Prepare for smiles when you give these super-easy-to-make Christmas cookies as gifts.

SNOWMAN COOKIES

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Knead 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour into a 16 1/2-oz. roll of refrigerated sugar-cookie dough.

2. Tear off a piece of dough and roll it in your palms to form a 3/4-inch ball. Roll a slightly larger piece into a 1-inch ball, and a still slightly larger piece into a 1 1/4-inch ball. Repeat with remaining dough. Place 1 of each size ball close together on parchment-lined baking sheets; flatten balls slightly.

3. Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Cool on rack. Pipe frosting for scarves and to attach M&M's Minis buttons, mini-chocolate-chip eyes, snowflake sprinkles and Hershey's Kisses for hats. Makes 18.
 

 

 WHITE CHOCOLATE-CHERRY COOKIES

Prep: 10 min.
Bake: 15 min. per batch
Yield: 42 cookies
Cost per serving: 52 cents

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries


1. Place a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at time, mixing well after each addition; then add melted chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture. Stir in white chocolate and cherries.

2. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly; then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make in advance:
Make dough and scoop into balls using a small ice cream scoop. Place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. Place frozen dough balls in a ziplock freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake cookies as needed. (You don't need to defrost the dough before baking, but add a few extra minutes on to your baking time.)

PER SERVING (2 cookies): 270 Cal., 14g Fat (8g Sat.), 41mg Chol., 2g Fiber, 4g Pro., 36g Carb., 88mg Sod.

 

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Prep: 30 min.
Chill: 1 hr.
Bake: 10 min.
Yield: 36 cookies
Cost per serving: 13 cents

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses


1. Sift dry ingredients onto waxed paper. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. Stir dry mixture into butter mixture to make dough. Form a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut cookies into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until firm, 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack; decorate.

Make in advance:
Make dough and chill for up to 3 days. Allow to soften at room temperature before rolling. Or, bake cookies and freeze (undecorated) for up to 1 month. Allow to defrost before decorating.

PER SERVING (2 cookies): 197 Cal., 6g Fat (3g Sat.), 37mg Chol., 1g Fiber, 4g Pro., 33g Carb., 183mg Sod