Spache the Spatula

11 Cookie (and bar!) Recipes For Your Holiday Cookie Swaps

I’ve got cookies on my mind!

11 Holiday Cookie Recipes |

Why? Well, a) it’s not like it’s unusual, but b) I just went to my mom’s annual, holiday cookie exchange, yesterday.
(Oh, by the way, as of yesterday, I’m in Florida for the holidays!)

So, in the spirit of cookie swaps and holiday treats, I decided to do a round-up of my favorite cookie recipes (okay, and a few bar recipes) from my blog! All you have to do is click on the photo and it will take you to the recipe page!

Snickerdoodles |


What is a holiday cookie list without Snickerdoodles? This was one of the first recipes on my blog, and it’s a true classic. For good reason, too! These are crisp at the edges with soft, fluffy middles. I actually made these for my mother’s cookie swap last year, but for a fun twist, I added a pinch of cayenne to the cinnamon to give the cookies an unexpected kick!

Brown Sugar Poppyseed Sandwich Cookies |

Brown Sugar Poppyseed Sandwich Cookies

You can bet that you’ll be the only one with these cookies at your holiday gathering! These unique cookies feature rich dark chocolate sandwiched between two brown sugar shortbread cookies studded with poppy seeds. Whole wheat pastry flour replaces regular all-purpose in this recipe, giving the cookies an almost nutty flavor.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies |

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Trust me when I say that I am not overselling you with the name of these cookies; they really are The. Best. chocolate chip cookies, like, ever. Giant chunks of chocolate melt into velvety ribbons throughout the dough, and a sprinkling of sea salt on top brings out the best of all of the flavors. If you want to be known as The Master of Chocolate Chip Cookies, share these with your friends 😉

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies |

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies

If you really want to surprise people, bring these. These golden-brown bars look completely unassuming, but they are hiding a terribly yummy secret—brown butter. Upon first bite of these Brown Butter Toffee Blondies, you’ll melt to the floor in pure deliciousness. You think I’m being dramatic, but the first time I made them I had to sit down after trying them. They are that good. They are chewy, moist, and full of that distinctive brown butter nuttiness.

Anzac Biscuits |

Anzac Biscuits

These are my not-so-traditional version of the New Zealand/Australian Anzac Biscuits. These crunchy, crumbly, little cookies have an almost caramelized nature about them. I like baking them teaspoon-sized so that I can feel less guilty about eating them by the handful! They would look totally adorable packaged by the dozen in a clear cellophane bag and tied with a big colorful ribbon.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread Fudge Bars |

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread Fudge Bars

Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of butter in this post? Let’s lighten it up a bit with these Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread Fudge Bars. These don’t taste light, though. Actually, these brownie-like banana bars may be my favorite thing I have ever created. They have such a unique and addictive nature about them—fudgy, chewy, chocolate-peanut buttery! These won’t keep quite as long as other cookies or brownies, simply from the bananas in them, but trust me, they won’t need to; they disappear quickly.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies |

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Alright, we’re back to the rich stuff. These Chocolate Turtle Cookies are an intriguing twist on a turtle; the caramel is replaced with cajeta (caramel made from goat’s milk as opposed to cow’s). The flavor of cajeta is deeper and nuttier than regular caramel, and I find that it pairs especially well with the pecans in this recipe. Of course, if you don’t have time, or don’t want to make it yourself, a store-bought caramel or dulce de leche would also be tasty!

Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread |

Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread

Rosemary is arguably the most holiday-y (there’s that word again) herb, but have you ever tried it in a cookie? The earthy freshness of the rosemary pairs beautifully with the nutty pine nuts in these Pine Nut Rosemary Shortbread Cookies. And the dough lends itself well to cookie cutters, so you can cut out cute little gingerbread men, like me, or something equally festive 🙂

Cinnamon Coconut Cookies | by Spache the Spatula (

Cinnamon Coconut Cookies

Yes, I just posted these cookies last week, but they are so darn perfect for large batch baking! They come together easily, and the flavor and texture payoff is huge! I won’t wax endlessly about them since I nearly just presented you with them, and I’m sure you get the picture.

Pistachio-Orange Shortbread Cookies |

Pistachio-Orange Shortbread Cookies

These Pistachio-Orange Shortbread Cookies have the familiar buttery taste of most shortbread, but they aren’t overly sweet. Orange zest brightens them up, and pistachios give and awesome crunch. The turbinado sugar around the edges lends great texture and best of all? These babies are slice and bake 🙂

Cinnamon Hazelnut Brownies |

Cinnamon Hazelnut Brownies

I cannot, in good conscience, end this post without urging you to make these Cinnamon Hazelnut Brownies. They are not cookies, no; but, they are the best brownies you will ever try. It’s not just me who thinks that, either! They are ridiculously fudgy with a spice of cinnamon and a mouthful of crunch from the hazelnuts. If you make these, and they aren’t the best brownies that you have ever tried, I want to hear about it!

Alright, that’s it—11 awesomely delicious recipes for bars and cookies to aid you in filling out those holiday cookie plates! But, fear not, if these don’t exactly tickle your fancy, I’ll be sharing more (new!) cookie recipes, next week!

Do you participate in a holiday cookie swap? What’s your favorite cookie to make?



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