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Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

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.

A collage image different Christmas cookie recipes

The Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

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!

Helpful Cookie Baking Tips

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.

Decorating Your Christmas Cookies

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! 

36 Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes to Try

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.

A baking tray lined with a silicone baking mat, with baked sugar cookies on it.

Classic Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

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.

Overhead view of chocolate cutout sugar cookies frosted and decorated with various designs and buttercream colors.

Chocolate Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Similar to my classic cut-out cookies, this chocolate version is a soft-baked cookie, not overly sweet and pairs perfectly with buttercream. The dough is quick to prepare with a short chill time.

A bunch of green and white spritz cookies piled onto a white countertop

Classic Spritz Cookies

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!

A close-up shot of homemade butter cookies with dark chocolate and sprinkles decorating about half of them

Classic Butter 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!

A gingerbread man cookie decorated with a face and clothes with more decorated cookies beside it

Gingerbread Men Cookies

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.

An overhead view of Christmas Anise cookies

Anise Cookies

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!

A red plate filled with chocolate thumbprint cookies decorated with sprinkles.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

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 Christmas pinwheel cookie with a stack of cookies behind it.

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

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.

stack of chocolate peppermint cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

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!

red and white tissue paper and white chocolate dipped sugar cookies with sprinkles

Peppermint Crunch Sugar Cookies

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!

A small pink dish with gold polka dots is filled with Mexican Wedding Cookies

Snowball Cookies

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!

A batch of Peanut Butter Blossoms with some stacked on top of each other.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

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!

A vintage metal round pan filled with cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies

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.

A stack of five sugar cookies with every other cookie covered in nonpareil sprinkles

Soft Chocolate Sugar Cookies

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.

overhead of melted snowman cookies on a plate next to a red ribbon

Melted Snowman Cookies

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.

close up shot of a snickerdoodle cookie on a white plare

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.

three cookies leaning on one another

Soft Molasses Cookies

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

A white plate with cranberry orange cookies drizzled with chocolate

White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Cookies

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.

Overhead view of an Andes Mint cookie topped with an Andes Mint, with more cookies in the background.

Andes Mint Cookies

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!

closeup of sugar cookie with red, green, and white sprinkles with other festive cookies in the background

Peppermint Kiss Cookies

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.

Overhead view of assorted Christmas Oreos decorated to look like reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees.

Easy Christmas Oreos

Easy, fun and festive these Chocolate Covered Christmas Oreos are adorable. These make the perfect gift or addition to a Christmas cookie platter.

shortbread cookie leaning on a stack of more cookies

Chocolate Dipped Espresso Shortbread Cookies

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.

Cranberry shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate, lined up

Cranberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

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!

Three seven layer dessert bars stacked on top of one another with more bars in the background

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!

Close up of a almond cookie decorated with sliced almonds, with more cookies on a plate in the background.

Soft and Chewy Almond Cookies

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!

A sugar cookie with a pecan on top leaning up against a small blue bowl filled with cookies

Classic Cream Cheese Cookies

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!

Two peanut butter chocolate cookies stacked on each other

Peanut Butter Buckeye Cookies

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.

overhead shot of sugar cookie bar decorated with a buttercream Christmas tree

Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars

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!

3 chocolate chip cookie bars stacked on each other

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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.

A vintage baking tray filled with coconut balls, and a few scattered on a wooden plank

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.

A plate full of chocolate coconut macaroons with a kitchen towel in the foreground

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 Truffles Piled Onto a Light Pink Dessert Plate

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.

peanut clusters in a small white bowl with more in the background

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!

A glass plate piled high with rum balls decorated in various ways

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!

Peanut butter truffles on a polka dotted plate with a glass of milk in the background

Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies

I make my peanut butter balls with creamy peanut butter, Rice Krispies, and dark chocolate for a delicious combination of textures and sweet-salty chocolate peanut butter flavor!

Peanut butter buckeyes in a small white bowl with black polkadots.

Classic Peanut Butter Buckeyes

Similar to the Peanut Butter Balls, these no-bake Buckeyes are super simple to make.  These taste like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, maybe a bit fudgier

How to Store and Freeze Christmas Cookies

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.

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