The BEST Christmas Cookies!

The holiday season is a time for, let's be honest…eating (and a lot of it!) That thought may have you running for your comfy sweatpants, but a cookie or two…or six can't be all that bad, can they? The Ask Cathy Team has put together a list of Christmas cookie ideas that look entirely too delicious to be sitting on a plate and need to head straight into our bellies!

Caramel Pecan Turtle Thumbprints

Caramel Pecan Turtle Thumbprints

For Cookie Dough: 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk

Topping:

  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 15 caramel candies
  • 2 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted
  • flaky sea salt

How to Make:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt, set aside. 
  2. In a separate bowl whip butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high spread until slightly pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3.  Mix in egg yolk (set egg white aside in a bowl in the refrigerator) and vanilla extract. Blend in buttermilk. 
  4. With your mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5.  Shape dough into a ball and drop onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten dough into a 6-inch disk then wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes, until slightly firm (or up to 1 day.) If chilling longer than a few hours, let dough rest before shaping. 

To Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Remove egg white from the refrigerator and whisk vigorously until frothy and pour over the finely chopped pecans and mix until well combined. 
  3. Shape dough into roughly 1-inch balls then working with one at a time, drop into egg white and pecan mixture. 
  4. Roll until evenly coated. 
  5. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheets and make a deep indentation with thumb in the center of each dough ball. 
  6. Bake in a preheated oven until set, about 10-12 minutes. 
  7. Remove from the oven then using the bottom of a rounded teaspoon, gently press down on existing indentation (to create more space for caramel). 
  8. Cool on a baking sheet for several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping:

Place caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat mixture in microwave on HIGH power in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spoon caramel into the indentation in cookies and sprinkle tops with a small pinch of sea salt.

Place chocolate into a separate microwave-safe mixing bowl. Heat mixture on 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. Once melted, drizzle over cookies.

Allow the chocolate to set for a few minutes before serving.

Thank you to @pacificknotco for the recipe!

Candy Cane & White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Candy Cane & White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peppermint pieces

How to Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop peppermint into small pieces until you have about 1/3 cup.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients – butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. 
  4. Then add dry ingredients – flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  5. Roll dough into about 18 small ~1.5-2 inch balls, then dip dough balls onto the peppermint pieces to coat the top of the dough balls. Press peppermint pieces onto dough balls gently so that they stay on, then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Check at the 10-minute mark. Once it is done (it will still be slightly soft), let cookies sit on a baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before carefully removing them and placing them onto a baking rack to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Thank you to joyousapron.com for the recipe!

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

For the Cookie Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (188g)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (10g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (6g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (2g)
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (150g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8ml)
  • 1/2 tsp red gel food coloring

For the Cookie Dusting Topping

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (40g)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (66g)

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Sift or whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Use a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment to cream together 1/2 cup butter with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Mix on a medium high speed until the mixture becomes lighter in color.
  4. Mix in 1 large egg, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp gel food coloring on a medium speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on a low speed just until incorporated. The dough should be soft and kind of fluffy!
  6. Scoop the dough and roll into 10 balls, then flatten each ball to resemble a hockey puck.
  7. Combine 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl and toss each cookie in the sugar mixture. Be sure to completely coat each cookie and aim to get a thick coating of sugar so that it will still be visible after baking.
  8. Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes then let the cookies cool for 15 minutes on the baking tray before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Bake time will vary if you make smaller or larger cookies, so keep an eye on them!
  10. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Thank you to https://chelsweets.com/ for the recipe!

Gingerbread Stick People

Gingerbread Stick People

For the Gingerbread Dough

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice

For the Icing

  • #2 decorating tip 
  • Royal Icing in assorted browns, black, red, and white (untinted)

How to Make

  1. Mix butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg together and set aside
  2. In large bowl mix together all remaining ingredients and add to the other mixture.
  3. On floured surface roll out cookies immediately (and use cutters for shapes), or store in the refrigerator up to a week. You may place baking sheet with unbaked cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes to help keep the shape while baking. Bake 8-12. minutes. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Use the recipe linked above, and then…
  5. Roll the cookie dough out 3/8-inch thick, and into a rectangle.  
  6. Using a bench scraper (or ruler), make a small notch at each 3/4-inch measurement across the top, then measure 4 1/2-inches from top to bottom, and mark that with a notch. 
  7. Cut out the strips with the bench scraper and place them on the baking sheet.
  8. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to help them keep their “stick” appearance.
  9. Bake until the edges are firm and slightly browned (approx 10 -12 minutes)
  10. Let cookies cool completely.

How to Decorate

  1. Using a number 2 tip, outline the cookies with brown royal icing (pictured is a mix of AmeriColor chocolate brown and warm brown). 
  2. Let dry.
  3. Using black, red and untinted royal icing, decorate the cookies as pictured.
  4.  Let dry.

Thank you to thedecoratedcookie.com for the idea and Munchin Munchies for the adaptation! 

Double Whammy Eggnog Cookies

Double Whammy Eggnog Cookies

For the Cookie Batter

  • 1-1/3 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons eggnog
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the Eggnog Frosting

  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons eggnog
  • Additional ground nutmeg

To Make

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  2.  Beat in egg yolks, eggnog and extract. Gradually beat in flour.
  3.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
  4. Shape into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
  5. Bake at 325° until bottoms are brown, 13-16 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the first five frosting ingredients until blended; beat in enough eggnog to reach desired consistency. Spread over cookies; sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Let stand until set. Store in airtight containers.

Thank you to Taste of Home for the recipe!

Reese’s Stuffed Snowballs

Reese’s Stuffed Snowballs

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • 24 miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or other small candy of your choice, unwrapped 
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar for rolling

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. 
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy. 
  4. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. 
  5. Stir in the nuts. If the dough is too soft, chill it until you can work it easily with your hands.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and flatten with your hands. Place 1 miniature Reese's on top. 
  7. Take another tablespoon of dough, flatten it, and lay it on top of the peanut butter cup. 
  8. Press the sides together and roll to form a sealed ball of dough. 
  9. Place on a prepared cookie sheet.
  10. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown. 
  11. Remove from the oven and cool for just a minute, until you can handle them. 
  12. Fill a small bowl with additional powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until coated. Place on a rack to cool. (Once cookies are cooled, you may want to re-roll them in more powdered sugar.)

Thank you to crazyforcrust.com for the recipe!

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

For the Cookie Dough

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar light or dark
  • ? cup unsulphured/fancy molasses  (do not use blackstrap) 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk discard the egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz brick-style cream cheese full-fat
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream or milk

How to Make

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

  1. Grease a 9×13 inch glass pan with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  4. Beat in the molasses and vanilla extract. Then beat in the egg and egg yolk.
  5. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture about ½ at a time until combined.
  6. Spread or press the cookie dough into the prepared pan. If pressing with your hands, lightly spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until the sides are starting to pull away from the edges of the pan or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool fully in the pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat the butter until fluffy.
  2. Beat in the cream cheese.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time alternating with 1 tablespoon of cream until the desired sweetness is reached.
  4. Frost the cooled bars, then optionally decorate with sprinkles

Thank you to justsotasty.com for the recipe! 

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot Cocoa Cookies

For the Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 C nestle semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C hershey cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows cut in half

For the Chocolate Icing

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 C hershey cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C hot water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Christmas sprinkles

How to Make

The cookies:

  1. In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a standing mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until combined.
  4. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until combined
  5. Gradually add in the flour ingredients and mix until combined
  6. Scoop the dough (Will be brownie like texture) into a bowl and cover with foil and place into the fridge for 4 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop some batter into your hands and roll into a ball
  9. Place cookies about 2 inches apart
  10. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes
  11. While cookies are baking, cut the marshmallows in half
  12. Once cookies are baked, place a marshmallow into the center of the cookies and lightly press down
  13. Place cookies back into the oven for another 2-3 minutes
  14. Place a wire rack over another cookie sheet to allow the icing to drip off
  15. Once cookies are done baking let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack while you make the icing

The icing:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until combined
  2. If the icing is still to thick, add about 3 tbsp of hot water to it to thin it out
  3. Using a spoon, spoon some icing onto the marshmallow on the cookie
  4. Repeat step number 3 onto a few more cookies
  5. Sprinkle a little bit of sprinkles onto the cookies
  6. Repeat the last two steps onto the remaining cookies. Remember to only put icing onto a few cookies at a time because the icing will dry fast.
  7. Once all the cookies have icing and sprinkles ENJOY!

Thank you to kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com for the recipe!

Christmas M & M Chocolate Candy Cookies

Chocolate M & M Chocolate Candy Cookies

For the Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons (29 grams) unsalted butter, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (71 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (34 grams) whole milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk chocolate M&Ms
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

For the Topping

  • 1/4 cup M&Ms
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, lightly spray them with non-stick spray, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Heat them in the microwave on low power for 15 second increments, mixing in between each, until butter and chocolate are completely melted and can easily be whisked smooth. Be sure not to overheat or the mixture will seize. Whisk in the vanilla, then whisk in both sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir to combine – be sure not to over mix here!
  5. Fold in the M&M’s and milk chocolate chips, stirring until everything is just combined.
  6. Scoop 1/4 cupfuls of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one tray at a time, for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are set and the tops are dark and shiny.
  7. Press a few extra M&Ms and chocolate chips of the warm cookies right when they come out of the oven. Allow cookies to completely cool on the baking sheet before serving.

Thank you to bakerbynature.com for the recipe!

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