Christmas Cookie Recipes

Make this season's cookie collection your best ever! We've gathered more than 40 Christmas cookie recipes, including brown sugar cookies, eggnog cookies, peppermint cookies, pistachio cookies and chocolate mint cookies—along with some of our all-time-favorite takes on gingerbread cookies. They're the sweetest way to say "Merry Christmas!"

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  • 1 of 60

    Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies

    Break out the waffle iron to make these cute chocolate and peppermint cookies. They're finished with a rich chocolate glaze and a sprinkle of crushed candy canes. Like many Christmas cookie recipes, these can be made and frozen up to 3 months in advance—but wait to glaze and decorate them until you're ready to serve them. 

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  • 2 of 60

    Basic Thumbprint Cookies

    If you’re looking for Christmas cookie recipes that are simple enough for children to help make, give these classics a try. Involve younger chefs by using their thumbprints in the sugar cookie dough. Or, ask them to choose their favorite jam and sprinkles for the topping.

  • 3 of 60

    Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    Some Christmas cookie recipes are so opulent, they can double as dessert! That’s the case with these stunning little bites. Put the cookie pies on the sweets table at any holiday gathering, and watch everyone go wild for them.

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  • 4 of 60

    Bell-Shape Reindeer Cookies

    These Rudolph-inspired treats are a sweet addition to any reindeer games. Bell-shape cookies are decorated with chocolate frosting, candy coated antlers, and a bright red jelly bean. With the ability to easily customize each reindeer from Donner to Dancer, you'll be the one shouting out with glee!

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    Chocolate-Mint Thins

    Santa (and everyone else!) will love these chocolate mint cookies. Use cocoa and mint extract to infuse cookie dough that you twist together, then slice and bake. It yields 60 traditional Christmas cookies—more than enough for you and Santa (and everyone else!) to share.

  • 6 of 60

    Holiday Snowmen Cookies

    When you’re putting together a tray of traditional Christmas cookies, a snowman cutout is a must! Here, store-bought cookie dough makes the recipe extra-easy. Frost the cookies with royal icing, then decorate with candies of your choice. P.S: In true Frosty fashion, these cuties can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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    Mint-Chocolate Trees

    Bake a chipper batch of these itty-bitty Christmas tree cookies in just four easy steps using homemade dough, food coloring, and pecan halves.

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    French Pistachio Creamwiches

    Leave it to the French to inspire one of our chicest Christmas cookie recipes ever. These mini party-perfect pistachio cookies are filled with brandy-flavored buttercream and rolled in the nuts for a sweet-salty crunch and a festive hint of green.

  • 9 of 60

    White Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread

    In one of our all-time-favorite Christmas cookie recipes ever, shortbread gets all glammed up for the occasion. It’s easier than it looks—we simply added maraschino cherries and white chocolate to the dough. Then, to decorate, we dipped them in melted white chocolate, and sprinkled them with edible glitter and white nonpareils. 

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    3-D Gingerbread Trees

    Transform gingerbread cookies into a winter wonderland of dazzling Christmas trees. Royal icing is the “glue” the holds the 3-D trees together. Use pastel candies to decorate each in your own sweet style.

  • 11 of 60

    Roly-Poly Santas

    If you’re looking for Christmas cookie recipes that take on the shapes of the season—without cookie cutters—you’ll love this recipe. Here, you simply roll your way to these big-bellied Santa cookies. Use chocolate-dots for the coat buttons, pipe snow frosting for his fluffy white beard, and add a cinnamon candy for his cherry-red nose.

  • 12 of 60

    Round Snowflake Cookies

    No tricky cookie cutters needed here—a circle will do! These Frosty-approved snowflakes start with plain sugar cookies—store-bought or homemade—and finish with toothpick-swirled icing designs.

  • 13 of 60

    Salted Chocolate-Caramel Rounds

    These caramel-coated confections boast a sweet surprise when you bite into them: more chocolate-covered caramel! A sprinkling of coarse salt offsets the sweet layering of chocolate and candy for a holiday treat that everyone will indulge in.

  • Spritz Christmas Cookie Wreath, candy, Christmas treats 14 of 60

    Spritz Christmas Cookie Wreath

    Spritz is one of those traditional Christmas cookies everyone yearns for this time of year. We show you how to color the cookies green and use them to make a beautiful wreath for cute party presentation.  

  • 15 of 60

    Hanging Stocking Sugar Cookies

    Add a little Christmas magic to your cookie platter by serving these gravity-defying sweets. Classic sugar cookies never looked quite so cute.

  • 16 of 60

    Peppermint Penguins

    With brisk, minty flavor and dashing good looks, these penguin cookies will get all the attention at a holiday potluck or exchange. For gift-giving, package them in clear cellophane bags to elicit instant smiles.

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    Cranberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies

    Some of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes feature ingredients that are popular come holiday time. Here, cranberries bring the seasonal appeal we seek. The white-chocolate coating is reminiscent of a dusting of snow. 

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    Brown Sugar Shortbreads

    Be spontaneous! Take a look in your fridge, pantry, and spice rack. Chances are, you already have all the ingredients you need to make these buttery brown sugar cookies. P.S.: If you don’t have a cookie stamp, you can use a juice glass, wine glass, or other vessel with a festive design on the bottom.

  • Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies 19 of 60

    Chocolate-Peppermint Sandwich Cookies

    Our Extra-Festive White Chocolate Peppermint Frosting becomes a lavish filling for these ultra-decadent chocolate and peppermint cookies. They may look like a lot of work, but at their heart, they’re just an easy drop cookie in delicious disguise.

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    Snowball Trees

    Roll and pack homemade dough into snowball-like cookie trees. String them with sweet vanilla icing, then add fun pops of color using decorative candies for lights.

  • 21 of 60

    Cherry Pinwheels

    Let our jam-packed cherry pinwheels sweep you off your feet. We bake these buttery cookies with a scoop of sour cream to create their supersoft texture. Unwrap them for a luscious, cherry-licious surprise.

  • 22 of 60

    Star Mint Meringues

    These peppermint cookies are cool and sweet, melt-in-your-mouth treats. Yet because they’re also light and airy, they’ll provide a good contrast to the more rich and indulgent Christmas cookie recipes on your shortlist. Check out our clever secret to adding the festive red color to these traditional Christmas cookies—all it takes is some well-placed stripes of food coloring inside your piping bag. 

  • 23 of 60

    Piped Reindeer Cookies

    Add fashion-forward style to your Christmas cookie decorating. Cut out a reindeer, then pipe frosting from darkest to lightest to create an ombre-inspired design. We used five shades to make our craveworthy cookie. Use our basic sugar cookie cutout recipe cut into reindeers and decorate as described. 

  • 24 of 60

    Brown Sugar and Spice Wedges

    Here's a golden cookie idea: Pair brown sugar with pumpkin pie spice. These two holiday essentials mingle perfectly in light and crisp cookie wedges. Smear with caramel topping for sweet bakery appeal.

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    Brown Sugar S'more Drops

    Chocolate, crushed graham crackers, and marshmallows—the classic ingredients of a favorite campfire treat—get stirred into a luscious brown sugar cookie. Tote these to a cookie exchange, and you’ll get kudos for bringing one of the best Christmas cookie recipes to the table.

  • 26 of 60

    Eggnog-Nut Thumbprints

    These aren’t just eggnog cookies, they’re spiked eggnog cookies! A wee bit of rum (or rum extract, if you prefer) in the filling makes them a very merry take on the thumbprint indeed.

  • 27 of 60

    Chocolate-Dipped Trail Bites

    With most Christmas cookie recipes, you can vary the decorations from simple to fancy. Case in point: No one will complain if you serve these cranberry shortbread cookies simply as they are. But for added appeal, dip each in lush melted chocolate; then, sprinkle with sea salt or top with a candied orange slice. Better yet, go all out and do both!

  • 28 of 60

    Browned Butter Pecan Sandies

    Presentation counts, and this tasty Christmas cookie recipe looks gorgeous when finished with coarse sugar and a molasses drizzle. A pecan half hints at what's inside.

  • 29 of 60

    Mint-Chocolate and Vanilla Wreaths

    Share some holiday cheer by sending snazzy wreaths to your friends' and family's front doors. In our Christmas cookie version, we alternate vanilla and peppermint-chocolate doughs for a minty-sweet treat.

  • 30 of 60

    Christmas Thyme Cookies

    While butter cookies always score a spot on our list of best Christmas cookie recipes, we thought it was time to refresh the classic. Here, a more modern angle comes by way of tart lemon and fragrant thyme. Dust these updated cookies with glittery green sugar before popping them in the oven.

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  • 31 of 60

    Almond Breton Biscuits

    Ooh la la! We adore these scrumptious French cookies. After all, they're made with smooth butter and rich ground almonds. Roll the dough in red and white sprinkles before slicing and baking to add holiday sophistication.

  • 32 of 60

    Eggnog Spritz

    This recipe melds two traditional Christmas cookies—buttery spritz cookies and eggnog cookies—into one hard-to-beat favorite. For a lovely gift idea, present the cookies with a package of holiday tea, coffee, or cocoa mix and a pretty mug.

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    Toasty Coconut Wedges

    Make a play on pie with coconut-crusted cookie wedges. Coarse green sugar provides an elegant edge.

  • 34 of 60

    Mint Meringue Kisses

    Get out your piping bag and green food coloring—things are about to get festive! Here, semisweet chocolate gets sandwiched between two crisp mint meringues for a light and delicate take on chocolate mint cookies.

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    Chocolate Puffs with Mascarpone Cream

    Just try to resist this chocolate Christmas cookie: Chocolaty cream puffs sandwich a rose syrup-infused mascarpone filling. For serving to a crowd, skip the chocolate drizzle, or provide some bittersweet chocolate and melting instructions in a cute container to make the ultimate food gift.

  • 36 of 60

    Chocolate Palmiers

    A hint of hazelnut takes these rolled-dough palmiers beyond typical chocolate cookies. The distinctive look comes from shaping the flattened dough into spirals.

  • 37 of 60

    Tangerine Butter Cookies

    A distinctive X in the center of these cookies makes them stand apart from basic butter cookies—and so does the finely shredded tangerine peel, which adds a refreshing citrus bite to these sugar-topped treats.

  • 38 of 60

    Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

    Any year’s roster of Christmas cookie recipes has to include at least one variation of the thumbprint. With hazelnut, caramel, and two kinds of chocolate (rich Dutch-process cocoa and semisweet chocolate pieces), this ooey-gooey take on the traditional Christmas cookies might just trump them all. 

  • 39 of 60

    Triple-Decker Decadence

    You know you have to include a chocolate cookie on your list of Christmas cookie recipes, so why not go all in, with layer upon layer of chocolate decadence? Bonus: Brown sugar enriches the flavor of these beauties, so if you love brown sugar cookies, take a look!

  • 40 of 60

    Cherry-Pistachio Cremes

    Cherries and almonds often make their way into Christmas cookie recipes. Here, we keep the cherries, but upgrade the nuts to pistachios. Maraschino cherry juice is the secret to the pretty-in-pink filling for this extra-exquisite take on pistachio cookies.

  • 41 of 60

    Lemon-Cream Icebox Sandwiches

    Want to make your cookies stand out among all the other Christmas cookie recipes at a cookie exchange? The secret is simple: Look for a recipe that stars a zippy bit of lemon. It's amazing how welcome a little citrusy zest can taste after you've sampled an array of more traditional Christmas cookies.

  •  Mocha Coconut Chocolate Blooms, coconut, mocha, chocolate 

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    Mocha-Coconut Chocolate Blooms

    The challenge with Christmas cookie recipes that star chocolate is making them look festive enough for the season. Here, a shiny mocha ganache icing and a snowflake-like dusting of coconut does the trick.

  • 43 of 60

    Chocolate-Mint Creams

    These gems combine two favorite recipes—brown sugar cookies and chocolate mint cookies—into one of our best Christmas cookie recipes ever. We especially love how easy they are to make: That refreshing mint center is simply a pastel mint-cream kiss pressed into the warm cookies.

  • Christmas Tree Coffee Brownies, brownies, sprinkles, brownies
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    Christmas Tree Coffee Brownies

    Brownies can rank among the best Christmas cookie recipes—as long as you know how to dress them up for the season. Here, you simply cut them into rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally for the Christmas tree shapes. Pipe melted chocolate for a garland, and use green and white colored sprinkles for added frill. 

  • 45 of 60

    Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons

    These heavenly cloudlike cookies will make coconut-lovers on your list feel mighty special. A crisp outer shell conceals a light interior accented with chocolate and toasted coconut. Tip: Put these on your list of Christmas cookie recipes you can make ahead of time—they freeze beautifully for up to 3 months.

  • 46 of 60

    Pistachio-Vanilla Bean Cookies

    Pistachios make your Christmas cookie recipes extra elegant. That’s especially true when the cookies are flecked with vanilla beans and dipped in white chocolate—as they are in these sophisticated pistachio cookies.

  • 47 of 60

    Santa-Sized Gingerbread Cookies

    Enjoy all the flavors you love in gingerbread cookies—without getting out a rolling pin or cookie cutter! These giant spiced-right goodies are spread with powdered-sugar icing for a festive touch.

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    Pistachio Cookie Cups

    For these stylish pistachio cookies, a buttery cream cheese pastry cradles a sweet filling that combines the nuts with cranberries. How much more seasonal can you get? 

  • 49 of 60

    Blondie Sticks

    Bundle up fresh blondie bars in warm coats of white and dark chocolate as a sweet way to wish friends Merry Christmas. Bedazzle them in nuts, toffee, and sprinkles, then pop them onto red-and-white striped sticks for a cute lollipop look.

  • 50 of 60

    Gingerbread Drop Cookies

    No time to make cutouts? You can still savor the flavors and aromas of gingerbread cookies, thanks to these quick-and-easy drops. Raisins and walnuts bring added goodness to the Christmassy treats.

  • 51 of 60

    Eggnog Frosted Nutmeg Sugar Cookies

    Many of the best Christmas cookie recipes are simply variations of a sugar-cookie cutout. These eggnog cookies are a case in point. You simply add a little eggnog and nutmeg to the dough and icing for extra richness and flavor. 

  • 52 of 60

    Hazelnut and Eggnog Cookie Sandwiches

    Hoping to simplify your life this holiday season? Look for easy Christmas cookie recipes that start with a mix. That’s the plan with these picture-perfect eggnog cookies. 

  • 53 of 60

    Eggnog Kringla

    Kringla is the ultimate coffee klatch or teatime treat. With a little eggnog in the mix, this recipe transforms a basic kringla into an eggnog cookie that adds an extra holiday angle to this cookie favorite.

  • 54 of 60

    Gingerbread Cutouts

    This is it! The recipe for classic gingerbread cookies you can carve into any shapes you like: stars, bells, trees, people, and more! Need a little visual aid with the recipe? Our video gives you the how-to you need.

  • 55 of 60

    Brown Sugar Icebox Cookies

    Everyone loves the deep, rich flavor of brown sugar cookies, so be sure to add them to the list of Christmas cookie recipes you’ll be making this year! The elegant chocolate swirl is optional, but highly recommended—after all, it’s the holidays! 

  • 56 of 60

    Gingerbread House Cookies

    Most gingerbread houses are pretty to look at but not meant to be eaten. Here, you can have your gingerbread house and eat it, too! Better yet, the kids can help decorate these cute-as-can-be gingerbread cookies.  

  • 57 of 60

    Gingerbread-Espresso Spirals

    This dashing recipe for gingerbread cookies may look complex, but it only requires five ingredients. In fact, because it starts with two kinds of refrigerated cookie dough, it’s one of our easiest Christmas cookie recipes ever. 

  • 58 of 60

    Glazed Bizcochito Stars

    This homemade dough combines vanilla beans, anise seeds, and lemon peel for a tasty shortbread. Use a star cookie cutter—or your favorite holiday shape— to shape the sweets, then top the cookies with cinnamon sugar. After baked, drizzle the cookies with a lemon glaze to draw out the citrus flavor fully.

  • 59 of 60

    Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

    Chocolate lovers are going to adore this version of gingerbread cookies. The recipe blends their favorite flavor into the traditional Christmas cookies for a treat that’s easy on the eyes—and even easier to devour.

  • Next Slideshow Fantastic Holiday Bar Cookies

    Fantastic Holiday Bar Cookies

    These festive holiday bar cookie recipes -- including butterscotch-toffee bars and classic brownies -- make delicious gifts and party desserts. With make-ahead options, store-bought shortcuts, and mix-and-match topping ideas, the hardest part of your holiday dessert prep will be choosing which of these marvelous and merry bar cookies to try first.
    Begin Slideshow »
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