Festive Holiday Cookies for Creating Memories

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READING TIME: 2 min.

Holiday baking is my absolute favorite. My family will tell you; I truly make hundreds of Christmas cookies each year to share with friends, family, neighbors, teachers, and my husband’s best customers. Over the years, I’ve collected and developed tried-and-true recipes that are a huge hit with everyone we know. Here are four of the most popular Christmas cookie recipes I use each year:

Auntie Janie’s Sugar Cookies

We bake these sugar cookies with my Auntie Janie every Christmas. She’s an absolute doll and always lets my girls get messy in her kitchen as we decorate them. We have so many precious memories of making Christmas cookies with her throughout the years, and this family recipe is one I will forever cherish. These cookies are buttery and have the most delicious hint of vanilla. Don’t forget to whip up a batch of her royal icing! I’ve included that recipe for you, too.

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Christmas Trees, Mittens, Snowman and a snowflake) most popular Christmas cookie recipes

Auntie Janie's Sugar Cookies
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Auntie Janie's Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cover and chill overnight or at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Roll dough onto a floured surface (1/4–1/2-inch thick).
  7. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  8. Place cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
  9. Bake 6–8 minutes until slightly golden.
  10. Cool completely before icing/decorating.
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Auntie Janie’s Royal Icing
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Auntie Janie’s Royal Icing
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a stand mixer or large bowl.
  2. Separate icing into bowls, add desired food coloring, and scoop into piping bags fitted with desired tips.
  3. Decorate and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Add a little more water to get a thinner consistency for flooding. [Flooding means to completely cover the surface of a cookie with icing that flows smoothly.]

Use less water to create icing with a thicker, paste-like consistency for piping. [Piping means to create a line or design with frosting squeezed from a piping bag.]

A note from Auntie Janie: Place the piping bag over a water glass so it's easier to fill and the frosting wont flow out until you are ready to use.

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Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe comes with sweet memories, as well. It is one I found and edited and perfected throughout the years to make it my own. I made them for the first time as a college student with my little sister after she’d had a rough day at school. It became tradition for us to make them together each year. Over time, we’ve included cousins, friends, and later, my own kids. We always make a gingerbread version of each of us decorated with red hots, gum drops, colored icing, and sprinkles. We even do a gingerbread dog to match Stella, our mini Aussie.

gingerbread cookies before baking, most popular christmas cookie recipes

Gingerbread Cookies
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Servings
24
Servings
24
Gingerbread Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
24
Servings
24
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, beat molasses, brown sugar, water, butter, and vanilla together.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda, and spices until well combined.
  3. Cover and chill overnight or at least 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Roll out dough onto a floured surface. (1/4–1/2 inch thick)
  6. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  7. Place cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
  8. Bake 8–10 minutes.
  9. Cool completely before icing/decorating.
Recipe Notes

You can use my royal icing above or your own icing/frosting.

Another option for quick decorating is to turn them upside down to make little reindeer.

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upside down gingerbread men decorated as reindeer, most popular christmas cookie recipesRaspberry Thumbprints

Linzer cookies are my most-beloved cookie, but they are a labor of love and always take a long time to make. One year, after making several dozen of them, I decided to edit the recipe to create an easier version while keeping the same great flavor. Thus, my Raspberry Thumbprints were born!

raspberry thumbprint cookies, most popular christmas cookie recipes

Raspberry Thumbprints
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Servings
35
Servings
35
Raspberry Thumbprints
Print Recipe
Servings
35
Servings
35
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Whisk in egg.
  3. Mix in vanilla and salt.
  4. Add in flour a little at a time until well combined.
  5. Chill dough overnight or at least one hour.
  6. Roll dough into small balls.
  7. Line balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and gently press in thumb.
  8. Bake for 6–8 minutes or until slightly golden.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Top each cookie with a spoonful of jam.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar.
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Brownie Bites

If you need a quick, easy, and delightfully festive recipe, look no further. This is one that anyone can do, and they are so delicious!

Brownie Bites
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Servings
25
Servings
25
Brownie Bites
Print Recipe
Servings
25
Servings
25
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Bake your favorite brownie recipe.
  2. While the brownies are still slightly warm, break them up to create a crumbly consistency.
  3. Roll brownie crumbles into balls and place them on a plate.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for one hour.
  5. Melt preferred chocolate. (Use a double boiler set-up or microwave in a bowl for 30-second intervals, stirring between each.)
  6. Dip brownie balls into melted chocolate with a fork then place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
  7. While the chocolate is still wet, add sprinkles and place cookie sheets in fridge for chocolate to firm.
Recipe Notes

For the brownies, you can use your favorite recipe or use a box mix. Here is my go-to brownie recipe from Alexis deBoschnek.

You can use milk, dark, or white chocolate chips. Or use mint chips or peanut butter if you want something different!

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I hope these Christmas cookie recipes inspire you, and I hope you enjoy making and sharing them with loved ones as I have done throughout the years. Mostly, I hope you make memories that you will cherish for years to come. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Related: Chocolate Chip Cookies {Three Ways} 

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