Must-Make Holiday Cookie Recipes


Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

Olivia Uzuncan, Staff Writer

Holiday baking is the epitome of wholesome winter activities. Here are three of my favorite holiday cookie recipes I make with my family every year! Happy baking!

My Great Grandmother’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Time: 40 minutes


2 cups all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 stick butter, room temperature 

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

2 large eggs 

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 tablespoon whole milk 

36 milk chocolate Hershey’s kisses, wrappers removed (Or other chocolate chunk candy!)


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.  

Step 2: Combine butter, peanut butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes.  

Step 3: Scrape down sides of bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before adding the second. Add vanilla and milk, and beat on medium-high until airy and doubled in volume, about 2 minutes.  

Step 4: Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and incorporate on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.  

Step 5: Place remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Portion dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place sugar coated dough balls 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  

Step 6: Bake for 7 minutes, remove from the oven, press 1 of the Hershey’s kisses into the center of each puffed dough ball (the dough will crack and create a rounded crater around the Hershey’s kisses). Return to the oven and bake until light golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Credits: Southern Living

Gingerbread Cookies

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Time: 1 hour, plus chilling


1  cup light brown sugar 

1  cup light molasses 

1  cup vegetable shortening 

1  tablespoon baking soda 

1  egg, lightly beaten 

¼  teaspoon salt 

2  teaspoons baking powder 

1  tablespoon ground ginger 

½  teaspoon ground cinnamon 

½  teaspoon ground cloves 

4 to 4 ½  cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling dough 

Optional: Royal icing and cinnamon candies, for decorating


Step 1: In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, molasses and shortening. Place over medium-low heat and stir just until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and mix in baking soda and 1/4 cup cold water. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. 

Step 2: Add egg, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and cloves; stir to mix well. Add 4 cups flour and mix well, adding up to 1/2 cup more if the dough seems sticky. Shape into a ball, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours. 

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into gingerbread boy shapes with a 5-inch-long cookie cutter. Arrange on baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart, and bake until risen and no longer shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow cookies to cool. If desired, decorate with royal icing and cinnamon candies. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Credits: New York Times Cooking

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled) 

½ cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 

½ cup granulated sugar 

½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar 

1 large egg, at room temperature 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1 cup mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips


Step 1: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. 

Step 2: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and creamed, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. 

Step 3: On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined, then beat in the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight. 

Step 4: Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. You can preheat the oven during this time. 

Step 5: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside. 

Step 6: Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls. Roll each ball very lightly in granulated sugar, then generously in the confectioners’ sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. 

Step 7: Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. If the cookies aren’t really spreading by minute 9, remove them from the oven and lightly bang the baking sheet on the counter 2-3x. This helps initiate that spread. Return to the oven for a couple more minutes. The cookies will be thick regardless, though– they deflate a little as they cool! 

Step 8: Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Step 9: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe Credits: Sally’s Baking Addiction