BHealthy Blog

The Best Holiday Cookie Recipes You’ll Need to Try

Holiday Baking

It’s officially holiday cookie season! Spread the holiday cheer and send sweet treats to your family, friends, or colleagues at work. We’ve compiled the best holiday cookie recipes from some Baptist Health employees for you to bake Christmas cookies this holiday season. 

1. Christmas Sugar Cookies

Recipe provided by Jeff Carrier, President of Baptist Health Fort Smith and Van Buren


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tbsp. butter flavoring
  • 1 tbsp. of baking soda
  • Sugar for dipping
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 tbsp. of vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 5 ¼ cups flour


  1. First, cream sugars, butter, and oil. Add eggs, vanilla, butter flavoring, tartar, soda, and flour. Mix well. Let it chill. Form into small balls and roll in sugar.
  2. Oil the bottom of a drinking glass lightly and dip it in sugar.
  3. Put balls on a baking sheet and flatten with a sugared glass (Grease and dip the glass in sugar often.) Bake at 350 until light brown. Remove to paper towels to cool, then frost with buttercream frosting.

Butter Frosting for Sugar Cookies


  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 2 tbsp. of vanilla
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • ½ tbsp. of salt
  • 1/4 cup of milk


  1. In a small mixing bowl combine butter, salt, vanilla, and 1 cup of sugar. Beat with the mixer on low speed. Add milk and remaining sugar alternately until creamy.
  2. Off too thick add milk by drops until the right consistency – if too thin add more sugar.
  3. This is enough for one cake or one batch of sugar cookies. Enjoy!

2. Easy Brownie Mix Cookies

Recipe provided from Sherry Francis, RN, Specialty, Neonatal Intensive Care 


  • 1 (19.8 ounces) package of brownie mix
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Combine brownie mix, flour, oil, water, eggs, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. 
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven until cookies are just set, about 9 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Try substituting chocolate chips with butterscotch or vanilla chips, or your favorite candy-coated chocolate pieces (such as M&Ms).

3. Spitzbuben (German Christmas Cookies)

Recipe provided by Sidney Hiller, MHA, Administrative Fellow at Baptist Health Corporate Office


  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 heaping cup of sugar
  • 2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • ½ lemon (zest only) (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 jar of jelly (any flavor of choice)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a food processor (or by hand if you do not have one) mix the flour, hazelnuts, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium/large bowl. Once mixed, add a few cubes of cold butter at a time, mixing as you add. Continue mixing until the dough looks similar to wet sand. Next, add in the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing the ingredients until the dough begins sticking together.
  2. Remove dough from the bowl and add to a work surface, kneading it briefly until the dough becomes smooth (add small amounts of flour to the surface if the dough is sticking). Once smooth, divide the dough in half and form two discs (circles). Wrap the circles of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, remove both sections of the dough from the refrigerator and roll them out until the dough is 1/4″ thick. Next, place the two sections of dough on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will make the cutting process easier. 
  4. Set the oven to 375 F.
  5. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes from one section of the dough. Then, using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out a small hole in the center of each of the shapes (these will be used as the top of the cookie). Next, using the other section of dough, cut out shapes in the dough, without cutting out the centers (these will be used as the bottom of the cookie). Make sure you cut out a matching number of top (with hole) and bottom (without a hole) shapes.
  6. Add cookies to the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. These cookies burn very easily, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven if they begin to get too brown. You want them to be lightly golden around the edges and pale toward the center.
  7. Add the cookies to a rack and let them cool. Once cooled, transfer the cookie tops (with hole) to a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Place the cookie bottoms (without hole) to a different cookie sheet lined with foil bottom side up.
  8. Warm your jelly in the microwave or on the stove. You want it to be smooth and pourable.
  9. Once warmed, place 1 teaspoon of jelly on each up-turned bottom cookie and sprinkle powdered sugar over the jelly. Next, gently press a top cookie (with hole) onto the jelly. The bottom and top cookies should form a sandwich, with jelly in-between.  Serve and enjoy!

4. Peanut Butter Corn Flake Treats

Recipe provided by Brandon Riddle-Sims, Communications Specialist, Marketing and Communications


  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 cups cornflake cereal
  • Holiday sprinkles (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine peanut butter, sugar, and corn syrup and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly and stir the mixture until it melts, making sure the sugar doesn’t burn.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and gently stir in the cornflakes until they are evenly coated in the mixture. For a more festive look, you can mix in your favorite holiday sprinkles.
  3. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to form evenly sized cookies onto parchment paper once the mixture is stirred. This process should be done quickly to keep the cookies from hardening too soon.
  4. Let the treats set for about 25 minutes before serving.

Moderation is key for enjoying sweet treats over the holidays. Remember to choose healthy meal options, and leave the cookies as a treat. Have a sweet holiday season from Baptist Health! 

Find more delicious recipes in our EatWell section on our BHealthy blog.