Winter has finally arrived, and Christmas is just around the corner. It’s a magical time of year to cherish moments with loved ones and be thankful for all our blessings.
As we start to decorate our trees and shop for gifts, we also start planning our Christmas dinner menus. We want each dish to be special and unique. And, of course, no holiday celebration is complete without sweet treats and oven-fresh cookies.
This year, let’s ditch the store-bought cookies and wow our loved ones with melt-in-your-mouth homemade cookies made with love. Here are some must-try recipes that are sure to be a hit this holiday season.
1. Mexican Wedding Cookies
Mexican wedding cookies, also known as Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies, or butterball cookies, are popular Christmas cookies in many countries. They are small, round cookies made with butter, flour, sugar, and ground nuts, such as almonds or pecans. The cookies are rolled in powdered sugar before and after baking, giving them a delicate sweetness and a snow-like appearance.
Mexican wedding cookies are thought to have originated in Europe in the 18th century, but they became popular in Mexico in the early 20th century. They are often served at weddings and other special occasions, and they are a popular Christmas cookie because of their festive appearance and taste.
Despite their fancy name, homemade Mexican wedding cookies are surprisingly simple to make. Unlike flat cookies, these are made as small snowballs that are crumbly and buttery on the inside and have a snowy, powdered texture on the outside.
2. Jam Pie Bites
These versatile jam pie bites are a delicious and easy treat that can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert. You can either use that left-over pie dough chilling in your refrigerator or make cookie pockets with homemade cookie dough.
Simply shape the dough into small squares, spread jams of different flavors on each square, and overlap two corners to create small jam pie bites. Enjoy them warm, crunchy from the top, and sweet and tender from the inside.
3. Classic Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are a classic holiday treat that everyone loves. They’re perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee on a chilly winter evening.
To make extra chewy chocolate chip cookies, replace some or all of the white sugar with dark brown sugar. Brown sugar contains molasses, which gives cookies a richer flavor and chewier texture. You can also sprinkle a little bit of flaky sea salt on top of the cookies after baking. The salt will enhance the flavor of the chocolate and sugar.
For extra melted chocolate, place a small cube of chocolate in the center of each cookie dough ball before baking. Be sure not to overbake the cookies, or they will lose their chewy texture.
4. Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookies are a classic Christmas treat, but they can be difficult to make. Many recipes on the internet turn out dry and tasteless, but with a few simple tips, you can make delicious gingerbread cookies that will bring back childhood memories.
- Gingerbread cookies should have a balanced flavor profile with notes of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and molasses. Don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of each spice to your taste.
- Gingerbread cookies are typically made by creaming together butter and sugar, then adding eggs and dry ingredients. Once the dough is mixed, it is chilled for at least one hour before being rolled out and cut into shapes.
- Overworking the dough will make the cookies tough. Be sure to mix the dough just until the ingredients are combined.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. Gingerbread cookies should be baked until they are just set. Overbaking will make the cookies hard and dry.
5. Holiday Cut-Out Butter Cookies
Butter cookies are a classic treat that everyone loves. They’re soft, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You can make simple butter cookies or add your own variations, such as almond extract, chocolate chips, or salted caramel.
Once you’ve made the dough, be sure to chill it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. This will help prevent the cookies from spreading too much when they’re baking.
When you’re ready to bake, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes. You can use classic holiday shapes, such as Santa, Christmas trees, and reindeer, or get creative with your own designs.
6. Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Pecan shortbread cookies are a delicious and versatile treat. They are perfect for enjoying as a snack or dessert and can be tailored to your liking by adding different spices or flavors.
To make pecan shortbread cookies, simply roast and blend pecans and mix them up with shortbread dough. Be sure to chill the dough for at least an hour, but overnight is ideal.
Once the dough is chilled, roll it out and cut it into shapes. Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake until they are golden brown.
7. Snickerdoodle Cookies
Snickerdoodles are a classic Christmas cookie that everyone loves. They are soft and chewy, with a delicious cinnamon-sugar coating.
To make these, simply cream the butter and sugar together. Then, beat in eggs and vanilla extract. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Now, gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until it is just combined.
Roll the dough into balls and then roll them in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Our list of yummy and easy homemade cookies is sure to make your holiday season extra sweet. For best results on Christmas Day, try out the recipes a few times in advance to perfect your baking skills and adjust the quantities to your liking. Merry Christmas!