Since we’re already a few days post-Christmas, I’d venture a guess that the frenzy of holiday baking in most households across America has died down. Leftover pies and only the ugliest holiday cookies remain on the kitchen countertop all hoping that Uncle Chuck’s stomach or Brother Billy’s sweet tooth will give them a grand exit like the rest of their dessert brethren before them.

Baking Christmas cookies used to be a regular event when my sister Kelly and I were little. As we’ve grown, it’s become less and less of a priority on my mom’s Christmas TO DO list (she’s a list lady). When I talk on the phone to her about our upcoming holiday plans, I’ll say, “Let’s make cookies!” and she replies with, “Ohh. You really want to make cookies?”

Well sheesh, it’s not like I want to mine our own coal and give it to each other for Christmas. Nevertheless, the cookie initiative now rested on Kelly and my shoulders.

Thus we needed to decide what kind of cookies to make. Cutouts are always the most fun. You can decorate them in a zillion different ways with sprinkles, frosting, food coloring and whatever else you can find in the back of the cupboard. Despite the enticing possibilities for creative cutout-try, my mind was set on a recipe of cookie sophistication I found on smittenkitchen.com.

These iced oatmeal cookies may not scream “WE ARE CHRISTMAS COOKIES!” like sugar snowman cutouts do, but their elegantly draped icing and cinnamon & nutmeg-flavored interior have convinced me they are quite fitting of the season.

Baking Tip: Do you know the difference between Kosher salt and table salt? I didn’t, so I asked my dad.

me: what’s kosher salt?
dad: i don’t know, it’s never seen a pig or something.

Naturally that was wonderfully helpful, so I asked my mom. She told me the granules of Kosher salt are much larger than the granules of table salt. As a result, one teaspoon of table salt is much “more salt” than one teaspoon of Kosher salt. If you plan to swap table salt for Kosher like I did in this recipe, make sure you use much less table salt. Try half. No one likes a salty cookie. ☼

(Learn more about Kosher salt here.)