The Cook's Country Team's Favorite Holiday Cookies

What does a test cook bring to a cookie swap? Over the years, we've developed hundreds of cookie recipes. Here are our test cooks' favorites.

Published Nov. 29, 2017.

Everyone’s got a favorite aspect of the holiday season. For some, it’s the lights around the neighborhood. For others, it’s the unending Christmas music. But at Cook’s Country, we’re all about the cookies! This year, we picked a few of our personal favorites to share. Some are specifically “holiday” cookies, others are just great sweet treats that we think deserve a spot in your upcoming cookie swap.

Cecelia Jenkins, Associate Editor: Cowboy Cookies

Cecelia Jenkins' favorite cookie

I love these giant cookies because of their lightly-crisp-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture. They’re also super-buttery, full of flavor, and completely satisfying. I also love them because they don’t take much effort to make—since they’re made with melted butter, all you really do is stir them together and bake. VIEW THE RECIPE

Katie Leaird, Associate Editor: Pine Nut Macaroons

Katie Leaird's favorite cookie

We called these “pignoli cookies” when I was growing up in Northern New Jersey. There was an overflowing stack of them on the Christmas dessert table every year, mostly because my cousin’s uncle owned an Italian bakery in town. I used to pick off the pine nuts one at a time and pop them into my mouth before devouring the cookie. They’re more nutty than sweet, so they’re perfect for people like me who prefer a slightly less-sweet slant on dessert. VIEW THE RECIPE

Ashley Moore, Associate Editor: Basic Chocolate Truffles

Ashley Moore's favorite cookie

There’s nothing “basic” about these chocolate truffles, except for the fact that they come together with minimal time and ingredients. The moment anyone sees these decadent chocolatey treats, they will assume that you spent hours making them. When developing this recipe, I was surprised at how well certain flavors paired with chocolate, such as ginger and lemon. VIEW THE RECIPE

Morgan Bolling, Associate Editor: Bergers-Style Cookies

Morgan Bolling's favorite cookies

Bergers cookies made up a good portion of my nutritional intake until age 10 when I moved away from Maryland—these Baltimore originals are hard to find outside the city. With the massive mound of fudgy chocolate frosting piled on top of a cakey vanilla cookie, they’re definitely Santa-worthy. VIEW THE RECIPE

Alli Berkey, Test Cook: Peanut Blossom Cookies

Alli Berkey's favorite cookie

This cookie arrived by mail from Western Pennsylvania every holiday season. My aunt would send several dozen cookies of all varieties, but I always went for these first! The soft, salty-sweet peanut butter bottom is what I want every peanut butter cookie to taste like. And a chocolate topper? Can’t go wrong. VIEW THE RECIPE

Matthew Fairman, Test Cook: Carrot Cake Cookies

Matthew Fairman's favorite cookie

As a new intern in the test kitchen, I was tasked with making nearly two dozen batches of these chewy, lusciously-frosted, warm-spiced treats. It’s a testament to the quality of this recipe that even after toiling away on it for two long workdays—and eating untold pounds of raw cookie dough—I still decided to go home and make three more batches for friends and family at Christmas. They were simply too good not to share. My family agreed, and now it’s written in stone that carrot cake cookies are a must for every holiday gathering. VIEW THE RECIPE

Bryan Roof, Executive Food Editor: Chocolate-Dipped Potato Chip Cookies

Bryan Roof's favorite cookie

Every year, my wife signs up for a cookie swap and every year she gets duped into giving up some of her best cookies in exchange for, well, let’s just say not all cookies are created equal. Among those in her annual arsenal are these unusual, salty-sweet potato chip cookies. They make a return performance year after year and no one is ever disappointed. For my taste, I think the cookies are just fine without the chocolate dip, but she takes them all the way to their bittersweet chocolate conclusion. I steal a few off the cooling rack before that happens. VIEW THE RECIPE

Tucker Shaw, Editor in Chief: Chewy Sugar Cookies

Tucker Shaw's favorite cookie

December is an exciting time for a cookie lover like me; the spectacular range of cookie colors, shapes, textures, and flavors is my favorite thing about this time of year. But as with most foods, I tend to favor the tried-and-true. I'll choose a scoop of vanilla ice cream over a fully loaded chocolate-pretzel-peanut butter every time. A perfect roast chicken over a multi-hyphenate variation. A straightforward martini over a frou-frou fizz. And even as I open my mind (and mouth) to dazzling, surprising cookies all season long, my favorite will always be a perfect, classic unadorned sugar cookie with its sweet, buttery, comforting flavors. At the holidays or any time of year. VIEW THE RECIPE

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