This is probably the Christmas-y Christmas cookie I’ve ever made – and there’s not a Christmas tree, gingerbread man or ornament in sight. These cookies are the edible embodiment of the Grinch himself, with a heart that’s three sizes too… actually, no, it’s the perfect size. If the heart were bigger it would look like the cookie had a dangerous enlargement of the aorta, and that’s just alarming.
I’d seen a lot of recipes on Pinterest similar to these, but they were all using a boxed mix and oil and just… no. I can’t go that route. I have to make things more complicated, obviously.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss,
For my cookies, we’re going to make a white cake from scratch. It’s not hard at all, so don’t freak out. It’s just a matter of putting a few dry ingredients in a bowl and cutting in some butter. The end.
From there, we’ll add some eggs, melted butter, vanilla and mint extract, and top it off with some food gel paste to give it that essential Grinchy green. You’ll even be using a stand mixer so your arms won’t get tired from mixing the dough.
See? That’s not so hard.
Quite frankly, the hardest part is going to be placing the little heart sprinkle on top of each cookie when it comes out of the oven. You have to do it quickly before the cookies set, so have them at the ready! You’ll gently press them in enough so they stick, but not so hard that it looks like the cookie is consuming its own heart. That’s pretty dark, even for me.
What you’ll end up with is this batch of completely adorable cookies that are absolute perfection for your holiday cookie exchanges. Not only will they be cute and tasty, they’re a great little conversation starter. Kids and adults alike will be clamoring to get their hands on one – and lord knows they’re totally Instagram-worthy.
Festive, cakey cookies that bear a strong resemblance to a certain Christmas Grinch!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon mint extract (or less, to taste)
- Green food coloring gel paste
- Heart-shaped sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and blend until completely combined with a fine crumb.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour mixture, eggs, oil (or melted butter), vanilla extract and mint extract and beat on medium speed until combined.
- Add a few drops of gel paste and beat to fully combine – the dough will start to come together at this point. Add more food coloring to get to your desired color, keeping in mind that the color will fade slightly during baking.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to place each ball of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, with no more than 9 on each sheet (they need room to spread while baking).
- Now knead and roll each ball of dough in your hands to shape into a smooth ball and press down on the top of each slightly. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cookies start to crinkle – they will set more while they cool.
- As soon as you remove them from the oven, press a heart sprinkle into the top of each cookie. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, and then move to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!
If you’d prefer a shortcut, you can substitute the first 5 ingredients for a box of white cake mix.