Holiday Cookies


Hannah Petersen, Staff Writer

For as long as I can remember, I have looked forward to making Christmas cookies with my family as the holiday season approaches. At least for me, Christmas is simply not Christmas until the house smells like everyone’s favorite cookies and the counters are lined with trays of them to share. Below are a few of our tried and true favorites that you can incorporate into your Christmas cookie baking or even make as gifts for friends and family. 

Ginger Snap Cookies – These are perfect to have with a cup of tea or coffee and my personal favorite!


  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ⅓ cup cinnamon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir and combine well. Sift a second time into a different bowl, so it is as smooth as possible.
  3. Place shortening into a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually beat in the white sugar, egg, and dark molasses. Sift ⅓ of the flour mixture into the shortening mixture and stir thoroughly to combine. Sift in the remaining flour mixture and mix together until a soft dough forms.
  4. Pinch off small amounts of dough and roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar and place about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the tops are rounded and slightly cracked. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.


Peanut Butter Blossoms – Have younger kids leave these out for Santa on Christmas Eve.


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Additional granulated sugar
  • About 36 unwrapped Hershey Kisses (You can use any kind  you would like or a mix of different types. Regular milk chocolate is what the recipe calls for.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bow, beat ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and egg with an electric mixer on medium or mix with a spoon until very well combined. Stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder until dough forms.
  2. Shape dough into about 1 inch balls and roll in additional granulated sugar. On greased cookie sheets, place dough balls about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Immediately after taking out of the oven, press Hershey Kisses into the center of each cookie. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let cool on a wire rack.


Sugar Cookies – This is a simple recipe but perfect for decorating with icing or sprinkles.


For cookies:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour 
  • Additional all purpose flour for the surface
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Cookie cutters of choice

For buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup or 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • Food coloring of choice


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined; then, add flour mixture gradually until completely combined.
  3. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour
  4. When ready to roll, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour a clean work surface (we use our granite countertop) and roll out dough until ⅛” thick. Cut out shapes and transfer to baking sheets. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make frosting. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter until smooth and then add powdered sugar and beat until no lumps remain. Add cream, almond extract, and salt, and beat until combined.
  6. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
  7. Let cool and frost and decorate as desired.


Take time off during Winter Break to be with family and friends. It’s important to unwind and celebrate after a semester of hard work and accomplishments. Making cookies for all to enjoy and creating fun new traditions is a great way to spend quality time together! Happy Holidays and Good Job Tigers!