All-Star Holiday Cookie Recipes

The stars of The Kitchen and the chefs in our very own Food Network Kitchen dreamed up a baker's dozen new cookies to swap this year. 
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Photo By: Renee Comet ©©Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©©Renee Comet

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

'Tis the Season for Baking

It wouldn't be the holidays without the scent of sugar and butter wafting from your oven, and tins bursting with cookies ready to be shared. We asked the stars of The Kitchen — Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, Geoffrey Zakarian, Marcela Valladolid and Katie Lee — and the chefs in Food Network Kitchen (our bustling test kitchen) to offer up a bunch of new cookie recipes to celebrate with this year. We're sure many of them will make it into your annual rotation.

 

Photography by Renee Comet

Sunny Anderson's Raspberry and Oatmeal Lattice Cookie Sandwiches

Nutty oats, raspberry jam and a touch of pumpkin pie spice make Sunny's cookies an irresistibly sweet and sticky bite. "These are my favorite cookies to order at a place called Crave in Sherman Oaks, California," she says. "I love nothing more than figuring out how to make something at home that I can't always get. They are super-simple to make and will definitely be a hit at any holiday party or cookie swap, as they are easy to transport!"

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Raspberry and Oatmeal Lattice Cookie Sandwiches

The Spiciest Gingerbread Cookies Ever

Don't let their angelic faces and doughy bodies fool you — these gingerbread cookies are super-spicy from the very first bite. Cayenne, allspice and a hefty dose of black pepper result in a complex, lingering heat that is surprisingly pleasant, and molasses makes them chewy while taking the edge off.

Get the Recipe: The Spiciest Gingerbread Cookies Ever

Jeff Mauro's White Chocolate Confetti Christmas Cookies

Around the holidays Jeff clearly has sweets on the brain; he even likes to call these his "I'm Dreaming of a White Chocolate" cookie. "One look at something covered in sprinkles and your brain explodes with excitement," he says. "Sprinkles add color, crunch and a healthy dose of holiday cheer!"

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Confetti Christmas Cookies

Holiday Monster Cookies

These giant, saucer-sized cookies are packed with all your festive favorites (red and green candies, peppermint chunks, salty pretzels and white chocolate chips), so they really live up to their name. If you leave the mammoth treats for Santa, don't forget a supersized glass of milk for washing them down.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Monster Cookies

Geoffrey Zakarian's Red Velvet Crinkle Cookie Sandwiches

Geoffrey's frosting-stuffed holiday cookie is doubly dressed for the occasion: It boasts the cheeriest red hue, and confectioners' sugar mimics a pretty dusting of snow. "This red velvet crinkle cookie sandwich is a crowd-pleaser for the holidays," he says. "It satisfies the chocolate lover and someone looking for more than your average cookie."

Get the Recipe: Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

A spiced apple filling tops these buttery cookies, packing all the flavor of your favorite pie into a single bite — for a fraction of the work! Smoosh a small scoop of vanilla ice cream between two cookies for an inspired take on "pie a la mode."

Get the Recipe: Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Cream Cheese Cookies

A triple dose of cream cheese (mixed into the batter, in chunks in the dough and as a glaze on top) makes these pillowy cookies extra tangy. We topped ours with lime zest and minced cranberries, but these treats are the perfect vehicle for many toppings — consider your favorite cheesecake flavorings for inspiration.

Get the Recipe: Cream Cheese Cookies

Classic Shortbread

This satisfying shortbread is as easy as it gets — and its traditional style is perfect for this time of year. It's simultaneously crisp, crumbly and tender because we've added a little cornstarch to the flour. And granulated sugar gives the cookies their gorgeous golden color.

Get the Recipe: Classic Shortbread

Marcela Valladolid's Caramel Cookie Sandwiches

Marcela fills her take on alfajores with Mexican cajeta, a thick caramel made from goat's milk (but you can use regular whole milk, if you prefer). "I love making these cookies over the holidays, because they transport me straight to my childhood," she says. "My father would travel frequently to Guadalajara, and he would always bring back these amazing cookies my aunt would make for me and my siblings. Just thinking of them makes my mouth water. They are a family favorite during the holidays."

Get the Recipe: Caramel Cookie Sandwiches

Eggnog Meltaway Cookies

The secret to these cookies' melt-in-your-mouth texture is the confectioners' sugar, which easily comes together with almonds in a food processor. The flavors of rum, bourbon and nutmeg make the little snowball look-alikes taste just like your favorite holiday drink. We'll say "cheers" to that!

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Meltaway Cookies

Minty Christmas-Tree Cutout Cookies

Lined up in a row on a platter, these cute treats are sure to get your guests in the holiday spirit. The cookies are tender but hold their shape when baked (so you end up with precise Christmas trees, not Christmas blobs). And adding mint makes them extra special.

Get the Recipe: Minty Christmas Tree Cutout Cookies

Katie Lee's No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

Four ingredients, a sweet-savory combo, and no oven necessary? We like what Katie's thinking. "My great-aunt Pat makes these cookies every year during the holidays," she says. "She always has them on hand for drop-in guests and puts them on the dessert buffet at our family Christmas Eve party. I like making multiple batches and storing them in holiday tins for gifts. Be careful, they're addictive! You might want to make an extra batch (or two)."

Get the Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

Inspired by the candy, this indulgent dessert is both familiar and elegant. Almond paste fortifies the rich aroma of the cherries, and the two-ingredient chocolate glaze is rich and velvety. Cocktail maraschino or glace cherries work fine here, but might we suggest you treat yourself to high-quality candied cherries, such as Luxardo or Amarena? It is the holiday season, after all. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

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