Holiday dessert spread
December 2, 2021 6:22 AM   Subscribe

I have been tasked with making cookies and/or squares for a holiday dinner. Mostly adults, no allergies, no mint (I don't like it). What are your favourite cookies and/or squares? Bonus points for some that can be mailed as I plan to mail a few and my "must eat freshly baked" is set. Also bonus if they can be frozen unbaked and just baked at the last minute. Assume I can get any reasonable ingredients, am a good baker who is lazy about finishing touches, and have a stand mixer.
posted by jeather to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Nanaimo Bars are a Christmas tradition in my family. They aren't baked at all, can be frozen (and even eaten frozen, I like them better that way) and we typically mailed them all over the country and they mail beautifully.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:36 AM on December 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

These caramel chocolate cookies are delicious and hold up well enough to ship - I used to send them to my brother at college. I use a salt/sugar mix to roll them instead of all sugar - somewhere in the realm of 1tsp salt to 1TBSP sugar, but taste it first because the fineness of your salt changes the ratio. Never tried freezing - I suspect it would work if you froze the balls before rolling, then thawed and rolled later.
posted by february at 6:44 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Icebox cookies can be refrigerated or frozen as a log, sliced and baked, and are sturdy enough to mail well. I'm pretty sure these are my mom's icebox cookies but I saw a recipe for toffee pecan ones recently that looked really good! (of course now I can't find it.
posted by quaking fajita at 6:48 AM on December 2, 2021

These pecan bars from Smitten Kitchen (reworked Ina Garten) are fabulous and would travel well.
posted by leslies at 6:53 AM on December 2, 2021

Beloved mefite peagood posted a picture of a cookie on instagram a few weeks ago that truly captured my heart. I asked for the recipe, it is this one for chewy ginger chocolate molasses cookies. I made some for Thanksgiving. They are SO GOOD. I think maybe not just some of the best cookies I've ever made, but possibly some of the best cookies I've ever eaten. I plan to make a whole bunch more in a few weeks to share with friends.
posted by phunniemee at 7:19 AM on December 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

My mum used to sendMagic Squares through the post to me.

There are a million different recipes and titles ( 7 layer bars, Hello dollies etc)

Our toppings were always raisins, dried cranberries, marshmallow, chocolate chips
posted by Ftsqg at 7:28 AM on December 2, 2021

Icebox cookies (* I have not tried these specific recipes, but the link demonstrates the variety of options possible)

If I recall correctly, a bûche de Noël aka yule log cake can also be frozen and baked later?
posted by eviemath at 8:25 AM on December 2, 2021

These are my all-stars. I usually slightly increase the orange zest, and add a touch (like, about a TBS) of heavy cream to get them to come together if they won't quite. They are pretty, Christmass-y, not too sweet, grown up feeling, and the sugar/egg wash gets almost crackly which provides such a nice contrast to the soft cookie part. When I dropped off cookie plates last year with a mix of things, these were the ones I got multiple texts requesting the recipe for.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 8:53 AM on December 2, 2021

I've been making these Almond Anisette Biscotti for cookie exchanges for at least a decade. They last for weeks*, so you can bake them well ahead of time, and they ship extremely well. I love having them as a contrast to the often very sweet selection of treats available during the holidays. They're gently sweet and oh so good dipped into coffee or tea.

* The recipe says they keep for 5 days, but I've kept them for several weeks in an airtight container and they've been fine!
posted by burntflowers at 9:50 AM on December 2, 2021

These Dorie Greenspan Double Ginger Molasses (and chocolate chip!) cookies are my absolute favorite cookie when I want to impress someone. Baking them in a muffin tin (mini-muffin tins work well) is essential, and they travel well.
posted by tangosnail at 9:56 AM on December 2, 2021

I made these oatmeal cranberry white chocolate cookies last year and they shipped well--even after being lost in the mail for a week they were still the ones people asked about. Can be frozen and oatmeal drop cookies are about the least-fiddly finish you can ask for.
posted by assenav at 10:12 AM on December 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

I just saw this recipe for flourless pistachio cookies and I want to make them and eat them.
posted by theora55 at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2021

Norwegian Christmas Butter Squares
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
Turbinado/ Raw Sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chill a 9x13″ baking pan in the freezer. Do not grease the pan.
Using a mixer, blend the butter, egg, sugar, and salt together until it is creamy. Add the flour and vanilla and mix using your hands until the mixture holds together in large clumps. If it seems overly soft, add a little extra flour.
Using your hands, press the dough out onto the chilled and ungreased baking sheet until it is even and ¼ inch thick. Dust the top of the cookies evenly with raw sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees until the edges turn a golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let cool for about five minutes before cutting the cooked dough into squares. Remove the squares from the warm pan using a spatula.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:10 PM on December 2, 2021

World Peace Cookies! I just mailed some to a friend and they arrived in great shape, I am told. They’re slice-and-bake so you can definitely freeze the dough ahead. And so delicious!
posted by exceptinsects at 10:41 PM on December 2, 2021

Can't remember the last time I made these, but maybe Grantham gingerbreads? They can be cooked slightly soft or crisp, and if you cook them crisp they have that mailable quality.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:17 PM on December 2, 2021

I second the World Peace Cookies mentioned above, although my recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.

I always make Mark Bittman's refrigerator (rolled) cookies, usually with shredded coconut substituted for 1/3 of the flour. They're great in that "seem a little plain, but a whole plate is gone in 15 minutes" way.
posted by gakiko at 5:40 AM on December 8, 2021

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