It is the final weekend before Christmas. If your budget is low, or your patience with shopping is spent, Christmas cookies can be a great gift for others.
Christmas cookies are great gifts for five reasons:
They are personal gifts.
They are gifts of time, not expense.
They don't take up space - they are to be enjoyed during the season.
They don't need to be returned.
You probably have everything you need already!
Not all cookies are great gift-worthy Christmas cookies. For example, unless you know someone who really, really likes chocolate chip cookies, generally speaking, they are rather plain and ordinary. Here are a few special recipes for Christmas cookies that will make great gifts.
I know, I just put down chocolate chip cookies for being ordinary and then start the list off with sugar cookies. However, sugar cookies are anything but plain - each one is a work of art made by you (or your kids) for a particular person. Cookies just don't get more personal than that.
The Just a Taste food blog has a great sugar cookie recipe if you want to try something new or have never made these before. They can be decorated in many ways - you might even consider these the "Easter eggs" of Christmas. Cut them into any shape and color them with food coloring, frosting, or candies.
Over at Two Peas and their Pod, they say this looks and tastes like "Christmas wrapped up in a cookie." Chocolate? Check. Pudding? Check. Peppermint? Check. The color red? Check. These cookies are definitely festive and bring the whole package in a single cookie.
The recipe calls for pudding mix, crushed candy canes (which are plentiful this time of year), and Oreo cookies to add a crunchy chocolate texture as opposed to chocolate chips.
These should present well and definitely look like Christmas cookies.
Leigh Anne at Your Homebased Mom has this recipe for Cranberry Bliss Bars on her list of favorite Christmas cookies. A copycat version of a favorite Starbucks treat, these are great cookies to give for someone whose tooth isn't quite so sweet. And if they favor a certain nationwide coffee chain, they may find these wonderfully familiar.
Candy Cane Cookies
Are you already getting tired of candy canes? While they are an instantly recognized symbol of Christmas, for many of us there is such a thing as too much peppermint.
These cookie candy canes from The Squishy Monster will look festive and Christmas-y but are actually flavored with almond extract.
As an added bonus, there is a video tutorial to go along with this recipe:
Christmas Wreath Cookies
Photo courtesy of the BarnPrincess.
My grandmother used to make these for us every year. It is a rather ingenious adaptation of the humble (and lovable) Rice Krispie Treat for the holidays. Instead of rice cereal, though, you use corn flakes for the texture of leaves, and dye the marshmallow mix green. Cinnamon red hots for berries complete the Christmas look.
Like the sugar cookie cutout, gingerbread folk are classic, easily customized and personalized, and have limitless possibilities. For the more ambitious, there are gingerbread houses and buildings to be made. Gingerbread is a tough cookie, able to handle being used for some rather elaborate and crafty creations.
Gingerbread AT-AT for Star Wars fans. Photo by Blake Handley.
Over at the Kitchn blog, they have a lengthy article with everything you need to know about gingerbread cookies, including a recipe. They also have some helpful advice on decorating your cookies.
What do you think of the cookies we featured above? What are your favorite cookies to give or receive as gifts? Feel free to share. We'd love to know!