The Whisk Team’s Most Celebrated Holiday Cookie Recipes
We’re back with another recipe roundup, this time bringing you the sweet treats our team loves to snack on throughout the holiday season. Enjoy these recipes—and our personal anecdotes—and be sure to add them to your Recipe Box to have on hand for easy access!
Growing up in New York, Italian bakeries that offered a dozen to two dozen varieties of brightly colored, dipped, and festively decorated cookie options were ubiquitous. Rainbow cookies were my absolute favorite and I used to beg my parents to take me to the bakery—or “bake-o-wee” as I called it when I was little—so that I could pick out a few from the case and slowly savor my reward until I’d convinced them that it was time for another trip. Rainbow cookies are hard to come by in California, the state that I’ve called home for nearly the last 10 years, and it felt fortuitous when Bon Appetit published this recipe shortly after I moved here. These cookies are a labor of love, and one of the rare instances when I bake with food coloring, but one bite of these multi-colored treasures and I’m instantly transported back to childhood. I love sharing this taste of home—and my youth—with my West Coast friends and family.
– Rachel, Marketing, San Francisco
This is our absolute favorite homemade sweet, which is in fact pretty healthy. This melt-in-your-mouth, moist cookie pie is the definition of comfort food, as it warms your soul bite by bite. Once you make it once, you’ll find yourself craving it quite often, so much so that I hide it so we don’t eat the entire batch at once! Guaranteed, everybody that tries this pie asks for the recipe. See for yourself!
– Milica, Data, Serbia
Tahini is one of my all-time favorite ingredients. It’s healthy, comforting, and for me it symbolizes home and my growing up in Israel. My husband will be happy to tell you that I add Tahini to almost everything – salads, rice and other grains, lentils, yogurt, sometimes even Salmon… It’s a source of healthy fats and loads of vitamins and minerals, but, let’s face it – I add it because it tastes so good! Mixing Tahini with sugar/honey makes for one of my ultimate favorite sweet treats, Halva. These Tahini cookies have a similar taste but an extra crunch and melti-ness that is just perfect, not to mention that this recipe is super easy to whip up and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Personally, I shape the cookies more like a ball and I don’t sprinkle sesame seeds on top, but that’s up to you. Tahini cookies for me are a perfect combination between a healthy, relatively guilt-free snack and creates a perfectly sweet moment when you eat along with your coffee.
– Lotem, Product Management, Tel Aviv
Confession: I never ever get to the stage of icing these cookies because I can’t resist the spiced, buttery yumminess for long enough to make it happen. My family first made these cookies with my cousins when I was a kid and we ate them while gorging on Food Network holiday programming. Giant snow globes made purely of sugar anyone? They’ve been a staple ever since. I will warn you that it is a serious work to pop the cardamom pods and grind the seeds but the incredibly fragrant spice is COMPLETELY worth it.
– Aly, Marketing, San Francisco
The big fat coconut chips (instead of the shredded flakes) are really what makes these coconut macaroons amazing. They’re gluten-free, the right mix of chewy and crunchy, and can be made festive with chocolate, or cinnamon, or really, anything. It’s a great base recipe that looks much more fancy than the work it takes to make (and a short shopping list)!
– Dana, Product Management, Los Angeles
Warm spices of cinnamon and ginger immediately make me think of the holidays, so I always look forward to baking (and devouring) gingerbread cookies. When I’m at home in Maryland, I will usually make the dough beforehand and gather at my friend’s house later on while someone else brings the egg nog. We roll out the dough together and love cutting out odd shapes (like ninjas and dinosaurs) and creating stories for these gingerbread characters (enhanced by the icing facial expressions and sprinkles to add some color). I just use a simple royal icing recipe (sans the orange liqueur) to go with these, but I love how the cookies are more chewy and a little softer than the traditional gingerbread cookie. Happy holidays everyone!
– Liz, Consumer Insights, San Francisco
This cookie is made from my all time favorite combination of ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter. It doesn’t get any better than this. Be sure not to bake them too long as they are extra yummy when they are still soft and chewy. I can easily eat 10 of these in a sitting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
– Danny, Product Enablement, Florida
If you love a good cookie and you love New York, chances are, the name Levain Bakery will ring a bell. I spent my early 20s in New York schlepping spreadsheets like any good, young investment banker would. After soul-sucking days and nights, one bite of that crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside warm Levain Bakery cookie was a little (but actually HUGE!) joy that kept me sane and reminded me that life was actually pretty good. Now, living in San Francisco, I can’t hop on the 1 train and find myself at Levain, but this copycat recipe comes pretty darn close! (P.S. I normally like to alter recipes by cutting the fat, lowering the amount of sugar, etc.–basically, whatever I can do to make it “healthy-ish”. But trust me, you’ll want to follow this recipe to the T. The joy is worth it!)
– Lily, Chief of Staff, San Francisco
– Marc, Design, UK
Another Whisk team member, Dana, first introduced these to me a few years ago when we worked together at a previous company. They remind me of the Rice Krispie treats I grew up eating as a kid, but better, because the butter is browned and gives these bars a slightly nutty flavor as a result.
– Ethan, Product Management, Los Angeles
Go ahead and use Whisk to organize these delicious recipes into a collection to keep for holiday celebrations to come, and if you decide to bake any of these cookies, go ahead and post them on social media with the hashtag #WhiskChef so we can repost!
Whisking you Happy Holidays!
The Whisk Team