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A festive collection of my favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes! From the classics to creative twists, these cookies are perfect for gifting and sharing. Plus, easy time-saving tips and other helpful hints for making the best holiday cookies.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Best Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Helpful Cookie Baking Tips
- Decorating Your Christmas Cookies
- 36 Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes to Try
- Classic Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Classic Spritz Cookies
- Classic Butter Cookies
- Gingerbread Men Cookies
- Anise Cookies
- Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
- Soft-Baked Pinwheel Cookies
- Brown Sugar Cookies
- Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Melted Snowman Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Perfect Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles
- Soft Molasses Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies
- Andes Mint Cookies
- Peppermint Cream Thumbprint Cookies
- Peppermint Kiss Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Espresso Shortbread Cookies
- Cranberry Almond Shortbread Cookies
- Seven Layer Bars
- Soft and Chewy Almond Cookies
- Classic Cream Cheese Cookies
- Peanut Butter Buckeye Cookies
- Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Coconut Krispie Date Balls
- Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
- Chocolate Truffle Dessert Recipe
- 4-Ingredient Peanut Clusters
- Chocolate Rum Balls
- Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies
- How to Store and Freeze Christmas Cookies
Christmas cookies are one of my favorite holiday traditions. We always decorated sugar cookies when we were kids and it’s still one of my favorite things to do today with my own family.
Lately, I’ve been going through my grandmother’s old Christmas recipes. It’s like visiting a culinary thrift store! I’m finding so many gems and throwback treasures. Many are staple cookie recipes that I remember from my childhood, that everyone always loved.
I’ve taken to sharing some of grandmother’s other recipes that always made an appearance at the holidays, like her Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. Today’s focus is solely on Christmas cookies! It’s the be-all, end-all list of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes. Some are classics adapted from her recipes, and some are fun creative twists.
The cookie recipes below are perfect for cookie exchanges, Christmas Charcuterie Boards, or as gifts for family, neighbors, friends, or clients. Even better, you just may find a new favorite Christmas cookie recipe that becomes a tradition in your family!
Before we kickstart this ultimate holiday baking list, here are some helpful hints and tips that I’ve picked up throughout my many, many hours spent baking Christmas cookies!
- Prepare the dough in advance. Many cookie dough recipes can be made ahead of time, especially sugar cookies. This can really save time if you have a bunch of cookies to bake.
- Don’t skip chilling the dough. If you have recipes that call for chilling the dough, prepare them ahead so that the dough can chill while you move on to other tasks. Don’t skip chilling because you’re short on time!
- No-bake recipes are your friend. Consider adding no-bake cookies or candy recipes to the mix. These are a great way to maximize the time while your other cookies are baking, or while the dough is chilling.
- Review the baking temperatures. Cookies with similar temperatures can go into the oven together! And if a recipe requires a lower baking temperature, bake that one first.
- Avoid overloading the oven. Cookies bake more evenly in an uncrowded oven. Stick to 1-2 trays at a time, and on the top rack only, depending on the size of your oven. Try to have your next tray ready to go when the first batch is ready!
- Freeze cookies in advance. Many of these recipes can be prepared in advance and frozen for easy thawing later on! See the sections further down for easy cookie storing and freezing tips.
Many of the cookie recipes below are great for decorating. I have easy recipes for Perfect Vanilla Buttercream (Check out How to Color Buttercream to dye it festive colors!) or this Cookie Icing Recipe that I always use.
If you’re looking for fun ideas for decorating and frosting your homemade Christmas cookies, check out my post on How to Decorate Cookies with Frosting for pointers!
From the classic to the creative, let’s dive into a comprehensive list of the cookies you absolutely MUST try this holiday season. You’ll find sugar cookie recipes, spicy gingerbread cookies, festive thumbprint cookies, easy peppermint cookie bars, plus recipes for homemade truffles, and loads more.
Learn how to make perfect cut-out sugar cookies! This is a simple tutorial that walks you through how to make, cut out, and bake up the best Christmas sugar cookies that are ready for decorating.
I can’t get enough of these adorable little spritz cookies. This recipe is so soft and buttery. You can press them into any shape your heart desires and you’ll never run out of ways to decorate your spritz cookies!
Nothing beats a classic, rich homemade butter cookie at Christmastime. These are made with just 7 ingredients that I can almost guarantee you have in your pantry. So easy, and so delicious!
These easy, cut-out gingerbread man cookies are the best way to ring in the holidays, and always a classic! My gingerbread cookies are soft and not dry, with a thick, chewy texture and the perfect amount of spice.
These soft, cake-like Anise Christmas Christmas cookies are a traditional Italian Christmas cookie recipe flavored with anise extract. Topped with a sugary glaze and your favorite holiday sprinkles, they’re the perfect melt-in-your-mouth treat!
Satisfy your holiday chocolate cravings with these easy chocolate thumbprint cookies! Made from a no-fuss cookie dough that’s baked and then filled with fudgy chocolate for a little something special. Sprinkle them with red and green and enjoy!
A Christmassy version of my grandmother’s classic soft-baked pinwheel cookies, this recipe is one of my family’s favorite additions to our annual cookie plates! Made from layers of soft, chewy sugar cookie dough dyed Christmassy colors.
These chewy, candy cane-inspired dark chocolate cookies are filled with chocolate chips and Andes peppermint crunch, for a taste of the holidays in every bite!
My peppermint crunch sugar cookies are infused with peppermint flavor from the inside out and dipped in white chocolate for some holiday flair. Basically, the perfect Christmas cookie!
Snowball cookies are classic buttery shortbread cookies filled with pecans or walnuts, then rolled in powdered sugar. You may know them as Russian tea cakes, or Mexican wedding cookies. No matter what, they’re a staple in our house!
Peanut butter blossoms are always the first cookies I grab from the cookie platter. They’re soft-baked peanut butter cookies with a hint of chocolate, truly the best combo. So addictive!
The inspiration behind my Christmas Pinwheels, this original cookie recipe is the real MVP! I make them every year and they always disappear from the dessert table in minutes.
This is an easy sugar cookie recipe made extra soft and tender thanks to brown sugar. I love the subtle caramelized flavor, it makes these brown sugar cookies super cozy.
These fudgy chocolate sugar cookies are packed with cocoa flavor and are perfect for decorating! Load them up with holiday sprinkles and sink your teeth into a bit of yuletide indulgence.
Christmas cookies don’t come cuter than these melted snowmen! This easy cookie recipe is a perfect holiday activity to do with the kids, too.
These traditional, jam-filled thumbprint cookies are so delightfully easy to make, yet so irresistible! Made from crisp, buttery cookies filled with your favorite fruit preserves and dusted with powdered sugar.
Perfect Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles
These are simply the BEST snickerdoodle cookies you’ll ever have. This is my go-to Christmas cookie recipe that I bring to all my holiday gatherings, as it’s totally easy and always a hit.
My molasses cookies pack a generous kick of ginger flavor and have the most amazing chewy texture! With crispy edges and soft middles, they’re downright irresistible. Finished with a coating of crunchy sugar? u003cemu003eChef’s kissu003c/emu003e
This homemade cookie recipe is packing the trifecta of seasonal flavors: white chocolate, cranberry, and zesty orange! Made from buttery cookies bursting with bright fruit and drizzled with a sweet glaze, these are completely irresistible.
Mint and chocolate are really the perfect pair. These fudgy Andes Mint cookies bring them together with loads of chocolate chips in a tasty, holiday-worthy chocolate cookie recipe!
Take a bite out of the holidays with these festive thumbprint cookies filled with peppermint cream. This is an easy cookie recipe infused with all things Christmas, right down to the white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy!
These peppermint kiss cookies are a Christmas-inspired take on my favorite peanut butter blossoms! They have a rich sugar cookie base that’s rolled in festive sprinkles, then topped with a Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss.
My espresso shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate are the best after-dinner pick-me-up! Espresso powder and dark chocolate give this traditional shortbread recipe a jolt of mocha flavor.
These Christmas-worthy almond shortbread cookies are bursting with sweetened dried cranberries and dipped in white chocolate. They’re a perfect addition to any cookie tray!
Seven Layer Bars
Thick and chewy 7-layer bars are choc full of all the good stuff! Made from layers of chocolate and butterscotch chips, crunchy nuts, and shredded coconut smothered in sweetened condensed milk and then baked. There’s a reason these are also called magic bars!
For a fabulous Christmas cookie that’s loaded with rich, buttery almond flavor, look no further than these chewy almond cookies. Friends and family always beg me for this recipe!
Simple and classic, with tons of sweet and tangy flavor, these cream cheese cookies are a holiday favorite. The texture of these cookies melts in your mouth!
A traditional homemade Christmas candy gets turned into a decadent cookie recipe! If you love peanut butter buckeyes, you’re going to swoon after these peanut butter buckeye cookies.
Does it get merrier than a sheet of peppermint sugar cookie bars frosted to look like a Christmas tree? This is my ultimate “lazy” Christmas cookie recipe, as there’s no shaping or scooping involved. Just bake the bars all in one go, then get decorating!
These easy-peasy chocolate chip cookie bars are perfect to bring to your next holiday potluck, or to leave out for Santa! Everything we love about chewy chocolate chip cookies with half the effort.
Coconut Krispie Date Balls
Crispy no-bake holiday date balls are made with Rice Krispie cereal for crunch, and rolled in coconut for a snowed-in look! One bite of these easy date balls will have you hooked. My mom loved always loved this recipe, as it’s great for gifting.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
Coconut lovers, meet the ultimate cookie platter add-on: chocolate coconut macaroons! This delicious homemade dessert is infused with tropical coconut and drizzled with dark chocolate.
Chocolate Truffle Dessert Recipe
This easy chocolate truffles recipe can be dressed up for any holiday, but we especially love it at Christmas! Roll these decadent homemade truffles in cocoa powder or sprinkles, dip them in chocolate, or roll them in nuts.
4-Ingredient Peanut Clusters
You only need 4 ingredients to make these super-easy no-bake peanut clusters! This homemade candy recipe is another of my family’s favorites. Package these chocolate peanut butter clusters into some festive bags for the perfect homemade holiday gift!
Chocolate Rum Balls
My boozy chocolate rum truffles are an indulgent treat made with chocolate, dark rum, Nilla Wafers, plus walnuts for crunch. Make them ahead to really let the flavors develop!
Whether you’re making them ahead or storing leftovers, storing your homemade Christmas cookies is easy enough.
- Storing Cookies: Most cookie recipes are fine to store airtight at room temperature for a few days. Of course, always refer to the storage instructions for individual recipes to be sure! If you’ve frosted your cookies, for example, certain frostings may need to be kept refrigerated.
- Freezing Cookies: To freeze cookies for a later day, store them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Defrost the cookies on the counter at room temperature, outside of the bag or container, before serving.