Three Holiday Cookie Recipes

The Lance 12 Days of Christmas: Day Three

The Lance's writers celebrate their favorite parts of the holiday season.

Siena Griffin

The Lance's writers celebrate their favorite parts of the holiday season.

When I think of Christmas, the first thing that comes to my mind is baking Christmas cookies. For my family, it has become a tradition to bake cookies together to prepare for the holiday season. No matter who you bake with, these cookies are sure to bring holiday cheer to your kitchen. Throughout the years, I have experimented with many different cookies, but I always come back to these three. These recipes are tried and true, and always a fan favorite—the fans being my Nana and cousins. Instead of making just one batch, I often need to double or triple the recipe to keep with the high demand for cookies among family and friends. These cookies are perfect to enjoy in front of the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, or while watching a Christmas classic. 

The more the merrier when it comes to these Christmas cookie favorites!

Gingerbread Cookies

These melt-in-your-mouth gingerbread cookies are sweet and spicy but not overwhelming. Flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and molasses, these cookies are pure holiday goodness. They bring a warm and cozy feel to any holiday celebration. This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Ingredients: 2½ cups all-purpose flour, 2¼ teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, ½ teaspoon ground pepper, ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, ½ cup packed light-brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, plus ⅓ cup for coating, 6 tablespoons molasses, and 1 large egg. 


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and pepper. 

2. With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and ½ cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg until well combined. With the mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Divide dough into twelve 2-inch balls. Place the remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar into a bowl. Roll balls in sugar to coat, and place them 4 inches apart on baking sheets. 

4. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they look brown. 

Gingerbread cookies

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Espresso snowcaps have a rich chocolatey flavor that pairs well with a hint of espresso. These cookies will satisfy any sweet tooth and are also perfect for coffee-lovers. The powdered sugar coating makes these cookies look just like little snow-covered mountains when they come out of the oven! This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Ingredients: ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 4 teaspoons instant espresso, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ⅔ cup packed light-brown sugar, 1 large egg, 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled, 1 tablespoon milk, and powdered sugar for coating.


1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With the mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour powdered sugar (about ½ cup) into a medium bowl; roll the dough balls in sugar two times, or until they are fully coated.

3. Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they have spread out and the coating has cracked on top. Cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Candy cane kiss cookies are a sweet, buttery sugar cookie with a Hershey’s candy cane kiss on top—which brings a refreshing twist on a classic sugar cookie. For those who want a little extra peppermint flavor, you can add peppermint extract to the dough. 

Ingredients: 1½ cups powdered sugar, 1¼ cups butter, at room temperature, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 bags of unwrapped candy cane kisses, 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional), and ⅓ cup of granulated sugar. 


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove wrappers from Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses.

2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, extracts, and egg and beat well until creamy (2-3 minutes).

3. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, flour, and salt and whisk together.

4. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and beat until well blended (1-2 minutes). At this point, the mixture should be a bit crumbly.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes at the most. Press a candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.

7. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely.

Candy Cane Kiss cookies