It’s the holiday season and you know what that means Santa Claus is coming to town! And there’s no better way to welcome Saint Nick into your home than with a fresh batch of cookies and a nice, cold glass of milk.

Emily Liu / Daily Nexus

While there’s nothing wrong with using pre-made cookie dough, don’t be afraid to try something different this year! For all we know, maybe Santa Claus is over your everyday chocolate chip cookie or going on a gluten-free diet. With that being said, here are some recipes to spice things up this holiday season! 

Michelle Lee / Daily Nexus

Matcha White Chocolate Cookie (Michelle Lee)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon culinary/ceremonial grade matcha powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cups roughly chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer or whisk, mix together brown sugar, white sugar and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Add in vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk until the mixture looks light and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, matcha powder, baking soda and salt. 
  4. Add and mix in dry ingredients to the large mixing bowl in small batches. Keep mixing until a dough forms.
  5. Fold white chocolate into the dough.
  6. Scoop dough into heaping tablespoon-sized balls and place on a baking sheet spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. 
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. The center of the cookie may still be soft but should firm up after letting cookies cool for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Nicole Wakeland / Daily Nexus

Holiday Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies (Nicole Wakeland)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened 
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 Oreo cookies, crushed 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Optional: green and/or red food coloring for the holidays 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter. 
  2. Add sugar and vanilla, and mix until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add a couple of drops of food coloring (optional). 
  4. Add flour and baking powder, and mix well.
  5. Fold in Oreos, then cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  7. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place 2-inch balls of dough on the sheet evenly spread out, and press them down slightly. 
  8. Press the crushed candy canes onto the top of the dough balls.
  9. Bake for 9-11 minutes (the edges should be golden brown but the cookie will be soft).
  10. Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  11. Sprinkle on a dash of crushed candy canes, and your oreo cream cheese holiday cookies are complete!

Shelby Guy / Daily Nexus

Drunken Eggnog Cookies (Shelby Guy)

Adapted from: Lori Lange at recipegirl.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup softened butter
  • ½ cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¾ ounce of bourbon (Maker’s Mark or Wild Turkey is best)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.
  3. Add the eggnog, yolks, vanilla and bourbon to the mixture and beat on medium speed until smooth. 
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture and beat again at a low speed until combined. 
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of dough on a non-stick baking sheet, approximately 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired. 
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown in color. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Maya Salem / Daily Nexus

Lacy Oatmeal Cookies (Maya Salem)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats (gluten-free, if desired)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free, if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cover baking sheets with foil, then coat the foil with a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, salt and baking powder. 
  3. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in the flour and oat mixture until just combined. 
  4. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls yes, teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, 2 ½ inches apart. 
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges turn golden. Cool, then peel cookies off with a metal spatula. Be sure to re-spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray between batches. Depending on how many baking sheets you own, this process can take some time, so enlist some help from family members or housemates!
  6. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. When cookies are cool, match up the same sized pairs. Brush chocolate on the flat part of one and lightly press the flat part of the same-sized cookie on top. 

Chace Duma / Daily Nexus

Gluten-Free Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies (Chace Duma)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 ¾ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup crushed candy canes, 2 tablespoons set aside for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once butter is completely melted, place in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the sugars and whisk to combine
  3. Add the egg, vanilla and peppermint and whisk again until the mixture is smooth and creamy
  4. Put candy canes in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or any other large blunt object you might have in your kitchen. I ended up using 8, but it depends on the size of your candy canes. Crush until they’re reduced to small chunks. You do not want a powder. 
  5. Use a rubber spatula to mix in the dry ingredients until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips and all but 2 tablespoons of the crushed candy canes
  6. Cover the bowl and let the batter sit for 30 minutes. While the dough is sitting, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  7. Using a small ice cream scooper or large spoon, scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet a few inches apart from each other.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are golden and the center is set, but still soft.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of crushed candy cane on top, and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes (if you can wait that long) then dig in!

Charlotte Glass / Daily Nexus

Vegan Coconut Gingersnap Cookie (Charlotte Glass)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ⅔ cup flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger 
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients (molasses, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract) and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, salt). 
  4. Slowly fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until dough forms.
  5. Scoop about a spoon-full of dough and roll into balls. Roll into sugar if you’d like and give each a bit of space (enough to be pressed down) on the baking sheet.
  6. Use your hand or the bottom of a cup to gently press down dough balls. For a thinner, crunchier cookie, flatten the ball more. For a chewier cookie, lightly flatten.   
  7. Sprinkle coconut shavings on top of each cookie!
  8. Bake for 10-30 minutes (according to density) or until the cookies’ surfaces appear crackled (but not ashed). The cookies should appear very soft but will firm up once cooled.
  9. Gift these cookies (maybe after stealing a couple for yourself) to your friends and family or leave them out on Christmas Eve to fuel Santa’s flight — it is the season of giving after all!
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