Discuss: Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap

I love to bake.  One of the things I miss most about going to an office every day is having people to bake for.    I believe a batch of cookies at the end of a stressful week is a lubricant that keeps an office running smoothly (though not everyone agrees). This weekend, I get to bake for the first time in a very long time

This weekend, I get to bake for the first time in a very long time.  I’m very excited about it.

I’m planning to bake my Mother’s sugar cookies, a molasses cookie, and maybe something new for our Christmas Cookie Swap.  I cruised through Pinterest for a new recipe, but nothing caught my eye.  Then, I thought that I might not be the only one hunting for a new cookie recipe this holiday.

In the spirit of sharing, I decided to contribute my Mother’s Always-Soft Sugar Cookies.  They’re the greatest.  Please add a link or post the full recipe for your contribution in the comments.  Maybe we’ll all find something new to bake for our loved ones, friends, and co-workers this season.

These cookies are meant to be cut.  So invest in some good cookie cutters.  For the holidays, I like the Wilton cutters with the comfort grip, like this snowflake.  I also recommend using a silicone mat to keep them from sticking, non-stick spray can leave them a tad greasy.

Always Soft Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter (real butter only)

1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon extract (this can be lemon, vanilla or almond)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.  Add eggs and extract.
Slowly blend in dry ingredient mixture.  (Sometimes – you might need to add a little
more flour, but be careful or else they will be as hard as rocks.)

Dump out on a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into desired shape

Place on baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!!!! (can you say pigeons for skeet practice if you do?)

Take off the sheet to cool.  Store in air-tight container.  To keep soft store with bread.

{featured image found here; this post contains affiliate links}

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  1. Margaret says:

    I think you left the sugar out of the ingredients 🙂

    November 30, 2017/Reply
    • Belle says:

      My mom sent me an email without it in there. I smell sabotage.

      November 30, 2017/Reply
  2. Allie says:

    How much sugar?

    November 30, 2017/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I fixed the recipe.

      November 30, 2017/Reply
  3. MALLory says:

    I like to bring homemade toffee! It’s very simple to make and yields a lot of servings. Plus, it’s a flourless alternative (which is increasingly a plus for lots of people). https://www.marthastewart.com/352638/english-toffee

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  4. BRItt says:

    Just made these last weekend and they are THE BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. Double the recipe and add more chocolate chips than it calls for. Resting the dough in the fridge for about 30mins to an hour is key as well.


    November 30, 2017/Reply
  5. Cindy says:

    These fruitcake cookies are the holiday favorite of my family & friends:

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  6. linds says:

    When I left a job recently, my now-former colleagues made me promise to come back to visit around the holidays–because they needed their annual fix of these:

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  7. Emily says:

    These Butterscotch Graham Cookies are on my list for a cookie swap party next week: https://www.imperialsugar.com/recipes/desserts/cookies-bars/Butterscotch-Graham-Cookies

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  8. KLC says:

    My family always makes Nutmeg Noels. My friends say they taste like Eggnog in a cookie… I just think they are stinkin good! Just be sure to roll in red and green sugar and bake on a Silicone Baking Sheet to protect your baking sheets!


    November 30, 2017/Reply
  9. CB says:

    I love these Molasses Spice Cookies: https://amandascookin.com/sugar-topped-molasses-spice-cookies/.

    Ginger-y, chewy, easy to make, and always a hit.

    November 30, 2017/Reply
    • Lindsey says:

      Made these and loved them, thanks for the recipe!

      December 5, 2017/Reply
  10. Diana says:

    Joy the Baker’s Milk Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cookies. These are the Inception of cookies – a cookie within a cookie. They are delicious and fun, and always a crowd favorite. You also get to pulverize Oreos with a rolling pin, which is a great way to exorcise holiday stress.


    November 30, 2017/Reply
  11. Sof says:

    Despite the fact that I firmly believe it isn’t dessert if it doesn’t have chocolate, these jammy shortbread cookies are some of my favorites to make and eat. The almond extract is, surprisingly, the real game changer here. I make them with raspberry preserves but I’ve tried all kinds and they never fail to be delicious: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/berry-shortbread-dreams

    November 30, 2017/Reply
    • Sof says:

      You don’t need to use preserves, either! I’ve also used pecans to great success, so be creative. Another hit was blueberry preserves with lemon zest added into the drizzled icing.

      November 30, 2017/Reply
  12. Kate says:

    Neiman Marcus $250 cookies! They aren’t too sweet, and are a nice break from super sugary holiday cookies. It’s easy to mix in extras- last year I added uncooked quinoa and chia, which gave it more heartiness and nutty flavor. You must grate a chocolate bar into the mix, it seriously takes it to the next level. We used an orange-chocolate bar recently that was heaven in these cookies!

    Recipe and legend here: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/9465-the-250-cookie-recipe.

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  13. Becky says:

    Church Window cookies are one of my favorites, particularly because they are so easy. Just three ingredients, chocolate chips, butter, and marshmallows. They add a nice pop of color without having to frost cookies. My family skips the walnuts and coconut in this version of the recipe:

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  14. Crystal says:

    Here are a couple of my favorites that are online, and not in my mother’s loopy handwriting. 🙂

    Exotic Spice Cookies with Ginger, Cardamom and Rose Water. These are like a much fancier, soft ginger snap. Delicious.

    Browned Butter Spoon Cookies. These are a pain to make — I finally have a great method perfected — but sooo worth it. Delicious and always a huge hit for gifts/swaps/parties.

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  15. Laura says:

    These red velvet chocolate chip cookies are delicious and festive: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/13/red-velvet-chocolate-chip-cookies/

    Also, I’ve baked probably 15 different recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction and they always turn out amazing!

    November 30, 2017/Reply
    • Eliza says:

      Seconded! Love Sally’s Baking Addiction cookies!

      November 30, 2017/Reply
  16. Hillary says:

    I love these pecan pie thumbprint cookies. They are easy and beautiful. They give me the pecan pie fix I desperately need this time of year, but rarely get because not everyone loves that pie.

    https://everydayannie.com/2012/12/07/pecan-pie-thumbprint-cookies/ – enjoy!

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  17. Orla says:

    Retired baking blogger here! Have tried and tested a lot of cookie recipes featured on my now archived blog: https://milistreats.blogspot.ie/search?q=cookies (no judgement on the blog, I was young and peppy!) Would particularly recommend Nutella-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, Jammie Dodger Hearts, or three ingredient chocolate cookies!

    My current go-to are these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Averie Cooks- the cinnamon makes them festive and they are a crowd pleaser! Make a big batch, keep them in the fridge and bake them whenever you have guests call (perfect for the couple of days over Christmas when you will have visitors!) The flavor enhances in the couple of days chilling and they become even more delicious! Recipe here: https://www.averiecooks.com/2014/11/the-best-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  18. Jamie says:

    Deb @ Smitten Kitchen is a cookie genius. My favorite holiday cookie is her Gingerbread Biscotti. You can adjust the spice to be a little more or a little less based on personal taste (I added extra black pepper and people raved). I’ve given these as gifts to co-workers, baked these for winter baby/wedding showers, and served these for brunch with friends. Plus, they keep for awhile so you can make ahead if needed. https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/12/gingerbread-biscotti/

    If you’re anti-gingerbread, I also recommend David Lebovitz’ chocolate biscotti. You could add peppermint chips or replace the vanilla/almond extract with peppermint for a more “seasonal” bite. https://www.davidlebovitz.com/chocolate-biscotti/

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  19. Rachel says:

    These salty chocolate chip oatmeal cookies have become my go-to cookie recipe – they are always a hit. I double the amount of chocolate chips and use dark chocolate to up the ante just a bit more as well. https://www.acozykitchen.com/salty-cc-oatmeal-cookies/

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  20. Jess says:

    These are my favorite – https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/austrian-raspberry-shortbread/ – I always use my homemade jam from the summer and they are amazing. I love Christmas baking!

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  21. Rebecca says:

    These are the absolute best! I make them every Christmas. Family tested and approved! Now to find somewhere that sells molasses….

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  22. Jenn says:

    DEFINITELY Ali’s bourbon cookies.. except I use a quarter cup bourbon (overflowing) instead of 2 tbsp 🙂 They are delicious

    November 30, 2017/Reply
  23. Abbie says:

    I love to make biscotti for Christmas. This is one of my favs: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dried-cranberry-and-white-chocolate-biscotti-5817

    December 1, 2017/Reply
  24. Emily says:

    These are easy but also festive and addicting. They were one of my childhood favorites but I still plan to make them each year: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/christmas-cornflake-wreath-cookies-153446

    December 1, 2017/Reply
  25. Ally says:

    Mama’s Cheese Cookies
    2 sticks of butter
    2 c all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
    9 oz grated extra sharp cheese
    1 tsp salt
    1 3/4 c. Rice Krispies

    Cream butter and cheese.

    Stir salt and cayenne into flour. Add slowly to butter and cheese mixture.

    Add Rice Krispies last and stir in by hand.

    To form cookies, scoop a bit of the mixture into your hand and roll it into a ball. (Kinda hard to describe the size – one inch in diameter or a bit less. These are 1-2 bite cookies). Flatten slightly with two fingers.

    Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

    December 1, 2017/Reply
  26. Anna says:

    Snowball cookies! They’re pretty much lady fingers or Mexican wedding cookies or Russian teacakes. Light and sweet and delicate. https://www.smalltownwoman.com/buttery-pecan-snowball-cookies/

    December 2, 2017/Reply