Looking for cookie recipes for your holiday cookie swap? Need a few ideas for baking cookies for your classmates, friends, kids, or a party? I love a great cookie recipe, and it's one of my favorite things to create!
Cookies are often the first thing you try to cook for yourself. It was certainly true for me, and boy oh boy, I had my fair share of weird cookies at the start. It took me a lot of cookbook, magazine, and newspaper recipes before I finally learned a few recipes that worked, but to be honest, it took me a few years to figure out why some cookies worked and some didn't.
I have one suggestion before you venture forth into this season's cookie-bake-athons and enjoy-a-thons. Although cookie recipes are blueprints in many ways, I'm sorry, Virginia, but you can't substitute every ingredient in a recipe; in fact, you can't substitute much in a well-constructed cookie recipe, at least not if you still want a great-tasting treat. I know there are websites that offer substitutions, and some work a little, some work okay, and some really don't work well at all. I don't futz around with that kind of thing during the holidays unless there are dietary restrictions to meet. You might be able to use a semi-sweet or milk chocolate instead of a dark chocolate, or switch the type of nuts (most of the time) and still get something yummy from the oven, but unless you are an expert baker, I would avoid toying with the flours, sugars, fats, and leaveners. I am all for being confident and creative in the kitchen, but you have to have some foundation of knowledge or experience (unless you have a lot of time for mistakes). When it comes to holiday-cookie crunch time, honestly, I think it's your best bet to pick a reliable recipe and stick to it.
This year's list of eight cookie recipes are cookie classics and half riffs on classics, all gussied up with bold flavors from fresh herbs, spices, and fun techniques (come on, it's me).
The All-Gussied-Up Cookies