Baking is among the most fun, flavorful holiday traditions - and one that brings family and friends together in the kitchen during the holidays. In fact, nearly 60 percent of home cooks are expected to bake holiday cookies this year.(1) Whether it's baking cookies for a neighborhood cookie share or a sweet treat to enjoy after wrapping gifts, the McCormick Kitchens are helping home bakers get "Cookie Inspired" by infusing seasonal signature favorites with inspirational new twists.
"The holidays are marked by cherished baking traditions and enjoying the season's most-loved flavors and treats, like gingerbread men, sugar cookies, peppermint candies and eggnog," says Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. "Home-baked treats are such a thoughtful, personal gift and, in my home, we always have a plate of fresh-baked cookies from the kitchen to greet guests. I always look for ways to surprise and delight my family and friends with inspired twists on their favorite holiday recipes."
To help bakers get "Cookie Inspired" this season, the McCormick Kitchens have revisited some favorite holiday baking recipes, and added fun, new takes for each.
-- Signature Favorite: Peppermint Bark is a well-loved holiday recipe. Smooth white chocolate, refreshing peppermint extract and red food color is combined in a candy-striped confection that looks and tastes like the holidays.
-- Inspired Twist: Layer fudgy brownies with smooth peppermint creme, chocolate glaze and candy cane toppings for Peppermint Bars, or with Peppermint Truffle Cookies, a peppermint-infused cookie surrounds a surprise chocolate candy in the center, drizzled in creamy white chocolate for a decadent finish.
-- Signature Favorite: Vanilla Sugar Cookies are a tried-and-true way to spend time with kids in the kitchen, when decorating with homemade holiday-colored sugar or icing.
-- Inspired Twist: Add inspiration to this versatile sugar cookie recipe with seasonal flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg for Spiced Holiday Sugar Cookies. Or, substitute the spices for almond, lemon or orange extract.
-- Signature Favorite: The distinctive flavor of ginger comes to life during each holiday season with Gingerbread Men Cookies, a long-standing favorite at holiday parties since the 19(th) century.
-- Inspired Twist: Reinvent nostalgic gingerbread cookies with White Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies. This delicious new version combines a gingerbread cookie topped with a festive white and milk chocolate swirled kiss-shaped candy.
-- Signature Favorite: Celebrate with the season's signature drink, Easy No-Cook Eggnog, a tasty blend of nutmeg with vanilla and rum extracts.
-- Inspired Twist: Rich white chocolate and cream cheese turns the classic flavors of this holiday beverage into delightful Eggnog Truffles - perfect for a holiday or hostess gift wrapped in seasonal tins.
Find Your Cookie Inspiration for the Season
To kick start your holiday baking and sharing, visit the McCormick.com Holiday Look Book "Cookie Inspired" tab. Choose your favorite holiday cookie flavors, such as vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate or peppermint and explore recipe suggestions from the McCormick Kitchens influenced by each flavor. "Heart" favorite recipes on the Look Book to create a personalized digital scrapbook, or share recipes through Pinterest and Facebook to stay "Cookie Inspired" throughout the season.