Food Stuff

Christmas Cookie Exchange Favorites {Recipes}

Happy December!  It’s my favorite month of the whole year!  I love all of the holiday decorations, our family holiday traditions and the spirit of the season.  One of our girls’ favorite holiday traditions is baking cookies together.  I was the same growing up too.  My mom and I always baked a bunch of cookies during the holidays and we would deliver plates of goodies to neighbors and friends.  I love that it’s a tradition I can carry on with my girls now.  I actually already have my first Christmas cookie exchange coming up tomorrow night too so I thought it’s the perfect time to share some of our favorite cookie recipes.  These recipes are great for when you need to make a lot of cookies or for something like a cookie exchange because they are all pretty quick and easy.  And they are good.  Dangerously good.  I’m kind of particular about my cookie plates too, I like to have a variety of cookies with different flavors that look pretty.  It’s just how I roll.

Last year I was so excited to be done with chemo that we made a gazillion cookies and delivered plates to a bunch of the people who helped us out while I was going through treatment:

We also added a little tag that had this quote on it:

We really felt the love of the Savior through the love and compassion we were shown from family and friends during our trial with cancer.  There is no way we could ever thank them enough for their kindness.  But we could offer them some goodies made by doing something we love-baking.  I am a true believer in the healing power of service.  It heals those who receive it but it heals those who give it as well.

So here are my Christmas cookie exchange favorites-

Our family’s favorite Christmas cookies hands down are these Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies:

I found this recipe from Betty Crocker when we were newly married and they were such a big hit that we now make them every year.   I actually make a batch just for one of my hubby’s co-workers every year because he loves these cookies so much!  You start with a pouch of sugar cookie mix so they are really easy too.  After you make the dough you shape it into balls and you make a small indentation that you fill with raspberry jam.  I promise, it’s not complicated at all.  My girls get an assembly line going and they are ready to bake in no time:

After the baked cookies cool you just drizzle some melted white chocolate chips over them and sprinkle on some colored sugar, we think the green makes these cookies extra festive.  These are the ones I’m making to take to the cookie exchange tomorrow night-yum!  Get the recipe for these Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies by clicking here.

Another one of our easy favorites are these Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies also from Betty Crocker:

I mean peanut butter + chocolate = heaven!

I know that some people have nut allergies so you would have to be careful of that, but these cookies are a classic and so yummy!  I’m going to be honest, the worst part about this recipe is having to unwrap all of those Hershey kisses.  I just enlist my baking helpers AKA my girls to help with that project though.  And the rest of the recipe is super easy.  These look really cool on a plate of assorted cookies too.  For the full recipe for these Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, click here.

I feel like it’s not Christmas until we bake some good old sugar cookies.  Our absolute favorite recipe is for these Sugar Cookies from Our Best Bites:

I really love this recipe because they remind me almost of a shortbread cookie and I love shortbread!  And it uses almond extract which I have all heart eyes for.  The dough really holds its shape too when it bakes, so if you are using a cute shaped cookie cutter they will still look great when they come out of the oven.  My girls love to use a bunch of Christmas cookie cutters to make different shapes and then decorate them with frosting and sprinkles.  Lots of frosting and sprinkles.  I actually prefer these cookies with just a simple dusting of some colored sugar on them.  And they are much easier to add to your cookie plates without the sticky frosting on them.  These are a fan favorite and I always get asked for the recipe.  For the recipe for these delicious Sugar Cookies click here.

For the last couple of years I have added these Pecan Sandies Cookies from Taste of Home to our list:

Obviously these cookies have nuts in them so you have to be aware of who you’re giving them to in case of allergies, but they are so good and practically melt in your mouth!  The small size is perfect too because these cookies are pretty rich.  I love how these add a festive look to a cookie plate because they are covered in powdered sugar.  For the full recipe for these easy Pecan Sandies Cookies, click here.

Another cookie that is small but seriously delicious are these Classic Spritz Cookies from Wilton:

Aren’t those so pretty!  And their small size is perfect for filling in blank areas on your cookie plate.  Or put a couple in pretty cupcake liners on your dessert table.  The disclaimer on these is that you do need a cookie press.  Now don’t be intimidated by that, a cookie press is super easy to use!  And you can get them for pretty cheap.  I just used a 50% off coupon to a craft chain store to get mine.  Right now this one is on sale at joann.com for $9.99 (regularly $24.99).  This recipe makes a TON of cookies.  We usually color the dough green and use the Christmas tree disk and they turn out so cute.  The hardest part for me is not eating too many of these buttery, delicious cookies.  For the full Classic Spritz Cookie recipe, click here.

These Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies from Cookies & Cups are a new addition to our line up and they are divine:

These cookies almost taste a little savory because of the brown butter and they melt in your mouth.  They are sort of like a more sophisticated snickerdoodle.  These are loved by everyone in our house.  Anything with brown butter and cinnamon…you know they’re gonna be good!  The recipe says you could add pecans to the dough as well which would probably be really good too.  But we like these cookies just the way they are, so why mess with a good thing?  And if I am already putting the Pecan Sandies on a cookie plate then I like that these don’t have any nuts in them.  For this amazingly delicious recipe for Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies, click here.

The last recipe I’m putting on the Christmas Cookie Exchange Favorites list are good old fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies from Nestlé:

There’s something comforting about a classic chocolate chip cookie.  We use this recipe a lot, mostly because it’s right on the back of the chocolate chip bag.  But my mom always made it with a stick of shortening instead of butter and then with dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar.  They are really good!  During the holidays my girls like to use the bag from Nestlé that has semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with green and red colored morsels too.  They look so festive for Christmas!  The nice thing with this recipe too is that these cookies freeze well so you can make them ahead of time and throw them in your freezer.  Then just pull out how many you need when you need them and add them to your cookie plate.  For this classic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, click here.

I want to thank all of the bakers for sharing these yummy cookie recipes on their sites!  Hopefully you will feel inspired to get your bake on during the holidays this year and maybe you will feel inspired to share the goodness with others too.  If you aren’t a baker think of other ways you can spread some joy to those around you.

XOXO

*If you are here for the cookie recipes but are now wondering about my cancer journey you can click here to read more about that.

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