Holiday Cookie Exchange- I hear the phrase and just about burst! We all yearn for time to bake but the thought of scrambling to get everything together, find a quiet afternoon, and do so during the busiest season at the studio- it’s almost impossible.
I enlisted the help of my marketing director and former professional baker to identify (and happily taste-test) some delicious, super-easy cookies. You can make the dough one day and bake another so you only need an hour here or there. Successfully navigating the Holiday Cookie Exchange is as simple as a variety of flavors and textures. These 4 recipes give you that! There are also 4 tips that will help you speed through the process. That way you can spend time sampling the results with a glass of milk. (or wine- this is supposed to be fun for all!). You can choose to have the little ones help you mix- or bake, so they can join in the fun but still allow you to be a bit more time-efficient.
Seriously Helpful Baking Tips
- Make your dough in advance and refrigerate it. The cookie dough here can be made a week or more in advance and refrigerated or last a month or more if frozen.Wrap tightly in saran wrap and label with a permanent marker for easy identification.
- Try parchment paper on your baking sheets- cookies come off easier, spread less and clean up is simple
- Have THREE baking sheets. That way 2 are in the oven and one ready to go in as another gets done. This speeds the process and you aren’t trying to place cookie dough on a screaming hot pan.
- Use a cookie scoop– this is a life changer NOT your ice cream scoop- unless you want enormous plate-sized cookies. OXO makes them in 3 sizes small (1T) medium (1.5T) and large (2T). The medium or large are best for cookies like these and they are everywhere from Bed Bath and Beyond to Michaels. All your cookies will be the same size. They also will bake all the way through at the same time. These scoops are great for lots of other things like meatballs, felafel or even making melon balls.
Super Great Never Fail Cookies
- Chocolate Damnation Cookies – flourless, chewy and brownie like, with a shiny crackle finish- omit the nuts for the allergic, but only if you must
- Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies – More nuts, I know, but these taste like a holiday and stay soft for several days in a closed container
- Salted Peanut Butter Cookies – Sandy and rich, use a commercial brand of PB like Skippy- the all-natural kind doesn’t work as well
- Lemon Glazed Sugar Cookies – MMMM soft and lemony, a nice change up from the richer nut and chocolate varieties
Bonus tip- How to KEEP your cookies fresh
Store your cookies in airtight containers (like plastic containers with lids). Layer them with your parchment paper so they stay whole. A tip to keep these cookies soft, longer- (BIG tip here). Put a cut half apple in the container at the bottom and layer cookies on top of it.
Don’t fear the Holiday Cookie Exchange or the pop-in visit by family or friends this holiday. Your secret weapon for fresh, warm cookies is in the fridge!