One of my most favorite days of the year is the day after Thanksgiving. Prepping the kitchen for various cookie recipes and having my list of people to give them too is a totally joyous act in itself. Don’t forget all of those who help you through the year – from the mailman to the delivery man, your driver to the housekeeper – everyone loves cookies!
Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 and 1/4 cup (160g)all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup (190g) yellow or vanilla boxed cake mix (I typically use vanilla cake mix)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (180g) chocolate chips (I used a blend of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days. This step is mandatory. The dough is fairly sticky, so chilling the dough is required in order to avoid the cookies from spreading too much. If you chill longer than 2 hours, make sure you roll the cookie dough into balls after the 2 hour mark. Place dough balls on a plate, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. You may also freeze the balls at this point for up to 3 months. (Then bake as directed adding 1 minute to the bake time without thawing.)
Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Scoop rounded balls of the cold dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, use about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Shape your cookie dough balls to be “taller” than they are wide, as pictured above. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie dough balls, if desired. That makes a pretty cookie. Make sure to keep dough chilled when working in batches.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Mine took 10 minutes exactly. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. You may also press a few more chips into the tops of the cookies at this point (the chips will melt down and stick from the warm cookies).
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days; baked cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. They won’t last that long!
Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda and stir to combine. Set aside.
Combine butter, both sugars, corn syrup and vanilla in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until combined and fluffy, about two minutes. Add egg and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add in flour mixture. Turn off mixer and fold in white chocolate chips and cranberries.
Drop dough in rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, with about two inches between each cookie. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for five minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
¾ cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup prepared eggnog (store-bought)
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. nutmeg
3 cups flour
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, eggnog, and vanilla, and mix well.
Add salt, soda, and nutmeg and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. It should form a very soft dough.
Drop spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet. (*see notes) Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown. Let cool before frosting.
For frosting, combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Frost cooled cookies, and store between layers of wax paper or parchment paper.
Add to Shopping List
1 cup butter, softened $
1 cup sugar $
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup molasses
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt $
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Assorted decorator sugar crystals
1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until fluffy.
2. Stir together baking soda and 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved; stir in molasses.
3. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Shape mixture into a ball; cover and chill 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a 4-inch gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).
6. Spoon Royal Icing into a small zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole; pipe faces on cookies, or spread cookies with Buttermilk Frosting. Decorate cookies as desired with candies and sugar crystals.
Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed, cutting dough with a 1- to 2 1/2-inch snowflake-shaped cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 17 minutes. Cool and decorate as directed. Makes: about 9 dozen. Hands-on time: 1 hr.; Total time: 4 hr., 50 min., including icing and frosting.
Sunny Day Snowman Cookies
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Land O Lakes® Eggs
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
Decorator candies, as desired
Heat oven to 375°F.
Beat sugar, butter and brown sugar in bowl at medium speed until well mixed. Add eggs, cream of tartar and vanilla, beating until well mixed. Add flour, baking soda and salt; beat at low speed until well mixed.
Shape dough into 24 balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Melt candy coating according to package directions.
Make 1 snowman at a time, spreading 1 tablespoon melted candy coating in center of cookie to resemble melting snow. Place marshmallow onto cookie for head. Decorate as desired, adding face, scarf, buttons, arms, etc., using candy coating to attach, if necessary. Repeat with remaining cookies and decorations. Reheat candy coating, if necessary.
Dark Chocolate Christmas Temptation Cookies
¾ C ( 1½ Sticks) butter
1½ C packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp water
2¼ C dark chocolate chips
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
2½ C sifted all purpose flour
1¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 bag Candy Cane Kiss candies
Put butter, dark brown sugar and water in a large saucepan and stir over low heat until melted.
Add dark chocolate chips and stir until most of the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted.
Add in ½ tsp vanilla bean paste and mix well.
Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to sit and cool for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times to help cooling.
Carefully measure 2½ C of sifted all purpose flour into a large bowl; add in baking soda and salt – sift together
When the chocolate is cooler, add in one egg at a time beating each on high speed until completely blended.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in dry ingredients, don’t forget to scrape the sides and bottom, until blended.
Chill the dough for about an hour – while it’s chilling – unwrap the Candy Cane Kiss candies
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F
Roll dough into ½” to 1″ balls and place on un-greased or parchment lined baking sheet about 1½” apart.
Bake about 7 minutes (could be as long as 9 minutes – do NOT overbake)
When the cookies come out of the oven, place a Candy Cane Kiss on top of each hot cookie in the middle and let them sit about 5 minutes.
Using a toothpick, swirl the softened Candy Cane Kiss until you like the pattern, it will just melt down onto the cookie.
Remove the swirl topped cookies from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack in the refrigerator to set the candy.
Repeat with the rest of the dough and candies.
Serve chilled straight out of the refrigerator or at room temperature, either way – DELICIOUS!
tablespoons Betty Crocker™ Decors red sugar
tablespoon ground cinnamon
tablespoons Betty Crocker™ Decors green sugar
cup butter or margarine, softened
cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
teaspoons cream of tartar
teaspoon baking soda
1Heat oven to 400ºF. In small bowl, mix red sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon; set aside. In another small bowl, mix green sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon; set aside.
2In large bowl, beat sugar, shortening, butter and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
3Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll in sugar-cinnamon mixtures. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
4Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
1 cup butter, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Miniature semisweet chocolate chips and green and red M&M’s Minis
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Red and/or green food coloring
Miniature milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped
In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. In another bowl, whisk flour and baking powder; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°. Shape dough into thirty 1-in. balls, thirty 3/4-in. balls and thirty 1/2-in. balls. On ungreased baking sheets, place one ball of each size, side by side, for each snowman.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; immediately add chocolate chips for eyes and M&M’s for buttons. Remove carefully from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
For frosting, in a small bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, extract and enough milk to reach a piping consistency. If two colors of frosting are desired, transfer half of the frosting to another bowl; tint with food coloring.
Cut a small hole in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; fill with frosting. Pipe scarves on snowmen. Use frosting to attach chocolate kisses for hats. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 cup butter (2 sticks, very soft)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons orange juice
pinch of salt
Cream together cream cheese & butter. Add vanilla extract, orange juice and salt. Beat in confectioners sugar until smooth.
Spread frosting over cooled bars.
Cut into 16 rectangles (4 rows, 4 columns)
Cut each rectangle diagonally so you end up with 32 pieces.
1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 ounces white chocolate or chocolate chips
I like to put the topping on after the bars are cut to ensure evenness, but either way is fine!
Sprinkle the top with the cranberries. Melt 8 ounces white chocolate in a quart Ziploc bag. Snip 1/8 inch off a corner and drizzle the chocolate over the top.
Cream Butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and orange zest and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (except for craisins and chocolate).
Add to wet mixture and beat until combined.
Stir in dried cranberries and White Chocolate.
Spread on a parchment lined 10″x15″ pan.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Do not overbake
Let cool and, if possible, remove from pan and slide onto the counter in one piece. (It makes cutting the triangles easier!)