Holiday Cookies

I have always had the best of intentions of baking lots and lots of cookies during the holidays. I love seeing posts of some of most spectacular cookies online and in some of the foodie groups I belong to.

Holiday Cookies

With each passing year, however, this hasn't been my reality. Instead, I bookmark recipes for future reference and then read through them hoping that I'll make at least one spectacular cookie creation. That hasn't happened either. This year, I've gone so far as to make a Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie which was simply delicious...this may be the extent of my "spectacular" cookie vision for 2021.

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you've read a few of my blog posts, you'll know that my sister Susan is the baker in the family. Susan bakes all kinds of things, but cookies is where she really shines. Every year, for the past 13 years, she's hosted a cookie exchange.  In spite of COVID, she even managed to host the exchange as a driveway drop-off event. She bakes quite a few wonderful cookies, including lemon macadamia nut, double chocolate, vanilla biscotti and almond shortbread.

Susan and I used to make gingerbread houses and gingerbread people each holiday. We had fun, laughed a lot and were inspired by the breathtaking gingerbread creations on the McCalls magazine covers, which we painstakingly attempted to recreate. Our kitchens resembled something out of I Love Lucy with flour and icing everywhere! Such good memories.

This is the gingerbread house which was on display in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland a few years ago.

My friend Liza of HLC Sweets, is a cookie baker who's made some extraordinary cookies for me personally as well as for my colleagues when I worked at hospice. She is a skilled, patient artist who also happens to make delicious cookies. For a few years she's made themed cookies for the annual staff holiday party. Each cookie was a work of art and the staff anxiously awaited the party each year to see the cookie "reveal". Pretty awesome.

Liza has also made a cookie sleigh filled with cookies which was used following Christmas Eve Mass at hospice for patients, families, guests and staff.

The cookie sleigh was almost too beautiful to eat.

Everyone simply wanted to marvel at the detail. Love Liza and her cookies.

One of the most wonderful gifts this season has been the gingersnaps that Susan has made for our friend Helen, who just turned 101. Gingersnaps are Helens favorite cookie; they were also the beloved cookie of our grandmother Lizzie.

Here's the recipe for Gingersnaps:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 cup Grandma’s Molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp ground ginger
Mix butter, sugar, egg and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use small scoop to make balls the size of walnuts. Dip tops in sugar. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle 2 drops of water on top of cookie to make a crackled surface. Bake 10 minutes for soft cookies. Makes about 4 dozen. 

I may not have time to create a spectacular cookie this year. Fortunately, I have a stash of cookie dough in my freezer that I can use to make cookies for Santa, if I don't fall asleep early on Christmas Eve.

Need more cookie inspiration, check out this blog post:

Cookies for Breakfast

 December is a very busy time for a small business like Pat's Granola. Our local partners are stocked with product and we encourage you, if possible, to visit them (listed below) to pick up Pat's Granola as well as the products or services they offer. If you're thinking of ordering items online, please order early to insure delivery. Appreciate you shopping with us!


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company. Pat's Granola is sold online at and is also available at selected Northeast Ohio businesses including:

Troubadour Coffee Roasters

Sports and Spine Physical Therapy

Locle Box

Made Cleveland

Nature's Oasis Lakewood

Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share 

Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies

The Roaming Biscuit


The Corner at The Van Aken District The Corner at The Van Aken District (December 2021) 


Pat's October 29 appearance on New Day Cleveland

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