Janet's Notebook
Sweet Cookies for the Holiday Season

The Ultimate Chocolate Mint Cookie

Take out the flour, check the sugar and leave the butter on the counter to soften, it's Christmas cookie season! This is one of my happiest times of the year.

Besides loving Christmas cookies, I enjoy the smiles on the faces of people when I hand them some. Making cookies really puts me in the holiday season and I'm not the only one.

Mint and chocolate are two of my favorite holiday flavors. Whether it be in hot chocolate or a cookie, it just screams Christmastime to me. Cathy Nunn (Weslaco, TX) created her Ultimate Chocolate Mint Cookie by accident and realized it was amazing. They are Christmas in a cookie!

"They have such a wonderful and rich flavor," shares Cathy. "These are simple and quick to make - even the kids can make these." I love a recipe where kids can be involved.

The Andes baking chips are seasonal, so I suggest stocking up now. These will be great on a cookie tray, included in a cookie exchange, or even for the kids to put out for Santa.

"Ginger cookies are not just for Christmas anymore," jokes Marcie Frazee (Anderson, IN). "My husband's great aunt Mary Carter made these cookies for as long as my husband can remember [...] these cookies are soft and 'always' perfectly round."

Buttery and crisp but slightly chewy, Great Aunt Mary's Ginger Cookies is a yummy cookie. The flavor combo is a little different than most ginger cookies. I wouldn't call these a gingerbread cookie, but there's a definite spice to them thanks to the ample ginger and cinnamon. It's a simple recipe, but the best part is the family tradition behind the recipe.

"I usually bake about 20 different types of cookies for Christmas, but these are hands down one of our favorites," Nadine Mesch (Mount Healthy, OH) says of her Ricotta Orange Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Hazelnuts. "My kids have been known to take the entire tin and eat them all in one sitting!"

The ricotta makes this cookie really soft. Orange, dark chocolate and hazelnut give them a wonderful flavor. Consider doubling this recipe so you can keep a few for yourself.

Val Paris's (Rome, NY) Christmas Cherry Balls are a great treat anytime but will be beautiful mixed in with your Christmas cookies.

"These are a must on our cookie platter," says Val. One taste of the cookie and they'll be a must-make on your cookie tray too.

In the Test Kitchen, we added almond flavoring and loved that combination with the crunch of the pecans and the sweetness of the cherry. Top with a simple powdered sugar glaze and they are fabulous.

Eggnog is another one of those flavors that scream Christmas. Noelle Meyers incorporated that flavor into her Cranberry Eggnog Cookies with Orange Dream Glaze.

"These cookies are among my most requested for the Christmas holidays - they are Christmas in a cookie with the bright cranberries and decadent eggnog flavors," explains Noelle. "The base of the recipe comes from my great, great, great grandmother - over 200 years old!"

These cookies are fabulous! The cookie itself is soft and buttery. There's a crunch from the pecans and the orange and cranberry are a bit tart and sweet. The flavor of the eggnog is prevalent and you taste the spices from that. Impressive and flavorful.

Try adding one of these delectable cookies to your Christmas cookie tray or exchange this year. I'm sure they'll be a hit. Do you have a favorite cookie that's always on your tray? Make sure to post your recipe after you make them this year... Happy Pinching!

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Colleen Sowa - Dec 2, 2016
Awesome article and so many great cookies for the holidays ahead! xo