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Holiday Baking Favorites

oatmeal_lace_cookies Are you ready to tie on an apron, get out the rolling pin and start baking dozens of holiday cookies? I am! Mixing up batches of dough and baking trays of cookies while listening to holiday music on a Sunday afternoon in December must be one of my favorite holiday activities. There's something irresistible about the aroma of warm spices and freshly baked goodies. For help with your seasonal baking, check out our holiday baking guide. What will you do with all those cookies you're going to bake, besides savor them with a tall glass of milk? A few ideas to get you started:
  • Organize a cookie exchange at home with friends and neighbors or in the office. Ask everyone to bring a few dozen cookies, then mix and match to end up with an assortment of holiday treats.
  • Cookies make great gifts. Wrap them up in waxed or parchment paper and tie with ribbons, or package them in reusable tins. Recipients will be delighted by your thoughtfulness.
  • Host a holiday dessert party. Bake several kinds of cookies (the beauty is that they all can be made ahead of time), make pots of coffee, spiced tea and hot chocolate, and sit back and relax with your guests.
  • Remember to save some for Santa!
Here are some of our favorite recipes. What are you going to be baking this holiday season?

Drop Cookies (simply drop dough onto baking sheets)

thumbprint_cookiesCherry Chocolate Chip Cookies Cranberry Pistachio Oatmeal Lace Cookies Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Hand-shaped Cookies (enlist some kids to help shape these)

Chai-Spiced Cookies Mexican Tea Cookies Thumbprint Cookies

Roll-out Cookies (use a rolling pin)

Classic Gingerbread Cookies Classic Sugar Cookies Chocolate Mocha Sugar Cookies Ginger Sugar Cookies Sugar-Dusted Whole Wheat Graham Crackers

Icebox Cookies (shape dough into logs, chill, slice and bake)

ChocSandwichCookiesChocolate Sandwich Cookies with Peppermint Frosting Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Bars (simply cut into squares after baking)

Date-Pecan Pumpkin Squares Flourless Brownies

For the Baker Seeking a Challenge

Chocolate Drizzled Pistachio Biscotti Chocolate Swirl Meringue Cookies Fig Rugelach Gingerbread Twists

Confections (not cookies)

sourCherryFudgeCandied Lemon Peels and Orange Peels Candied Walnuts with Dark Chocolate and Orange Zest Triple Chocolate Sour Cherry Fudge Happy holiday baking!

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Carolyn says …

At the top of the Helpful Holiday Baking Guide page there is a photo of some cut-out sugar cookie sandwiches with jelly centers (it is also at the top of the home page alternating with other photos). Is there a recipe somewhere to accompany the photo? I cannot seem to find it anywhere on the site. Perhaps it is archived away somewhere? I would love to make these for my cookie bake this weekend! Thanks!

says …

That photo uses the classic sugar cookie recipe: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=781 The cookies are sandwiched with jam and dusted with powdered sugar.

Bob says …

Your wine selection is fabulous. However... when attempting to purchase a wine bag... NOT ONE said Merry Christmas. It's Christmas... I realize some people don't celebrate Christmas. That's fine... on the 25th... they can sleep late... do their laundry...and shop.... Those who believe that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ... CHRISTmas... would like to see Merry Christmas... not Merry Holiday.. Happy whatever... CHRISTMAS... come on now..you can say it...