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Spread Holiday Cheer with These 8 Cookies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

As another year comes to a close, the holiday season emerges in full swing accompanied by the beginning tinkles of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” While the holidays are celebrated varyingly by families across the country, the baking of holiday cookies is a tradition beloved by all ages.

Although baking may seem intimidating because of the precision required, the perfect cookie does not necessitate complex methodology or expensive equipment. Cookies are a foolproof way to spread holiday cheer during the winter months, and the delicious warmth and sweetness of freshly baked cookies wafting throughout your house is an added bonus. Whether it be for loved ones or just for oneself as a post-finals treat, consider trying out these cookie recipes this holiday season!

1. Snickerdoodles 

These cinnamon sugar cookies are a holiday staple for good reason! I have been making snickerdoodles every Christmas since I started baking in Middle School and it has become a tradition of mine to bake them for friends and family over the years. 

As snickerdoodles are usually rolled in cinnamon and sugar before being baked, they tend to be a bit too sweet for my preference. I typically cut down on half of the sugar in the actual dough to make it possible to indulge in more than one at a time. I also do not add cream of tartar and opt for using an additional ¼ cup of butter to substitute for shortening.

2. Thumbprint Cookies 

The versatility of a good thumbprint cookie recipe is unrivaled. While this recipe calls for raspberry, cherry, or strawberry jam, you can truly utilize whatever filling you please. Instead of using store bought jam, I make homemade jam using whatever fresh or frozen fruits I have available. When making jam, make sure to adjust the sugar according to the tartness of your chosen fruit and preference. I have made thumbprint cookies using strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, apricot, and raspberry jam as well as dark chocolate. 

3. Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies 

Take your chocolate chip cookie game a step further with this extra chocolatey crinkle cookie recipe. With a fudginess comparable to brownies, these gorgeous cookies are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth’s chocolate cravings. If you are worried about there being too much chocolate in this cookie, feel free to leave out the addition of chocolate chips. 

4. Peppermint Bark Cookies 

A spin-off of the holiday classic dessert, these peppermint bark cookies offer a softer alternative to the sharp shards of peppermint bark without skimping on the mint and chocolate. To ensure that the sugariness of the white chocolate does not overpower the dark chocolate of the dough, I recommend dipping your cookies instead of completely covering them. 

5. Polvorones 

Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, polvorones are a walnut-based shortbread dusted with powdered sugar. While the origins of these cookies are unclear, it is widely accepted that Mexican polvorones emerged from Spanish polvorones and mantecados. Regardless of the version of these cookies, they are all enjoyed during Christmas in Spanish-speaking countries, Cuba, and the Philippines. 

Although polvorones are called wedding cookies, these cookies are enjoyed year-round no matter the occasion. They pair well with some coffee or tea, and the earthiness of the walnut helps to balance the sweetness of the powdered sugar. 

6. Hot Chocolate Cookies 

There is nothing better than a steaming cup of hot chocolate to warm you up during the winter. However, if you are looking for a solid alternative, these hot chocolate cookies are a close second. These cookies are also a great way to utilize any unused instant hot chocolate mixes you may have if you are not an avid hot chocolate drinker. If you are a big fan of marshmallows, consider swapping out the chocolate chips and mallow bits for marshmallow whipped frosting or cream

7. Double-Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

While this gingerbread recipe is a bit more complicated than the average cookie recipe, the buttercream filling is a must try if you are a fan of cookie butter. Of course, the buttercream is not essential; these gingerbread cookies hold up well by themselves. They are, however, incredibly indulgent. I recommend cutting some of the sugar according to your preference and adding some flaky sea salt to cut through the sweetness. Consider making these for your next holiday party to spare your gingerbread house from destruction a bit longer. 

8. Brown Butter White Chocolate Matcha Cookies

Matcha flavored foods have been a favorite in my household for a while now, and these Bowser shell lookalikes are the perfect balance of sugary white chocolate and the slight bitterness of the matcha powder. While it is not absolutely necessary to brown your butter, doing so introduces a heavenly rich, nutty flavor to your desserts that could not otherwise be achieved with melted or clarified butter. 

If you are looking to take your matcha cookies up a notch, switch out the browned butter for a mochi filling. Mochi is a Japanese dessert made from glutinous rice flour, and although it is not traditionally used as a filling, its soft, chewy texture elevates the gooeyness of your cookies to new heights. To make filling for approximately 20 cookies, whisk ½ cup of glutinous rice flour, 4 tablespoons of cornstarch, ½ cup of milk or water, and 2 tablespoons of sugar until combined in a bowl. Steam for approximately 25 minutes and then mix in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil while hot to prevent sticking. While chilling your dough, roll out your mochi into little balls. To incorporate the filling, flatten the dough before adding a ball of mochi in the center. Then, wrap the dough around the filling and roll with the palms of your hands until smooth before slightly flattening them for baking. 


While these eight cookies are guaranteed hits at your next holiday gathering amongst friends and family, the possibilities and flavor combinations of what goes into a cookie are truly endless. Indulge yourself and your loved ones with some freshly baked holiday-themed cookies!

Hi, I'm Kaitlyn! I'm an English major at UCSB with a specialization in Lit and Mind that involves the psychological, philosophical, and psychoanalytical analysis of literature. When I'm not reading, I love to play RPGs, visit museums, and try out new recipes. I'm so excited to contribute to UCSB's HC platform by provoking conversations about issues I am deeply passionate about such as mental health, xenophobia, and gender equality.