(Emily Loose/The Penn)

Baking cookies is one of the sweetest things to do around the holidays.

As the rise of the holiday season approaches, so does the aroma of fresh baked cookies.

One of the holiday season’s biggest staples are the cookies that are made every year. Whether made just for family or to give out, many have a cookie that is special to them at this time of year.

Students at IUP talked about their own favorites as well as whether they would be doing any of the baking this year.

Amanda Valinotti (senior, fine arts) was one of those students who said they enjoyed baking. She said she took over where her grandmother left off last year.

“My grandma used to mail them to our whole family, but she passed away last year,” Valinotti said. “When the Christmas season came up, I took over that role to keep up everyone’s spirits.”

Valinotti also said her favorite cookies at this time of year were peanut butter blossoms and candy cane cookies.

Peanut butter blossoms are peanut butter cookies that are topped with a Hershey Kiss or sometimes a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Lauren Eylicio (junior, entrepreneurship and management) also said she enjoyed peanut butter blossoms, as it was one of the ones she liked to bake, too.

“Every Christmas, I make thumbprints, peanut butter blossoms and chocolate chip,” she said. “This year, I’m making an Oreo cheesecake cookie, too.”

Thumbprints were a popular choice among students. They are cookies with a thumb indent in them that is then filled with a jam or frosting.

Madison Frederick (senior, hospitality management) said it was the cookie her family made plenty of during the holidays.

“Thumbprint cookies are a classic in my family,” she said. “We make like 500 of them every year.”

Leanna Sottile (sophomore, management) agreed with Frederick, though her choice in thumbprint cookies were a less traditional version.

“Thumbprints are my favorite,” Sottile said. “The one with the peanut butter cookie and the chocolate kiss on top are the best.”

Another popular choice was snickerdoodles for Elizabeth Stash (sophomore, kinesiology) and Martina McKimm (sophomore, interior design).

McKimm said she liked pairing her snickerdoodles with a classic holiday beverage.

 “I love snickerdoodles and dipping them in hot chocolate,” she said.

While Elizabeth Muchesko (sophomore, history) said she loved cookies, she was not one who enjoyed baking.

“I’m too impatient for baking, but I like keeping people company while they bake,” she said.

Her favorite cookies are Andes Candies cookies. She said they are a chocolate cookie with Andes Mint Candies melted on top.

Ann Gamble (sophomore, geography and regional planning) said she enjoyed baking, but not just cookies.

“My favorite cookies are sugar cookies,” Gamble said. “But I like making blueberry muffins.”

Alicia Smail (junior, biology) also said she liked to bake aside from just cookies.

“While my favorite cookies are snowballs, I like to bake cinnamon rolls,” she said.

The holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year for baking. This has been proved through IUP students and their joy for cookies.

Whether or not they do the baking themselves or help their families, these students said that a lot of their holiday spirit comes from traditional treats that they grew up with.

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