Our Faves of Your #FoodNetworkFaves: Holiday Cookie Swap Edition

We don't typically play favorites, but these Instagram shots of festive holiday cookies led us to crown six #FoodNetworkFaves favorites this week.
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No matter your Instagram following, your filtering prowess or your like-to-minute ratio, nothing truly proves #deliciousness like an old-fashioned, ready-set-go contest. A couple of weeks back, we came your way in search of the greatest creations made in your very own kitchen. When we called out the theme on Instagram, you put your baking skills to the test by whipping up your go-to recipe, snapping a photo and tagging us for your chance to be featured on FN Dish!

Year after year,  the holiday season is the time for home-baked cookies galore, whether they're iced cut-outs, sandwich cookies or morsels that are fruity, spiced, chocolatey or minty — seriously, you name it. Typically, we get our Instagram picks from our hashtag, #FoodNetworkFaves, but this time around we borrowed from  #bakeitforward, which was jam-packed with incredible holiday cookie creations. With each photo that’s shared and tagged with #bakeitforward, Food Network will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry — and $1 provides a whopping 10 meals to those in need.

We are pleased to introduce our winning bakers and their festive cookies!

Forget candy cane and snowman cut-outs.  @hillbilly_hills_cookies brought Santa to life by cutting out and decorating everything from his belted red suit, big black boots and burly beard. Try this too-cute technique after baking your own batch of sugar cookie cut-outs at home.

Though a lot of holiday cookies don bright-hued icing and sprinkles,  @rootingthesun's sweet and spicy Chocolate Molasses Buttons are dark and intense in all the right ways. Bake up Food Network Magazine's chocolatey, sugar-dusted Cocoa Thumbprints to satisfy any Instagram-induced cookie jealousy you might have.

Classic whoopie pies are even better when they get a holiday spin.  @donnaho followed Katie Lee's lead and baked a batch of gorgeous Chocolate-Peppermint Whoopie Pies from Food Network's  12 Days of Cookies, which are rolled in crushed candy canes for the full minty effect.

Mince pie is a fruity British sweet pie traditionally served during Christmastime, and @ch.eats.toronto whipped up a batch of mince pie-flavored, red-striped meringues that look and taste just like the holidays. Make your own batch of  Peppermint Meringues at home for a light, airy and sweet holiday treat.

@moxiemoth has been baking her peppermint spiral cookies for years, and each swirly red-and-white creation comes jam-packed with minty flavor. Bake a similar kind of cookie at home, whether it's Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies or Cherry Pistachio Pinwheels.

@conscious_cooking proves that even your holiday cookies can have a better-for-you edge. These star-powered, cut-out beauties are made with a simple shortbread dough that's vegan and gluten-free, and decorated with a homemade icing that tastes just like raspberry jam. To bake cookies with a similar flavor, go with these classic  jammy thumbprint cookies.

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