Today is the start of something epic, my friends. And I don’t use that word with wild abandon like the rest of the internet does. When I say epic, I mean it.
Today I’m sharing with you the first of twelve (count ’em, 12!) Christmas cookie recipes I have for you. That’s right, over the next 12 days, I’m going to be sharing with you a new Christmas cookie recipe each day. I’ve been working so hard developing and testing cookie recipes over the past few months, and I am so excited to show them all to you. It is a really incredible bunch of treats! I am really proud of this group of recipes. I know it strays a little bit from my typical schtick of healthy balance to bombard you with a dozen cookie recipes in a row, but I’m too excited about all of these delicious, sugary treats to hold back. And I promise I’ll share a salad recipe or two in January.
Why am I overloading you with Christmas cookies? Well, it’s simple really. Holiday baking is such a special thing for me. Every year, I work hard to create nice tins and baskets of holiday goodies for my friends and family. We don’t have the kind of cash it takes to hand out hefty gift cards or expensive booze to our mail carrier or dog sitter, but what I can do is give them some tasty holiday treats to thank them for all they do for us throughout the year!
I know it’s nothing novel to pack together tins of Christmas cookies for your loved ones, but I still think it’s a nice sentiment.
I’m kicking off this cookie parade with one heck of a bang. If you’ve never made gooey butter cookies before, they’re exactly what they sound like – ooey, gooey, rich, and buttery. They’re kinda like a cross between a chewy cookie and fudge. Or imagine your favorite flourless chocolate cake in cookie form. These are definitely not cookies for people who like crunchy, crispy cookies (do those people exist?). I think the original version of this recipe comes from butter-queen Paula Deen, and has been adapted about a million different ways. But almost all of those adaptations use boxed cake mix.
Even though I’m overwhelming you with desserts for the next two weeks, I still have to stay true to my homemade roots, so I decided to make up my own version of butter cookies without the cake mix. It isn’t quite as quick as dumping a cake mix in the mixer, but it is just as ooey and gooey as the original. And chances are, you have all the ingredients you need in your pantry to make these right now.
If you’re looking to keep these cookies free of artificial colors and flavorings, I recommend looking for organic candy canes at your local supermarket. I was able to find some last year at my regular grocery store, and I know they carry them at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in our area. Unfortunately, since they don’t use synthetic red dye for the stripes, they aren’t quite as bright and vibrant as your regular candy canes, but they are still delicious and very cute!
Make sure to come back tomorrow for the next cookie in the series. Two words. Chewy. Gingerbread.
Very tasty! I used a few more candy canes to make sure there was enough for the dough and on top. I’ll use parchment paper or grease my baking sheet next time as the candy pieces melted and stuck to the sheet a little.