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December has barely started, but you probably have 20 browser windows open as you search and search and search for new ideas. Am I right?

Here’s a thought. Skip the pressure to make all new dishes this year and stick to the classics. Whether you’re at the office cookie swap, the school concert or hanging out with friends, the cookies below are everyone’s favorite for a reason! (And think of your Christmas meal this way: When dessert is a snap, you’ll have plenty of time to wow your guests with a knock-out main course.)

If you’re new to cooking or have a kid who wants to pitch, start with an easy sweet bread. A friend who is a master baker raves about tried and true recipes like cranberry orange loaf, banana bread and lemon pound cake (you can find them all at a slideshow from Martha Stewart). She jokes, “I hate standing over the oven switching one tray of cookies after another. With breads, you have one pan, hit the timer for about an hour, then walk away!” That sounds like a self-care practice in the making to me.

Enjoy the baker’s dozen below and wash them down with one of 40 Winter drinks. Don’t forget – calories don’t count when you’re having fun!


  1. Original Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies
  2. Mexican wedding cookies (a/k/a snowballs)
  3. Sugar cookies
  4. Chewy molasses cookies
  5. Jam thumbprint cookies
  6. Snickerdoodles (cinnamon cookies)
  7. Citrus butter cookies (a/k/a spritz cookies)
  8. Oatmeal raisin cookies
  9. Peanut butter cookies
  10. Peppermint brownie bit cookies
  11. Lemon zest shortbread cookies
  12. Dark chocolate cookies with espresso
  13. Rugelach