Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

I was just putting together a list of things I want to do while I’m visiting my family in Florida for the holidays. I’m going to be down there for a full two weeks and my list of things to do has gotten pretty ambitious. But one thing that is non-negotiable: baking.

My mom is a great baker and I love spending time with her in the kitchen. Two of our tried and true recipes are chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies. The chocolate chip recipe is basically the Tollhouse recipe with one minor adjustment and the sugar cookie recipe is from her best friend’s grandmother. (It’s the best ever.)

Now this is kind of a repost… I hope you don’t hate me! I’ve shared both of the recipes before but I wanted to bring them back to life for the holidays. Both are great things to bake. Whip some up for gifts, something to do in the afternoon, your contribution to holiday dinner. I personally baked three batches of chocolate chip cookies to go along with my end-of-the-year thank yous. (I got a kick out of dropping a tin off at the vet and saying, “These are from Ham and Ted!”)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco*
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips**
* Instead of butter. They taste so much better without butter and the cookies keep a better shape.
** We go light on chocolate chips. I think they taste amazing as plain cookies without chips!
1. Preheat oven to 375° or 350° for a convection oven (our preference).
2. Combine and stir dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients (butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract) until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well.
4. Gradually mix in flour mixture. (Meesh’s note: Use the back of a big spoon to mix the dough. It’s an arm workout!) Then stir in chocolate chips!
5. Pinch tablespoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. (Check in after 8 minutes and turn the sheet if it needs a minute or two more.) Let cool for a couple of minutes (they’ll bake up a bit more) and then transfer to wire trays to cool completely.

Sugar Cookies Recipe



4 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/3 cup of Crisco
3 teaspoons of vanilla
2 eggs
8 teaspoons of milk


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Blend sugar, Crisco, vanilla, and eggs
4. Add flour mix to sugar mix
5. Add milk, one teaspoon at a time
6. Mix until blended. Divide into two parts, wrap each in wax paper. Chill for one hour.
7. Roll out, cut out, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool, ice, decorate.

My notes:
– My mom is a purist and glazes her cookies. It’s a quick mix of butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk.
– The dough is unbelievably tough to mix well, but worth it. Just consider it your afternoon workout.
– When rolling out, put a sheet of wax paper (+ flour!) between the rolling pin and your dough. Work in batches!

Enjoy!! Don’t forget to Snap or Tweet me pictures of the final products!

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Amy Schwartz

Carly, your mom’s chocolate chip recipe is my favorite! (Also, your mom may be my style icon). The cookies are always soft and the Crisco makes a huge difference. I can’t wait to try the sugar cookie recipe now! Thanks for resharing these and happy holidays!


Thanks for sharing these again! I want to do some baking this weekend and I will be trying out these sugar cookies for sure (need to get new cut outs too)!

Books in the Air

Crisco is the way to go for cookies!!! Really makes a difference. Who knew? Enjoy your holiday break!!! Hope you have time to read some good books in front of a fireplace!




I’ve had the Tollhouse recipe memorized since I was probably 12 years old. Living in Chicago now and having a tiny apartment, I didn’t have a stand mixer until my mom generously got me a (beautiful royal blue!) Kitchenaid mixer for my birthday. Now my roommates hate me that I make cookies every week! I use the butter flavored Crisco to get that nice golden brown color for the cookie. I love being the girl who makes the best cookies! Such a high honor in my book 🙂

Question about the sugar cookies.. do you mix by hand or with a mixer?

Enjoy the warm in FL! Currently struggling through a polar vortex in Chicago (-20 degrees out right now eek..)



I love that you use shortening in your chocolate chip cookies. Butter/margarine make them spread out, which is great if you’re making ice cream sandwiches or want a crunchy cookie, but shortening makes them puffy and keeps them chewy for longer. (Protip: Wrap a few cookies in papertowel and microwave them for about 12 seconds to make them warm and fresh out of the oven chewy!)
Do you find that your sugar cookies puff too much if you don’t chill the shapes after you cut them?


I chill the dough before rolling and work in small batches, popping the tray into the oven right away. But if I’m cutting shapes and not going into the oven right away, I’ll pop them back in the fridge to chill a little!


One of the biggest difference makers for me is chilling the dough — even 30 minutes makes a HUGE difference in terms of rolling/cutting. Seems like an extra step but it’s so worth it in my opinion! If the dough is sticky or you’re having a hard time working with it, throw it in the fridge for a bit. 🙂
I’ve never heard of subbing in Crisco for butter… sounds like I have to try that for myself 😉

Jan Wollet

Mixing up a batch of these sugar cookies today for my daughter and neighbor friends to decorate. I wish you a very special holiday. You and your blog always make my morning to read.