes I make this recipe times four. We LOVE them. And I’m not a gingersnap person!

Of course these definitely these old school oreo balls .

I’m really feeling these bourbon cherry soaked oatmeal cookies this year. Love them.

And mother lovett’s pink and green thumbprints. because can’t have christmas without them – my mom and aunt’s faves.

Also –  mother lovett’s orange cookies. huge hit all the time.

These peanut butter m&m cookie bars – made with red and green m&ms.

Peanut butter fudge. I google a recipe and use a different one every year, even though Mother Lovett had one.

And some peanut butter stuffed chocolate pretzel bark!

I will probably also make some peppermint bark. And I love to do chocolate covered oreos! They are so easy. I also buy the white fudge covered oreos as a hack and drizzle them with dark chocolate and sprinkles!

Finally, these perfect cut out sugar cookies. these are the BEST foolproof, simple sugar cookies. I use either cream cheese frosting or this dip icing technique (marbled or not!). For the ones above in the photos, I actually sprayed them with edible glitter.


Every year I make similar boxes. Mother Lovett did this for as long as I could remember. Her cookie tins and boxes were her hostess gifts – and they were also what she would give to certain friends and family at the holidays. EVERYONE looked forward to them!

I’ve loved keeping this tradition alive. She used cookie tins – I have found some successfully at places like Target, The Container Store and even the Dollar Store! My personal favorite way to give a BIG box is to use these sugar paper gift boxes that I find at Target. They have both rectangle and round boxes. I’ve used these for the last five years and I make my own box. I usually cut up some pieces of another box to make the spaces for the cookies. This is what I did above!

I have to note that I do NOT mail these, so unfortunately I don’t have a ton of tips there! I only deliver these to friends and family who live within driving distance. If I were to mail them, I think it would include a lot of bubble wrap. However, most personal homemade cookie boxes I’ve been mailed in the past? The cookies have always been broken.

So tell me! What are you baking this season?!

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    17 Comments on “My 2021 Holiday Baking List Is Here!”

  1. Oh, the happiest post of the YEAR! I have gotten so many ideas from these posts the last few years: the lemon crinkle everyone adores, the chai snickerdoodle (although they don’t always work for me=spready and flat), and I make the bourbon-soaked cherry oatmeal cookies all year because they are HEAVEN.
    Last year, I made 12 different kinds and made gift boxes to take to people since we couldn’t be together. It made everyone SO HAPPY!!
    I did send one box across the country and I individually wrapped each cookie in cling wrap. It was a pain, and not as pretty, but they all arrived intact.
    Thank you for the great ideas…yours is always the first blog I check each morning!

  2. HI! I apologize if I missed it, but what are the white/green/pink swirly cookie/candy in the top picture right below the kiss cookies? Thanks!

    • those are just marshmallows! i get them at homegoods!

  3. I tried to figure out which cookie is the sugar cookie rolled in non pareils? In the last picture? They look like this elusive Italian holiday cookie I had as a child that I can’t track down the recipe for!

    • it’s the new sprinkle cookie i reference in the list! not like the italian cookie at all but i know which one you mean. i haven’t never made them but my cousin does. i’ll ask her what recipe she uses!

    • I think the ones you may be thinking of are the Italian ricotta cookies.  Those are my favorite and I make them every year along with biscotti.  I use this recipe:

      • Yes I think those are the cookies I’m thinking of! Thank you for sharing I’m going to try them. 

  4. Happy day after Thanksgiving day.
    I was just checking out your old blog from 2009,reading all of the recipes,printing some out.I think my 85 yo mum would enjoy ML’s orange cookies…..I didn’t know your hubby was 10 years older than you? I’m older than my husband….I remember meeting you 8 years ago when you were pregnant with Max…so I’m off to see what I need for your cookie recipes I’ll be baking today…not shopping….yet… I have to find the best deals on Tablets.

  5. Your Smoky Bourbon Pretzels become a tradition in our household in 2016, A sure fire hit!

  6. Last year my mom and MIL mailed us cookies.  My MIL basically put cookies in a container and shipped (all arrived fine) and my mom wrapped each box in bubble wrap but had UPS finish packing and shipping and they too were fine. 

    Back in the day, I mailed cookies to my dad monthly (it was a Christmas gift, homemade cookie of the month club) packing the box  with plastic grocery bags, halfway then putting in the cookie container and finish stuffing in plastic bags.  I pressed tight to fill any holes, never had a problem.  Thought I’d share in case anyone needed ideas! 

  7. What are those adorable pink, white and green striped cookies? We have fancy Xmas cookies and I can’t remember not making them and giving them away. Currently there are about 48 people on “the list”🙄 We always took big trays into work (my parents were teachers and I was a nurse, now retired). My mother is 97, and I went over to her house the other day to make the list of which cookies to bake this year–usually somewhere between 18-22 kinds. Best baking to you!

  8. can you make these ahead of time and freeze? do some freeze better as dough vs finished?

  9. Do you have a book with all the cookie recipes in it?

  10. Every single time I see Mother Lovett’s red & green cookies, they make me sooooo happy!  (They’re also delicious)
    Cant wait to try her orange cookies this year❤️

  11. I always love your baking list post! I tend to make a lot of yours- sprinkle cookies, Oreo balls, snickerdoodles, etc, but with what’s gaby cooking’s lemon with white chocolate chip cookies! If you haven’t made them before, you must!

  12. How soon do you start baking? In the past, I’ve made dough and frozen it until closer to Christmas but freezer space is limited!

    • i usually only bake 1-2 weeks before christmas. if anything, i freeze dough over freezing the cookies. but i also live in PA where my grandma always stored her cookies in the garage, haha. it is so cold they would basically freeze. and they were wrapped and store in containers.