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We've got nothing against shortcuts, but if you plan on fitting in some last-minute baking, slicing canned dough is not half as satisfying as rolling it. Don't even get us started on the taste. So, to inspire you to look beyond that ready-made cookie tray, we went into the kitchens of five top Chicago baking babes to gather their favorite childhood recipes for holiday yum.
From adult gingerbread to Mandelbrot, these sweet treats are bound to be the first to go. Just don't say you're too busy to whip up a batch. If these pastry princesses have time to squeeze in a tray or two into their schedules, so do you. In fact, we have a feeling you'll be licking the spoon in no time.
Photographed by Heather Talbert