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The Perfect Cookies to Take to Thanksgiving Dinner with You

Updated on November 12, 2013
The Perfect Cookies to Take to Thanksgiving Dinner with You
The Perfect Cookies to Take to Thanksgiving Dinner with You | Source

So the big question when it comes to Thanksgiving is usually, so what do I bring? If you’re lucky enough to have your family coming to your house for the festivities, you’ll be the one dolling out dish requests for your big meal.

But so many more of us are traveling for the holidays and are the ones bearing gifts of food to share with our friends and families. This year, it’s my turn to bring the cornbread dressing and Chex Mix. (I’ll be sharing these recipes with you as well.)

But first, I wanted to share some delightful, sweet but mostly savory, cookie recipes that are sure to delight and amaze your family and complement any meal that is prepared.

Thanksgiving dinner asks a little more of us. This is a holiday that represents our thankfulness for all that we have been given, but is shared over good food and good company.

The dinner and various dishes seem to be the focus of every household for those few hours family gathers together are shares their time together. Let’s make it that much better, and make you the star of the show, with some simple cookie recipes.

Make sure you bring the recipes because you will surely be asked for them.

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
Rosemary Shortbread Cookies | Source

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Makes about 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Prepare several cookie sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying them generously with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together your sugar and butter until smooth, creamy and completely mixed. You may want to use a hand mixer for this.
  3. Now slowly, one half cup at a time, mix in your flour to your butter and sugar. You will be creating a stiff dough for your cookies.
  4. Finally, sprinkle your rosemary into your bowl and thoroughly mix it into your dough.
  5. For making your cookies, you have several options. One of them include rolling your dough out on a floured surface and cutting individual cookies out with shaped cookie cutters for your cookie sheets. If you would rather, scoop out one tablespoon at a time, and roll your dough into balls to place on your cookie sheets.
  6. Either way you decide to make your cookies, when you have filled your cookie sheets, bake them for 18 to 20 minutes. Make sure to take them out just before they turn brown on top.
  7. As soon as they are done, sprinkle them with your granulated sugar while they are still hot.
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies | Source

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Yields: Makes about 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare several cookie sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying them generously with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, cream your butter and sugar until smooth, creamy, and thoroughly combined. You may want to use a hand mixer for this.

3. Now add in your brown sugar and blend in well.

4. One egg at a time, add them into your mix and blend well in between.

5. Finally, add in your vanilla and mix well once more.

6. In a separate medium bowl, mix your flour, baking soda, and spices, and blend thoroughly.

7. A half a cup at a time, add your dry mixture into your wet mixture, mixing thoroughly in between. You are trying to get a nice thick dough formed.

8. Finally, mix your oats and raisins in by hand, a little at a time. It will be slightly difficult to mix at this point, but that will only make it that much easier to shape your cookies and place them on your cookie sheet.

9. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place them on your prepared cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. They shouldn’t spread out all that much and will likely keep the shape they have on your cookie sheets.

10. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the bottoms are just turning brown.

Glazed Lemon Cookies
Glazed Lemon Cookies | Source

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour

Yields: Makes about 48 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Lemon Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare several cookie sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying them generously with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl cream your butter and sugar until smooth and creamy and thoroughly combined.

3. Add in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between, and then add your vanilla.

4. Now add in your flour, one half cup at a time, mixing in between, and remember to toss in your baking powder somewhere in the middle.

5. Mix thoroughly, cover the bowl with a damp towel, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

6. In the meantime, mix your powdered sugar and lemon juice together. You are trying to achieve a thick but pourable consistency (add more lemon juice until you achieve it).

7. When your dough has chilled, scoop out tablespoonfuls of dough and roll them into balls to place on your cookie sheet, at least 1 inch apart.

8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes and cool completely before pouring a bit of glaze on top of each one.

Glazed Zucchini and Jalapeno Cookies
Glazed Zucchini and Jalapeno Cookies | Source

Glazed Zucchini and Jalapeno Cookies

These can be made with just about any fruit or veggie combination you can imagine for a different delight every time.

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yields: Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 medium jalapeno

Lime Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare several cookie sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying them generously with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine your flour, baking soda, and cinnamon, and set aside.

3. In a separate large bowl, cream your butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy colored.

4. Add in your brown sugar and mix in well.

5. Add in your egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly.

6. Now add in your dry mixture, slowly but surely, into your wet mixture, one half cup at a time, mixing well in between.

7. Finally, add in your grated zucchini and jalapeno (or other veggie choices). Carrot and sweet potato make great cookies as well.

8. Cover your bowl with a damp towel and refrigerate for about an hour as this will help the dough to stay together will portioning and cooking.

9. In the meantime, mix together your powdered sugar and lime juice. You are trying to obtain a thick but pourable consistency (add lime juice as needed to get this).

10. After chilled, portion out your dough by the tablespoonful, roll them into balls, and place them on your prepared cookie sheets, at least 1 inch apart.

11. Bake for about 10 minutes and cool completely before pouring on your glaze.

Date Pinwheel Cookies
Date Pinwheel Cookies | Source

Date Pinwheel Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour 35 minutes

Yields: Makes more cookies than you could possibly count

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups (8-10) chopped dates
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, cream together your butter and brown sugar until thoroughly combined.

2. Add in your eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between, and then add your vanilla.

3. Now add in your flour, one half cup at a time, mixing well in between, and tossing your baking soda in somewhere in the middle.

4. Cover your bowl with a damp towel and place in the refrigerator while you are making your filling.

5. To make your filling, bring your water, sugar and dates to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. Cool completely before mixing in pecans.

6. In the meantime, pull out your dough and roll it into a large thin rectangle on a floured surface.

7. Spread your filling evenly across the entire rectangle and roll, jelly roll style, into a huge log. Wrap tightly in wax paper securing with toothpicks. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

8. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Prepare several cookie sheets by lining them with aluminum foil and spraying them generously with cooking spray.

9. Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into 1/4 inch slices, laying them out on your prepared cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart. These cookies will grow a little bit.

10. Bake for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Basic French Macarons
Basic French Macarons | Source

Traditional French Macarons

I should start by warning you that this should not be your first cookie-making experience. These are difficult to make and take some patience, but when you get the hang of it, they are a lot of fun and definitely worth the time.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour 5 minutes

Yields: Makes about 24 macaron sandwiches

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup chilled butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup fruit juice

Instructions

1. Begin by processing down your cup of almond flour in the food processor. I realize that it is already a flour consistency, but you want to try and get rid of any extra chunks before using.

2. I never ever do this, but with this recipe it will be critical. You will want to mix your almond flour and powdered sugar together and then sift them. All that this means is that you will pour it, a little bit at a time, into a small holed sieve and press it through, into a larger bowl, with a spoon. These cookies require the smoothest of textures and therefore the smoothest of textures needs to be found. Any chunks of almonds still in the sieve afterwards can be set aside for another use other time.

3. In a separate larger bowl, you will want to mix your egg whites together. You may want to use a hand or a stand mixer as this is going to get intense.

4. When your egg whites start to get frothy, you will want to start adding in your sugar and mix them well.

5. Finally when you have obtained your meringue (meaning that you have white frothy “peaks”), add in your cream of tartar and almond extract.

6. If you want your cookies to be colored, now is the time to add your food coloring, but add more than you think you’ll need as they fade when baking. For some reason, red cookies are tastier to me than any other color. Who knows!

7. Now slowly and gently fold in your flour and powdered sugar mixture one half cup at a time until just combined.

8. Preheat your oven to 300°F and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper (because you don’t want to add any extra ingredients into your macarons).

9. Pour your mixture into a plastic storage bag, seal the top, and cut off the smallest of triangles from one of the corners. Pipe 1 inch cookie circles all over your two cookie sheets and let them sit for about 30 minutes. (Some people like to bang the sir bubbles out on the counter to smooth out the tops and let them settle before baking.)

10. In the meantime, let’s make your buttercream filling. Start by creaming together your butter and sugar until smooth and creamy and thoroughly combined.

11. It’s possible to make your buttercream any flavor you’d like by using your chosen fruit juice. You can either make your own by pushing fresh fruit through a sieve, or by simply using store bought fruit juice and blending it into your buttercream mixture. My favorite is blueberry!

12. You will want to bake your cookies for 15-20 minutes, and take them out before they turn brown anywhere (top or bottom).

13. When done, fill your cookies with your buttercream and top with another cookie. Voila!

Classic Florentines
Classic Florentines | Source

Classic Florentines

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ready in: 40 minutes

Yields: Makes about 48 cookies or 24 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4oz chocolate chips

Instructions

1. To get started, process your cup of almonds in the food processor all the way down.

2. Mix all of your ingredients except your flour, olive oil, and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan on the stove and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is boiling.

3. Remove it from the stove and stir in your flour.

4. Set aside to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare several baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Your cookies will be delicate, so you don’t want to add any extra ingredients or take the chance of them sticking to your pan.

6. When cool, portion out teaspoonfuls of dough and roll them into balls to place on your prepared cookie sheets, at least 3 inches apart because they will spread.

7. When all of them are in place, press each down thin and flat with your finger or the back of your spoon.

8. Bake for about 10 minutes and then cool completely before adding chocolate.

9. In the meantime, in another small saucepan, add your olive oil and your chocolate chips and melt on low heat, stirring frequently.

10. Spread a little bit of chocolate on the bottom of each of your cookies and allow to cool. Some prefer to make sandwiches from their cookies. If this is you, press a second cookie to the bottom immediately after spreading chocolate to one side.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cookie
Calories 112
Calories from Fat54
% Daily Value *
Fat 6 g9%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Carbohydrates 16 g5%
Sugar 17 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 2 g4%
Cholesterol 8 mg3%
Sodium 53 mg2%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
5 stars from 1 rating of Perfect Cookies for Thanksgiving Dinner
The Sign of Good Food
The Sign of Good Food | Source

If you hadn’t already noticed, all of these cookies tend to sound the same. They all have approximately the same ingredients, being butter, sugar, eggs, extract, and flour.

Some of these recipes ask you to use aluminum foil and some parchment paper. The difference is that some cookies need to use delicate parchment paper without the added cooking spray.

Some of these recipes ask you to chill your dough first and some don’t. More delicate cookies need to be chilled to help the dough stay together during portioning and baking.

What truly makes each of these different though, is the creative touch you add by choosing different ingredients like lemon juice, fruits and veggies, nuts, chocolate, brown sugar and glaze.

You can even add your own touch by using cookie cutters, sprinkles, rolling your dough and cutting cookies, or even just rolling your dough into balls and placing them on your cookie sheets to make their own shapes.

That’s what’s really great about making cookies. Once you’ve made one cookie, you can really make them all from there with just a few adjustments to added ingredients.

If anything, from here you have the tools to expand and experiment to make your own cookie creations.

What makes these great for Thanksgiving dinner though, is that each of them have a dose of herbs, fruits, or veggies, tying them in perfectly to the dishes already on the dinner table. In turn, your cookies will be a perfect complement to an amazing family meal.

Don’t worry. With these cookies in tow, you’ll only be the star of the show.

Have fun! Enjoy yourself and be creative!

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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness

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    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      Yum! These all look scrumptious! Thanks for sharing them :) - Ginger

    • VVanNess profile image
      Author

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Not a problem! I'm so glad you enjoyed them! :) Keep on the lookout. There are tons more coming.

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