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I love everything about the holiday season. I love family gatherings, elaborate light displays, lit-up trees, pretty wrapping paper, ice skating, glitzy sweaters, the whole thing. But what I probably love most are the treats. I could eat sweets for every meal and really, the holidays are the only time when this is a somewhat socially acceptable choice. So I really embrace it.
And while I love giving gifts—I can’t afford to buy things for everyone on my list. So every year I make a million batches of festive cookies, wrap them up in glittery boxes from the Dollar Store and make the rounds around town with cookies in tow. It’s a tradition that I’ve made my own. Perhaps it could be yours as well.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
These may not call out “Christmas!” but chocolate chip cookies are always a good gift. They’re tried and true. I’m all about a thick and chewy, but not bready cookie, with a crisp edge, lots of chocolate and a little salt, so this amalgamation of all the best cookie recipes from all the best bakers won’t disappoint. I actually used Leite’s New York Times recipe last year, so we’ll have to see if Kita’s recipe yields something even more delicious.
Buckwheat Cookies with Cacao Nibs
These aren’t the flashiest of cookies, but I promise you, they’re always a crowd-pleaser. The buckwheat delivers this wholesome, nutty quality while the cacao nibs add crunch and flavor. They actually taste better after a few days and they’re quite sturdy, so they’re practically the perfect cookie for a gift box. I got the recipe from Running Shoes and Rabbit Food four years ago and have returned to it every year since.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
I have such a love-hate relationship with fudge. I usually use the recipe on the marshmallow cream jar. It’s always turns out rich and creamy—everything that fudge should be. But every time I make it, the process goes from fine to disaster: the mixture won’t reach temperature, there’s fudge everywhere and I’m running around in a panic. This year I’m going to try out this Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge recipe that I found on Cup of Jo. It doesn’t even require a thermometer! I’ll report back on my findings.
The name isn’t so festive, but these little guys are amazing. They’re definitely a more complicated cookie—there’s a shortbread toffee base, a rich caramel center and a dark chocolate top—but the results are well worth it. I found this recipe online a few years ago and it’s become my holiday staple. I like to add just a little cream to the dark chocolate top because it keeps it a little softer and easier to cut. That’s just my two cents.
No-Bake Cookies with Nutella
I made No-Bake Cookies for the first time in my sixth grade home economics class. Our teacher told us that all the older kids would try to steal them from us, so I remember scurrying through the halls with the wax paper package tucked under my sweatshirt. Anyway, it’s nice to add a quick and simple, but still totally delicious recipe to the holiday mix. If a sixth grader can make them, anyone can.
What holiday cookies do you love to make? Please share your favorites in the comments!