10 Recipes to Win Your Holiday Cookie Swap — Fall Fest

It's time to preheat your oven; holiday cookie season has arrived, and these treats are sweet-tooth-satisfying.
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Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

If ever there was a reason to preheat your oven, the holidays are it. Whether you're setting cookies out for Santa, going in on a cookie swap or baking a batch for yourself, these 10 cookie recipes are a must.

1. If you're looking for a butter-and-sugar staple to be iced and frosted, Alton's Sugar Cookies (pictured above) is the most versatile recipe of all. Buttery, chewy and slightly crisp, each made-with-love cookie is the perfect canvas for all the candy cane, snowman and Christmas tree cutouts you can get your hands on.

2. Sunny's German Chocolate Cake Cookies start with a basic cookie recipe and add everything that makes a German chocolate cake, well, German. Stir cocoa powder, chocolate chips, coconut and pecans into the mix for a chocolatey, crunchy and decidedly different cookie that's ready for milk dunking in just 30 minutes.

3. Forget the stale ginger cookies of your past. Ina's Ultimate Ginger Cookie comes with a double dose of ginger, uniting the crystallized and powdered forms of this spicy holiday flavor. For a crinkly crust, dust with sugar before baking.

4. Oh my stars, do we have a cookie for you! Sandwich raspberry jam in between two buttery, star-shaped cookies for Alex's  Linzer Star Sandwich Cookies. Dust with powdered sugar for the most-festive treat in your holiday repertoire.

5.  Ina's  Shortbread Cookies are ultra-buttery and deliciously comforting. To one-up run-of-the-mill shortbread, remember that each sweet biscuit is best drizzled or dipped in chocolate for the full effect.

6. When friends and family unwrap tins of Alton Brown's Chocolate Coconut Balls, the only thing that will follow is true holiday bliss. By simply mixing five ingredients — melted chocolate, coconut, Macadamia nuts, sweetened condensed milk and almond extract  — and rolling into balls, you’ll create morsels of chocolatey goodness that will melt in your mouth.

7. When Trisha Yearwood throws a cookie swap, her sister's White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are always in attendance. Be sure to chop the cranberries and nuts finely so that every bite is loaded with flavor.

8. Iced until cute and grinning, Alex Guarnaschelli's  Gingerbread Cookies are cookies cut right out of your childhood, and each crisp gingerbread man is loaded with holiday flavor from ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

9. Beyond the expected butter-and-sugar goodness,  Butter and Jam Thumbprints get their distinct sweetness from the seeds of a fresh vanilla bean. Press a thumbprint into each unbaked cookie to make room for your favorite fruit jam.

10. Alton's Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies prove that two types of cookie doughs are better than one. Roll together chocolate and peppermint cookie dough together for slice-and-bake cookies that never saw your supermarket's refrigerated section.

Get more holiday cookie recipes from family and friends:

Feed Me Phoebe:  Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies
Daisy at HomeEggnog Cookies

Virtually Homemade:  Soft Sugar Cookies (gluten free)

Dishing With Divya: Eggless Coconut Cookies

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 5 Favorite Holiday Cookies

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