Three holiday dessert recipes perfect to leave out for Santa

As the temperatures fall and the lights get hung, there are few things that people anticipate more than the warm, soft baked goods of the holiday season. As everyone knows, this can be one of the most overwhelming times of the year. Between last minute shopping and decorating the Christmas tree, the holiday festivities consume our everyday. 

Everybody knows, there is no Christmas without cookies; What else would you leave out for Santa the night of Christmas Eve? Of course, pies are a very popular dessert to see at these holiday parties, beside your traditional meal, but cookies are a staple. And for many of these holiday treats, they’re merely a quick snack to have leading up to Christmas Day.  

Below is a list of some of the most desirable and well-known cookie recipes that East’s journalism staff deemed a must try this season.  

Peanut Butter Blossoms

A classic almost anyone would recognize for its resemblance to Reese’s. The soft-tenderness of the peanut butter cookie, combined with the Hershey chocolate kiss is the ideal cookie to have during the holidays. It combines two of many people’s favorite ingredients – peanut butter and chocolate – to replicate those delicious candies you see during the Halloween season. The Peanut Butter Blossoms are very popular among my family during the holidays and likely the most anticipated cookie out of the bunch. For any peanut butter lover, this cookie is for you and it’s  definitely worth a try this season. 

Ingredients from Simply Recipes

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (129 g) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups (187 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 24 chocolate kiss candies, unwrapped


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare two baking sheets:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately:
  4. Mix together the butter, peanut butter, and both sugars in a bowl with a wooden spoon (or you can use an electric or stand mixer) until smooth and combined; add in the egg and mix until smooth.
    In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Make the cookie dough:
  6. Slowly, in a couple of additions, add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and combine to form the cookie dough.
  7. Shape the cookie:
  8. Add a few tablespoons of sugar to a small bowl. Scoop into balls with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough. Roll between your hands to form a ball, and then coat it with sugar.
    Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet a couple of inches apart.
  9. Bake the cookies:
  10. Bake the cookies on the middle rack for about 12 minutes, until slightly spread out, domed on the top, and golden on the bottom. Immediately press a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.
  11. Cool and store:
  12. Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely. These cookies will keep for a few days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Ingredients from LivForCake

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (approx. 3 mins).
  4. Add egg and mix until fully combined. Add vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  6. Add in crushed candy canes and chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated.
  7. Using a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbsp), scoop cookies onto baking sheets. With floured hands, roll each one into a ball.
  8. Chill dough balls for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
  9. Bake for 10-12 mins until cookies are golden brown on the edges. Cool completely on baking sheets.

Pretzel M&M Hugs

Ingredients from Cooking Classy

  • Square pretzels (do NOT use butter snaps)
  • Hershey’s Hugs chocolates (1 full 12 oz package), unwrapped
  • Milk Chocolate M&M’s


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Align pretzels on a cookie sheet in a single layer then top each pretzel with one Hershey’s Hug chocolate.
  2. Bake in a preheated oven for 4 – 5 minutes, until the chocolate is shiny and soft (but NOT melting, the chocolates should still hold their shape).
  3. Remove from the oven and carefully place one M&M in the center of each soft Hug and press down on M&M to spread the chocolate. 
  4. Place in the freezer or refrigerator and allow to rest until chocolate has set, about 5 – 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Grace Praxmarer is a staff editor for Oswego East’s online news magazine the Howl

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