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Easy Christmas Cookies: 1 Dough, 3 Recipes (+ Secret Ingredient)

One Christmas Drop Cookie Dough, Three Ways

yield: 40 SERVINGS

Ingredients

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3.4 oz box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For Pecan Toffee Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

For Peppermint Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 3 candy canes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For Thumbprint Cookies:

  • any flavor fruit jam (I used strawberry and orange)
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)

Directions

1

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed to combine butter and sugar until fluffy, about one minute. Add in the vanilla and both eggs, one at a time, until mixed in.

2

Add pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate the flour and beat on medium until dough forms, about a couple of minutes.

3

Divide dough into thirds and chill for an hour or two. This is optional but recommended so they don't spread as thin.

4

For the Pecan Toffee: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix in toffee bits and pecans to the dough. Drop tablespoon-sized cookies onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

5

For Thumbprint cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll tablespoon-sized balls cookies onto a baking sheet. Press indentation into each cookie using your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto the cookies. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar.

6

For Peppermint Chocolate Drizzle: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of dough on the baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in a glass dish for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Drizzle over the top of each cookie using a spoon. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top. Move cookies to a cooling rack.

7

Once cooled, cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for about 3 days, or 5-7 days in the fridge. Dough makes about 40 cookies.

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Easy Christmas cookies: 1 Dough, 3 Recipes

Need a simple way to make Christmas cookies?

Consider making one type of cookie dough, dividing it, and then adding a few different types of ingredients! This idea is actually pretty genius because you’re essentially making the dough once and then using it a few different ways to bake delicious homemade cookies!

cookie dough christmas cookies recipe – ingredients on a counter

Holiday baking made easy!

I love anything that makes spending time in the kitchen easier, so this is a great idea to streamline your holiday baking, all while also scoring multiple flavors of Christmas cookies!

Whether you’re baking cookies for your family or as gifts, anyone will LOVE to bite into a soft, delicious cookie.

cookie dough christmas cookies recipe – mixing ingredients together

Start with a YUMMY cookie dough!

This is a nice all-purpose dough that you can turn into a wide variety of cookie variations by simply adding different chopped candies, baking chips, nuts, etc. The secret to this dough is a package of instant vanilla pudding. It creates such a soft, yet still chewy texture you’ll love. Even if you just bake plain vanilla cookies, with no add-ins, they are DELICIOUS – and my new favorite cookie!

The possibilities are endless, and today I’m sharing just three of the many different cookies you should consider making with a batch of this versatile dough. 

cookie dough christmas cookies recipe – toffee pecan cookies on a baking sheet

Pecan Toffee Cookies

For this variety, I mixed in some milk chocolate toffee bits and chopped pecan pieces to the dough before baking. I’m sure a chopped up Heath candy bar would work great, too!


cookie dough christmas cookies recipe – thumbprint jam cookies on a tray prior to cooking

Thumbprint Jam Cookies

Use your favorite jam to bake these fun cookies. Make a ball with the dough, press with your thumb or the bottom of a measuring spoon, and fill with a 1/2 teaspoon of jam before baking. I finished them with a little bit of a powdered sugar sprinkle after they had cooled. SO YUM!


cookie dough christmas cookies recipe – peppermint chocolate drizzle cookies on a cookie sheet

Peppermint Chocolate Drizzle

I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzled that over the top of these cookies! Then I just topped with crush candy canes! So good, and these were my kids’ favorites!  


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One Christmas Drop Cookie Dough, Three Ways

yield: 40 SERVINGS

Make this soft vanilla pudding dough, and use it as a basis for many different cookies! Here are three yummy ways I used it.

Ingredients

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3.4 oz box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For Pecan Toffee Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

For Peppermint Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 3 candy canes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For Thumbprint Cookies:

  • any flavor fruit jam (I used strawberry and orange)
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)

Directions

1

In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed to combine butter and sugar until fluffy, about one minute. Add in the vanilla and both eggs, one at a time, until mixed in.

2

Add pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate the flour and beat on medium until dough forms, about a couple of minutes.

3

Divide dough into thirds and chill for an hour or two. This is optional but recommended so they don't spread as thin.

4

For the Pecan Toffee: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix in toffee bits and pecans to the dough. Drop tablespoon-sized cookies onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

5

For Thumbprint cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll tablespoon-sized balls cookies onto a baking sheet. Press indentation into each cookie using your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto the cookies. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar.

6

For Peppermint Chocolate Drizzle: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of dough on the baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in a glass dish for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Drizzle over the top of each cookie using a spoon. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top. Move cookies to a cooling rack.

7

Once cooled, cookies can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for about 3 days, or 5-7 days in the fridge. Dough makes about 40 cookies.

Additional Notes

Recipe adapted from CookieDoughandOvenMitt.com

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

cookie dough christmas cookies recipe – cookies arranged on a serving tray

My family flipped for these cookies!

Even my husband, who doesn’t get really excited over a Christmas cookie, loved this dough. These would be so much fun for a family baking day at home with Hallmark movies and hot cocoa! I’m sure this recipe would double and triple well if you wanted to make more varieties, as well!

Chrismas Cookies 3 Ways


Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.


Join The Discussion

Comments 49

  1. Sarah

    These looks great! Definitely can’t wait to try them out. Thank you for posting! 🎄❤️

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Sarah! Enjoy these yummy cookies!

  2. Susan

    Great recipe(s)! Thanks for sharing this.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Enjoy!

    • Tina

      Thanks!

    • Beth

      I use this recipe every year too! It’s awesome 😍

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Yay – so fun!

  3. KP

    Great idea! Thank you!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks! Enjoy <3

  4. celticmommie

    What would be the cooking temp and time if you were just making regular sugar/vanilla cookies?

  5. Colorado Amy

    Thank you, Lina! I’m going to try these. I love the variations.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay! Thanks Amy!

  6. Lindsay

    My older sister told me this secret about 20 years ago. I won’t make cookies without it.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks Lindsay!

  7. hellfiregainz

    I started adding instant pudding to all my cookies when I was 12. That was 21 years ago. Nostalgic memory.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Its so yummy!

  8. Cassie

    Huh, vanilla pudding mix. Now I have to try these.

  9. alyssa

    My secret ingredient is Lorann Princess Cake and Cookie Emulsion instead of regular Vanilla [$5.50 @ Hobby Lobby/Michael’s].

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh interesting! Will check that out!

  10. babymair

    Thx Lina, as always you have such easy recipes…I cant wait to try this secret. Plus it will be nice to have one versital dough….Keep up the good work and God bless.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay thanks so much!!

  11. Yazzay

    Loving this post. Thanks to all!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay!!! Thanks so much ❤️

  12. LRJ

    Does this recipe work well with cookie cutters? 🎄

  13. Debbie

    As soon as possible saw this, I knew it was a Lina post! Love your posts and your ideas! Affordable, easy and creative 😘🎅🏼thanks so much for all you do!!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ah thanks Debbie that made my day ❤️

  14. Janet

    If you add brown sugar they are more delicious 😋

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great idea!

  15. LEMADU

    Vanilla pudding added to cake mixes makes a wonderful cake. I make a great rum cake every year with it.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yum! That sounds delish 😋

    • Jessie

      Recipe? For rum cake

  16. Sam

    Is the dough itself really sweet? I’ve never made these but I’m wanting to.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      ya it’s good! I decreased the sugar a little in my version – its yum, but use your judgement 🙂

  17. Ann

    Going to try all 3 of these this week! Thanks!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Perfect! Enjoy Ann!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing!

  18. Mandi T

    Mine turned out too flat 🙁

  19. Ranjana

    I tried thumbprint cookies. Turned out so GOOD. Though I am not good at baking, there is something special about home-baked cookies so I take chance every now and then. My family and I were pleasantly surprised. Shared some with Sunday School group. I didn’t make any substitutions, followed the recipe exactly. For next time, I will reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup.

  20. Shannon

    Tried this recipe tonight and my cookies turned out perfect and were delish! Thank you for sharing the vanilla pudding secret.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay – so happy! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Suz OH

    Made these Christmas Eve. Delicious! Loved making one dough with different cookies in the end. Made some with dried sweetened cranberries and walnuts. Definitely a keeper recipe! Thanks!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That sounds yum! So glad it worked out! Thanks so much for reporting back.

  22. Tiffany

    Just made the toffee & pecan cookies… so very yummy! Thank you!! Making the peppermint & thumbprint cookies next!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh good! Enjoy 😉

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