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Here’s How To Prep All of the Cookies You’ll Need This Holiday Season :

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As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, it’s time to turn our attention to the next round of holiday celebrations. And that means it’s time to make cookies! So head to the grocery store and fill your basket with flour, sugar, and butter to make treats that you can gift to nearby neighbors and friends far and wide.

Not every holiday cookie is ideal for shipping or storing, and that’s where the planning for this Power Hour comes in. Cookies like Italian pizzelles look like beautiful snowflakes, but their delicate texture is prone to shattering in the mail, while jam-topped Linzer cookies and iced sugar cookies might not hold up to long-distance deliveries. The best cookies for shipping and sharing are sturdy sweets with either a chewy or crisp texture that will stay fresh for days. Choose festive flavors rather than intricate icings and specialty shapes so that your time in the kitchen doesn’t stretch into the evening hours.

Set aside just two hours for this Power Hour to mix and bake every cookie you’ll need to celebrate the season. You’ll finish in a cloud of flour with 10-dozen cookies ready for snacking and sending in cross-country care packages.

Holiday Cookie Prep Goals

This week’s shopping list is short because this Power Hour is all about cookies! Since there are so many dry goods on the list, be sure to shop your pantry first. Check the expiration date on baking powder and baking soda. Don’t forget to check your stash of parchment paper, storage bags or containers, and packing boxes for shipping treats to friends and family.

Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done

Before you begin, clean your counters and pull out the equipment needed to measure ingredients, mix the doughs, and cool the cookies. You’ll need a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, a few baking sheets, parchment paper, and cooling racks. Follow the order for preparing the doughs below and just scrape the mixing bowl clean with a spatula between batches — sticky and spiced doughs show up later in the plan.

Your Cookie Baking and Gifting Game Plan

The cookies in this plan are ideal for storing and sharing during the next few festive weeks. The treats are baked and ready to serve or ship at a moment’s notice. Store cookies in airtight containers at room temperature, or stash in freezer zip-top bags to prolong their freshness. Whether shipping or storing the cookies, separate the powdered sugar-dipped Holiday Snowballs and Mint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from others to contain the sweet dust. While these cookies are sturdy, cushion the packaging with festive packing paper to guarantee a safe arrival.

Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot. 

Patty Catalano


Patty is a freelance recipe developer who worked as Alton Brown’s Research Coordinator & Podcast Producer and in the Oxmoor House test kitchen. She loves maple syrup, coffee and board games. Patty lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

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