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Perfect Cookie Recipes for Swapping, Sharing, & Eating

by Ashley on December 5, 2012

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This holiday season is ALL about the baking for me– not surprising now that I have the time and means! With a D&D group to treat, a cookie swap party to prepare for, and a couple of holiday gatherings, these tasty little morsels remain my favorite sweet treat for a reason.

Holidays are also a great time to bake cookies: it’s a time to share new recipes on unknowing friends, push those cookies on to waistlines of others (because for real? My fiance just ate two & a HALF dozens worth of cookies in dough form), and move your relationship past the chocolate chip cookie.

All of these recipes are ones I’m am going to bake or, at the very least, am really obsessed with eating.

caramel apple cider cookies

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies: Wouldyalookatthose? That warm caramel coming out? The hint of spice in the air? I know it’s winter where most people are, but it still feels like late summer here. So I’ll keep taking the fall-flavored foods while I can.  I love the idea of these, fresh from the oven and paired with a warm cup of black tea.

pumpkin chai cookies

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies: More fall and winter flavors abound!   I love how pretty these are, but that they’re undoubtedly easy as well. They look fancy! They taste witty and smart! They’re plated so prettily! All the while, you baked them in torn pajama pants while drinking coffee.

 Whiskey Marshmallow Caramel Bacon Bark

Whiskey Caramel Bacon Bark: Okay, so uh… bark may not really be a cookie. But seriously? This is the best gift you could give any man in your life, and probably a lot of the women, too. (I’d probably keep eating them until I wanted to barf.)

Pumpkin Hazelnut White Chocolate Biscotti

Pumpkin Hazelnut White Chocolate Biscotti:  In the theme of “eating dessert for breakfast,” I could totally eat these for breakfast. Dunked in some Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee (with a splash of cream) for that OMG PUMPKIN overload. These would also package easily and beautifully for treats for friends in little gift baskets. Coupled with some tea packets and a nice candle… perfect companion for a cold night in?

cherry shortbread

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread: Almond & cherry. Two of my favorite flavors wrapped up in one delicious cookie. (But in actuality, I hate eating cherries. But love the flavor. Hate the texture)  White chocolate coating and nonpareils add a fabulous & ‘fancy’ touch without a lot of extra work.

red velvet thumbprint cookies with marshmallow frosting

Red Velvet Thumbprints with Marshmallow Frosting: Red velvet and marshmallow. Can you get a more decadent cookie combo? One of our gamer friend’s is obsessed with red velvet cake, so these are being made. Probably tonight.  And hopefully we won’t eat them all before we’re able to give them away (with dice shot glasses, because we’re CLASSY).

peanut butter milk chocolate chunk cookies

Peanut Butter Drizzled Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies: As soon as the Beau saw these, he started drooling. He’s also been buying chocolate bars with the “intention” of us making them, and then eating the chocolate before we can.  Peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best flavor combos ever. Having baked many things from How Sweet It Is, I can only bet how decadent and delicious these are.

White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps: The cookie is everything. Each Christmas, future MIL enters a cookie swap/contest. This was one of the entries last year, and so there were hundreds at her house last year. I won’t lie– I ate about, on average, 7 of these a day. Then I requested them this summer for my birthday, and promptly ate them all within 3 days. It’s sick, but they’re that good. These are my personal choice for the cookie swap I’m attending this year, so that the TEN DOZEN it yields aren’t left in my house…near my mouth.

Anyone else baking up a frenzy this season?

Images all property of their respective blogs.


Kerry December 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

Christmas cookies have no calories! Oh Ashe, you do make me chuckle heartily. And your posts make me smile. You’re one of my favourite feel-good places on the internet xo

Ashe December 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

You made me smile, Kerry! Thank you! (And wouldn’t it be nice if they DIDN’T have calories?! Gosh, I wish.)

Ira December 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

Awesome post! And I love your blog:)
Follow each other?:)

Lindsay December 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

OMG. This post is kind of the best thing ever, albeit not so much for my hips. Oh well, it’s the holidays which means I can eat whatever, right?

Ashe December 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Christmas cookies have no calories. It’s true–Christmas magic.

Shannon December 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

This entire post was awesomely hilarious but the chai pumpkin spice cookies bit had me totally LOL-ing at work. :)

Ashe December 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

Cookies get me FOR REAL excited. I’m glad that ridiculousness came through ;)

mlle ghoul December 5, 2012 at 9:08 am

Why yes, yes I am! In holidays past I would invite my sisters over to ‘help’, but that usually consisted of them lounging around and licking the spoon while I did all the work! But you know what? That sort of became a tradition, and now I miss days cozy camaraderie and laughter and a feeling that all was right with the world, while I ran around like a lunatic, stirring and pouring and flinging pans in the oven.
Going to be baking with a houseful of friends this weekend, actually! Gingersnaps, cowboy cookies, chocolate crinkles, decorated sugar cookies, thumbprint cookies – the works! This will be, of course, with Love Actually and Elf blaring in the background, and later we shall go wassailing :)

Ashe December 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

I LOVE you for making Love, Actually a holiday movie as well! I watch it every year.

Your story makes me so happy too (maybe possibly because I know one spoon-licking sister), but it sounds like such a wonderful and cozy tradition. It makes me think maybe I should invite some girl friends over to help bake cookies, so that it feels more festive.

Also, what in the world are cowboy cookies?!

mlle ghoul December 5, 2012 at 11:49 am

I am not exactly sure *why* they are called cowboy cookies, but I do know that both my mother and my grandmother made several batches during the holiday season, so they are mandatory! They are basically…oatmeal cookies…with tons of extra crap thrown in! I usually just do chocolate chips and raisins because I am a purist and anything else is basically weird and wrong :P Here is a recipe on the food network; I’d leave out the pecans because I sincerely believe that nuts are for chumps.

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