By Vanessa Greaves

Need a little help making the nice list this year? Get Santa on your side with one or all of Chef John's best cookie recipes. Watch and learn as our favorite wisecracking chef makes cookie-baking look easy.

Chef John Best Cookies

"Crispy around the edges, chewy and chocolaty in the middle, and thin, oh so thin," says Chef John. "The only real variable is the baking time, since we all scoop slightly different amounts. And yes, of course you can add nuts to yours!" Watch the video to see how to make these without an electric mixer.

Chef John's Chocolate Chip Cookies | Photo by Chef John

If you're looking for an easy cookie recipe, this is it. In fact, watching the video gives you a great step-by-step demo on how to make just about any kind of cookie dough. Your cookie game is about to get strong.

Check out the spices that put the "snap" in these gingersnaps: cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and two kinds of ginger. Can you handle this much flavor? "Yes" is always the right answer.

"This stripped-down recipe for brownies requires almost zero technique," says Chef John. I say that's music to a beginning baker's ears. Watch the video to see how easy it is to make these brownies.

Chef John's Chocolate Mint Brownie | Photo by Chef John

According to Chef John, "A proper rum ball should be a fire hazard." You've been warned. Oh, one more thing: This recipe starts with about 8 ounces of leftover chocolate brownies. Hmmm...what are these leftover brownies of which you speak?

Landing somewhere between a cookie and a cake, these soft, spicy whoopie pies are made extra luscious with a cream cheese frosting. Yep, there's an easy-to-follow video to show you every step.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

To hear Chef John tell it, "As the old joke goes, these Russian tea cakes might not be Russian, but at least they're not cakes." Of course, Mexico and Italy also lay claim to them, calling them wedding cakes. Whatever their true origin, they're a Christmas favorite everywhere. Watch the video to see how they're made.

Chef John's Russian Tea Cakes | Photo by Yoly

The snickerdoodle you know and love gets a spicy lift from cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Not what you were expecting, right? Tune into the video to see them come together.

Chef John's Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Photo by Chef John

What's that? You've never tasted savory herbs in sweet cookies before? You are in for a treat! Here's what Francine Lizotte, Club Foody says about them: "I never made shortbread cookies let alone rosemary shortbread cookies. The flavor is absolutely scrumptious. It has a nice buttery flavor and the rosemary adds a nice twist to the usual shortbread cookie."

"My version is pretty straightforward--a classic Italian dipping cookie," says Chef John. "But you can add hazelnuts, pistachios, and any type of dried fruit. Or dip them in dark chocolate." And reviewers agree, giving them a solid 5-star rating. Watch the video to see how to make them.


• See all the rest of Chef John's dessert recipes.

• Get more Christmas cookie recipes.

• You're going to want to invite Chef John's best appetizers and snacks to your holiday party.