Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

These recipes aren't your average holiday cookie recipes. Libbie Summers has shared her favorite (uniquely delicious) cookies to bake this holiday season. Wrap up one of our GORGEOUS Aprons with a dozen cookies and you'll have an admirer for life. 
Sprinkle Cake Cookies

Sprinkle Cake Cookies
makes 2 dozen

What you need:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Vanilla Sugar* (can substitute regular sugar…but it’s so much better with vanilla sugar)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sprinkles, divided
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe to follow), tinted lavender, copper and light pink

What to do: 
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and vanilla sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating after each one until completely incorporated. Add in vanilla extract.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until fully incorporated and dough comes together. Add 1/2 cup sprinkles and stir JUST until mixed in.
5. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking tray (about 2″ apart). Bake until just set and lightly golden on the bottom (about 12 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before removing to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Allow cookies to cool completely.
6. Using a star tip fitted in a pastry bag, the top of each cookie and sprinkle with remaining sprinkles. 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
(a birthday party in your mouth)
yields about 2 1/2 cups

What you need:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
2-4 tablespoons milk
copper, lavender and light pink gel food coloring (or any color you like!)

What to do:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 6 cups of the confectioner’s sugar. Add the salt, vanilla paste and 4 tablespoons of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, add more of the sugar (1/2 a cup at a time). If the frosting is too thick, add more of the milk (1 tablespoon at a time). Divide frosting between 3 bowls, add just a little of each food coloring to one of each of the bowls.

*Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been with a vanilla bean in a jar for a few weeks imparting a mild vanilla flavor.

Dude's Cookie, Bourbon Cookies, Sweet and Vicious Cookbook, Libbie Summers Recipes, Cedric SmithDude's Cookie
(a salty, smoky, bourbon-laced oatmeal cookie for dudes)
yields 24 cookies

What you need:
2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked salt (I use alderwood-smoked salt)
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1⁄4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, cook the pecans, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, just until they begin to toast. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter, 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, and the smoked salt. Remove from the heat and let cool in the pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 1⁄2 cup butter, the shortening, and the remaining brown sugar for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla paste, bourbon, and cream and beat until well incorporated. Add the egg and beat just until combined. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the flour mixture in three increments. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and stir in the pecan mixture and the oats by hand.

Drop the dough by big heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes, until the cookies are puffy and lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Perfect with two fingers of bourbon.

Recipe by Libbie Summers from Sweet and Vicious -baking with attitude (Rizzoli)
Photography by Chia Chong
Model/Artist: Cedric Smith

Ginger Cookies, Triple Ginger Cookies, The Best Ginger Cookies, Libbie Summers Recipes, Sweet and Vicious CookbookJacked-up Ginger Cookies
(molasses + a triple ginger threat)
yields 30 cookies

What You Need:
2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark or light brown sugar (either works great)
1 large egg
1⁄4 cup molasses
1 1⁄2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1⁄2 cup Turbinado sugar I use Sugar in the Raw—just lift an extra packet each time you visit a coffee shop . . . it will take 12 visits.
1⁄4 cup minced crystallized ginger

What To Do:
1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

2. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Mix in the fresh ginger. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (The dough is like gingerbread on steroids. Give it a taste. Trust me.)

3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

4. Make Ginger Coating and Bake Cookies: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the turbinado sugar and crystallized ginger. Shape the dough using a small portion scoop into 1 1⁄2-inch balls and roll the balls in the turbinado sugar mixture. Place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool and serve.

Recipe by Libbie Summers from Sweet and Vicious–baking with attitude, Rizzoli
Photography by Chia Chong


Animal Cookies, Animal Cracker Cookies, Libbie Summers Recipes, Party FavorsIced Animal Cracker Cookies
makes 9 dozen cookies depending on the cutter size

What you need: 
3 cups all-purpose flour (more for bench flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar (I use vanilla sugar)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (can substitute 1/4 teaspoon bubblegum extract)
Sprinkles (optional for dough)
Royal Icing (recipe to follow)
Nonpareil sprinkle mix for decorating (I used a mix of pastel colored nonpareils, you only need about 3 tablespoons total)

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and extracts.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The dough may be stiff…this is okay! PRO TIP: at this point you can stir in 2-3 tablespoons of sprinkles to your dough.
5. Do not chill the dough, just get right into it! Lightly flour a work surface and cut off enough dough to be workable. Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut shapes with your cookie cutters. Place on the prepared baking trays and bake for 6-8 minutes.
6. Allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Royal Frosting
(makes 3 cups)

What you need: 
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoons powdered egg whites (or meringue powder)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)

What to do:
In a large bowl, stir together sugar, water and meringue powder until completely mixed. Adjust as needed for consistency. Add a bit more water if too thick and a bit more powdered sugar if too thin. Tint with food coloring if desired. Cover until read to use.
Cookie Party Favors, Cookie Tins, Animal Cracker Tins, Libbie Summers Crafts, Iced Animal Cracker Cookie Gift Tins
1. Thoroughly wash and soak tins (if you are upcycling an old Altoid’s tin) to get the minty smell out.
2. Cut 2 pieces of scrap paper or paper napkins the size of the lid.
3. Using Rubber Cement or Modge Podge, glue the pieces of paper to the outside and inside lid.
4. Trim edge with any fun trim. I used a wee pom pom trim.
5. Cut a piece of parchment or tissue paper for the inside and fill with your treats!

Recipe by Libbie Summers for Country Living Magazine
Photography by
Chia Chong for Country Living Magazine

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