holiday cookies

The holiday season isn't complete without cookies, and these five are no exception.

Baking cookies during the holiday season is a must. With parties, dinners and other events coming up don’t show up empty-handed; stun the crowd with these cookie recipes. Holiday cookies have transformed from the classic recipes into fun and innovative ways to jazz up a holiday party. Below is a list of recipes you should give a try this holiday season.

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

A holiday essential in most homes is candy canes. The peppermint flavor has been mixed with chocolate in many different recipes, which is why these cookies will be a hit.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup black cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup light-brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

  • 1 bag Bright White Candy Melts or white chocolate

  • Vegetable shortening

  • Crushed candy canes

Instructions

Whisk together flour, cocoa powders, baking soda and salt. In a mixer, beat butter and sugars. Add egg and peppermint extract. Add flour mixture. Chill dough for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Portion dough onto sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Dip cookies in melted candy melts, place on parchment paper and sprinkle crushed candy canes.

Christmas Tree Meringue Cookies

This cookie will look great and taste great. This classic flavor is something that all can enjoy and is guaranteed to bring fun to your dessert table this year. These cookies may take long to make, but the result is worth your time to have stunned faces at the creative aspect of your cookies as well as the taste.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • Pinch of cream of tartar

  • ⅛ tsp almond extract

  • Green gel food coloring

  • Multi color sprinkles

  • Star sprinkles

  • Frosting of your choice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a bowl of mixer. Place bowl over boiling water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and whisk in extract. Using the whisk attachment on mixer, mix egg whites. Add food coloring and continue to beat to form stiff peaks. Place mixture into piping bag, pipe cookies onto lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with multi-color sprinkles, cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, turn off over and open door slightly for an additional 2 hours. Place star sprinkles on top.

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Many people stick to the traditional sugar cookie with a kiss in the center during the holiday season, but this twist on a classic is sure to make your taste buds dance. Nothing can beat a Hershey Kiss during the holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 tbs milk

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup nonpareil sprinkles

  • Hershey’s Kisses

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter. Add sugar, beat until creamed. Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients. Pour sprinkles into small bowl, roll the balls of dough, then roll each into the sprinkles. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies and let cool. Press kisses into the center of each cookie.

Melting Snowman Sugar Cookies

This recipe will appeal to everyone, especially children due to the whimsicality of these cookies. Making these cookies with kids will be a great way to keep them busy during this holiday season, and will be something that they will enjoy creating and eating. Keep the kids entertained by having them create their own snowmen, something bound to be more creative than just a classic chocolate chip cookie.

Ingredients

Cookie:

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • 1 cup butter softened

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 egg

  • 2 ½ cups flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

Frosting:

  • 3 tbs butter, melted

  • ½ cup milk

  • ½ tsp cream of tartar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • Marshmallows (for topping)

Instructions

Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and egg. Stir in remaining ingredients. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and place in fridge for at least two hours. Remove from fridge, roll out dough onto floured surface. Cut into a circle shape with a 2 1/2 inch circle. Roll out slightly larger. Bake at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes then cool. For icing, mix all ingredients. Place marshmallows in microwave for about 5 seconds. Spread icing on cool cookies, add marshmallow, decorate as you see fit.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

No one can resist melted chocolate, especially when it comes on top of a warm cookie with a marshmallow. This recipe is sure to leave your holiday table quickly.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • One 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 ½ cups flour

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • About 8 ounces dark chocolate, diced into ½-inch pieces

  • 12 marshmallows, cut in half

Instructions

Melt chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. In a separate bowl, add brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat until blended. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Add cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, line a baking sheet. Place scooped dough onto sheet, bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add one piece of dark chocolate to the center of each cookie, pushing down very slightly. Place one marshmallow half on top of each piece of chocolate, pushing down just below the surface of the cookie.

Contact Maddie Eckels at eckelsmh@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.

Maddie Eckels is a writer for the culture section of The Breeze. She’s a junior Media Arts & Design major with a concentration in journalism and a minor in communication studies.