'Tis the season for sugar, friends. As you may recall, R29 managing editor Jessica Teves and I recently engaged in a brutal turf war over chocolate chip cookies, and for reasons I can only attribute to blackmail or dark wizardry, Jess won that battle by a hair (a thin, brittle, processed hair). I, meanwhile, retreated to my kitchen to plot revenge. It was a month spent angrily creaming together butter and sugar, and what emerged was a better, stronger cookie. I was ready for a rematch.
This month, we tackle the classic Christmas cookie. Straightforward and simple, this sugary variety has many variations. Some insist pure-butter dough is mandatory, others like to add margarine, and many more prefer a little Crisco in their recipe. Decor, however, is a whole other ballgame. For this bake-off, we first put our panel of judges through a blind taste test, and then removed their blindfolds to take in the aesthetics. Note: We did not include the pretty factor in judging these baked goods. Looks aren't everything, but, well, some cookies are more conventionally attractive than others. After all, if you were offered a choice between eating a rich, glittery, chocolate-laced star and something that looked like a misbegotten crouton-pancake hybrid, which would you choose?