I know all too well how much work holiday cookies can be. They always sound like a lot of fun, but then, UGH – you realize that you have to duplicate that one batch a few more times. And roll the dough. And cut. And not burn. Sometimes this can just be overwhelming for the novice baker who attempts it once a year. I’ve had a lot of people ask me my secrets to the perfect cookie – but really, there’s just ONE secret I live by:
Parchment paper and taking the cookies out early.
Just like any food in the oven, cookies continue to “bake” once you remove them, so if you wait till they are already crispy brown, they’re just going to get harder once they cool on your counter. Always try to UNDER bake your cookies. Don’t take them out while they’re still dough, but I always go for the least amount of time. If your recipe says bake 8-10 minutes. Bake for eight.
Parchment paper is your best friend as a baker. It will keep the cookies from sticking – which is ALWAYS everyone problem! It doesn’t burn in the oven, and you can use it over and over for each batch.
Now that you have your pro tips, let’s move on to the easiest of cookie recipes out there.
The reason I love these is that they are so versatile! You can mix them up with different fruits/flavors and they always come out tasting delicious and flavorful.
You can grab my original recipe here, and just swap out the cranberries with pomegranates, which are actually the perfect winter fruit! They are in season right now (September through February) so the prices are low and the fruit is fresh – think lower carbon footprints. You can also grab Pom Wonderfuls at any grocery store that already separated the arils for you!
2. Peanut Butter Kisses
These are my favorite because they’re so kid-friendly. One of Maximo’s favorite thing is to rush to the oven when the timer goes off so he can drop the Hershey kisses into the warm cookies. They’re really simple to make – grab the recipe here – and the hardest part is unwrapping all the kisses. Well, maybe not EATING all the kisses before they make it into cookies as you’re unwrapping them. Don’t forget to get creative with these – Hershey’s always has a variety of kisses, peppermint, almond and new this season Hazelnut!
3. Just Give Up and Pass Off Pro-Baked Cookies as Your Own
Ok, so you tried the cookies and it came out a major Pinterest fail. Not everyone was meant to bake, so just stick to what your good at. Luckily, there are lots of fun ways to “pretend to bake” – like ordering from Matthews 1812 House. You can order cakes, bars, cookies, brownies and more that will literally appear the next day and look as if you just magically baked them! They even come in these cute tins so you can act like you wrapped them up like the pretty little Stepford Wife you are. My favorite? The lemon bars and Bourbon Blondie Bars with their bourbon chocolate sauce (obviously!).