Sizzle Simmer Sauté Sylvania – Holiday cookies to bake and share

Jennifer Alexander Ruple

As 2022 comes to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to every one of you who read and support my column. Thank you sincerely for your kind comments and thoughtful suggestions. It means the world to me when you tell me you’ve made a recipe, shared one, or saved one for the future.

And now I present my annual holiday cookie collection. I hope you enjoy baking and gifting these festive Cranberry Walnut Spiral Cookies and Hot Cocoa Cookies (one of my new favorites). Both would be a sweet addition to the dessert tray. Just don’t forget to save some for Santa.

Happy holidays!

Hot Cocoa Cookies

These cookies are rich and chocolatey just like a cup of hot cocoa. Dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder meld into a cookie with a fudgy center and crispy outer layer, all topped with mini marshmallows. Recipe yields 25 cookies.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract.

Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. With a wooden spoon, stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.

With a spoon, drop balls of cookie dough (about golf ball size) onto cookie sheets, placing them about 3 inches apart. Top each cookie with 4 or 5 of the remaining chocolate chips.

Bake cookies for 9 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and stick 3 marshmallows in each cookie. Bake cookies for 1 to 2 minutes more. Allow cookies to rest on the baking sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Cranberry Walnut Spiral Cookies

Calling all pie crust lovers! Cranberry Walnut Spiral Cookies are created simply by using refrigerated pie crusts and rolling them around a filling of chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, sugar and orange zest. A drizzle of honey after baking gives them a big finish. Recipe yields 20 cookies.

  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Pure honey

Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, add cranberries, walnuts, sugar and orange zest. Mix thoroughly.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie crusts into two squares. Generously brush the crusts with melted butter. Spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the two crusts. Roll each crust into a log. Pinch the edges to seal. If the pie crusts seem soft when rolling them up, place them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before slicing.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush each log with egg mixture.

Cut each log into 10 slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Place cookies on a cooling rack. Drizzle each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of honey.

(Recipe adapted from

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