Christmas Cookie Recipes for our Annual Cooking Club Cookie Exchange

Tonight I’m sharing a recipe for the cookies I made from scratch for our annual exchange last evening. I’m also posting ‘party/cake cookie’ recipe that only takes a few minutes and still delivers on taste in a fraction of the time.

Twelve years ago when we were essentially fresh out of college, my girlfriends and I started a “Cooking Club.” We had lofty goals, the host would teach everyone how to make a dish, everyone would bring something they made to share (along with some wine!) and the recipe, we’d gather monthly. Over time, we have essentially kept the tradition in tact (although we may or may not have missed a month here and there) and one of our favorites is a cookie exchange in December. This being the first year I owned a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer I wanted to actually use it. I found this recipe from Half Baked Harvest and although it literally took me TEN times longer to make than the outlined time, the cookies turned out delicious and I was proud of my contribution this year! Recipe from HBH below! While she made them into pumpkins, I purchased mitten, snowman and snowflake cookie cutters from Target as well as some white sprinkles to add to the cinnamon sugar to make them feel more festive for Christmas.

Cinnamon Spiced Sugar Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

By halfbakedharvest

 prep time 20 minutes
 cook time 15 minutes
 total time 35 minutes
 servings 60 cookies


  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

I followed the recipe to an absolute T, I am not the best baker and wanted to make sure they turned out okay! I likely did make them a little thicker than recommended, but I prefer a chewy vs. crunchy cookie.

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until evenly combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, beating until combined and the dough forms a ball.

2. Generously flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you are using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the cookies into your desired shapes. Carefully transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet and place the sheet in the freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15-20 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining disk of dough.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes (for soft cookies) or until just lightly golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool on the baking sheet five minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

4. To make the frosting. Add the butter to medium pot. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons water, the vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of water to think the frosting as needed. If the frosting gets too thin, just add a little more sugar and if it gets too thick, add a splash of water. The frosting should be thin enough to drizzle, but think enough to hold it’s shape.

5. Frost each cooled cookie. If making pumpkins, I used melted chocolate to draw on the pumpkin “leaves”. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar. Keep cookies covered in an air tight container for up to 4 days.

Cinnamon Spiced Sugar Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting | @hbharvest

Picture via Half Baked Harvest

And for days when I’m looking to crank out a baked good but am crunched on time (i.e. all of the other days of my life!) my go-to ‘party cookie’ recipe:

  • 1 package Funfetti cake mix (I ONLY use Pillsbury!)
  • 2 eggs, brought to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 container of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting (again, this is KEY!)
    • If you don’t want the rainbow chip, then go with the vanilla Betty Crocker. I swear this is the best pre-made frosting and makes the cookie
  1. Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil in a large bowl.
  2. Make little balls with the dough and set on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 4 – 10 minutes.I take out immediately after about 7 minutes, or as soon as the room smells like cookies. I like them a tad under-baked, so I transfer them to a wire rack after about a minute so they don’t continue baking on the sheet.
  4. Once they are completely cooled, frost them up and add some sprinkles!

What are your go-to cookie recipes? Comment or email me anytime at



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