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4 Christmas cookies with a unique twist

A fun loving drama queen who is head over heels in love with food. Culinary school hopeful (Le Cordon Bleu - Paris), full time recipe creator, food, home and travel writer for She Knows.com and "mom" to a furbaby. Wife of a social media ...

These fun Christmas cookies are too good to share with Santa

It's officially cookie season in my house, which means every spare minute I have is spent researching cookie recipes, baking, styling and, of course, testing. And after a solid few weeks of testing, I've found my four new go-to cookies for this holiday season, and the ingredients in some of them may surprise you.

Instead of sticking to the regulars, I decided to update some of my favorite cookie recipes with some exciting and unique ingredients, like cayenne and chili powder, rosemary and lemon juice and fresh, tart cranberries. The result is four flavors of cookies that will be the first to go on your dessert platter — trust me.

These fun Christmas cookies are too good to share with Santa

Lemon-rosemary sugar cookie sandwiches recipe

Rosemary is the winning ingredient in these lemon cookies, giving each bite an earthy and unique flavor. The sweet cream icing in the middle combats the tartness of the lemon, making each cookie simply perfect.

Yields 12

Prep time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 30 minutes | Bake time: 12 minutes | Total time: 52 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Egg Beaters
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup buttercream frosting (use this recipe)

Directions:

  1. To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the Egg Beaters, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour to the butter mixture, and stir to combine. Mix in the chopped rosemary.
  3. Cover the bowl with saran wrap, and chill it for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll the cookie dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a circular cookie cutter, stamp out round cookie shapes. Place the cookies onto the baking sheet about 1 inch apart from one another.
  6. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
  7. Spread about 1 to 2 tablespoons of frosting over 1 cookie, and stack another cookie on top (to make a sandwich). Serve with fresh rosemary.

These fun Christmas cookies are too good to share with Santa

Spicy Mexican hot chocolate cookies recipe

These cookies take all the spicy and rich flavors of traditional Mexican hot chocolate and put them into something you can eat! The amounts of spices listed are just a suggestion — add more or less depending on your taste.

Yields 12

Prep time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 1 hour | Bake time: 14-16 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a thick-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and semisweet chocolate chips over medium-low heat. Whisk the chocolate mixture until melted, glossy and smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool the chocolate to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the brown sugar, white sugar, honey, vanilla and egg until combined. Stir in the melted chocolate.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Add the flour mixture to the semisweet chocolate-butter mixture, and stir to combine. Gently fold in the milk chocolate chips.
  4. Cover the mixture with saran wrap, and chill it for about 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough is chilled, remove the saran wrap, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and scoop out cookie dough balls with an ice cream scoop. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until browned.

These fun Christmas cookies are too good to share with Santa

Cranberry-ginger cookies recipe

Adapted from Ocean Spray

Ginger cookies are a Christmas staple in many homes. Tart, plump, crunchy cranberries are added to the classic batter to give these an even better flavor. If you want, sub in pomegranates for even more textural crunch!

Yields 32

Prep time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 2 hours | Bake time: 10-12 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 22 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, brown sugar, honey and butter until creamed. Beat in the cream, milk and egg, and stir until combined.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, ginger and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir to combine.
  3. Gently fold in the cranberries and pecans. Cover the mixture with tight-fitting saran wrap, and chill it for at least 2 hours.
  4. Once chilled, remove from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out cookie dough balls, and place them onto the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until browned.

These fun Christmas cookies are too good to share with Santa

Double chocolate brownie batter cookies recipe

These cookies are made with brownie batter, which means every bite is fudgy, chewy and simply delicious. What makes them even better is the addition of melted white chocolate! If you prefer, sub in dark chocolate glaze for more of a "death by chocolate" cookie!

Yields 26

Prep time: 6-8 minutes | Inactive time: 1 hour | Bake time: 10-12 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the cookies

  • 1 package double fudge brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
For the topping
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the brownie mix, flours, egg, heavy cream, water and canola oil. Carefully mix in the chocolate chips. Cover the mixture with saran wrap, and chill it for about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out cookie dough balls, and place them about 1 inch apart from one another on the parchment paper.
  3. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until fully cooked.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and canola oil for about 60 seconds, stirring well after 20 seconds until glossy and smooth.
  5. Drizzle the white chocolate over the chocolate cookies.
  6. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate chips over the white chocolate drizzle while still warm.

See all our holiday articles

More holiday cookie recipes

5 Low-fat cookies for a healthy cookie exchange
White chocolate confetti cookie pie
Peppermint Oreo-stuffed Christmas cookies

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