Recipes for Classic Christmas Cookies

Kate Wiggins, Features Editor

 There is nothing that beats the delicious smell of cookies hot and fresh out of the oven during the holiday season. Sweet vanilla, cool peppermint, and delicious chocolate are all classic aromas that swirl around the air. Grab your apron and get baking with these and homemade cookie recipes. 

   To start off, you can never go wrong with a traditional sugar cookie: crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. You will need two and a quarter cups flour, half a teaspoon baking powder, a quarter teaspoon salt, a three-quarters cup of room temperature butter, three-quarters cup granulated sugar, one egg, and two teaspoons of vanilla extract. To start, add your dry (excluding the sugar) ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk away ‘til combined, and put aside for later. In another bowl, mix your butter and sugar together until a smooth consistency is reached. A hand or stand mixer would be extra helpful when making your dough, but a wooden spoon or whisk will do the trick. Next, add your egg and vanilla, and beat for about one minute until the mixture is well combined. Then, add in your dry ingredients, a little at a time, and mix until no dry mixture remains. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is incorporated. 

   Once a thick dough is formed, form it into a brick-like shape and wrap it in plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge for about an hour. After the hour is over, cut the block in half, and place both pieces on a floured piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Dust the dough and rolling pin with a bit more flour, and roll the dough out into a sheet that is a quarter-inch thick. If your dough becomes sticky, you can sprinkle it with a little more flour or throw in back in the fridge to let it firm back up. Dip the edges of your favorite cookie cutters in flour to ensure that they won’t stick, and cut out the shapes. Place the cookies on two or three baking sheets on parchment paper. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 11-12 minutes. You will know when they are ready when the edges turn a beautiful golden brown. Decorate with icing and sprinkles, or leave them bare. You will have everyone reaching for these classic and traditional treats. 

   This next recipe is maybe something you have never heard of, but they may be the best cookies you’ll ever have. These stellar confections are peppermint white chocolate meringues. They may seem scary to make at glance, but the end result is completely worth the process. To start, gather your ingredients: two room temperature egg whites, one-eighth teaspoon cream of tartar, half a teaspoon vanilla extract, one-eighth teaspoon salt, three-quarters cup sugar, one cup white chocolate chips, and one third cup crushed peppermint candies. Add your egg whites and cream of tatar to your bowl, and with a hand mixer or stand mixer whisk until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still on, add in your salt and vanilla extract. With your mixer on high, add in one tablespoon of your sugar, and wait 10 seconds before adding another tablespoon. Repeat this process until all of the sugar is added. At the end of this step, your meringues should form stiff peaks.

   Gently fold in your white chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candies with a spatula until they are well incorporated. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spoon about one tablespoon sized balls of the meringue, spaced an inch or two apart. Sprinkle a little extra crushed peppermints for that extra touch, and pop them in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven, for 30-35 minutes. They should be dry on the outside and feel stiff when they are finished. Let them completely cool before you dig in. 

   Holiday treats are exactly what you need to lift your spirits. There are countless recipes to make with friends and family that will be sure to hit your sweet tooth. Put on some Christmas tunes and get in the kitchen to whip up these cookies for you, and, of course, Santa. 

Ingredients (Kate Wiggins)
Soft Peaks (Kate Wiggins)
Stiff Peaks (Kate Wiggins)
Crushed Candies (Kate Wiggins)
Folded in chocolate and candies (Kate Wiggins)
Scooped meringue on lined baking sheet (Kate Wiggins)