I love all things Christmassy (if you don’t celebrate Christmas, this article still applies to any wintery holiday). And one of my favorite things to do in the month of December is make cookies. I know, I’m not special or different in this way at all. EVERYONE makes cookies around this time of year. But for this December, I plan to do a few off-beat cookies that I don’t always make. Because I love mixing it up every year, and don’t always want to get stuck in the same celebratory rut. And although these holiday cookie recipes are a bit more labor-intensive, they are so worth it in the end!
I plan to make one different kind of cookie, for each festivity I have in the month of December. So, I’m basically making three different cookies to bring to three different gatherings.
FOR MY PARTNER’S FAMILY COOKIE EXCHANGE
I had never heard of this holiday tradition before I met my partner. But I love this idea so much, and it’s been so fun, the times I have attended! Basically, during one Saturday or Sunday during the month of December, leading up to Christmas, my partner’s mom hosts a Cookie Exchange. And everyone in the family bakes a different kind of cookie and brings it to the gathering, pot-luck style. Brunch is made and all of the various cookies are splayed out for all to see and taste. And before we all head home, we each take with us an assortment of about 20 different kinds of cookies!
HOME MADE THIN MINTS
So, for this gathering, I plan to bring home made thin mints. Most of the people in his family do a lot of shortbread cookies, and there is always a bit of lack in the chocolate department. So, in this area of sugar expertise, I’m happy to deliver!
I discovered this holiday cookie recipe several years ago, and have always had so much fun making them. The last time I made these was actually in November of 2017.
The recipe consists of a basic chocolate biscuit cookie, dipped in mint-flavored melted chocolate, and then cooled. Again, quite labor-intensive. But when I made these in 2017, I was living in my baby studio apartment, with virtually NO counter space. So, this year, I’m excited to make them with a bit more space in my current one-bedroom apartment that I share with my partner. The kitchen in particular is super huge with tons of counter space!
Here is the recipe for this particular cookie, and below are a few photo documents of when I made them last.
FOR BRUNCH WITH FRIENDS ON CHRISTMAS EVE
Every year, for the past several years, my sister has hosted a Christmas Eve brunch at her home. And this brunch is made up of our spiritual friend group, and their partners and children.
I have mentioned this spiritual friend group in many of my other posts like, “How To Get In Touch With Your Spirit Animal,” and “My Experience With Spirit Guide Communication.” This spiritual friend group supports each other with regards to all things spiritual, mystical, and metaphysical. And we are also grand friends on a personal level. So much so, that we also started an annual tradition of spending one long weekend every year together, just the five of us. We rent a house in nature and then spend the weekend having loads of fun, but also conducting spritual-related workshops for each other.
Left: This year’s weekend getaway. Right: Christmas Brunch, 2019.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
Ok, I know this isn’t as much a holiday cookie as it is a holiday candy. But whatever. This is my blog and I do what I want!
I decided on this recipe this year because during our weekend getaway, I made another chocolate peanut butter cookie for the trip, and everyone LOVED them. So, this group is definitely a fan of this flavor combo, and I aim to please!
When I first made these back in 2016, I wasn’t looking for a vegan-specific recipe. I’m not vegan and never have been. But the recipe sounded so good, and they were a hit when I brought them into work. So, they just HAPPEN to be vegan, but they taste like you bought them at a gourmet candy shop, for reals.
Here is the recipe for these babies, and below is another set of photo documents from when I first made these.
FOR CHRISTMAS DAY WITH MY FAMILY, AND TO ENJOY AT HOME WITH MY HONEY
I only just discovered this holiday cookie recipe last year. Christmas Day had just passed, but I was STILL wanting to bake! And I found this Martha Stewart recipe and just had to try them!
This year, I will make them to bring over to my sister’s house for Christmas Day. This will be a different group of people, mostly my close family. And since we will most likely have an assortment of desserts laid out, I’m sure I will be able to take some leftover cookies home with me. But, just in case, I may just keep a stash at home for my honey and I to enjoy into the New Year. We both LOVED these last year.
MARTH STEWART’S BROWN BUTTER COOKIES
I have to say, this holiday cookie recipe didn’t really go according to plan. And the whole thing played out a bit differently than the video with Martha. But, I was able to pivot mid-bake, and now I actually like them my way better than Martha’s. Love you, Martha!
This is basically a short-bread, butter cookie, using brown butter instead of regular. And wow, this makes all the difference. It brings a nutty, sweet, and super rich flavor to this cookie, and I’m obsessed with all things brown butter anyway.
However, the dough comes out so much more crumbly than it does in this recipe video. And last year, I just could not slice the dough from the log that was formed. So instead, I rolled out the dough, and used adorable star-shaped cookie cutters. This worked perfectly, and they came out superbly. When you first bite into them, they kind of taste like they have too much flour in them. And I thought about tweaking the recipe for this year. But honestly, once you eat one, and that brown butter fills your mouth, you realize these are just perfect the way they are. So, I think I will keep the ingredients exactly the same this year.
Here is the recipe for this cookie. I recommend watching the video, because Martha is a goddess. And I will show you both Martha’s version, and my version below.
Left: Martha Stewart’s brown butter cookies. Right: The Goddess Attainable’s brown butter cookies.
HAPPY COOKIE MAKING!
So, what do you think of these holiday cookie recipes? Will you try any this December? If you do, let me know how it goes! xo
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Featured photo by Anshu A on Unsplash
Christmas lights photo by Kevin Fitzgerald on Unsplash
Box of cookies photo by Conor Brown on Unsplash
Martha Stewart photo obtained here