As I count down the days of this forsaken year, I’ve found the act of baking cookies a soothing balm. This shouldn’t surprise readers of this site, but consider the unlikely source: Me, a non-cookie person, whose culinary curiosity leans closer to confiting my Thanksgiving turkey in three pounds of duck fat. But baking cookies has been meditative, especially this year, and gifting them to others has felt tremendously satisfying.
That said, I’ve never been satisfied with base recipes; a chocolate chip cookie is great, but a chocolate chip-pretzel cookie is better. I’ve always been a tinkerer. In thinking about the tradition of holiday desserts, it always seemed like the same handful of flavors were at play (chocolate, peppermint, eggnog etc.).