Christmas is almost here and that means it’s time to reward a rotund serial home invader with a plate of delicious cookies.
That’s right, everyone’s favorite big boy is getting ready to pour himself into that red suit, sneak into your home under cover of night, and quietly take an offering of baked goods in exchange for iPads and Nintendo Switches. Not a bad deal, TBH! But since Santa is—if you’re under the age of ten, stop reading now—not real, the best cookies you can buy for the guy are really just the best cookies you can buy for yourself. Santa lives in you! It’s like a Brian De Palma movie, minus the murders.
Here’s a roundup of the best holiday cookies the grocery store is stocking this year, from premade ones you can dump right onto the plate to mixes and decorating kits that’ll keep you busy in the kitchen for a few hours so you can avoid your family.
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For Lazy Little Elves
Milanos are a grown-up cookie, and since Santa is approximately 1,751 years old, he’s sure to love these. Seriously, just when you thought this highly dunkable Pepperidge Farm classic couldn’t get more sophisticated, they hit us with a hazelnut version. Don’t worry, there’s still a chocolate layer between those crispy blonde cookies too.
For far too long, we’ve insisted on gendering humanoid gingerbread cookies. Then Trader Joe’s said, “No more!,” and released these gingerbread folk. Santa may discriminate against naughty people, but he’s all about inclusivity, as am I. I am also all about cookies coated in chocolate.
Santa’s whole thing is that he’s omnipotent, so annoyingly, you won’t be able to take credit for these beautifully hand decorated sugar cookies from Target’s grocery department. The upside is that these come individually wrapped, which is helpful if Santa needs to grab the goods and go.
A lot of people will be leaving Oreos and milk out this year, but households that know what’s up will opt for this limited-edition holiday flavor. Everyone plotzed when we tried these at Sporked HQ. They’re sweet, a little spicy, and even have a little bit of that signature snickerdoodle tang. Buy a couple boxes before they go away so Santa doesn’t get to have all the fun.
Freshly Baked without the Fuss
You’ve been shopping. You’ve been trying to finish two weeks of work in a couple days. You want fresh-baked cookies but you don’t feel like breaking out the stand mixer. Well, that squishy little pervert known as the Pillsbury Doughboy always comes correct with easy and festive cookie dough, pre-portioned into little squares you just have to plop on a cookie sheet. The Christmas tree cookies are a classic, but they sell versions with snowmen and reindeer, too.
Okay, if I were Santa (and I guess I kind of am, at least based on my December credit card statement), these are the cookies I would want. Cocoa-flavored cookies with peppermint chunks? I know “peppermint chunk” is a little vague, but if I trust the folks at Toll House with anything, it’s a chunk.
If You Really Love Santa …
Melted snowmen are kind of morbid (once they’ve melted, they’re dead, right?), but these cookies are just plain cute. The kit comes with sugar cookie mix, melty marshmallow creme, and little eyeballs for your anthropomorphic puddle.
Throughout film history, Christmas movies have led us to believe that Santa’s workshop is churning out a lot of bootlegs. Generic teddy bears. Toy trucks that Tonka would never. Is that Raggedy Ann I see? Naw bitch, that’s Disheveled Cynthia and her brother Cyril. Anyway, I think Santa would appreciate that Walmart released this clearly How the Grinch Stole Christmas-inspired cookie mix but declined to pay for the rights and decided to call it “Who Stole Christmas Cookie Mix.” They’re green, but don’t you call ‘em Grinchy (or Dr. Seuss Enterprises will steal what’s left of Christmas).
Did you really screw up this year? Did you, like, buy Twitter, make some dumb joke about a sink, and then fire everyone? Well, if you’re angling to get off the naughty list, I don’t think you can do much better than leaving whoopie pies out for Santa. The puffy, moist cookie bun stuffed with frosting would be cute as it is, but the little candy cane bits really send these over the edge.