The holiday season (also known as cookie season!) is officially here, so it's time to make your list and check it twice—your shopping list for cookie-making supplies, that is! Not sure what you need to whip up batch after batch of your beloved seasonal sweets? Turn to our helpful run-down of pantry ingredients, spices, dairy products, and decorating supplies.
From stocking up on standard dry ingredients, like flour and different types of sugars, to sourcing specialty decorating supplies for perfectly frosted cookies, use this list to set yourself up for success. By stocking your kitchen with these ingredients now, you'll be ready to make any of our holiday cookie recipes (including Martha's all-time favorites) whenever the mood strikes.
You'll likely keep some of these pantry ingredients—such as all-purpose flour, baking soda, granulated sugar, and kosher salt—on hand year round. But come Christmas cookie season, you'll need more than usual. Plus, there are several specialty items to snag before your baking marathon commences. You'll need to put molasses for gingerbread cookies and dried fruit and nuts for biscotti or Fruitcake Bars on your list for good measure (baking pun intended).
Instant espresso powder
Nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, etc.)
For sweets like our fan-favorite Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies and classic Gingerbread Cookies, keep these assorted ground spices on hand for baking. As a rule of thumb, spices have a shelf life of about two years; if you're not sure whether or not they're still good to use, give them a sniff. If they don't produce a strong aroma, they won't add much flavor to your cookies. While it's not harmful to consume whole and ground spices past their "best by" date, you'll miss out on maximizing their warm, cozy essence.
When was the last time you started to make a batch of sugar cookies, only to realize that you didn't have nearly as much butter in your fridge as you expected? A basic tenet of baking—and not just for cookies—is that you should always read the recipe thoroughly before you begin and check your pantry and refrigerator for supplies before you preheat that oven. If you know you are going to be baking several batches of cookies, stock up on dairy staples ahead of time. And if you find a good sale on butter? Buy more than you think you'll need. You can store it in the freezer for up to four months.
Baking and Decorating Tools and Supplies
In addition to stocking your refrigerator and pantry, check your kitchen cabinets and see what baking tools you have and what you need to make your best batch ever; check the items already in your kit to make sure they aren't worn or broken. Baking sheets are a must for obvious reasons; so is parchment paper or silicone baking mats, like Silpats, to line the trays and prevent treats from sticking. If you're making rolled cookies like sugar or gingerbread iterations, you'll also need a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Want to bake Spritz cookies? Stock up on one of our favorite cookie presses to make these holiday essentials.
And if your holiday cookies will be frosted with Royal Icing? You'll need a small offset spatula to spread the sweet stuff across the surface of the cookie and a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip for outlining edges or adding intricate details. Don't forget to stock up on the frosting and decorating essentials, too—the below will add extra flavor and flair to your delicious confections (and meringue powder is a must for that aforementioned royal icing!).
Silver or gold luster dust