Holidays Reviews

Seasons Eatings, Christmas Cookies Made Simple

Baking cookies is a holiday tradition for many of us. Come the holiday season, many homes are filled with the heavenly and inviting fragrances of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, peppermint and decadent chocolate. For me, they evoke fond memories of Christmas’s long past.

Baking cookies can be a social occasion where family members and friends gather to create beloved recipes passed down through several generations. Or maybe you like to be in the kitchen yourself to prepare cookies as holiday gifts. Either way, people who bake during the holiday season understand that making Christmas cookies can be a time-consuming yet heartwarming process.

This year, holiday bakers can embrace a number of time-saving tips, tricks, and techniques to reduce the amount of time they spend in the kitchen and maybe even tweak existing recipes.

*Use a cookie mix. Who says you have to toil and make cookies from scratch? It’s the thought that counts and any number of creative recipes can begin by utilizing a premade baking mix. These mixes already have most of the dry cookie ingredients sifted together, all you have to do is add the wet ingredient and maybe some extra embellishments to make it your own. If mixes are too much work, purchase refrigerated or frozen cookie dough. Personalize your recipes by adding nuts, white chocolate chips, diced dried fruit or crushed candy canes to give the premade dough a unique and festive flavor.

*Prepare ahead. Many cookie dough recipes can be made and stored for later use. In fact, refrigerating a log of cookie dough can make it easier to cut or handle later on. Spread out the bulk of your baking over two days so you’re not overwhelmed.

*Try a no-bake recipe. Creative culinary pros are always willing to share their clever tricks, and many of these include no-bake versions of some of our favorite festive desserts. No bake cookies can be whipped up quite quickly, and can still be filled with holiday ingredients. Recipes frequently feature similar ingredients to traditional cookies, but rely on chocolate, honey or peanut butter as a setting agent to keep them together. It’s also nice not to have to turn the oven on.

*Recycle leftover cookies. Although this has never happened in my home, but if you have a fair amount of cookies remaining or some broken or crumbled ones, they can be repurposed. These cookies can be used as part of another delicious dessert. Grind cookies into crumbs and make a pie crust out of them for pudding pies or no-bake cheesecakes. Or mix cookie crumbs with cake frosting or a nut butter and roll into balls. Dunk the balls into melted chocolate, add a lollipop stick and serve yummy cake pops.

Cookies may be a holiday tradition, but there are so many ways to reduce the amount of time and work required to make them. Seasons Eatings!

77 Comments

  • Great tips but I’ve never known a cookie to be left over here so that’s not a problem we have and cookies are always baked from scratch. Our dough often goes in the fridge for the same reason mentioned above.

  • Thanks for the tips!! I love holiday baking but don’t do much because we are away so much and I would just end up eating it all!! lol

  • If you save the cardboard containers from Plastic wrap, tinfoil or wax paper, they make great containers to hold the wrapped refrigerator dough. You can even put them in the freezer (make sure the cookie dough is well wrapped) and it makes it easy for stacking.

  • Our family loves chewy Quaker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies so I made 5 dozen this morning. Moving on to sugar cookies (my favourite) and butter tart squares tomorrow. The Breville mixer would be a wonderful addition to making my Amish bread and a few other quick breads.

  • I love making cookies, I’m just not very good at decorating them, but it doesn’t matter they all get eaten anyways!!

  • I do a lot of Xmas baking and I use a massive amount of parchment paper theirs nothing like it in the world and sure makes clean up allot easier less baking pans to scrub. You have great tips that I read allot and have used quite a few of them Thanks

  • You nailed it! I am feeling over whelmed that I have not done my baking yet. In fact I should be doing some now instead of writing this. I like your idea to do some over a two day period instead of all at once. I think it will help me get motivated to start at least. I can’t believe time is running out. This month went too fast 🙂

  • those are great tips, although I always make my cookies from scratch

    Hmm, left-over cookies? what’s that???

  • I love your tips…my problem is when I make things early, I end up eating them. I have no self control when it comes to cookies!

  • I had to laugh at your “recycle” cookies…..my son can sniff out a cookie wrapped in butcher paper and labelled liver faster than my cat can sniff out liver….LOL! Thanks for the chance and have a Merry Christmas!

  • I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH. I LIVE IN TORONTO, MY KIDS AND 8 GRANDKIDS VANCOUVER,BUT I BAKE FOR MY FRIENDS AND ONE THING THAT IS MY VERY FAVOURITE IS GINGERBREAD.FOR ME CHRISTMAS ISNT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT THAT SMELL AND TASTE. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AS WELL

  • ooo one of my favorites! love gingerbread cookies but have never made them myself. I will have to change that

  • I’m doing a few no bake cookies this year. Cathedral windows made with melted chocolate and marshmallows and another recipe of mounds of chocolate and oatmeal etc. Very good. They just take minutes to do melting on the stove or in the microwave. I have a very old stand mixer that doesn’t perform well so this is a good way to get things done.

  • Recycling leftover cookies can sometimes be even tastier than the original cookie. Unfortunately we lost a family recipe, but still trying to recreate our childhood favorite recycled cookie.

  • I never thought of recycling cookies, what a great idea, and yummy too. Thanks for sharing – Happy Holidays!

  • Unfortunately I don’t honestly Bake, I wasn’t taught how to, so I didn’t have the urge to do so..Luckily for me my Husband is pretty Good at following direction’s of any Recipe, so with his help I have been able to bake some pretty good little treats for our 3 daughter’s..I am also a Huge Fan of reading, so I Love reading other people Recipe Blogs (like the one above)..So many,many THANKS for this.

  • I love all the decorating ideas on the gingerbread cookies that you posted…it’s given me some great ideas.

  • Terrific tips, thank you for sharing. I also double a recipe it at all possible, especially if I’m baking for a cookie exchange.

  • Being the only one in the house that eats cookies, not really any point in making them, because I would make myself ill eating them

  • What I’ve started doing now is whenever we make cookies we freeze a few. Then when we need some for last minute guests we can just pop them in the oven

  • Fabulous tips! My husband tends to go overboard baking, there are 3 of us in the house now, and he bakes like there is still 7!

  • I make a mild gingerbread. My daughter is so good at decorating them. We have fun laughing at mine. LOL

  • Christmas baking just adds a nice feel to the holidays, love the tip of using a pre mix. Nice article, thanks for the tips!!

  • All the ideas in recycling the leftover cookies are awesome. Unfortunately, cookies don’t make it to the leftover stage in my home. My husband loves Christmas cookies and they never last when he is around.

  • Cookies are a tradition at our house -especially Scotch Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies. I like all your tips. I think it is good to have one day a week (before Christmas) as a baking day. This would make the baking less stressful and give you an opportunity to be more creative.

  • I plan the kinds of cokkies I will bake way in advance. It gi es me time to search out recipes and buy ingredients when they are on sale. We never have leftovers.

  • Some great tips here. I never thought of using left over cookies for desserts and toppings. And good hint about using prepared cookie dough.

  • Great post with great ideas, especially the idea of using ready made cookie dough and making it your own by adding things to it. My husband I baked so much last year and ended up with so many left overs, with us having to eat much of it or some of it going bad, that this year we kind of put it off and then it was just too late to do any baking at all. I feel bad that we didn’t do any but my little guy got to do some cookie making with his older sister and her girlfriend so all was a total bust for him. Thanks for the great tips though. I definitely plan to use those next year!

  • I always have big plans to make Christmas cookies and actually do a cookie exchange, but rarely manage it. With these tips maybe I’ll succeed next year :0

  • I love these time-saving tips and tricks,I also love the idea of the recycle cookie for pie crusts I would not have thought of that very clever Thanks for the post

  • There are great tips here!! I love no bakes !! I also love cookie dough lol, but more so I love to spend hours on end in the kitchen baking up a storm!!

  • I love making Christmas cookies, but don’t always have the time, so using a mix is a good idea!

  • We have some leftover cookies right now from the holidays & I am going to see what creations I can come up with to recycle them! Don’t want them to go to waste!

  • I love making Christmas cookies! Holiday baking is my favorite thing. I eat too many sweets over the holidays though!