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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

For those of you who read my Day in the Life post last Friday and have eagerly been awaiting this recipe, I am happy to say it's finally here. (And if I may say, the wait is worth it.)

The truth is these couldn't be just any cookies, they had to be delicious enough to justify my purchase of an $8 copper cookie cutter from Williams-Sonoma. (I couldn't help it. It was an impulse purchase after they knocked down my defenses with a free shard of Peppermint Bark and paper cup of apple cider. Yes, I put "raise defenses to a whole piece of bark at least" on my list of 2014 New Year's Resolutions.)

Seriously though, these are my favorite holiday cookies so far this season. I started with my favorite chocolate roll-out cookie dough. I like this dough because after just an hour in the fridge, it's easy to roll out. That means no crumbling under your fingers or sticking to your board. (Just be careful not to overmix the dough in the first place—when it presses together, it's ready.) Once baked, the cookies are neither soft nor crisp, but somewhere in the happy middle. Thanks to unsweetened cocoa powder (ideally you'll spring for the good stuff, like Valhrona, if you can) and some salt, they have a deep chocolatey flavor. Packed in an airtight container, the cookies stay good, the flavors even developing, for almost a week.

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Of course they had to get their Christmas best on, so I decided to incorporate candy canes. I didn't want the candy in the dough (woe to me if I'm the reason one of you crack a tooth on a hidden piece of cane) so I decided to sprinkle them over the top. To create the candy cane pieces, I simply put my canes in a zip lock bag and pounded them with a rolling pin until they were in small shards. I affixed the shards to the cookies using a super simple (read: confectioners sugar and water) glaze.

So while you don't need to drop bills on a fancy cookie cutter, if you did and you're looking to prove to a certain significant other that it-was-all-worth-it-really-I-swear, give this recipe a shot.

About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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