Hands-Down Best Christmas Cookies

So in our family, we tend to go all out when it comes to Christmas cookies. Every year, a lot of time and thought is put into what cookies will be baked. We bake at least a dozen different kinds of treats during the holidays. Please don’t misunderstand – not all of these cookies are for us. Oh no – we bake so that we can share! My parents live in a small town and so growing up, we knew most of the people around. Even now as I’ve come back home, my parents still know a lot of the townspeople. It’s just how small towns work.

Everyone from the postal driver, to our family doctor and dentist, to our neighbors would get a plate of goodies from our house. As my mom likes to say, you never know how far that plate of goodies will get you somewhere down the road.

I can say with absolute certainty that I have inherited the baker’s thumb and every fall, I get the itch to start baking. I feel like there are so many different options out there, but some you just always make. These are the ones that really make it feel (and smell) like Christmas! Ever since I can remember, we have baked these same recipes. Although there’s at least a five more recipes that should be on this “staple” Christmas cookies list, these are by far my top 5 favorites. And I like to believe that most people who have experienced the Printy cookie platters would agree with my choices!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies

It’s no secret that I have a thing for mint. I don’t know where it comes from, but something about mint mixed with chocolate…it’s heavenly. You have to keep me away from York Peppermint Patties – especially these new bags where they’re in bite-size form?!? I could easily down the whole bag.

Knowing my love of a mint, my mom made an Andes Mint igloo cake one year for Christmas. It was, to sum it up, to-die-for. We were little kids, so I wasn’t allowed to a very big slice (😭). My mom claimed it was because there was just too much mint, and we sadly never had the cake again. Thankfully, she found these cookies to be just the right amount of mint and they continued to be made every year. To this day, these are my number 1 favorite cookies! 

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  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (10 oz.) packaged mint chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and oil; mix well. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring between each addition. Slowly stir in chocolate chips
  5. Pour remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a bowl. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough and roll them in the sugar.
  6. Place cookies on the cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Whenever we were younger and out grocery shopping, my mom would sometimes take us through the bakery area. I always confused the oatmeal raisin cookies for chocolate chip cookies. I’m pretty sure there was an instance when I insisted on the cookie that I had to have and when I bit into it, was extremely disappointed because the “chocolate” turned out to be raisins.

My mom has made these cookies every since I can remember. For some reason, these were always the cookies that wound up in my care packages during and after college. My husband got a finger on these during the early dating years and fell in love with them. Ever since, my mom makes sure to send him his own bag! He loved them so much that they were part of the welcome bags for our wedding guests.

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  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups quick-cook oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Crisco, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except raisins). Mix this into the the Crisco mixture at low speed until blended.
  4. Stir in raisins.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool!

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Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

I think everyone has sugar cookies at Christmas time – whether they’re homemade or store bought. In our house, we rarely used the pre-made cookie dough and we certainly never bought the pre-made cookies (the ones you just take out of the package and lay on the cookie sheet). I’m not knocking either of these; we just never experienced them. In our house, we stuck by Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe. It’s certainly not the healthiest recipe (but really, what cookie recipe is “good for you”) out there, but it sure is the best tasting sugar cookie that I’ve ever had!

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  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups plus 4 T flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs and salt; beat well. Then add oil and vanilla; beat until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, beating well after each addition.
  5. Drop by the teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Grease the bottom of a glass and use to flatten each cookie. Sprinkle with additional sugar or colored sprinkles, if desired.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes; be careful not to overcook!
  8. Allow to cool on cookie sheets at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t know about everyone else, but for years we’ve struggled to find the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe. My dad is definitely a chocoholic (although in recent years he claims to no longer like it 🙄), so we were always trying to please his palate. Anytime we would make a new recipe, he had to taste test it. For years, we would found that the Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookies were the best and so we never branched out.

However, about 3-4 years ago my mom went hunting again. Maybe this was when my dad first announced he “no longer liked chocolate” and she felt it was long overdue that we find a new recipe. Whatever the reason, she came across this recipe that requires you to chill the dough before using it. For us millennials who have trouble with patience, this is an unheard of concept. You want me to CHILL my dough and not eat it for a couple of hours, then bake it? That sounds like torture, but I can assure you that the additional hour or so wait is definitely worth it. I liked these so much, I included them in our wedding welcome bags for the out-of-town guests! 

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  5. Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  7. Remove dough and drop tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart as they will spread.
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.
  9. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

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Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon. Sugar. What could be better? I think every child loves the combination of cinnamon and sugar. We rarely went out to breakfast (unless it was our birthday), but my parents were great at finding new ways to spice up breakfast. Take, for example: toast. Normal toast with jelly got boring. Sometimes, peanut butter and banana slices would do the trick. But then there were those times that you just wanted something sweet. Enter: cinnamon toast. Oh yes ladies and gentlemen: you take an ordinary piece of bread, slather some butter on, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and then placed in the toaster oven. 

And because all little children (and the inner child in all of us adults) love cinnamon-sugar, this cookie is an absolute must. Every year, my mom made sure to make these little pieces of sweet heaven. The best part was you really couldn’t mess them up – just mix, drop it in the cinnamon-sugar mix, and bake! My favorite part was rolling the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar. In fact, I think anything leftover from this mixture got re-purposed into cinnamon toast “seasoning”.

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  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugars and butter together until light & fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs; blend well.
  4. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt to this mixture. Mix well.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Shape dough into 1″ balls and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar. Place at least 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set. Immediately transfer from cookie sheets to wire racks to cool!

 

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