When the holidays roll around each year, you can count on a few things for certain– food, food, food. Right? Of course, one of those food categories is sweets and sweets mean Christmas cookies! We asked our Agents for their go-to, favorite Christmas cookie recipes and boy, did they deliver!
Note: some Agents didn’t tell us what their cookies are called, so we took some liberties. The recipes have not been altered though. Also, in one case, one Agent left very detailed instructions on how to make a perfect snickerdoodle cookie, but she didn’t tell us the ingredients.
8 Christmas Cookie Recipes Straight From Field Agents:
“HOW TO MAKE THE BEST SNICKERDOODLE COOKIE: Start by creaming butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes. This is an important step as the butter coats the sugar crystals and creates a smooth texture. It also whips air into the cookie dough. Use Cream of Tartar as a leavening agent. It gives it the signature tangy flavor and chewy texture. A touch of baking soda helps the cookies to rise as well. Double roll the cookie balls into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. This helps to make sure the cookies are completely coated in cinnamon-sugar before baking. Bake just until the edges begin to become a light golden color. These snickerdoodle cookies need to be soft and chewy so watch carefully. If you want them to be flat, press the balls down in the center before placing in the oven.”
2. Cocoa Cookies
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa or HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar for rolling
1. Combine granulated sugar and oil in a large bowl; add cocoa, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to cocoa mixture, beating well.
2. Cover; refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, at least 6 hours.
3. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar to coat. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly and tops are crackled. Cool slightly. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.
3. Super Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in additional sugar. Place on greased baking sheets; flatten with a glass. Bake until set, 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
4. Christmas Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar 1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If the dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into the desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
2 sticks (1 cup, 224 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (336 gr) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs 2 1/2 tsp anise extract (this is traditional in this recipe, but can be left out if you do not like anise. I have made them without several times and they are still delicious)
1/4 tsp table salt or Morton kosher salt (use 1/2 tsp if using Diamond kosher)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cardamom or clove (clove is more traditional, but I prefer the flavor of cardamom) 3 1/4 cups (390 gr) all purpose flour (measured properly-lightly spooned into measuring cups without packing in and leveled off)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes. Add the eggs, anise extract, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, white pepper, and clove or cardamom into the bowl and mix until everything is incorporated. Add the flour into the dough and mix just until it is incorporated. You do not want to mix for a long time, just until the flour is incorporated in. Press the dough out to about 1″ thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Divide your dough into 16 pieces. Press 1 piece of dough into a ball and roll it out between your hands and a clean work surface to form a thin rope, about 1/4″ thick. Use a sharp knife (or I like to use a bench scraper) to cut out tiny nut size pieces of dough. Place on a baking sheet. You can completely fill your sheet in a single layer, but you will need to bake these in several batches to get them all baked. It typically works out to be cutting out the next sheet pan of cookies while the one before it bakes. Bake at 350F (177C) for 10-14 minutes, until a dark golden brown. Check the cookies at 10 minutes and bake longer if needed. The cookies will be slightly soft when they first come out of the oven but will become very crispy as the cool. Store the completely cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. NOTES This dough can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. These cookies keep a very long time, up to 1 month, and the flavor keeps developing. Make them far in advance of your holiday party or for gift giving! If the dough is too sticky to roll out, let it chill for longer and add a little bit of flour to your work surface while rolling them out.
6. Chocolate Flakes
“Melted chocolate chips + corn flakes. Mix. Spoon onto parchment paper. Decorate with sprinkles (optional). Allow cooling and harden. Indulge.”
7. Cake Mix Cookies
1/3 cup of oil
1 box of cake mix
powdered sugar for rolling
Mix your favorite flavor of boxed cake mix, two eggs, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Roll into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Bake at 375° for 7-9 minutes. Tons of variations. All very good.
8. Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, at room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint crunch
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or more semi-sweet if you don’t have bittersweet)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly butter them, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Fold in the peppermint pieces and chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop cookie dough onto prepared pans. Bake 12-15 for smaller cookies, 14-17 for larger ones or until the tops are a light golden brown (mine came out after 12 minutes). Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Recipe adapted from In The Sweet Kitchen