Bribe Santa with Chef John's Best Christmas Cookies
Need a little help making the nice list this year? Get Santa on your side with one or all of Chef John's best Christmas cookie recipes. Each of his cookie recipes comes with a step-by-step video so you can watch and learn as our favorite wisecracking chef makes cookie-baking look easy. Scroll through to find Chef John's recipes for thumbprint cookies, rum balls, Russian tea cakes, and more.
Chef John's Chocolate Chip 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 Peanut Butter Cookies
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.
Chef John's Gingersnap Cookies
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.
Chef John's Chocolate Mint Brownies
Holiday Rum Balls
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 to speed thing along. (Hmmm...what are these leftover brownies of which you speak?)
Lace Cookies (Florentine Cookies)
"These Florentine lace cookies are simple to make and gorgeous to look at," says Chef John. "This cookie technique is versatile and adaptable to any kinds of nuts or chocolate. They also keep pretty well so they're perfect if you're looking for an idea for an edible holiday gift for any cookie lover on your list--just stack them up in a box and tie them with a bow!"
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Chef John's Russian Tea Cakes
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 Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
Chef John's Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
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."
Perfect Thumbprint Cookies
"My mother, Pauline, made really nice thumbprint cookies, but I never wrote down her recipe. I knew the ingredients, but unless you have the right proportions, you won't get that perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture. So, I did an image search and found a recipe that looked very similar, credited to a great-grandma named Mitzi. Since my last name is Mitzewich, that pretty much sealed the deal. In case you can't decide between a shortbread-focused cookie and a more jammy one, here's how to make both." — Chef John
Chef John's Almond Biscotti
"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.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
"Even first-time cookie makers can pull off super moist, tender, chewy macaroons. Using sweetened condensed milk streamlines the operation and produces a very nice texture. Simple to make and easy to transport, these are the ultimate cookies to bring to any potluck. Just stick an almond inside each macaroon if you want to relive that chocolate-coated coconut-filled candy bar of your childhood." — Chef John
Chef John's Chili Chocolate Cookies
Chef John says, "Just like adding a pinch of salt to dessert recipes makes them even sweeter and more delicious, the addition of pepper in this cookie really makes the chocolate even more chocolaty. The cookies aren't really spicy, but you can definitely tell something strange and wonderful is happening."