If you were paying attention during the first round of quarantine, you probably noticed that people everywhere were getting into baking. People that normally wouldn’t be caught dead in the kitchen were whipping up loaves of sourdough out of nowhere. Now that the holidays are upon us during government lockdown 2.0, it’s time to see more Christmas cookies than you’ve ever experienced before.This barrage of sweets sounds like a blessing, but it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room. Some of these cookies STINK out loud. There’s nothing worse than grabbing something off of a dessert tray only to bite into it and be disappointed. You can’t show the disgust on your face because you know damn well that someone is going to be offended if you do. That’s where this column was born. A simple guide on how to navigate the minefield that is Christmas cookies.
To keep this on topic, baseline cookies like Chocolate Chip, M&M, and Oatmeal Raisin will not be on the list. You can find those year-round and we all know they’d be at the top anyway.
BuckeyesWhat an absolutely DISGUSTING cookie name. As a society, we might as well call these (alleged) women-beating, cheater cookies. You can’t tell me that
Royal Dansk (Danish) Butter Cookies
If you didn’t recognize these by the name, I don’t blame you. Most of 10k’s readers were born after the great depression…the first one. These are the cookies that you see at your grandma’s house in the circular tin. Every time you grab one to open off the counter, it’s a game of roulette. You’re thinking, “is it cookies or is it sewing supplies” and nobody ever knows the answer. Regardless of what’s inside, it’s always full of disappointment because these things are TRASH. Sure, they might be a “staple” or a “tradition” but so is Lutefisk. Some things are best left in the past.
ThumbprintsMaybe the most unfortunate name for a cookie in 2020. When everyone is terrified of germs and general human contact, I can’t see these being a hit. Imagining someone putting their thumb in the middle of a cookie after they’ve undoubtedly been slobbering on it while eating dough all night is enough to make me pass. Hearing over and over how the pandemic will change how Americans think, maybe it’s time for a re-branding. Everyone knows about the mashed potato and gravy volcano at Thanksgiving; this is the same principle, but with cookies and jam. These should be known as Volcano cookies until Yellowstone finally lets loose.
I’m not entirely sure what these things even are. Obviously, they’re a cookie, but you need some sort of caulk gun that’s retrofitted to push out cookie dough to make them. Not only that, but you’ll then need like 30 different tips to make all of the designs. And once you’re done with all of the labor-intensive work to get them on the sheet, you have a sink full of little pieces to wash. You’ll probably have to do it by hand too. They’re a fine cookie, but leave making them up to someone else.
If you’ve been living under a rock your whole life, these are basically Rice Krispies, but with corn flakes & food coloring. There are measurements and instructions on how to make them, but you can really just make it up as you go. It’s marshmallow, more sugar, and cereal; what could go wrong? The biggest problem with these is that they’re ruined by the spicy cinnamon “buttons”. I can’t fathom why those even exist anymore. Name someone under 50 that likes spicy cinnamon candy…you can’t.
Pillsbury: Ready to Bake cookies
These are the best. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying that these TASTE the best, but they’re still elite. It’s the ONE cookie that you can bring to a Christmas party and get credit for “making” without really having to do any work. There are few things on the planet worse than being assigned a dish to make for a potluck before you can sign up to bring the chips. When someone beats you to the punch on the sign-up sheet, these are the answer.
Decorated Sugar CookiesGoing home for Christmas with your family can be stressful. On one hand, you’ve got your relatives with all the questions about your crumbling personal life. On the other there’s probably little kids running around everywhere, juiced up at the thought of presents and candy. There isn’t a better way to avoid the conversations or keep the little gremlins busy than making sugar cookies. Someone about to ask when you’re getting married or where your girlfriend from last year went? Hit ’em with a “pass the red frosting” before they finish. If you get in a real pinch, just pretend you burn yourself and stick your finger on ice in a cold drink.
Peanut Butter Blossom
Hand up here…I had to look up what these were called. To me, and everybody else I’ve ever known, these are just “Hershey’s Kiss Cookies”. It doesn’t matter which Christmas party you’re at, these are THE gold standard and the first ones to go. They’re easy to make, and a safe bet no matter how bad the person making them is at baking. Since Hershey has released no fewer than 30 kinds of kisses, there’s a ton of variety in these cookies too. Some claim the caramel kiss or a mini Reese’s cup takes these cookies to the next level. My personal favorite is a chocolate cookie with a peppermint kiss in the middle. I’m festive, sue me.
While all of these cookies have their own charm and some variation to each recipe which can add some spice to your game, there’s one thing we can all be certain of. If you put an almond or other nuts in your desserts, you deserve to be locked up. If you’re not one for baking but don’t want to show up empty-handed to a holiday event, you can always make them cream.
Don’t agree with these takes? Is there an obvious omission to the list? Put a comment below or yell at me on Twitter and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.
I’ve been hit by cars three times, which is an indication of how stubborn I am.
I write about everything across the board, but focus on Hockey and the pain that is Minnesota sports.
Argue with me on Twitter: @venividiveech