Some of the best holiday memories come from baking with friends and family, and then enjoying the delicious treats together! These four recipes are super easy to make and will fill your home with holiday spirit (and the smell of baking cookies, of course)!
Classic Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies can either be really bad or really good (we’ve all had the ones that taste like cardboard with cement icing on top). But this delicious classic sugar cookie recipe, taken from Allrecipes, is melt-in-your-mouth tasty. For the perfect holiday cookies, pair it with royal icing and fun sprinkles.
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup margarine, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully combined. Cover the dough and chill for two hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheets. On a clean, floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
3. Bake six to eight minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Everyone loves chocolate bark, and this peppermint version has the perfect holiday twist. Feel free to add other toppings, like holiday sprinkles, crumbled-up brownies or chocolate chips. Think of this recipe from Epicurious as a blank, but delicious, canvas.
- 12 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 5 candy canes, coarsely crushed
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Bring a double boiler to a low simmer. Place chocolate in bowl and gently stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract.
2. Pour chocolate mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes and press lightly to adhere.
3. Freeze until hardened, about five minutes. Break into pieces and serve.
Gingerbread houses and gingerbread people define December, and no holiday season is complete without a good gingerbread recipe like this one from the blog “Gimme Some Oven.” The blend of fresh warm spices like ginger and cinnamon make your house smell absolutely incredible. Pair the cookies with royal icing and some candy to bring your gingerbread people and their homes to life.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (alternately, you can use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl), beat the butter and sugar together for two minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, molasses and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
3. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them each into a ball. Then gently use your hands to flatten each ball into a one-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
4. Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
5. Unwrap the dough and place it on a large, lightly-floured hard surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough evenly until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick. Then, use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes, re-rolling the dough as needed. Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheets.
6. Bake for eight to ten minutes, or until the cookies are crisp around the edges and on top. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
7. Once the cookies are room temperature, decorate them as desired, with icing and any extra sprinkles or candies. Serve and enjoy immediately, or store in a sealed container.