Baking up a storm: Crier staff reviews holiday cookie recipes


Anna Evilsizor

A PIECE OF CAKE Stirring the ingredients together, Alison Lee, senior, makes the quickest recipe on our list, the snickerdoodle cookies.

Alison Lee and Lauren Hoogeveen

Snickerdoodle cookies

By Alison Lee, deadline manager

Taste: 4 out of 5

Difficulty: 1 out of 5

Time: 30 minutes

The snickerdoodle cookies we made were easy and quick: just grab one of Betty Crocker’s sugar cookie mix, put in a few ingredients you can find at home and bake. We decided to coat the cookies in sugar and cinnamon before baking to add a crunchy exterior texture. We recommend adding in a little extra butter and baking it less than the recommended time to retain moisture. 

ON A ROLL Molding the snickerdoodle dough into balls, Anna Evilsizor, junior, rolls them in cinnamon sugar before baking. (Lauren Hoogeveen)

The cookies itself, Crier staff found, had layers of flavor. Each bite presented a wave of sugar, then cinnamon. The waft of cinnamon and the soft crumble of the cookie added to the experience. However, some of the staff disliked the crumbliness of the cookie, and would have preferred it to be more sturdy. Furthermore, the cookie is a basic staple, so eating it wasn’t as exciting. Therefore, around one star was deducted from the rating.

This classic cookie is perfect for a last-minute dessert for a holiday party, or if you want something extra sweet to go with your holiday cheer.

Lemon-cranberry cookies

By Lauren Hoogeveen, page editor

Taste: 3 out of 5

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Time: 45 minutes

The lemon-cranberry cookies were a great way to incorporate a holiday meal staple into a dessert. The shortbread-like dough was simple to make and required a short preparation time.These cookies would be great to make if you wanted to bake something tasty and unique, yet relatively simple. 

A STEADY HAND Chopping cranberries, Alison Lee, senior, prepares the final ingredient before baking. (Lauren Hoogeveen)

Crier staffers seemed to disagree while trying the lemon-cranberry cookies–people who like tart desserts and people who dislike them. The cookies were very similar to scones, so they were not very sweet and had a very dominant lemon flavor, in addition to the sour cranberries. Other staffers noted the outside of the cookie was very hard and the flavor was not evenly distributed. For next time, we would chop the cranberries into smaller pieces and add more confectioners’ sugar to the glaze. 

After adjusting the recipe to your desired sourness-level, these cookies would be great to impress your family and friends.

Gingerbread cookies

By Lauren Hoogeveen, page editor

Taste: 2.5 out of 5

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes

A controversial holiday classic, the gingerbread cookie recipe we used included molasses, which none of us have worked with before. After reading the recipe a dozen times and a couple worried taste tests, we added the molasses, butter and sugar mixture into the rest of our dough. Shaping our dough into little gingerbread men and sending them off to the oven, we gathered our icing to decorate.

HALF BAKED In the midst of panic, Anna Evilsizor, junior, stirs the pan of molasses after jumping straight into the recipe. (Lauren Hoogeveen)

To Crier staffers’ surprise, the smell of the gingerbread cookies had a stronger scent than the actual cookie’s taste. Crier staffers believed that the gingerbread cookies could have had more of a crunch and stiff texture rather than flexible and soft. These cookies are great for decorating and eating, but not for building. Staffers agreed that it felt as if something were missing, but the cookies still fulfilled our sweet tooth. If we were to make these again, we would add a little more spice and roll the cookie dough thinner to make them more crisp.

If you’re looking for a challenge and have plenty of time to let the gingerbread men rest before baking, then these cookies are for you.