By: Nicole Chedraoui
In case you haven’t already heard, IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, and Jack Frost may be nipping at your nose! It is the holly-ist of jolly-ist times, and skinny queen Mariah Carey is back on the radio! That’s right shes/hes/theys/gays, it’s CHRISTMAS.
Some may argue the most important aspect of Christmas is giving to those you love, and while I agree, I think many seem to forget the reason for the season. This reason, of course, being COOKIES. That’s right, nothing quite says “Jingle Bells” like the freshly-baked ooey-gooey-goodness of a festive cookie. So I thought, hey, what better way to prepare all my fellow Huskies (and miscellaneous readers) for the holidays than a stacked tier ranking of Christmas party go-to’s!
Additionally, just because I’m feeling especially jolly this Christmas season, I decided to provide hyperlinked recipes for each type of cookie– just for your baking pleasure! Let’s begin!
(ranked on a list from worst to best)
Even writing the title of this cookie name pained me. I want to preface this entire review by saying an essential fact: there is no such thing as a bad cookie. However, there are certain cookies that just shouldn’t be given their time to shine during the holiday season. Call me criminal, but gummy candied-cherries and rock-hard shortbread don’t really scream “Merry Christmas” to me. Imagine being Santa Clause and traveling all night delivering presents to all the good boys and girls and suffering down dusty chimney’s to only find a FRUITCAKE COOKIE platter in the kitchen. Heartbreaking. An American travesty. Personally, I have my doubts that anyone will be rushing to make these cookies this holiday season; I’m sure almost nobody under the age of 40 particularly craves fruitcake cookies; but nonetheless, I added (supposedly) one of the best recipes for this holiday treat hyperlinked above. Do with that what you will.
This may be one of the most controversial takes I have ever given on the Herald, but I must persevere nonetheless. If you’re a die-hard fan of those coconut-samoa girl scout cookies, I suggest you log off for the night. If there’s one thing we as a country need to stop doing, it’s combining coconut and chocolate. I’m sorry, I know. There’s something about biting into a disgustingly vile, crunchy piece of burnt coconut that has always made me want to profusely vomit. If you couldn’t tell already, this ranking is entirely biased. Coconut as a scent is incredible, coconut flakes as an entity should be illegal. Going so far as to ruin the cult-classic goodness of milk chocolate by melting in some crusty coconut flakes is not only upsetting, but also entirely grinch-like of you. The textures? Appalling. The flavors? Lackluster. Honestly, if you eat these, I probably wouldn’t come near you with a 9 foot pole (not actually but it’s a grinch reference). If you like these, you are most likely a middle-aged dad who enjoys Almond Joys. No hate, all love. (#hyperlinkabove)
What’s that phrase the young kid’s say? Disappointed but not surprised. Oatmeal cookies are chocolate chip cookies’ evil stepmother. Entirely inferior to the scrumptious, jaw-dropping effects of warm chocolate chip cookies, the oatmeal raisin cookie is nothing less than inadequate. Haters of oatmeal raisin cookies are normally just people who dislike raisins in general. I have no particular qualms with the dried up grape bits, but my problem is more in the lumpy-esk texture and the entirely underwhelming flavor. Where’s the spice, where’s the excitement?! Eating an oatmeal raisin cookie is equivalent to eating a dried out piece of cinder block that is perhaps raisin flavored. Raisin cookies can be described in a single word: yawn. Overall 2/10, but feel free to check out the hyper-linked recipe.
While not being exceptionally exciting taste-wise, nothing quite says Christmas like shortbread. Shortbread earned its way down the list solely based on the fact that it can be dressed up in entirely festive ways. Shortbread cookies can be made in adorable prints, shapes, and textures. If you want to make a beautiful spread for your annual Christmas party, a tray of Santa-shaped shortbread cookies are sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Shortbread is a cookie that is entirely customizable to the holiday season, and unlike the disappointing oatmeal raisin cookie, shortbread is known for its popularity during this certain time of year.
For those of you who are perhaps not the most gifted in the area of baking– this cookie is for you! Good-ol-reliable has come in to bring in a sleigh-load of Christmas cheer. While the Pillsbury Christmas cookies are not anything spectacular taste-wise, they sure are the darn-cutest dessert you’ve ever seen! I mean, pre-made sugar cookies with cute Santa hats and Christmas trees? Sign me up! This cookie goes out to all my lazy people– stay lazy, these cookies are crazy simple and absolutely fire.
Ranked at number five, I felt I couldn’t publish this article without including this obvious addition. I feel I may get a lot of hate, but I must say, chocolate chip cookies are the definition of average. In fact, if you look up “entirely average dessert” in the dictionary, a picture of a chocolate chip cookie would appear. When done correctly, a warm, messy chocolate chip cookie is comparable to a small piece of heaven; however, in the grand scheme of baked goods, where’s the excitement? Chocolate chip cookies are for the minimalists, for lovers of the classics, and people who frequently say “why mess with a good thing?” For those who feel they want to step away from “Nestle’s Break n’ Bakes,” I did attach a super scrumptious recipe above.
As someone who is a sucker for aesthetics, gingerbread men cookies are perhaps the cutest thing on the face of the planet. I mean, cmon, what’s better than piping on cute little faces and clothes to your little cookie-man to give him some personality? Not only are gingerbread men adorable to look at, the decoration process is a great family bonding activity, especially for little kids! While many may be quite iffy on the actual taste of gingerbread, when done correctly, the warm cinnamon concoction can actually be pretty life-changing. A superior gingerbread cookie should have delicious hints of nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon (of course), and even traces of vanilla. Pair this with some frosting, candy toppings, and a warm cup of hot cocoa, and you’re sure to be feeling very merry and bright!
Seeing snickerdoodles this far down in a ranking may seem appalling to some, but I assure you, a beautifully baked snickerdoodle can entirely redirect one’s life. I am convinced snickerdoodles have the capability to cure my chronic illness. The toasty cinnamon-sugar goodness could warm even the biggest of grinches’ hearts. In order for a snickerdoodle to earn its ranking this far down the list, we must assure a few things. 1. The snickerdoodle is soft and chewy, no burnt hockey pucks allowed. 2. The snickerdoodle has adequate amounts/coverage of distributed cinnamon and sugar coating the entirety of the cookie. If both of these boxes are checked, rest assured you’re in for the tastiest adventure of your life. Vanilla woven into cinnamon-sugar is a classic combo ensured to bring holiday cheer. Snickerdoodles with cocoa? Impeccable. Snickerdoodles with iced coffee? Delectable. Snickerdoodles by a fireplace in the winter time? Positively warm and cozy.
Coming in at number 2 (drum roll please) is THE SUGAR COOKIE!! Sugar cookies are perhaps the most diverse cookie on the face of the planet. With cookie cutters coming in every shape and size, sugar cookie batter can be morphed into anything imaginable! You want sugar cookies to look like baby yoda? Amazon! Perhaps you want cute little santa cookies and decorated christmas trees? Sugar cookies are the way to go! Cookie decorating is one of the best ways to bring family and friends together and celebrate in yummy harmony! For all my artists out there, now is your time to experiment with different frosting piping techniques, and mix and match your favorite color food dyes to create a holiday masterpiece! While sugar cookies can be made to look the most festive and beautiful, they also can be positively scrumptious when paired with some delectable icing and sprinkles. Overall, you can’t have Christmas without sugar cookies–that would be an absolute travesty.
And finally, our absolute cookie winner, the cookie of all cookies, Reese’s cup blossoms!! Now I’m sure many of you have seen this cookie before with Hershey’s Kisses in the middle, but I’m here to introduce you to Hershey’s superior sister–the Reese’s cup blossom. For all of my lovers of peanut butter and chocolate–this is YOUR cookie. With a sweet and salty warm, soft exterior, the Peanut Butter blossom shelters in a perfect mix of sweet vanilla and peanut butter with an ooey-gooey chocolate peanut butter cup in the center. The candy in the middle positively melts into the sweet peanut butter encasing, and creates the ultimate party for your taste buds. When served warm, there is no comparison to any other cookie on this list; it is simply ethereal. The first time I tried a warm Reese’s cup blossom, I am almost positive I had an out of body experience. If you want to absolutely wow all of your party guests this season, crack open your recipe book and give a go at these bad boys. 100/10 would recommend.
I hope everyone enjoyed hearing my strong–sometimes harsh–opinions on all of these Christmas classic cookies. Don’t forget to click the hyperlinks in each of the ranking titles to try out these amazing recipes to make this holiday season one to remember! From everyone at the Herald, we would like to wish you the Merriest Christmas or the Happiest of Holidays! Have a fun and safe holiday and make sure to avoid fruitcake cookies at all costs!