Holiday baking is something I look forward to every year. It’s usually one of the last things I do before Christmas – both for freshness and my general sanity – so it helps me to really get in the holiday mindset. There was a time when I made a ridiculous amount of treats and tried numerous different recipes. I don’t dare touch any of the classic recipes like chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies – I leave that to my mom! So, while I’ll maybe still try one new cookie recipe, for the most part there’s a few specific Christmas baking recipes I use every year. They’re all pretty easy and yield delicious, crowd-pleasing results!
Chocolate M&M Pretzels. An oldie but a goodie! Did anyone grow up not having these every Christmas? Well, I’ve carried on the tradition because my brother looks forward to them every year. They’re probably my favorite as well. Nothing beats the mix of salty and sweet. Yum. Ryan usually helps me make these, too so it’s a fun memory we get to make every year! The linked recipe is a little different from mine; I use round pretzels and melt almond bark in the microwave before spooning some in each pretzel. It’s a little more work, but I’m sure both ways work great! Tip: If you bake these “my way,” add a teaspoon of shortening to thin out the almond bark. This makes it easier to pour into the pretzels.
Peanut Butter Blossoms. These are pretty popular, classic cookies. I only incorporated them into my baking repertoire a couple years ago, and I’m so glad I did! They’re actually kind of fun to make, and the peanut butter chocolate combo is two thumbs up.
Peanut Clusters Candy. Ryan’s aunt makes a version of these that I’ve always tried to copy. While I don’t think I’m quite there, this recipe is a favorite because I can make it in the slow cooker. Anything to make things easier and efficient this time of year! We’ve actually nicknamed these “Christmas crack,” so be warned that once you eat one they’re highly addicting.
Cherry Pie Cookies. Soft, buttery fruit-filled goodness. My mouth is watering just thinking of these cookies. I started making these because cherry pie is my dad’s favorite dessert, and since Christmas Day also is his birthday I thought he deserved an extra sweet treat. These are the most time consuming of the bunch, but so worth it. Tip: I don’t top these with frosting like the recipe calls for; I think they’re plenty rich as is. But, don’t let me stop you from eating one of these with a bowl of vanilla ice cream. In fact, I dare you to do so.
Notable mentions …
Chocolate Crinkles. I don’t make these every year, but when I do I’m reminded of just how good the chocolatey, fudge-y consistency of these are.
Gingerbread Loaf. I’m thinking of whipping up a couple loaves to have for breakfast both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Plus, I’m sure the mixture will make the house smell heavenly.
What are your go-to Christmas baking recipes?
Here are my favorite cookbooks!