Picking the Perfect Cookie Recipe

Holiday cookies come in all shapes and sizes. Some cookies are the basis of time-honored family traditions while others might be the result of simple test kitchen experiments. As a result, it can be difficult to truly classify what constitutes the classic “cookie.” However, it is this versatility that allows you to pull from a large range of ingredients when baking – from chocolate and nuts, to crème fillings and even dried fruit. With so many flavors to choose from, how do you go about picking the perfect ones to serve at your next holiday gathering? This year, try to choose your cookie recipes to go with the theme of your party or to complement any other food or drink that you might serve.

For example, what would you bake if you had an upcoming movie night planned for the holiday season? The simplest tip for pleasing kids’ often-fickle tastes is to stick to the classics. And what is more traditional than the combination of cookies and milk, right? Finding the cookie with the greatest amount of mass appeal will probably bring you to the simple and delicious chocolate chip treat. Additionally, if you will be serving cookies to a large group, you might want to omit any addition of nuts to your recipe. This can easily help avoid causing problems since allergies to nuts are quite common.

Other classic treats with the same mass appeal include decorated sugar cookies, shortbread and cinnamon spiced snicker-doodles. Whether your family celebrates Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or a different winter holiday, simple kid-friendly shortbread or sugar cookies can be festively decorated to appear as snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes, gingerbread men, stockings, menorahs, dreidels, or other popular symbols of the season. Treats like these can easily be used as around-the-house holiday decoration or as festive giveaways for visiting guests.

But kids aren’t the only fans of cookies. When baking for an older crowd, you have more room to get creative with recipes and pairings. After all, it is not often that you meet kids who are looking for a sweet treat to accompany their morning cup of tea or coffee. Stronger drinks like these often call for a different type of cookie treat. For holiday gatherings where you will be serving tea or coffee, try looking for heartier recipes like oatmeal based treats or a fruit and nut filled biscotti.

To amp up the holiday cheer at your next gathering, consider serving your cookies with seasonal favorites like hot cocoa or spiced apple cider. Your guests will love pairing these warm winter drinks with other holiday flavors like gingersnaps, cranberry topped treats, or modified versions of more traditional recipes like peppermint white chocolate chip cookies.

Overall, the best tip to picking the right cookies for your next occasion will depend on your guest list and the food and drinks that you plan to serve. With all the different cookie recipes available online, around your kitchen, or even in your favorite cookbooks, you are spoilt for choice. Here are a few holiday cookie ideas to start creating your next perfect pairing.

Chocolate cookies – Chocolate Mocha, Peppermint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Toffee Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Thumbprints, Chocolate Pistachio, Chocolate Dipped Macaroons, Chocolate Caramel Shortbread or Hazelnut Crèmes

Fruit Cookies – Oatmeal Raisin, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, Lemon-Glazed Shortbread, Almond Ginger biscuits, Apricot Thumbprints, Chocolate Cherry, or Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

Spiced Cookies – Molasses Cookies, Spicy Cocoa, Chai Sugar Cookies, Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice, or Cardamom Biscotti

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