Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

Ever since I was a little girl, the image of my grandmothers in their kitchens has always been vivid in my mind. Hair neatly curled, slippers on their feet, and aprons tied lightly around their hips. Their love of baking, for the holidays in particular, is something I have always appreciated.

And maybe it’s a rite of passage as a grandmother, because now my mom is doing all the baking and she enjoys her granddaughters helping her. As an adult, I find some Christmas magic in watching my mother move about the kitchen, sifting ingredients and stacking baked goods on every open counter space. Even my mother in-law and I share with each other the latest tasty recipes we have tried and chat about the current baking show episodes we are streaming.

Quite frankly, the kitchen has always been a sacred area of our home, especially during the holiday season. The smell of fresh cinnamon lingers through the air as the butter sizzles in the pan. The caramel bubbles to the perfect temperature as the melted chocolate smoothly spreads across the parchment paper. Flour dusts the countertops and the refrigerator consistently houses eggs and milk.

Every holiday cookie tray deserves a variety of cookies for the center of the dessert table. Whether it’s gingerbread cookies for the grandkids to construct their yearly masterpiece, sugar cookies for Santa, or a mix of the latest creation for the neighbors next door, holiday baking spreads endless love and magic, regardless of the recipe.

Here are 10 simple Christmas cookie favorites, from classic to fun, to try this season.

Whether you are baking while wearing your grandmother’s favorite apron, making memories with your grandchildren, or destroying your kitchen with your children, may each holiday cookie you bake this season bring a little extra love to your heart and a sprinkle of sweetness to the world.

little girl baking cookies Peanut Butter Kisses

1 Bag Hershey’s Kisses (foil removed)
½ C shortening
¾ C peanut butter
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/3 C packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ C flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/3 C additional granulated sugar for rolling

Cream the shortening and peanut butter until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture. Roll 1” peanut butter balls in granulated sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Immediately press an unwrapped Hershey’s chocolate Kiss into center of each cookie. Move from cookie sheet and cool.

Sugar Cookies

1 C butter, softened
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
2½ C flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. Roll dough into 1″ balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet about 2″ apart. Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes.

S’mores cups

1 C graham cracker crumbs
1¼ C flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt (use ½ teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
½ C butter, softened
½  C brown sugar
1/3 C sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 large marshmallows, cut in half
2 Hershey’s chocolate bars

Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir and set aside. In larger bowl, blend the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy and combined. Add in egg and vanilla extract. Mix well. Dump in the bowl of dry ingredients, mix just until combined. The dough will be crumbly. Scoop dough into the mini muffin tins. Fill them full and press down slightly so the dough is even on top. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes. Immediately after baking, place your chocolate and a half of marshmallow into muffin cups. Turn the oven broiler to high. Place muffin tin pan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully. This toasts the marshmallows fast!

Sprinkle Cookie Cups

1¼ C unsalted butter, softened
1½ C powdered sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2½ C flour
¼ C red sprinkles
¼ C green sprinkles
1 jar of frosting (or make your own)

Beat butter for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until creamy (2-3 minutes). Beat in the egg and vanilla. Then beat in the flour until just combined. Divide the dough into two portions. Stir in the sprinkles. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Then, press the balls into the prepared mini muffin pan. Press each dough ball with your thumb. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and press the centers with the rounded side of a measuring teaspoon. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then remove to finish cooling on a wire rack. Use a piping bag to frost the cooled cookies. Top with additional sprinkles.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Crackers

Ritz crackers
Peanut butter
Melting chocolate
Additional toppings optional

Spread a teaspoon of peanut butter onto one cracker. Place another cracker on top. Melt the chocolate and coat the peanut butter cracker. Place on parchment paper to set. Optional: after coating with chocolate, sprinkle with various toppings.

Holiday Bark

1/3 C peanut butter
1 C brown sugar
1½ C semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ lb Saltine crackers (salted)
1 C butter
Desired candies for topping

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with a single layer of Saltine crackers. Melt butter in a pan, then mix in peanut butter and brown sugar. Bring to boil for three minutes. Carefully pour on crackers. Place in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Carefully remove and cover with chocolate chips. Place back in the oven for 1 minute. Spread mixture evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with toppings and allow to cool.

Shortcut Gingerbread Cookies

1 large egg
½ C unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 package spiced cake mix box

Mix the butter and egg. Sift the cake mix. Add to wet mixture until combined. Don’t over mix! Chill dough (approx. 1-2 hours). Roll out the dough. Use cutters for desired shape. Bake at 350°F for 6-8 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool then decorate.

Italian Christmas Cookies

2 eggs
2¾ C flour
2 tsp anise extract
2½ tsp baking powder
¾ C granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ C butter
1/3 C milk
1 C powdered sugar

Add all ingredients except the powdered sugar and milk to your mixer and slowly blend until the dough forms. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1tbsp of the dough onto the paper about 2” apart. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes. After cooled, transfer to wire rack. Whisk powdered sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle on top. Sprinkle nonpareils.

Classic Iced Oatmeal Cookies

 2½  sticks butter, softened
¾ C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
1 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt (optional)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 C Quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

For the icing:
2 C powdered sugar
1½ Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp water

Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Add oats; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto non-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Drizzle with icing mixture

Chocolate Snow Cookies

2 sticks of butter
1 C sugar
3/4 C light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 C flour
½ tsp salt
½ C cocoa
1 tsp baking soda

Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar for the snow!

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jen Feener

Jen Feener is a wife, mother, public school teacher, travel concierge, and children’s author. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she spends her time playing with her daughters, exploring nature, crafting and making messes in the kitchen. Seeking the adventure in each day, she strives to capture that adventure in her writing.

Celine Dion Announces Heartbreaking Diagnosis

In: Living
Celine Dion in Instagram video announcing diagnosis of stiff person syndrome

When the movie Titanic when was released in 1997, a gaggle of us as teen girls fell in love. Maybe it was Leonardo DiCaprio and his dreamy blue eyes. Maybe it was the tragic love story between Jack and Rose (still think there was room on that floating board for two, Rose). Whatever the case, we flooded the movie theaters (hi, I went three times) with our teenage tears.  And to this day, when the sad flute begins to wail at the start of “My Heart Will Go On” I crank up the volume and belt along with Celine Dion....

Keep Reading

Say “Alexa, Thank My Driver” and Help Holiday Workers Earn Cash? Done!

In: Living
Amazon package being delivered on doorstep

The actual air temperature when I woke up yesterday was -14F. It was the kind of morning when the air hurts your face, a phenomenon we northern states dwellers are well acquainted with.  Not half an hour later, I heard the rumble of a delivery truck outside. As I peeked out the window, I watched the driver jog up the driveway to place a package at our front door.  In the double digits below zero wind chill. Before 8 a.m. With an air of joy?! If it hadn’t been so early and cold, I would have opened the door to...

Keep Reading

The Holiday Season’s Hottest Dish: Boundaries

In: Living
Woman wearing Santa hat smiling

This holiday season as you’re making preparations for family visits, school parties, church events, food drives, travel, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and general merriment, you’re going to want to include this season’s hottest dish. You’ll recognize most of the ingredients as they’ve been around for a long time and they’re not hard to access, but to be fair, the recipe can be tough to follow at times. Placed just between your stuffed turkey and your stuffed calendar, be sure to make room for boundaries—the plate of protection that everyone is talking about this year.  The dish itself is fairly inexpensive to...

Keep Reading

It’s Exhausting Being a Teacher and a Mom in the Month of December

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom and two kids smiling by Christmas tree

I absolutely love Christmas. In fact, I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. I’m always itching to put decorations up as soon as my other family members are willing. I love the magic of the season, the giving and the meaning behind all of it. By the time November begins, I’m ready to take on the holidays in full force as both a teacher and a mom. If I’m being honest though, Christmas as a teacher mama is both magical and downright exhausting. There are parties for both my own children and my students. There are gifts to...

Keep Reading

Being a Working Mom When Kids Get Sick Is Complicated

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom holding baby on couch

I didn’t know what my ringtone sounded like until I went back to work after maternity leave. “You know it’s always on silent,” I would say every time I missed a call from my husband. “What’s the point of having a phone if you never answer your calls?” “Who calls these days? Text me like a normal person!” It was a circular conversation, lighthearted, and not intended to bring about change. He will always prefer to call, and I will always prefer to keep my ringer off. But when I got my first early pickup text from my daycare provider...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

What Single Moms Really Need

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler on hip outside on dirt road

No, you’re not a single mom for a weekend. I’ve heard it said at social gatherings, in passing at church, and on social media. Perhaps the words are being uttered in a state of awe as if comparing themselves to valiant warrior princesses, knights in shining armor, heroes.  Usually though, it’s an under-the-breath complaint about being left by their otherwise attentive and loving spouse for the week or weekend. “I’m a single mom this weekend; my husband is on a golfing trip with his brothers.” “My husband is away for work, so I feel like a single mom this week.” ...

Keep Reading

Netflix Drops “Harry & Meghan” Docuseries Teaser—and It’s a Doozy

In: Living
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry kiss in black and white candid image

We’re running out of time for surprises in the calendar year, but it looks like Netflix is poised to deliver one more—and it’s a big one.  The highly anticipated docuseries featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, is ready and we’re getting our first glimpse.  And judging by the official teaser, it looks like this 6-episode series will be bringing the drama.  The one-minute teaser for Harry & Meghan opens with an off-camera voice asking, “Why did you want to make this documentary?” Music plays while black and white candid images of the pair flash...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You for All the Extra Things You Do at Christmastime

In: Living
Child hanging handmade snowman ornament in classroom

Dear teachers, I know this time of year is especially crazy for you. The weeks leading up to winter break are full of extras. There are festivities to invite siblings, parents, and grandparents to. You know how important that kind of family involvement and support is, and you’re so often the one who fosters it. There is crafting and present-making to ensure every student has something to gift to their loved ones on Christmas morning. It is so important to their little hearts to be able to give, and you’re the one who makes it possible.  RELATED: Dear Teachers, Thank...

Keep Reading

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading