If you’re easily intimidated (or just short of time) to tackle fancy cookie decorating, Denver Post staffers and friends have compiled some of our favorites for you. Happy holidays!

Peanut Butter Fudge

(Photo by Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post)

Peanut Butter Fudge holiday cookies by Alison Borden.

My grandmother made wonderful peanut butter fudge. She’d send us a tin of the stuff for Christmas and my brothers and I would devour it. For years, I would ask her for the recipe. She always demurred and changed the subject. But I was persistent. The truth was, this is an easy recipe. Laughably easy. And she wanted us to think it took more time and more effort. Nice try, grandma. — Alison Borden

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a glass bowl and cover with plastic. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir to combine — the mixture should be smooth and creamy. Microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add the vanilla and slowly add the powdered sugar, stirring until combined. Spread it in an 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Fold the parchment over the pan and chill for at least 4 hours before cutting.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post

Soft Molasses holiday cookies by Alison Borden.

This is just a holiday classic. The spices just make me want to break out in carols. And this recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies, so you’ll have plenty to give out with an assortment of other Christmas treats as gifts. From the 2015 We Energies Cookie Book. we-energies.com/recipes — Alison Borden

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for topping
  • ½ cup dark molasses
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2¼ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape the dough into 1-½-inch balls. Roll top in sugar. Bake for 10-11 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Rosemary, Almond and Parmesan Cocktail Cookies

Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post

Rosemary, Almond and Parmesan Cocktail holiday cookies by Lee Ann Colacioppo.

This recipe by Dori Greenspan, author of “Around my French Table,” makes a delicious, savory cookie and since the dough needs to freeze, it’s a great make-ahead recipe. The best part might be rubbing the sugar with the rosemary. The recipe appeared in the November 2011 issue of Food and Wine. — Lee Ann Colacioppo

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 ounce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast almonds for about 10 minutes, until golden. Turn off the oven and let the almonds cool.

In a bowl, rub the sugar with the rosemary until moist and aromatic. In a food processor, combine the rosemary sugar with the almonds, flour, cheese and salt and pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and pulse until large clumps of dough form.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead gently until it just comes together. Divide the dough in half and press each piece into a disk. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the wax paper–covered disks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour, until very firm.