Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (2024)

Sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, butter cookies and more will add a little sparkle, a little dazzle and lots of memories to your holiday season.

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Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies with Watercolor Icing

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (1)

These crisp, airy cookies taste like old-fashioned bakery cookies—but they're decorated in a totally modern way that's fun and so kid-friendly. The "canvas" is royal icing, and the "paint" is just food coloring!

How to Decorate Dazzling Cookies

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Chocolate-Dipped Espresso Stars

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (2)

These buttery cookies are a staff favorite at Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor and look beautiful on a holiday cookie plate. The recipe comes from the cookbook Zingerman's Bakehouse Celebrate Every Day (Chronicle, $30).

Zingerman's Cooking Classes Teach What You Knead to Know (Really!)

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Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (3)

Kim Van Patten says these Swedish spice cookies are popular at Christmas. Heart shapes are traditional to encourage kindness and sweetness. It certainly is nice that her Iowa State Fair blue-ribbon winners are mixed up in one saucepan!

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Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (4)

This festive recipe comes from Nathan Sivitz of Macaron Bar in Cincinnati. Try with his White Chocolate and Vanilla Whipped Ganache—or fill cookies with fruit curd, dulce de leche or dark chocolate ganache. Check out Sivitz's step-by-step guide and problem-solving tips.

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Vanilla Bean Sables

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (5)

Simple. Elegant. Buttery. These vanilla bean cookies are the perfect slice-and-bake treat, and you can make them four ways.

5 Sweet Holiday Gifts

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

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These easy, nostalgic-tasting cookies are a favorite of Stephanie Simmons, the Wisconsin blogger behind Blue Bowl Recipes and author of the cookbook, The One-Bowl Baker. Use your favorite preserves—Stephanie likes raspberry.

The Midwest's Best Cookie Recipes

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Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (7)

Sandbakkels means "sand tarts" because the cookies (which, flipped over, can double as tiny shells to hold cream and fruit) have such a fine, crisp texture. Find them in Shauna Sever's book Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland.

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Sugar Cookies Like You Remember

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (8)

Nutmeg lends unmistakable holiday flavor to these puffy, old-fashioned cut-out cookies. They do spread a bit, so don't use this recipe for delicate shapes. It's best-suited for circles, bells and the like.

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Peanut Butter Temptations

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (9)

Calling all peanut butter fans! These cookies offer double-the-PB compared to the classic peanut blossom cookie with a chocolate kiss on top. And they couldn't be easier.

So-Good Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes

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Mindy Segal's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (10)

These to-die-for cookies use special chocolate and two kinds of salt, and they call for an overnight chill—and you can absolutely taste the difference. Because of the expense and time involved, we don't recommend them for any old weekend, but they are incredible for a gift or other special occasion. The recipe comes from Chicago chef Mindy Segal's cookbook Cookie Love.

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Valencia Delights

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (11)

Orange and chocolate: a holiday cookie match that will tempt every Santa to take seconds. This recipe comes from Jill Drury in Milwaukee, who created these cookies with her grandmother.

Favorite Family Holiday Recipes

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Oaxacan Mexican Chocolate Cookies

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The recipe for these ultra-rich, cinnamon-laced cookies comes from the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.

Decadent Chocolate Dessert Recipes

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Caramel Heavenlies

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (13)

Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. The recipe comes from Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan.

Best Holiday Desserts

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Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (14)

The secret to perfect lebkuchen is in the resting phase after glazing. An apple wedge in the storage container provides moisture that softens the cookies. This German classic is from Shauna Sever's book Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland.

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Crispy Gingerbread

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (15)

This festively spiced recipe (with a hint of orange zest) makes thin, crunchy cookies that work well for gingerbread houses, edible place cards and ornaments.

Gingerbread Recipes for the Holidays

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Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (16)

These cookies are easier than they look. Make one batch of dough, divide it in half, and blend cocoa into one portion and crushed candy canes and peppermint extract into the other.

Holiday Peppermint Recipes

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Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (17)

These festive "bake-and-slice" cookies look stunning on a tray of holiday desserts.

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (18)

The light lemon flavor gives these sparkling sugar cookies a little special twist. Judy Kiburz Harrison's recipe won best-in-class at the Iowa State Fair.

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Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (19)

These cookies from the Inn at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio, make a colorful treat anytime of year.

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Tosca Diamonds

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (20)

These cookies are extremely rich, so cut them into small bars. We love the indulgent flourish of the caramel sauce, but the cookies are delicious without it.

11 Scandinavian Cookie Recipes

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Holiday Seven-Layer Bars

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (21)

Chocolate, nuts, coconut and more fill our easy-to-make bar cookies. Mixed dried fruit bits and candy-coated milk chocolate pieces are among the layers that make this bar cookie distinctive.

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Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (22)

Polvorones are Mexico's crispy, airy answer to shortbread (you may know them as Mexican wedding cookies). Food writer Shauna Sever coats them in cinnamon sugar for a churro-like effect.

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Lingonberry Hearts

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A "window" on the top of these cookies shows off the jam inside, but if you're feeling lazy, just sandwich the preserves between two solid cookies. They'll taste just as good.

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Apricot and Orange Blossom Kolacky

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (24)

This tender pastry cookie, a cousin to Jewish rugelach, has Polish origins. In her book Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland, Shauna Sever's apricot filling nods to Hungary.

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Fat Molasses Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (25)

Packed with flavor from molasses, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar, these cookies look especially nice when cut with a scalloped or round cutter and sprinkled with coarse sugar or crystallized ginger.

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Triple Peanut Butter Streusel Bars

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Dry-roasted peanuts, peanut butter-flavored pieces and peanut butter bring triple flavor to this make-ahead bar cookie.

Our Best Bar Cookies

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Anisette Buttons

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (27)

"Anisettes feel so Italian because it's about abundance," says Chicago food writer Shauna Sever, of these deliciously soft, cakey cookies with a licorice flavor. "Small bites, but a huge yield."

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Date Pinwheel Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (28)

Minneapolis blogger Alyssa Ruesch says it's not Christmas without these slice-and-bake cookies. It's her grandma's recipe.

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White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (29)

Dip these cherry-studded cookies in melted white chocolate, then roll in nonpareils and edible glitter for extra color.

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Cranberry Date Puffs

Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (30)

These addictive, puff pastry-wrapped cookies have a sweet, nutty filling and are delicious when they're still slightly warm. If you have a food processor, they're a cinch to make.

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Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure (2024)


What is a good assortment of Christmas cookies? ›

With or without frosting, my holiday favorites are rolled sugar cookie cutouts and gingerbread cookies. Because their flavors and textures are so different (one tender and mild, the other crisp and spicy), I'll often include both when giving cookies as gifts.

How long before Christmas should you make Christmas cookies? ›

As for the cookies—made for cookie swaps, church potlucks, household snacking, and Santa's plate—there is one little cheat: make now, freeze for later. You'll find that most of your favorite Christmas cookie recipes can be made anywhere from a month to six months before the 25th of December.

What is America's favorite Christmas cookie? ›

Speaking of holiday baking, nearly half of the country has a favorite Christmas cookie. Among those who can make a single choice, frosted sugar cookies lead the list (32%), with gingerbread (12%) and chocolate chip (11%) rounding out the top three.

What is the #1 cookie in the United States? ›

The chocolate chip cookie is far and away America's favorite cookie This should come as no surprise to anyone who enjoys the tasty treat. More than 53% of American adults prefer the cookies over the next most popular kind, peanut butter.

How many cookies do you need per person for Christmas? ›

A good rule to follow is for every guest to bake a half dozen cookies per each attendee. So, if 10 people attend, each guest would bring five dozen cookies to share. We've put together a chart to help you figure out just how many cookies to ask your guests to make.

What are the most Googled Christmas cookies? ›

Italian Christmas Cookies grow as top cookie

Zoom in: Italian Christmas Cookies were the top cookie in 13 states, more than double the six states from 2022, Google Trends curator Katie Seaton told Axios. Seaton said the Italian cookies dominated the East Coast both this year and last year.

Which Christmas cookies last the longest? ›

Shortbread cookies and spritz cookies are real holiday troopers, lasting a bit longer than the rest. These buttery and crumbly cookies are a great option for a holiday cookie. Shortbread is known for its rich flavor, while spritz cookies are often made with a cookie press.

What is the number one cookie in the world? ›

Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world. It is now sold in over 100 countries. Oreo was first produced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Na-Bis-Co.

What is the most loved cookie? ›

Chocolate chip cookies

What is the most popular type of cookie? It might just be this one. Ever the crowd-pleaser, the chocolate chip cookie is renowned for its balance of richness and sweetness.

What is America's least favorite cookie? ›

On the naughty list of cookies, Americans gave the lowest win records to anise cookies, which only won 29% of its matchups. Other low performers included chai sugar cookies (30%), pfeffernusse (31%), spritz cookies (32%), and meringue cookies (34%).

Can you leave Christmas cookies out overnight? ›

Cookies left out overnight are at risk of microbial contamination, especially if they contain perishable ingredients like eggs or dairy. Harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, can multiply rapidly in these conditions, potentially causing foodborne illness if consumed.

Why are my Christmas cookies hard? ›

Cookies become hard when the moisture in them evaporates. This can be caused by leaving them out in the air for too long, baking them for too long, or storing them improperly. The lack of moisture makes the cookies hard and dry, which makes them difficult to enjoy.

Should I refrigerate my Christmas cookies? ›

Information. Bakery or homemade cookies can be stored at room temperature two to three weeks or two months in the refrigerator. Cookies retain their quality when stored in the freezer for eight to 12 months. Moist bars, such as cheesecake and lemon bars, can be refrigerated for seven days.

What is the number one selling cookie? ›

Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world. It is now sold in over 100 countries. Oreo was first produced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Na-Bis-Co.

What is Santa's second favorite cookie? ›

2. Holiday Candy Cookie Bites – Number two on the list of Santa's favorite cookies is Holiday Candy Cookie Bites, which is a holiday version of the year-round favorite, Chocolate Chip Cookies. Instead of traditional chocolate chips, these cookies are studded with red and green candies and white baking chips.

What are the top 5 favorite cookies? ›

Some of the most popular cookie flavors include:
  • Chocolate chip.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Peanut butter blossoms.
  • Double chocolate chip.
  • Snickerdoodle.
  • Sugar.
  • Shortbread.
  • Pumpkin.


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