8 recipes for National Cookie Day: Hot cocoa, cut-out and more festive holiday cookies
Enjoy the holiday season with these festive recipes.
Cookies are synonymous with the holiday season, so "Good Morning America" Food rounded up recipes from classics to creative new confections that are a perfect addition to any dessert table or cookie swap.
Ahead of National Cookie Day on Monday, a handful of recipe developers, bloggers and food creators shared their sweetest recipes with "GMA."
Hot Cocoa Cookies
Alyssa Rivers, The Recipe Critic food blogger, shared a simple recipe for cookies that pack all the flavor of a cup of hot chocolate in one chewy, sweet bite.
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate bars or semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
3 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7.5-ounce semisweet chocolate bars cut into 1/2-inch squares for garnish
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate on medium low heat, stirring frequently. Once melted, remove from burner and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In a mixer, mix together the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the cooled melted chocolate. And lastly, add the dry flour ingredients in two batches into the dough. The dough will be almost like a thick cake batter consistency. Allow to chill in the fridge for an hour so that the dough is easily shaped.
Once the dough is chilled, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the parchment paper. Flatten the tops slightly.
Bake at 325 F for about 12 minutes or until the cookie edges start to crack. While they are baking, cut marshmallows in half and stick one square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.
Once the cookies are done remove from the oven and stick a marshmallow chocolate-side down into each cookie. Put back into the oven for about 4 minutes until the marshmallows are soft. Remove from the oven and transfer to cooling racks to cool. Grate additional chocolate over the top for additional garnish.
Miso Butter Cookies
With only seven ingredients, these crisp, buttery cookies are a great dough to make ahead and bake when ready for a holiday party.
Namiko Hirasawa Chen, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Just One Cookbook, shared this sweet and salty Japanese-inspired cookie recipe.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time:1 hour 10 minutes
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, softened to room temperature; you can microwave the cold stick of butter for 5 seconds each side, a total of 20 seconds)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon miso (I use mild and mellow white miso; if you use a different type of miso, your cookies will have a slightly different taste and color. Reduce the amount if you're using Dashi-Included Miso or Red Miso, as they are saltier.)
1 large egg (50 grams without shell) (at room temperature; you can soak the eggs in warm water to bring to room temp)
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (if you use a measuring cup, fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. Otherwise, your flour ends up with more than 200 g.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons miso. Beat everything together on medium-high speed until smooth, light, and fluffy, about 2 minutes.Crack the egg and whisk in a small bowl. Gradually add the egg to the butter mixture while mixing.
Beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine in between.
In a small bowl, combine 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder and mix with a fork (I do this extra step so that baking powder is evenly distributed when sifting).
With a fine-mesh sieve, sift the flour mixture over a medium bowl.
Gradually add the flour mixture into the mixing bowl at low speed.
Once you finish adding all the flour mixture, turn up to high speed and beat until incorporated.
Sprinkle a small amount of flour on the working surface and transfer the dough. If the dough is too soft, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. By chilling, the butter/fat will solidify and it'll be easier to work with.
Roll the dough into a ball and cut in half. Note: This recipe can be used for cut out cookies. Form the dough into a disk, wrap and chill then roll out to 1/4 to 1/2-inch, cut and bake.
Roll the dough into 2 long logs. Each log should be 10 inches (25 cm) long with 1 inch (2.5 cm) diameter.
Cut the long logs in half; now you have four 5-inch (12 1/2-centimeter) logs.
Prepare a small flat container (or baking sheet) and add white sesame seeds (save the black one for later a time). Moist a sheet of paper towel with water and wrap around a log so the dough is moistened.
Roll the moistened log in the sesame seeds and wrap in parchment paper or plastic.
I've learned the best way to keep the dough from flattening out on the bottom is to place the dough on rice.
Roll the other 2 logs in the black sesame seeds and wrap in parchment paper or plastic.
Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25 F (15 C). Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Once the dough is chilled, use a sharp knife to cut dough into 8 slices of even thickness.
Cut the rest of the cookie dough and transfer to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If the dough is no longer chilled, you can put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until the cookies are chilled and firm. Tip: If the cookie dough is chilled, they will not completely lose their shape.
Bake the chilled cookies for 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Perfect Cream Cheese Cookies
Erin Clarke, food blogger and creator of WellPlated, shared what she considers to be "the BEST of all Christmas cookie recipes. Cream cheese is the secret to the soft, easy to work with dough. Cut out, frost, and decorate."
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time:1 hour 30 minutes
For the cream cheese sugar cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature (do not use fat free)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
For decorating: Food coloring, sprinkles, colored sugar, other decorations as desired
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then add the egg and beat until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and beat for 1 minute, scrape down the bowl once more, then beat in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing just until fully incorporated and a soft dough is formed.
Divide the dough into quarters. If using the dough within 24 hours, roll each quarter to a 1/4-inch thickness in between two sheets of parchment paper (alternatively, you can store the dough in a ball or disk and roll out when ready to cut and bake). Be careful not to roll the dough any thinner or the cookies will not be as soft. Keeping the dough flat, transfer it to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Repeat with the remaining dough (it is fine to stack the dough "flats" on top of each other to save space). If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, divide the dough in half, pat each into a disk, then wrap each disk tightly in plastic and freeze in a zip top bag for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then proceed with the recipe as directed.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove one of dough flats from the refrigerator. (If you stored the dough in a ball or disk, roll it to a 1/4-inch thickness now, between two layers of parchment paper.) Remove the top layer of parchment paper, then with cookie cutters, slice the cookies into desired shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, until barely lightly golden brown and the edges are dry. The cookies will look slightly underbaked. Let cool completely.
To make the frosting: In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons milk as best as you can (the frosting will be very solid at this point). Beat in the corn syrup and almond extract until the frosting is smooth and glossy. If the frosting seems too thick, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If making colored frosting, add a few drops of food coloring until you reach your desired color intensity. Frost and decorate the cookies as desired. Let the frosting set for a few minutes, then enjoy!
Spicy Chai Molasses Cookies
Sylvia Fountaine, professional chef and former restaurant owner turned full-time blogger of Feasting at Home, shared this soft and chewy twist on an old-fashioned molasses cookie.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutesYield: 36 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (don't melt, let it come to room temperature naturally)
2/3 cups granulated (white) sugar
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 extra large egg
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger, plus 1 for more spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
Coarse sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cream butter and sugars together in a stand mixer or large bowl. Whip until light and fluffy. Add egg, molasses and vanilla, and whip until combined.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, nutmeg, pepper and salt together in medium bowl, whisk until well combined. If you can weigh the flour, do so, otherwise fluff up the flour with a fork, before measuring.
Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight, so you can easily roll them into balls.
Roll into small, 1-inch wide, walnut-sized balls and coat all sides with coarse sugar or turbanado sugar.
Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, 3 inches apart. (Or use a silpat!)
Bake 8 to 12 minutes, until edges crisp and tops, begin cracking. They will puff up a bit, then flatten out, and this is what creates the beautiful crackling. Cool on a wire rack. They will crack more as they cool.
Soft and chewy with crispy edges, to me, the perfect cookie!
Matcha Bacon Sugar Cookies
"These creative sugar cookies combine a sweet matcha green tea glaze and salty, smoky bacon," the Leung family, who founded The Woks of Life and authored a cookbook of the same name, writes in this inventive recipe.
Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
For the cookies:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (280 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter (170 grams, softened but still relatively firm (not bordering on melted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
1 large egg (at room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the cookie toppings:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or light corn syrup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
5 slices cooked bacon (chopped)
Start by thoroughly whisking together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. In a large bowl or mixer, beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the egg, and vanilla until combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula as needed.
With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture and stir until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. (If the dough is still a little soft at this point, add another tablespoon of flour). Divide the dough in half and roll out each on parchment paper until 1/4-inch thick. Refrigerate the rolled dough for 1 hour to 1 day.
After the dough's been chilled, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut shapes out of the dough, and continue re-rolling/cutting until all the dough has been used up.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. The cookies should have very light coloring. Don't over-bake, or they'll be way too crunchy! Cool completely.
After the cookies are cooled, make the icing by stirring together the powdered sugar and milk. Stir in the agave (or syrup), vanilla, and matcha powder. Carefully spread frosting on the cookies, and sprinkle with bacon. Let the icing set.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Woks of Life.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Love and Lemons food blogger Jeanine Donofrio shared her dairy-free cookies that are perfect for a holiday cookie exchange.
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons warm water
2 1/4 cups spelt flour (or white/wheat mix)
2 teaspoons ground ginger (3 for a stronger ginger flavor)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses (I used one from Wholesome)
In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed and water. Stir and set aside to thicken.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda and salt.
Give the flax mixture another stir, and then add the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, almond butter and molasses. Whisk until smooth. Add the dry mixture and stir to combine. When the dough gets thick, use your hands to lightly knead the dough to form a thick disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the disk from the fridge. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough until 1/4-inch thick. (If your dough is too sticky, you can add a little bit of flour). Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and carefully place them on the baking sheet. Re-roll any remaining dough.*
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned (although this is hard to see since the cookies are dark). Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes on the hot baking sheet without touching them before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
*Optional: Instead of re-rolling any extra dough, form the remainder into soft ginger cookies. Place 1/4 cup cane sugar into a small bowl. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, and then roll them in the cane sugar. Place the balls on a cookie sheet and press down on them lightly to flatten.
4-Ingredient Shortbread Coconut Flour Cookies
These simple cookies from Maya Krampf of Wholesome Yum are keto-approved and gluten free.
1 cup Wholesome Yum Coconut Flour
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free)
1/3 cup Besti Monk Fruit Allulose Blend
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat together the butter and Besti, until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Beat in the coconut flour and salt. (The dough will be dense and a little crumbly, but should stick when pressed together.)
Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie to about 1/2 inch (0.8 centimeter) thick. (You can make them thicker or thinner to your liking. Keep in mind they will not spread or thin out during baking, so make them as thin as you want them when done.)
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden. Allow to cool completely in the pan before handling.
Easy Apple Pie Crust Cookies
1 1/2 pounds of apples
2-4 tablespoons sugar, or use coconut sugar or maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (half whole wheat pastry flour works too!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, chilled, cut in two
1/4 cup ice water
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons sugar
egg yolk, optional
Mix together flour, salt and butter cubes. Put the entire bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Cut butter in with a pastry cutter, knifes or hands leaving course pea sized pieces.
Add half of the ice water. You may not need all the water; start by adding half, sprinkling over the dough. Mix in gently with a fork. The dough will look crumbly. Test the dough by squeezing together with your fingers -- if it sticks together, that's perfect. If still crumbly, add a few more teaspoons of water, lightly toss and test again.
Once dough comes together, pat out into a rough square. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (and up to 2 days). Meanwhile, start on the apples.
Mix cut apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Place apples on a baking sheet and dot with butter.
Bake at 425 F for 15 to 20 minutes. If you like a softer apple, go the full 20 minutes or more. If you prefer a little texture, test at 15 minutes.
Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured sheet of parchment. Place whole parchment on the sheet pan.
Brush with egg wash (optional) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Cut with a scoring wheel and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until crusts are lightly brown on the bottom.
An earlier version of this story was originally published on Dec. 2, 2022
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