Simple Home Living

My Family’s Favourite Christmas Baking Recipes

One of my most loved things to do around the holidays is bake (a close second to eating the baking! ). Every year I ask the family what their favourites are and, despite the ever changing minds of my children, they always have the same favourite. I always experiment with a couple new recipes each Christmas but these 6 are the classics that make it into the rotation year after year.

1. Cranberry Bliss Bars (Yes, a Starbucks copycat!)

I’m starting with my absolute favourite, the first time I had these at Starbucks I was in love. They have a moist, little bit chewy, almost brownie-like texture that is very satisfying. With the hint of spice in the dough, the bit of tang in the cream cheese icing and the sweetness from the white chocolate, they are absolutely perfect with a cup of coffee. I love the beautiful aesthetic that these add to a Christmas baking tray, they also add some variety as nothing else tastes like them. I do not aim to go low calorie with my Christmas baking, this recipe just happens to be a lightened up version of the original but I make it for the amazing taste. Click here for a link to the recipe.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Skinnytaste

2. Chewy Ginger Snaps

So Simple and so delicious! I first tried these cookies at a cookie swap 11 years ago when my oldest was a baby, Now they are my middle child’s favorite Christmas cookie. I *think* it might be a Company’s Coming recipe, but I’ve just kept this photocopy of the recipe from the swap in my cupboard ever since. They are spicy, buttery, chewy and sweet, all of the things you want in a perfect chewy ginger cookie.

3. Vanilla Butter Roll-out Cookies

We love to decorate cutout cookies as a fun family activity around the holidays. We tried many recipes for sugar cookies but had yet to find one that we actually enjoyed eating after the fun of decorating them. Enter vanilla butter cookies! I came across this recipe 2 years ago after searching for other cutout cookie options. They maintain their shape nicely after baking with minimal spread and actually taste delicious. They have great flavour and perfectly balance the sweetness of the icing used to decorate them. Click here for a link to the recipe.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Taste Of Home

4. Swedish shortbread rings (aka Grandma’s Jam thumbprint cookies)

This recipe is loaded with memories for me. The photo shown is of my grandma’s original cookbook that the recipe came from. The age of the cookbook shows that it probably was even her mothers cookbook before hers. I so clearly remember standing on a chair next to my grandmother, dropping teaspoons of raspberry jam into the centre of the cookies after their first bake. They taste amazing as well with the buttery dough, sweetness of the jam and nuts on the edges. I use salted butter for this recipe and bake at 325 F for 10 minutes after the initial 5 minute bake rather than the 250 it mentions.

5. Good Ol’ Chocolate chip

My husband is what I call a cookie purest. He doesn’t like fancy bells and whistles when it comes to his cookies, his favorite is a classic chocolate chip cookie. We make these on the regular throughout the year, but I am also sure to include them in my Christmas baking just for him. This recipe has been my go to since I found it years ago. It has all of the things that I like in a cookie, crispy edges, chewy middle and perfectly balanced flavour. The only thing I tweak with this recipe is adding double the vanilla. Click here for a link to the recipe.

Photo and recipe courtesy of RockRecipes

6. Perfect Whipped Shortbread

Listed last, but this whipped shortbread is THE most important recipe for our family Christmas and It is the cookie that all members of our family agree on. If you are a shortbread purest you might turn your nose up at this one, as I’ve added some additional flavours that are not added to traditional shortbread. I have perfected this recipe on my own over the years to adjust to our tastes, mainly with the addition of a bit of salt and some vanilla to bump the flavour up a bit. Along with those flavour additions, the key to this is in the whipping. Whip, whip, whip….and then whip some more, this gives that light and airy melt in your mouth texture (along with the bit of cornstarch).

Here is the recipe ! ———————————>

  • Whipped Shortbread
  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
  • 3 cups White Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsps Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • Red and Green Glace candied cherries

Preheat oven to 300 F, beat butter with mixer on high for 5 min. Add all other ingredients (except the cherries) to the bowl with the butter, beat with mixer for another 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Use a teaspoon to dollop dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place half of a cherry on each cookie. Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes. The bottoms should not be brown, but they are done. let cool and enjoy!

It was a pleasure sharing some of our favourites from around the holidays with you, thank you for reading and happy baking!

Merry Christmas!


The Harmonious Home, Professional Organizer and Occupied Home Staging in St.Albert, AB, Canada