17 Christmas Cookies Ranked, Because Sugar Cookies And Ginger Snaps Are Great But They Aren't The Best
Let's get something straight: Christmas is amazing for many reasons, but one of the top reasons? Amazing Christmas cookies. Mounds and mounds of cookies. Only around the holidays can you take a handful of five cookies and receive no judgment. You're not being unhealthy, you're being festive.
How great is it to come home and smell cookies baking in the kitchen? Especially if you're the type of person who's used to the smell of cookies burning in your kitchen. You don't even have to turn on the oven light to know that these cookies will be warm and filled with love.
Know what else is great? The variety of cookies. Only around Christmas is it totally normal to make, like, seven types of cookies in the span of a weekend. "I'll give these to the neighbors," you'll say to yourself, even though you haven't talked to your neighbors in probably four years. You know that they don't trust you because you never leave the house, and you never say hi, so they probably wouldn't appreciate them as much as your stomach would.
That being said, not all cookies are created equal. Just like with Halloween candy (are you serious with the Smarties?), there are hits and misses. Even though the baker tried his or her hardest, some cookies just won't move too fast at your celebratory family gathering. To make it easy for you, I've ranked a few popular holiday classics so that you know how to properly make your season merry and bright. Let's count down from the worst to the ultimate best.
17. Danish butter cookies (you know, the weird ones in a blue tin)
Listen, you know which ones I'm talking about. They come in a blue tin, they all look different, but they all taste somewhat similar. These tins must have been popular Christmas gifts back in the '70s. We've since replaced them with gigantic tins of multi-flavored popcorn, but some households still haven't gotten the hint.
Granted, they're not horrible. Not at all. You might just graze that blue tin at the very beginning of your event, since you don't know if better cookies will be presented later on. But do you ever crave them? Probably not. There's just nothing to them.
16. PB&J thumbprints
No doubt about it, these cookies are adorable. Obviously peanut butter and jelly make an award-winning combination.
Here's the problem: They remind me of a school lunch. When I eat one of these cookies, I'm not transported on a magical winter adventure — I'm back at the lunch table, silently weeping at the fact that my grape jelly leaked through my white bread.
15. Any kind of Pillsbury "ready to bake" cookie
Speaking of adorable cookies, let's chat about Pillsbury. These were cookies that I could make when I was seven without the end result being a total disaster. However, I feel like they all just taste the same, regardless of the season. No disrespect intended, Pillsbury Doughboy. We know how hard you try, you ticklish bastard.
14. Viennese crescents
I like the fact that a lot can be done with the Viennese crescent cookie. They could be dipped in chocolate, or they could be left alone. However, these seem to be a bit too fancy for the holidays — at least, holidays at my house. After all, it just seems silly to gorge yourself on Viennese crescents while waiting to open presents. Save these for the tea party!
13. Sugar cookies
Sugar cookies are simple, which is why they're so satisfying. Regardless of the baker, you typically know what you're going to get when you bite into one. However, while everyone appreciates a great sugar cookie, they're the equivalent of a glazed donut. Pump it up for the holidays, and choose something that has a bit more excitement to it. Spice up your Christmas, yo.
12. Peanut butter cookies
OK, I know I knocked the PB&J thumbprints, but I do have some love for the standard peanut butter cookie. When I was a kid, we used to decorate them with either a fork (for a cross-cross pattern) or a potato masher (for a freaking amazing pattern). With all of these memories attached, you'd probably imagine that peanut butter would rank slightly higher.
The reason it doesn't? If you don't have a glass of milk handy, you're in trouble. These cookies have the potential of being pretty high maintenance.
11. Ginger snaps
Ginger snaps are made in my kitchen every time I try and fail to make gingerbread men. That being said, I've made a heck of a lot of ginger snaps.
About two years ago, I made way too many ginger snaps, and brought a few into work to share with my coworkers. I hid the fact that they were the remains of many fallen gingerbread men, to try and make them seem somewhat more appealing. The next day, they all went missing. One person ate them all, and demanded I make more.
I didn't say it's an interesting story, but it's one I still felt obligated to share for some reason. I was proud, OK?
10. Holiday-themed Oreos
I might as well include these on the list, because someone is going to be a jerk and bring them to a party, and stack them on a plate next to those sugar cookies you actually worked really hard on. And that person is named "Me".
I'm kidding. I can make a killer ginger snap, remember?
9. Gingerbread men
I'll get real with you guys, and confess that the picture you see above was taken by me. Here's the pudgy little not-to-scale gingerbread man I tried to make last year. I put him on Instagram before he instantly went stale.
The difference between gingerbread men and ginger snaps? It's weird to make gingerbread men in like, July. I wish they were a year-round cookie, but they've been pretty synonymous with Christmas for awhile now.
Cinnamon-based anything is delicious, which is why the snickerdoodle definitely makes the high end of the list. These cookies are so amazing that people name their dogs after them.
The reason why it's No. 8? Sometimes the cinnamon-to-cookie ration can get skewed. Seriously, when you have an amazing snickerdoodle, you kind of doubt all of the snickerdoodles you've consumed in the past.
7. M&M cookies
They're almost like chocolate chip cookies, but with a candy coating as well! These cookies are simply fun to look at. Their bright colors instantly state, "all eyes on me!"
There's a lot you can do if you have M&M's on the mind. A peanut butter base? Adding M&M's and chocolate chips? The world is your oyster. Go nuts. (Hey, you can also add nuts.)
6. Triple chocolate cookies
Perfect for the chocoholic or cookie monster in your life. A chocolate cookie loaded with chocolate chips? Milk chocolate and semi-sweet? What could possibly go wrong?
The one downside about these wonderful mood-lifters is that if you have too many, you're going to feel kind of terrible. Ever have a chocolate hangover before? Your mouth goes dry, and the smell of anything sweet makes your stomach churn a little bit. Eat slowly, and enjoy every incredible second.
5. Peanut butter blossoms
Welcome to the Top Five, peanut butter blossoms! Remember how I said that peanut butter and jelly were a swell combo? Well, I think the invention of the Reese's Cup proves that peanut butter and chocolate are just a match made in heaven.
These cookies are a visual masterpiece. The cookie-to-Hershey-Kiss ratio is so overwhelming in the most delightful of ways. If a toddler could invent a cookie, it'd probably look similar to a peanut butter blossom.
4. Oatmeal raisin cookies
Hear me out, since I know a lot of people are going to get angry about this. Nine out of 10 times, you eat an oatmeal raisin cookie because you're in a dark room, and assumed it was a chocolate chip. I get that. However!
There's something truly amazing about the oatmeal raisin. It's chewy, quasi-healthy, and reminds you of home. And when I say quasi-healthy, I mean that since it's called an oatmeal raisin cookie, our minds forget about all of the butter and sugar and focus on two things that we've always been told are healthy. "I better stick with oatmeal raisin," you say to yourself ever single Christmas.
3. An old box of Samoas you find hidden in the cabinet
"Those don't count, Karen."
Yes they do. Since it's well past Girl Scout Cookie season, and you managed to save these to share with your family. You're a real Christmas hero.
2. White chocolate macadamia nut cookies
Heaven is a place on earth with these bad boys. And do you want to know a secret? I really don't care for white chocolate. Milk or bust, baby. And yes, I wish I had a way to rephrase that to sound less disgusting.
Anyway, these cookies are absolutely incredible. In the words of Stefon, these cookies have everything. Every bite is an adventure. When these are in the oven, the party officially starts.
And finally, my No. 1 pick...
1. Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies
You don't screw with perfection. Sure, it might have started as a way to sell more Nestle Toll House chocolate chips, but it turned into so much more. I don't know one person who hasn't had a Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie before. If I did, I probably wouldn't want to be friends with them anyway.
This cookie is so simple that it's perfect, and every time I bite into one, I morph back to childhood. Even when they're a bit burnt, they're still delicious. If the party doesn't have these bad boys in the house, you've totally ruined Christmas.
Image credits: Fotolia;Jasmine, Whitney, Scorpions and Centaurs, Alyssa Sison, Boyd, Vegan Feast Catering, Pattie, Mike Mozart, Danube66, John, Food Thinkers, Colette Cassinelli, libsciterp, brian,Andie712b, William Jones/Flickr