Christmas cookies and happy hearts – this is how the holiday starts


Katie Stanek

The ingredients and measuring cups for chocolate crinkle cookies lie on my counter, waiting to be used to create decadent cookies. In my opinion, cookies are the ultimate sign of the holiday season.

How do you know it’s the holiday season? Is it the classic songs that start playing on a 24-hour loop on the radio? The twenty-degree temperature drop? For me, the smell of baking cookies announces the arrival of the holidays. But which cookie recipes are the best to make for the holiday season? To solve this mystery, I baked 3 different classic Christmas cookie recipes to test their ease and final product. I chose butter cookies, gingerbread cookies and chocolate crinkle cookies. The butter and gingerbread recipes came from the December 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine, and the chocolate crinkle cookie recipe came from my mom’s collection. Here are my thoughts for each recipe (the recipe links are provided below).

Butter Cookies

Originally, I thought that this recipe was for sugar cookies (based on fancy “sugar cookie” title). Sugar cookies say holiday to me because my family has always made them around Christmas. However, after the cookies were made, I realized they resembled butter cookies more. The recipe was easy to follow, but it had some time-consuming steps, such as allowing at least four hours for the dough to chill in your refrigerator. After the cookies are cut and baked, make sure to leave the cookies to cool on the tray for five minutes, or they will crumble when you try to remove them. The end result is a tasty, crispy cookie that snaps easily. I would recommend this recipe for butter cookies, but alas, it’s a mediocre sugar cookie recipe. 

Gingerbread Cookies

I chose gingerbread because gingerbread houses are a staple at my house. This gingerbread recipe required ingredients that I didn’t have on hand.  The internet provided easy substitutions, though, so if you lack gingerbread spice or molasses, the recipe can still produce delicious results. It only required two hours to chill in the refrigerator, and the cooked gingerbread cookies came off the tray much more easily than the butter cookies. The gingerbread cookies were delicious, crispy around the edges and chewy in the center. I would recommend this gingerbread recipe.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I was warned beforehand that this recipe would be messy, and it lived up to its reputation. Near the end of the assembly process, my hands were constantly covered with either powdered sugar or cookie dough. I chose chocolate crinkle cookies because the powdered sugar reminded me of snow. The dough itself was easy to make, although a bit more complicated than the other recipes because of “split” ingredients. After the dough is made, I rolled the dough into spheres that I coated in powdered sugar (this is where the “messy” aspect comes in). I used a bowl, but I suggest putting the sugar in a Ziploc bag to better contain it. The end result is a chocolate-y, chewy and scrumptious cookie. Warning: the finished product will shed sugar unless you tap it on your plate first. But what better way to remind you of the holidays than to have a personal sugar-snow shower?