Remember last year when I posted that holiday cookie guide with a peanut butter recipe? No? Well now that I look back I’m like wtf was I thinking? Peanut butter and cookies are not the same thing. Wanna read about it? Well, you can go here and here (for part two) but I’m also gonna recap (and repeat) some of the things I’ve learned but also think are super important for cranking out the most cookies for your cookie tins in the least amount of time.
Sound efficient? I’m an engineer.
First things, first. Decide what cookies you are going to bake. I’ve got a few staples that I love (HELLO, sugar cookies) and some that I think belong at every holiday gathering. Ya feeling me, gingerbread? Some of my favorite bloggers have even had cookie weeks during the holidays which are great for inspiration (and drooling).
here are some of my favorites:
chocolate covered pretzels (with sprinkles!)
Did I mention that I’m just waiting for a new camera battery charger and then I can finally share my gingerbread recipe? I’m the worst, sorry guys.
from other sites:
shortbread (via faringwell)
double chocolate peppermint (via minimalistbaker)
snickerdoodles (via ohsheglows)
Get your ingredients. Standard ingredients that I have stocked in my pantry at all times are flour, milk, sugar, corn starch (for egg replacement) and butter. I like to buy butter on sale and then hoard it in my freezer. Don’t judge me. Cocoa, peppermint extract, and maybe even pecans can be good to have on hand. My shopping list probably looks something like this – but double check your recipes and pantry just to be sure you don’t miss anything. No one wants to run and get powdered sugar when there’s a batch of cookies in the oven.
- Cane sugar
- Brown sugar (you will need this if you are making anything gingerbread related)
- Molasses (you will need this if you are making anything gingerbread related)
- Powdered sugar
- Corn starch (egg substitute)
- Unsweetened cocoa
- Chocolate (dark bars and chunks, depending on what you are making)
- Vanilla/almond/peppermint extract (check before if you have these because they can be expensive)
- Jam (for thumbprint cookies)
- Ritz (for thin mints)
- SPRINKLES (duh)
- Parchment paper for lining baking sheets (if you don’t have silicone pads)
Okay so morning of cookie baking day, what do you do first? Bring dat buttah to room temp. First thing when you wake up, even before coffee. You can always put it BACK in the fridge but it’s easier to just let it sit at room temp all day for creaming, churning, mixing, etc.
Dough chilling. If you have the time, I highly recommend this step for anything that is rolled and cut out or formed into balls. You can also bake the dough during the week or evening before to chill overnight if an entire day of baking seems a little intense for you.
Leave chocolate coating for last. This includes drizzles, pretzel dippings, and anything else that involves melted chocolate. I like to cool these in the fridge so I like to wait until AFTER all my cookie dough is no longer taking up space.
Counter space. Remove any unnecessary accessories or clutter from your counter since you will most likely need if for either mixing, rolling, or decorating.
Icing and decorating. Icing and decorating is easiest with a group of people and can be an event in itself. If you are making cut outs or gingerbread, you can store these in a airtight container or in the freezer before you decorate them.
Have fun! And don’t worry if something doesn’t come out just right. I have found that people like free (or gifted) cookies no matter how bad they are.
Traveling over the holidays? Check out my holiday snack guide with some of my go-to faves.