We tried 3 celebrity Christmas cookie recipes and had a clear favorite

insider@insider.com (Joanna Fantozzi)
Christmas celebrity cookies
Christmas celebrity cookies

Joanna Fantozzi/ Getty Images

  • I tested out homemade Christmas cookie recipes from three celebrities: Mariah Carey, Michelle Obama, and Taylor Swift.

  • Taylor Swift's cookies were by far the easiest to make and also the most unique combination of festive flavors.

  • Since they were so easy, looked great, and tasted the best, Swift's eggnog chai tea cookies were the clear winner.

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In my quest to find the best holiday baked goods, I pitted three celebrity Christmas cookie recipes against each other in the ultimate star-studded cookie showdown:

These three cookies were completely different from one another, but after baking and tasting each cookie, there was a clear winner. 

First up was Mariah Carey's standard sugar cookie recipe. I expected a little more cookie magic from the Christmas Queen.

First up was Mariah Carey's cookies. This was the only recipe that required a rolling pin.
First up was Mariah Carey's cookies. This was the only recipe that required a rolling pin.

Joanna Fantozzi

For Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas II You cookies, the listed ingredients made sense for a straightforward sugar cookie recipe:  butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, milk, vanilla, baking powder, salt, and decorating essentials like icing and sprinkles.

I found that the ingredient ratios in the recipe were a bit off, and the dough was dry and difficult to work with. 

You can get the  recipe here.

After struggling with the dry dough, I used my cookie cutter (a.k.a. the bottom of a water glass) to cut out oven-ready cookies.

After struggling with the dry dough, I used my cookie cutter (a.k.a. the bottom of a water glass) to cut out oven-ready cookies.
After struggling with the dry dough, I used my cookie cutter (a.k.a. the bottom of a water glass) to cut out oven-ready cookies.

Joanna Fantozzi

Luckily, the dough came together after solidifying in the freezer for about 10 minutes. The cookies cut evenly and easily, even though they needed to bake several minutes longer than the recipe said. 

Everyone loves sugar cookies, but after decorating and trying my cookies I thought they were tasty but nothing extraordinary.

These tasted like normal sugar cookies — maybe a little too sweet — classic, but nothing extraordinary.
These tasted like normal sugar cookies — maybe a little too sweet — classic, but nothing extraordinary.

Joanna Fantozzi

Mariah Carey's recipe tasted like regular sugar cookies, but next time I might adjust the ingredients because they were a little too sweet for my liking. I added festive sprinkles to get these cookies in the holiday spirit, because by themselves they were pretty boring. While a sugar cookie is a classic dessert, I wish it had more holiday spices and flavor to it. 

I thought Michelle Obama's cookies would be my favorite because I love Amaretto, but they were the most frustrating to make and the texture was disappointing.

Next I tried Michelle Obama's shortbread bar cookies. The secret ingredient was a splash of Amaretto.
Next I tried Michelle Obama's shortbread bar cookies. The secret ingredient was a splash of Amaretto.

Joanna Fantozzi

Michelle Obama's shortbread cookies start with the standard butter, sugar, eggs, and cake flour. But the cookies get their unique flavor from a splash of Amaretto liquor, citrus zest, and dried fruits or nuts for decorating. 

These cookies were by far the most frustrating to make. I baked the cookies as a sheet before cutting them into squares as they cooled. The sticky batter was almost impossible to spread evenly on the sheet pan. Michelle Obama's cookies are definitely not for beginners! 

Get the recipe here. 

These cookies came out so wet, I thought I had under-cooked them. When they cooled, they stuck to my plate.

These cookies came out so wet, I thought I had undercooked them. When they cooled, they stuck to my plate.
These cookies came out so wet, I thought I had undercooked them. When they cooled, they stuck to my plate.

Joanna Fantozzi

I had to take these cookies out of the oven a few minutes early because the thinner edges of the batter had turned a golden brown, but the insides still looked under-cooked. When I cut the shortbread into squares — thanks to the unholy amount of butter inside of them — they were mushy and looked like raw dough. 

Even though the texture was way off, the unusual citrus taste of the former First Lady's bar cookies was right up my alley.

Even though the texture was way off, the citrus-y taste of the former First Lady's bar cookies was appealing.
Even though the texture was way off, the citrus-y taste of the former First Lady's bar cookies was appealing.

Joanna Fantozzi

Frustrating recipe and imperfect texture aside, these cookies actually tasted unique in a good way. I liked the subtle flavors that the citrus and Amaretto added to this batch. The cookies also worked much better when they cooled and solidified for several hours. Overall, I would say the flavor was great and I definitely enjoyed eating them, however, the entire process was a lot harder than I expected!

Finally, I tested Taylor Swift's chai cookies. I admit, I was very skeptical about dumping tea leaves into cookie batter.

Finally, I tested Taylor Swift's chai cookies. I admit, I was very skeptical about dumping tea leaves into cookie batter.
Finally, I tested Taylor Swift's chai cookies. I admit, I was very skeptical about dumping tea leaves into cookie batter.

Joanna Fantozzi

For Taylor Swift's chai eggnog cookies, I used butter, regular sugar for the cookie dough mix, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, an egg and the contents of a chai tea packet. I also mixed nutmeg, cinnamon, powdered sugar and eggnog for the icing. 

Instead of just using dairy products like milk and butter as emulsifiers, Taylor Swift's recipe also called for vegetable oil in the cookie dough, which made it a lot easier to mix. 

Check out the recipe here.  

These were the easiest cookies to make, even though the eggnog icing ingredient ratios were way off.

These were the easiest cookies to make, even though the eggnog icing ratios were way off.
These were the easiest cookies to make, even though the eggnog icing ratios were way off.

Joanna Fantozzi

I was particularly excited to try the eggnog icing, but a tablespoon of eggnog was not enough to transform a cup of powdered sugar into creamy icing. I had to modify the recipe before it worked. Adding more eggnog was no big deal though, it only enhanced the flavor more. 

Thanks to the addictive eggnog icing and Christmas spices, Taylor Swift's cookies were my favorite celebrity Christmas cookie by far.

Thanks to the addictive eggnog icing and Christmas spices, Taylor Swift's cookies were my favorite by far.
Thanks to the addictive eggnog icing and Christmas spices, Taylor Swift's cookies were my favorite by far.

Joanna Fantozzi

Even though I made them a little too thick, these were by far the most delicious celebrity cookies of the three batches.

Taylor's chai tea added just the right amount of spice to the cookies and the icing was addictive (I couldn't stop licking the spoon!) Out of the three cookie recipes, Swift's was the easiest to follow and the cookies were festive and perfect for any holiday party. I will definitely be adding these to my baking repertoire for next Christmas.

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