Whether you call them Kitchen Sink cookies or Santa’s Trash cookies the ingredient combination in these chewy cookies makes them a favorite.
This particular Kitchen Sink Cookies recipe has been customized for Christmas.
Fully loaded with white chocolate chunks, M&Ms in Christmas colors and pretzels in a soft cookie with crisp edges. They have a sweet and salty flavor that’s addictive.
This Christmas Cookie recipe is great for holiday baking, serving at holiday parties or sharing with friends.
The recipe is as easy as chocolate chip cookies just with different festive and salty mix-ins.
WARNING: Don’t leave them all out for Santa on Christmas Eve. He won’t leave you any.
- What are Kitchen Sink Cookies?
- Recipe Ingredients Notes
- Using Shortening versus Butter in cookies
- Making Gluten-Free Kitchen Sink cookies
- How to Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies – Step-by-Step
- Pro Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Tried and Tested Recipe
- How to Store
- More Sweet Christmas Recipes You’ll Love
What are Kitchen Sink Cookies?
You’ve heard the phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’? That’s the rule of thumb for Kitchen Sink Cookies. They are a combination of salty and sweet ingredients. It’s a ‘clean out the pantry’ type cookie. You’ll find everything from potato chips to caramel bits, butterscotch chips to milk chocolate chips in them. It’s an ‘anything goes’ cookie.
A commercial example are Panera’s Kitchen Sink cookies that include semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate, caramel pieces, pretzels and flaked salt.
Because we wanted to make them for Christmas we took a more measured approach adding red and green M&M’s, chopped white chocolate and salty pretzels. Adding some extras on top gives them a pretty appearance too.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Butter flavored shortening. This is a type of shortening that has a butter flavor. Using plain shortening with make the cookies have less flavor.
All Purpose Flour. Use regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour.
Bar of White Baking Chocolate. Chopping a white chocolate bar creates a great texture in the cookies. If you want to save some time or cannot find a bar, white chocolate chips may be substituted.
Red and Green M&Ms. To make these cookies other times of the year, just use regular M&Ms.
Pretzels. Regular or gluten-free pretzels can be used. Chop into smaller pieces for the inside of the cookie. Larger pieces can be used on the top.
Using Shortening versus Butter in cookies
Cookies made with butter tend to flatten and spread more than shortening cookies. They are also crisper.
Using shortening keeps makes taller cookies that retain their form and are more tender.
Shortening can leave cookies less flavorful than butter so using butter-flavored shortening is the best of both worlds.
Making Gluten-Free Kitchen Sink cookies
To make these Christmas Cookies gluten-free use a gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend and gluten-free pretzels. We recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for the best results.
How to Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
STEP 2. Make the dough
Using a hand electric mixer with a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed speed cream together the shortening, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until soft and fluffy (photo 1). Do not overmix. Beat in the large eggs and vanilla extract.
In a second mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to mix.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to fully combine (photo 2). Do not over mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Stir in the white chocolate, pretzels and M&Ms (photo 3).
STEP 3. Scoop and bake
Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop or rolling by hand, make 1-inch cookie dough balls (photo 4). Place the balls of dough on prepared cookie sheet with 2 inches in between (photo 5). Add some extra M&Ms and chopped pretzels on top of each cookie if desired.
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes (photo 6) until the cookies are golden on the edges.
STEP 4. Cool
Transfer to a cooling wire rack as soon as the cookies are out of the oven (photo 7). Cool fully before serving.
Don’t overmix the shortening and sugars. If you mix the sugar and shortening together for too long the dough tends to be wetter. Do not overmix.
Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop. It makes quick work of turning the dough into balls for baking. It will keep the cookie size the same too. The dough can be rolled into 1-inch balls by hand too.
Add extra pretzel pieces and M&M’s to the cookie tops. It makes them more decorative and will keep some crisp pretzels. The pretzels inside the cookies become soft when baked and then harden again when cooled.
Use different kinds of chocolate. Any type of chocolate can be used. You can use chunks of chocolate from a regular chocolate bar. Semisweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate instead of white chocolate. Add in some toffee bits or Andes mints bits (both are available in the baking section of the grocery store).
Sprinkle some flaked sea salt. If you’d rather bypass the pretzels on top, sprinkle just a bit of flaky sea salt on the top of the cookies for a subtle salty addition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because you can add ‘everything but the kitchen sink’. Anything goes with these cookies ingredients wise. The key is to have a combination of salty and sweet ingredients.
Tried and Tested Recipe
How to Store
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
How to Freeze: allow the cookies to cool completely. Place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag and freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
More Sweet Christmas Recipes You’ll Love
- Sugar Plums – What Are They & How to Make Them
- Pecan Rum Balls – a No Bake recipe
- Forgotten Cookies – an easy Meringue cookie
- Eggnog Magic Cake – a Magical Christmas Dessert recipe
- Gingerbread Cake with Butter Rum Toffee Sauce
- Christmas Crack
- Stained Glass Cookies
Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies
- 1 cup butter flavored shortening
- 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 4-ounce bar white baking chocolate chopped
- 1 cup mixed red and green M&Ms plus 1/3 cup extra to add on top (optional)
- 1/2 cup pretzels regular or gluten-free; roughly chopped (plus 1/3 cup extra to add on top – optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicon baking mat to line the pan.
- In a medium sized bowl using a hand held mixer or with a stand mixer, beat together shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Add eggs and vanilla; beat until just combined.
- In a second bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; whisk together.
- Add to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined into a dough. Do not overmix.
- Stir in white chocolate, M&Ms, and pretzels.
- Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop or roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet with 2 inches between them.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overcook. Cookies should be slightly browned on the edges.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool fully on a cooling rack before serving.
These Fully Loaded Christmas Cookies are full of sweet and salty flavors, and great textures too!