Nothing says the holidays like making cookies with the kiddos. Try these 5 recipes this holiday season.
1. Grinch Cookies
*the below recipe gives directions on how to make sugar cookies from scratch, but you could also buy a bag mix to make this recipe even easier.
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1⅔ cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-5 drops bright green food coloring*
3⅓ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cup red and green M&Ms (plus additional ½ cup for topping cookies, if desired)
Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well-combined and light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla extract and food coloring, until well-combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Set mixer to low speed and gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Add ingredients and stir until well-incorporated.
Fold in M&M candies and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Once dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drop cookie dough by heaping 1½ Tbsp-sized scoops onto prepared cookie sheets, for perfectly round cookies roll dough in your hands into a smooth ball.
Bake on 350F for 11-13 minutes. If desired, gently press additional M&Ms into the tops of each cookie for decoration while they are still warm.
Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before removing
2. Snickerdoodle Sandwiches
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
package refrigerated sugar cookie dough (16.5 oz)
cream cheese, softened (8 oz. package)
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons snipped golden raisins or raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Shape cookie dough into 3/4- to 1-inch balls; roll balls in cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or just until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
Meanwhile, for filling:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, honey, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Beat with a wire whisk until smooth. If desired, stir in raisins.
Spread filling generously on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, pressing lightly together.
Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.
3. Berry-Sage Thumbprints
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage, crushed*
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup blackberry preserves
Fresh blackberries (optional)
Chopped fresh sage or crushed dried sage (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sage, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks, lemon peel, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour mixture.
Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly press the tip of your thumb into the center of each ball. Fill the centers with about 1/4 teaspoon blackberry preserves. Bake about 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely. If desired, top each with a fresh blackberry and/or sage just before serving.
Makes about 60 cookies
4. Candy Cane Cookies
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk or light cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring (or enough of the desired color)
Optional: 2 tablespoons finely crushed peppermint candies mixed with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or red decorating sugar
Into a mixing bowl, measure flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar with the butter until blended. Beat in the milk or cream, the egg, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Stir in the flour mixture.
Divide the dough into two even portions. In a bowl, combine one portion with the red food color. Mix until well blended.
Cover the portions and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
For each candy cane, on a lightly floured surface, take 1 teaspoonful of plain dough and roll into a 4-inch rope. Repeat, using the tinted dough. Place the ropes side-by-side and gently twist together. Pinch ends lightly to seal and curve one end to form candy cane shape. Using a spatula, move cookie to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake the cookies at 375 F for 9 to 11 minutes, or until just lightly browned around edges. Put the pan on a rack and immediately sprinkle with some of the decorating sugar, if using.
Remove to racks with a spatula and let cool completely.
Store in tightly covered container for up to 1 week.
5. No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Balls
1 pound powdered sugar (approximately 3 1/2 cups unsifted)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut (about 1 1/3 cups)
Optional: 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (chopped)
In a large mixing bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and cocoa.
Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla, mixing thoroughly. The mixture will be quite stiff.
Stir or knead in coconut and nuts, if using. A heavy-duty mixer with paddle attachment makes mixing much easier, or use the dough hook attachment on a hand-held mixer.
Chill the chocolate mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes, then shape into 1-inch balls. If the mixture is sticky, butter your hands if necessary.
Arrange the candy balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Cover the candy and chill the cocoa balls for at least 2 hours, or until they are quite firm.
Store the chocolate coconut candies in tightly covered containers separated with sheets of wax paper.