Recipes for the Best Holiday Cookies

There is nothing better than turning on Christmas carols and baking cookies from scratch when you have nothing to do over break. Most people bake sugar cookies  or gingerbread men and decorate them. But this December you may want to change it up! Check out the recipes below for some not-so-traditional Christmas cookies that will instantly put you in the holiday spirit!

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa-powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions: In a bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and blend in butter. Stir in egg and vanilla until mixture is blended.

Spread dough in a thin layer in bowl and freeze 10 minutes, or until firm. 

Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease 2 baking sheets. 

Put 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and dust hands with additional sugar. Roll each piece of dough into a ball (small – gumball size) and then in confectioners' sugar in bowl. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets, bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are just set. Cool cookies on racks.

Image Source: Unsplash

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients:

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 large egg, room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually beat into creamed mixture.

In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and remaining sugar. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake until light brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Image Source: Pexels

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling

1/3 cup molasses

1 large egg

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. 

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses and egg and beat until lighter in color, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until well blended.

Using a tablespoon, form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place each ball 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden and crackled, 12 to 15 minutes; the cookies will still be a little soft. Baking these in 3 batches one sheet at a time gets you the nice, crackly top. The second sheet of cookies can stay on the counter until ready to bake. Form the remaining dough, roll the balls in sugar and place on the now cooled first baking sheet. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Baking has always been a tradition in my family, especially with the women. There is something special about sharing freshly baked homemade cookies with the people you love. I hope you have the chance to do some baking with your favorite people this holiday season and bring some cheer into their lives.

Happy Holidays Aggies!