Book of Joy, Day 18: Advent Cookie Baking, by Jen N.

A tutorial in the art of the refrigerated cookie dough and pretzel cookies

As a card-carrying homeschooler, I probably should not admit to buying such processed cheater food. After all, I am home all day. There really is no reason why I don’t have time to mix up the dough, refrigerate it, and then make these cookies. /sarcasm

On a good day, that would be completely doable. But we haven’t had many good days around here this Advent season and I like cookies. I knew there had to be a compromise. Every year is different, and I hope you have time to make 12 kinds of cookies from scratch. I would if I could. If you are having a crazy year (like I am), consider this your dispensation. Do what you can and no more. You may even want to just buy cookies. That works too.

We have a few must-make recipes, and these are literally the easiest two I could think of. I couldn’t spend the time making dough, so I bought pre-made dough at the grocery store. (my original recipe is below for the purists.) If you didn’t see this part you’d never know we were cookie cheaters:

  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 1⅓ cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 24 Hershey Kisses (unwrapped)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream together peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat together.
  4. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating until incorporated.
  6. Roll into 24 1″ balls and place on cookie sheet several inches apart.
  7. Gently make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  8. Bake 12-14 minutes.

Place a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie.

I can promise you this post is not sponsored by Hershey. It’s just what I grew up with. Although I have tasted better chocolate, I haven’t seen Cadbury or the like in kiss form.

Even easier are pretzel M&M Kiss Cookies. Mostly because they aren’t really a cookie.

  • 1 bag Pretzel Twists, Squares, Or Circles (9 Ounce Bag)
  • 1 bag Hershey’s Kisses (12 Ounce Bag)
  • 1 bag (12 Oz. Size) M&Ms

1. Spread your pretzels out on a cookie sheet, and place one Hershey’s Kiss on top of each.
2. Place sheet in the oven at 275 degrees for 3 minutes–just long enough for the Kisses to get soft.
3. Remove from oven, and immediately press a single M&M on each.
4. Refrigerate until eating to make sure they are deliciously solid!

These also turned out great. So much so that I have no picture of them.





Jen N. – Jen has spent her time homeschooling her five children since 2001. She has read over 5,000 books aloud. A fan of all things geeky, she calls her children her horcruxes — each one has a talent for something she might have pursued herself. Jen and her husband have created a family of quirky, creative people that they are thrilled to launch out into the world. With the three oldest graduated, Jen now has time on her hands and has started a blog:

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