On the scale of celebrity chefs, Martha Stewart falls on the more relatable side. Sure, her name is basically synonymous with elegant dinner parties and crafty gifts, but in a cute, not showy, way. Heck, she hosts a show with Snoop Dogg and has even been known to post the occasional unflattering food photo.
So when Marley Spoon asked me if I’d like to try baking Stewart’s four favorite holiday cookies, I didn’t hesitate. Stewart collaborated with the meal kit service to create her first-ever holiday cookie box kit, which comes with pre-portioned dry ingredients and recipe cards to help you bake like Martha, all for $38.99. The box also comes with parchment cookie bags and red and white baker’s twine, so you can package up your goodies to share.
I’m a fairly skilled baker, and Martha Stewart is no Julia Child—I wasn’t going to lose sleep over these recipes, Julie and Julia-style. I accepted the challenge and Martha’s box soon arrived on my doorstep.
VIDEO: 5 Crazy Expensive Desserts
Upon reading through the four recipes, I quickly realized they were more involved than your average Christmas cookie. Stewart asked you to use a double boiler rather than melt butter in the microwave, advised strongly against using the refrigerator as a tool to bring boiling hot ingredients down to room temperature, and didn’t pre-chop the ingredients. While I totally understand the appeal of chopping them myself, cutting candied ginger isn’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy. That stuff is sticky as hell.
Before I go any further, I should clarify that I was trying to bake all four cookie recipes within 24 hours for the sake of a story, something that most sane humans probably won’t be attempting. The total time for each cookie ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes, and trying to bake more than one different batch simultaneously turned disastrous when I couldn’t remember which pre-measured bag of sugar or flour was meant for which recipe.
And while I may have cursed Martha once or twice—particularly when I found myself in my freezing cold garage, hammering peppermint candies into tiny pieces—I’ve got to say she knows her stuff. Each and every cookie was utterly delicious and unexpected. From ginger to cardamom, they were filled with unique ingredients that I’d never think to use, but will now be putting on repeat throughout the holiday season.
Keep scrolling for my review of each of Martha Stewart’s signature holiday cookie recipes.