Drop cookies are what to bake for Christmas

I’m as dazzled by a beautifully decorated holiday cookie as the next person, but when it comes to wielding a pastry bag myself, I’m not a pro. I’m much more about the cookies than the piping. And while elaborately crafted cookies shaped like delicate snowflakes or sporting ombre frostings are beautiful, I can be content with delicious.

But these chewy brownie cookies are pretty handsome too, without any fancy footwork. Plus, they are very shippable. Their fudginess means they won’t dry out quickly, and they are sturdy, so don’t need nearly as much bubble wrap to protect them in transit.

This recipe is based on the Big Chewy Brownie Cookies from my first cookbook The Mom 100, but I decided to gussy them up for the holidays. The base is a fudgy, moist, brownie-like batter. Dried cherries add sweet-tart chewiness, and white chocolate chips add a peek of creamy white, and a bit more texture. They look festive — perfect for a cookie swap!

You can make the batter up to five days ahead and store it in the fridge, or freeze the cookie balls for up to a month in a freezer-safe zipper top bag with the air pressed out. Let them defrost before baking, or if baking the cookies directly from the freezer, just know you’ll need to add a few minutes to the cooking time.

Baked cookies will last for five days in a sealed container at room temperature, or one month if well wrapped and frozen.


To ship the cookies, make sure they are completely cooled before packing them up. Use a sturdy corrugated cardboard box, line it with bubble wrap, and create a base with some packing peanuts and crumbled paper (you can search out eco-friendly bubble wrapping and other packing materials). Place the cookies into plastic bags in flat layers. Layer the bags in the lined box, separated by more packing material to keep them cushioned.

Or pack them into a pretty container, also with some padding between the layers, and then nestle the container in the shipping box with some more packing material on the top and sides. Make sure the box is full, so the cookies don’t shift and break. Mark the box perishable, and send via one- or two-night delivery to your lucky recipient.


Know what a fantastic gift for a good friend would be? A container full of frozen disks of this dough for them to take out and bake when the need arises over the holidays (or any time).

Just write the title (Big Chewy Brownie Cookies with Dried Cherries and White Chocolate Chips), the defrosting and baking instructions, and the ingredients if you have cause to think they might be serving them to someone with allergies. Tack that onto the tin, and prepare to accept grateful words.


Big Chewy Brownie Cookies with Dried Cherries and White Chocolate Chips

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 ½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup white chocolate chips

¾ cup roughly chopped dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small pot, add the butter, and the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates, and heat over low heat, stirring frequently, just until everything is melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy and yellow, about one minute. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture in a few batches, just until barely combined.

Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl and beat until smooth. Let the mixture cool; the batter will be very thick. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the dried cherries (if you stir the chocolate chips in before it cools, the chocolate will start to melt and become streaky, if you want that look.)

Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the batter and create 12 mounds on a rimmed baking sheet (you will bake three baking sheets of cookies in all). Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until the tops are crackly and the edges are set. Remove from the oven and let them sit for one minute on the baking sheet (the cookies will sink slightly), then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.


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