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25 Best Christmas Cookies

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cut-out sugar cookies

Photo by Suzana Marinkovic

Are you ready to bake and spread some holiday cheer? Christmas cookie season is here! Whether you need inspiration for your cookie platters, homemade gifts for teachers and neighbors, or a festive potluck dessert, these Christmas cookies have you covered all season long. From gingerbread men to biscotti, there is something for every cookie lover on this list. Be sure to read my best baking tips before you get started to ensure success. Break out your cookie cutters and let the baking begin!

25 Best Christmas Cookies

1.  Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread menGingerbread men are quite possibly the cutest holiday cookies but, sadly, they often taste like cardboard. Not so with these darling gingerbread men: flavored with ginger, molasses and warm spices, and with a perfect crispy-chewy texture, they taste just as good as they look. GET THE RECIPE

2. Old-Fashioned Ginger Spice Cookies

These chewy and soft ginger spice cookies with a sparkly sugar crust are loved by kids and grown-ups alike. The recipe calls for a hint of ground black pepper; you won’t know it’s there, but it adds a subtle heat that lingers on the palate.  GET THE RECIPE

3. Holiday Cut-Out Butter Cookies

Photo by Suzana Marinkovic

Buttery and crisp, these almond-scented sugar cut-out cookies are a dream to make. The dough comes together in minutes, is easy to work with, and holds its shape perfectly when baked. GET THE RECIPE

4. Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Sweet but not cloying, these buttery, nutty, sugar-crusted shortbread cookies come from pastry chef Lisa Kolb Ruland of the blog Unpeeled. They are perfect to serve with coffee or tea any time of day, and they make a lovely homemade gift. GET THE RECIPE

5. THE BEST Chocolate CHIP Cookies

These classic chocolate chip cookies are reliably thick, chewy and moist on the inside, and crisp on the edges. And they have a perfect balance of salty, sweet and chocolaty flavor. GET THE RECIPE

6. Snickerdoodles

Sweet and buttery sugar cookies coated with cinnamon-sugar – who can resist an old-fashioned snickerdoodle? This is a great recipe to make with young kids; little ones love forming the squishy dough into balls and rolling them in cinnamon-sugar before baking. GET THE RECIPE

7. Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy, ultra-rich, and sprinkled with flaky sea salt, these sinfully good peanut butter cookies from Ovenly are made with only five ingredients, and they are also gluten and dairy-free.  GET THE RECIPE

8. Nutty Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s award-winning cookie book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy, these thumbprint cookies are made with a nutty wedding cookie dough, which makes a delicious base for a spoonful of sweet fruit preserves. GET THE RECIPE

9. The Best Sugar Cookies

They may look plain, but these crave-worthy cookies are rich and buttery with a crisp, sugary exterior and soft, chewy interior. The secret ingredients? Cream cheese, which makes the cookies tender, and a hint of almond extract, which gives the cookies a delicate almond flavor. GET THE RECIPE

10. Scottish Shortbread

scottish shortbreadCrisp, ultra-buttery, and not too sweet, shortbread cookies are easy to make with ingredients that are always on hand. Traditionally baked in large rounds and cut into wedges, shortbread is served in Scotland on winter solstice and holidays. It’s delicious with tea or coffee any time of day — and since it’s plain (in a good way), kids love it too. GET THE RECIPE

11. Oatmeal Brown Sugar Cookies with Raisins and Pecans

oatmeal raisin cookiesThese are the be-all-and-end-all oatmeal raisin cookies. They are made with fewer oats than most recipes, which, surprisingly, makes for much better oatmeal cookies. They are also sweetened entirely with brown sugar, which gives them wonderful a flavor and texture. GET THE RECIPE

12. Double Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

My son calls these chocolate biscotti “crunchy brownies.” It makes sense – biscotti are twice-baked cookies made intentionally dry and crisp for dunking into tea or coffee — and these are loaded with of chocolate. They might seem like fancy adult cookies, but children love them too. Serve them with a glass of hot chocolate or warm milk for dunking and you will have very happy kiddos. GET THE RECIPE

13. Peanut Butter Blossoms

Easy to make and sinfully good, peanut butter blossoms are chewy peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s kisses. GET THE RECIPE

14. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate CrinklesChocolate crinkle cookies are what happens when you cross a brownie with a chocolate chip cookie. To get the crinkled exterior, you roll the chocolate dough balls in powdered sugar. As the cookies bake, they spread, causing the sugar to crack and reveal the chocolate cookie underneath. GET THE RECIPE

15. Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

double chocolate chip cookies

Chockfull of chocolate chips and pecans, these double chocolate cookies are puffy, chewy, gooey, and crunchy. Feel free to swap out the add-ins and play with the recipe: dot the cookies with white chocolate chips, replace the pecans for walnuts, add dried cranberries or cherries, or sandwich the cookies together with ice cream.  GET THE RECIPE

16. Almond Biscotti

almond biscotti

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Inspired by the cookies served at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, these biscotti are made by shaping an almond-studded cookie dough into loaves, baking it, slicing it, and then baking it again. They are lightly sweet, buttery, crunchy but not tooth-shattering, and good any time of day. GET THE RECIPE

17. Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

double chocolate mint cookies

These outrageously good double chocolate cookies with mint chips taste just like Thin Mints® but with the texture of classic chocolate chip cookies. What could be better than that? GET THE RECIPE

18. Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

These gorgeously light meringue cookies have a crisp outer shell and marshmallowy interior filled with chocolate chips. Bonus: they’re naturally gluten-free. GET THE RECIPE

19. Coconut Macaroons

coconut macaroons

Chewy inside and golden-crisp outside, these coconut macaroons are wonderful plain but even more irresistible dipped in melted dark chocolate. They keep well for days on end, making them the perfect cookie to bake ahead or gift to friends and neighbors over the holidays. GET THE RECIPE

20. Toffee Almond Sandies

A longtime family favorite, these toffee almond sandies are buttery, sweet shortbread cookies studded with caramelized toffee bits and slivered almonds. The recipe makes a ton and the cookies keep for a long time – the perfect holiday cookie!  GET THE RECIPE

21. Chocolate Kisses (Baci di Cioccolato)

These sophisticated chocolate cookies come from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by the late Gina DePalma. A variation of  baci di dama (Italian lady’s kisses), which consist of two tiny hazelnut cookies and a rich chocolate filling, they are perfect Christmas cookie for the chocolate lovers in your life.  GET THE RECIPE

22. Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Technically not cookies, but the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie platter, these rich truffles are pure chocolate bliss. They’re so intensely chocolate, you really only need one or two to satisfy your sweet tooth. Bonus: they’re easy to make with one bowl and a microwave. GET THE RECIPE

SECRET INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These exceptional chocolate chip cookies are made with two secret ingredients: finely ground oatmeal and coconut. Everyone loves them but no one will guess what’s in them. GET THE RECIPE

24. Coconut Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Want to jazz up the traditional Mexican wedding cookie? This unique variation is flavored with lime, pecans and ground coconut.  GET THE RECIPE

25. Tate’s Copycat Thin & Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like the famous thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop in the Hamptons, you’ll love this copycat recipe. The cookies are crunchy, buttery, and downright addictive. GET THE RECIPE

Comments

  • Thank you Jenn….can’t wait to try these recipes…:)

    • — Marlene on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • OMG, this is like sitting in my mother’s kitchen going through recipes to get ready to bake. It was just my mom, sister and I growing up and we didn’t have a lot to spend for Christmas gifts for teachers, doctors, etc. so we baked! Everyone waited for my mom’s Christmas cookies. Thank you for carrying on a tradition……

    • — Cassie, the keebler cookie elf :) on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love these recipes…and THE GREAT CHRISTMAS IDEAS!! I want the gift to American test kitchen for myself! Please someone take the hint!!!

    • — Birdie on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • lol

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is so helpful!! I can’t wait to make these with my family (:

    • — Isabella G. on December 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much for these recipes. I have made a few of these cookies from your cookbooks and also your blog. I will try some of the cookies I have not made…I have been meaning to make them. I have some of your recipes that i will use for my baking business that i will be start next year i’m just getting really prepared on what i do for the next year because my business will be in Dallas,Texas.

    • — Rylan on December 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Probably you’ve included these in your collection(s) somewhere. One of my favorite cutouts is filled cookies, because they can be as simple, elegant, and/or creative as the limits of our imagination.

    • — Susie Redus on December 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Send all 25 recipes to my mailbox address ethelenalilly@gmail.com

    • — Ethelena Lilly on December 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ethelena, Unfortunately, I’m not able to send each one to you, but if you click on this link, you’ll find links to all 25 recipes. Hope you enjoy whatever you make!

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • Dear Jenn,

    Thank you so much for these recipes. I have made a few of these cookies from your cook books and also your blog. I will try some of the cookies I have not made…like the coconut macaroons…I have been meaning to make them.

    I hope that you have a nice holiday…I wonder if you celebrate the gift giving or the tree part of Christmas. We have Jewish friends that we have included in our Christmas and they have included us at Passover. I have always done Hanukkah and Purim in our home when our kids were growing up. I wanted to teach others traditions and tolerance. Now that our daughter and her husband have three sets of Jewish neighbours in Victoria, BC., the Jewish holidays we celebrated and learned about, have come in handy. And…the neighbours are amazed that Katharine knows as much as she does. Our boys, too, remember…especially Hanukkah, when we played with the Dreidel and they won Hanukkah geldt (the chocolate gold wrapped coins).

    You send amazing recipes to all of us. The only recipe that I felt was not as good as mine was The Marble Cake. Lol!!

    Thank you again for sharing. xo

    • — Jacqueline Slocombe on December 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jacqueline, What a great thing you did exposing your kids to another religion as they were growing up! Sounds like it was not only a lot of fun for them but it has served them well as adults! So glad you enjoy the recipes and I hope you find a new a few new cookie ones to try from this collection. Have a wonderful Christmas! XO

      • — Jenn on December 9, 2021
      • Reply
      • I was looking for a recipe for Rugelach, mandel bread and Rolodot. Thank you!!

        • — Deborah on December 11, 2021
        • Reply

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