Writer & Photographer / Abigail Hake
What is it about the holidays that just screams cookies? Can you imagine the holidays without thinking about all the different cookies out there at the same time? They go hand in hand. There’s no holiday without them. By the time you have gone to holiday parties, visited family, participated in a cookie swap, or just decided to leave some out for Santa, you’ve made your fair share and have probably eaten quite a few too.
Making holiday cookies each year is a great family tradition for lots of people. Many people put this on their holiday or winter bucket lists. One of the best parts of this tradition is that if you do it as a family, you can watch the kids grow into their roles more and more each year. Traditions don’t have to be complicated. Actually, it’s better if some traditions are simple so they can easily be replicated year after year. There are so many cookies out there to choose from that baking together each year can be exactly the same or completely different.
The good news is that holiday cookies don’t have to be fancy. The best part about baking around the holidays is that the cookies are homemade and baked with love. That said, for the cookies to turn out good enough to share with friends and family without embarrassment, you do need the right supplies and recipes.
Our favorite cookies to make around the holidays are classic, decorated sugar cookies. These are the perfect cookies to make with the kiddos because they are fairly simple and, obviously, sweet. Did you know that sugar cookies have been around since the mid-1700s? They are believed to have been created by German Protestant settlers in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and were originally known as Nazareth cookies.
We also like making chocolate chip cookies (which date back to 1938) and gingerbread cookies (which date back to Queen Elizabeth I during the 16th century), but it’s always fun to add in some new recipes. The holiday baking tradition continues this year as we will be in the kitchen taking on typical cutout sugar cookies, and trying some new ones like Santa’s trash cookies and holiday fudge.
With so many easy sugar cookie recipes out there, here’s a different type of cookie recipe to try by yourself or with your loved ones. These Santa’s trash cookies have plenty of flavor to satisfy salty and sweet cravings. Can you really pass up cookies with potato chips in them?
Santa’s Trash Cookies
What you’ll need:
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (make sure it’s not expired)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup crushed potato chips
- ⅓ cup crushed pretzels
- ½ cup mini white chocolate Reese’s Cups
- ½ cup mini chocolate Reese’s Cups
- ⅓ cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup M&M’s (I used red, green and blue)
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
- ¼ cup sprinkles of choice
Sprinkles of flaky sea salt for tops of cookies
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Next, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together until they are combined, then set aside.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, usually about one to three minutes. Once the mixture turns pale yellow and has a light fluffy texture, it’s done. Make sure to not over-cream the mixture. Then, beat in an egg until it’s combined.
Next, add in the dry ingredients with the wet until they are combined. It will be very thick. After that’s combined, add in the pretzels, potato chips, M&M’s, Reese’s Cups, chocolate chips and sprinkles, and mix together gently.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop your dough balls onto your sheets with parchment paper and slightly press them down. Before putting into the oven, sprinkle lightly with sea salt. If you’d like, you can add additional pretzels, chips, candies and sprinkles to the tops of the cookies for a little extra pizzazz. If you prefer the cookies to be thicker, don’t press down as much.
Bake until the edges are just starting to get golden, usually about seven to eight minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool two to three minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Happy holidays from our kitchen to yours!