12 Traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes That Are Better Homemade Than Store-Bought

12 Traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes That Are Better Homemade Than Store-Bought

Christmas cookies are 100% the best part of the holidays. With all of these recipes, there is bound to be at least one to please a crowd. Why not make all 12 and see.

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Baking is one of my all-time favorite holiday activities. I especially love making these recipes. Every year my family makes a point to come together and bake this list of Christmas cookie recipes because it is so much fun and totally worth the work put in. My favorites are gingersnaps (#1), but every cookie on this list is worth making. Buy some fun sprinkles and festive aprons put on a Christmas movie and have yourself a super cozy and festive baking session. The best part about this is reaping the rewards after, just think about how many warm cookies there will be!

1. Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps are literally the best cookie of all time.

If you've never made a homemade gingersnap you need to make one right now!! These are my favorite cookie of all time, they cant be a lot of work, but it's totally worth it.

2. Sugar Cookies

Make these as intricate or as plain as you want.

These are the most classic Christmas cookies. It's basically mandatory to bake sugar cookies for Christmas and to make them in fun holiday shapes.

3. Vanilla Biscotti

Cookies can be for breakfast too.

Vanilla Bean Biscotti is also a staple for Christmas at my house. These pair super good with coffee as well, so cookies for breakfast!

4. Pizelles

Another classic cookie in my house around Christmas.

This Christmas cookie recipe is simple, but it's definitely a family favorite. The lighter flavor of a Pizelle makes is perfect after a big Christmas dinner.

5. Oatmeal Rasin

The most underrated cookie.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are by far the coziest cookie for a cold winter day. Serve these with some cinnamon tea and you're bound to have a happy family.

6. Raspberry Thumb Print Cookies

This Christmas cookie recipe is one you definitely need on your table. The raspberries in these Raspberry Jam Thumbprint cookies basically makes them healthy.

7. Gingerbread

I could probably eat this whole plate right now.

Gingerbread cookies are definitely one of the more complicated cookies you can make, but its 100% worth your time. Plus you can decorate them adorably.

8. Chocolate Chip Biscotti

I'll take a dozen of these.

Unsure which of these two biscotti recipes I like more. These Chocolate Chip biscotti are bomb, plus look how cute they are wrapped up as gifts.

9. Shortbread

Easy, but delicious.

Shortbread cookies are one of the less exciting recipes, but you can totally spice them up. Dip them in chocolate and press them in sprinkles, nuts or candy cane for a fun twist.

10. Snickerdoodles

Cinnamon is the most important holiday spice imo.

Who doesn't love Snickerdoodles? Rolling them in the cinnamon sugar can be a project, but filling a bag with the topping and dropping in some dough balls makes it much easier.

11. Kiss Cookies

A classic cookie gone festive.

My family always seems to have a million of these Candy Cane kisses lying around. This Candy Cane Kiss Christmas cookie recipe is exactly what my family needs to eat all of them.

12. Brownie Cookies

Can't decide between a brownie or a cookie? Have both!

These cookies are unreal, they are so chocolatey and have such a good texture. If you're looking for a new cookie to mix up your regular bunch, this is the one for you.

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21 Dominican Republic Dishes and Drinks For Your Foodie Bucket List

While America has a lot of options when it comes to food, there are some cuisines that everyone needs to try, and is Dominican Republic one of them? You Bet!
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I may like cheeseburgers and pizza as much as the next guy but growing up in a Dominican household, I’ve had my fair share of delicious delicacies from my mother and father’s homeland. Here’s a list of all the best Dominican cuisine, whether you want to spice up your palette, find foods for a future visit, or just take a few steps down memory lane. Also, some of these “Dominican” dishes have originated from elsewhere (African, native Taíno, and Spanish influences) but have become to popular and common there that most considered them to be Dominican. So by including them in this list, I’m not trying to give all the credit to Dominican Republic but acknowledge the most popular dishes you would find there.

1. Pastelitos

Much like a small version of an Empanada, this appetizer is a small stuffed pastry. The stuffing possibilities are endless, however the most popular ones are filled with either meat or cheese. If you’re filling adventurous then you could try both, but my personal favorite is cheese for sure. But if you’re not one for meat, cheese, or even vegetables, then you could fry up the dough on their own like my sister does and enjoy.

2. Lorico


My all time favorite meal would be a cross between my dad’s special costillas (ribs) and lorico. This dish may sound simple, but it’s packed with juicy and rich flavor. Lorico is a mixture of rice and chicken (or meat), where the rice is added to the chicken/sauce to create a beautifully delicious taste. A childhood love of mine, lorico is the perfect introduction to the world of Dominican recipes.

3. Chimichurri (Often shortened to Chimi)

One of the street truck foods in Dominican Republic is the Chimichurri, a flavorful hamburger with cabbage, tomatoes and a "secret" special sauce that sometimes varies between vendors. Usually paired with tostónes, this fast food is one dish that you have to take a bite out of, whether it’s by food-truck or grabbing an apron and making it yourself.

4. Chivo


I know that meat is not for everyone, but for those carnivores out there, I’d definitely recommend Chivo (or in other words, goat). This Dominican dish is often cooked guisado (stewed) and is definitely a recipe any meat lover would enjoy. Tender and packed to the brim with flavors, it’s no wonder that this one of Dominican Republic’s signature stews.

5. Moro de Guandules


Translated as rice with beans, Moro is a common Dominican dish for an everyday dinner meal. Moro is a mixture of rice and beans, with the option to include either white, black, faba, or butter beans. The most common one, at least in my household, was for sure the red beans and boy, this recipe did not disappoint.

6. Refreso Rojo


Literally translated as Red Soda, this drink along with merengue (tropical cream) is a beverage must have. Also known as Country Club Frambuesa (Raspberry) soda, this drink may not be something to cook up in the kitchen, it’s definitely the side drink of choice for any Dominican drink chosen. Whether you’re chowing down a meal or sitting on the curb of the corner store, Refresco Rojo is something to cherish.

7. Mangu/Salami


Mangu and Salami is not only delicious, but it’s a staple breakfast in Dominican Republic. One of the more recognizable dishes, Mangu are boiled and mashed plantains. Mangu is (often) topped with red onion and paired with fresh “Dominican” salami. This meal is so mouthwatering that it might as well be DR’s official breakfast, I’d definitely recommend grabbing some mangu and salami if I were you. (Mangu, eggs/fried cheese, and salami are known as “El tres gorpes” or the three hits)

8. Dulce de Leche


Literally translated to “sweet of milk”, the name practically defines itself. Dulce de leche is a sweetened milk similar to the consistency and taste of caramel. The recipe may be basic, but it’s simply delicious and a dessert as common as flan or tres leche. Additionally, like caramel, Dulcer has many different uses such as a spread, and as a flavor for cakes, cookies, and ice cream. There is even a classic dessert named habichuelas with dulce and a dulce de leche candy manufactured in DR.

9. Batida De Lechoza (Papaya Milkshake)


Maybe due to the easy growth of lechoza (papaya), the fruit itself is very popular in Dominican Republic. Despite being able to eat it cut, peeled, or whole, the most common way to down the fruit is in a shake. Packed with scrumptious flavor with or without milk, this milkshake is one to put on the must-try list--or the must-make list.

10. Tostónes


One of the most common side dishes, Tostónes is to DR as fries are to America, it wouldn’t be a complete meal without them. These twice fried and salted green plantains are pleasantly great. Whether seeing them on vendor stands or dinner tables, tostónes are a snack (or meal) that no-one would ever mind cooking--or eating!

11. Bizcocho Dominicano

Translated as “Dominican cake”, this dessert known to be a light and fluffy yellow cake with meringue frosting and more often than not, pineapple filling. However, some experiment with different types of fillings, pineapple is the peak of Dominican cuisine. Silky smooth with a resistant texture, Dominican cake is known for being hard to make so make sure to check out recipes before trying it out for yourself.

12. Sancocho


Dominicans sure love their stews, and sancocho (sometimes considered a soup) is nevertheless no exception. Considered one of the national dishes of DR, the stew is filled with large pieces of meat (often chicken), tubers, and vegetables (commonly corn). Whether you're sick in bed or ready for a ample meal, sancocho is a meal for you.

13. Pescado Frito


Translated literally as “fried fish”, this meal is a great choice for seafood lovers out there. Made by dipping flour covered fish in oil and frying them, the fish is served hot and fresh. Usually topped with lemon to squeeze over the meal, this could be a hearty appetizer or a pleasant meal. This is a food to put on your must-eat at least once list.

14. Dulceria Rodriguez Candies


Despite already talking about dulce de leche, the Dulceria Rodriguez company is definitely one part of Dominican childhood that no list would be complete without. Dulceria Rodriguez includes a lot of candy types including (but not limited to): pallitos de coco (coconut sticks), dulce de mani (sweet peanuts), concon de milk, relleno de cajuil (sweet cashews), dulce de leche, etc. Unlike Martin cookies, Dulceria Rodriguez sweets are a childhood staple no one should live without.

15. Chicharrones

While chicharrones is usually made of pork rinds, DR’s chicken chicharrons are amazing pieces of crisp and golden meat. Usually paired with tostónes, this meal is crunchy yet juicy. No matter which kind of meat you choose, making chicharrones is a definite good idea for dinner.

16. Brugal

Despite never having this drink personally, This brand of rum produced in DR (Dominican Republic) is a staple of Dominican alcoholic beverages. In addition, not putting it on the list would not only offend their greatest fan a.k.a my dad but be one of the greatest disgrace. This rum, along with Barceló and Bermúdez known as the the three B’s, is a delicious rum that rivals DR’s favorite beer Presidente and is made with sugar cane. It’s also an ingredient in another popular drink called Mama Juana.

17. Mofongo


Despite originating from Puerto Rico, Dominican’s have made this food their own with their love--or their stomachs. Basically a tight ball of mashed green plantains, the dinner is usually served with some sort of soup. Delectable and seasoned to perfection, this recipe is a definite treat for any plantain fan.

18. La Bandera

Translated literally as “The Flag”, this meal is as Dominican as you can get. The common man’s meal like America’s burgers and fries, is La Bandera. This simple yet incredible dish consisting of rice, beans, and meat (sometimes there is an inclusion of salad). If you’ve never experienced this dish, then you might as when turn in your Dominican card right here--or grab a plate.

Cover Image Credit: @foodieandtravelerdr on Instagram

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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