Showstopping Christmas Cookie Recipes

Whether you're hosting a cookie exchange party or a holiday open house, our most beautiful, creative Christmas cookie recipes are sure to wow the crowd.


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1/27
Ischl Tarts

    Inspired by an Austrian cookie, these cut cutouts are made with a spice dough and a plain dough for a delicious combo in every bite. Inside, red raspberry and apricot preserves add natural sweetness.

Serving size: 18 to 20 sandwich cookies
Prep   45 mins 
Chill  2 hrs + 45 minutes
Bake   8 mins  375°F per batch
2/27
Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

    Dive into the nutty-sweet goodness of chocolate thumbprint cookies topped with melted caramels and hazelnuts.

Serving size: about 36 cookies
Prep   40 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   10 mins  350°F per batch
3/27
Cherry-Almond Biscotti

    Snips of dried cherries add Christmas-red color to almond biscotti. These sweet treats bake as a roll so you can quickly cut them into cookie shapes and top with cream cheese frosting and a cherry.

Serving size: 30 to 36 cookies
Prep   35 mins 
Bake   14 mins  to  15 mins  325°F per batch
4/27
Peanut Butter and Mocha Checkerboards

    A sweet kick of coffee and the smooth finish of chocolate come together in these delightful cookies "wrapped" with a chocolate bow.

Serving size: about 48 cookies
Prep   30 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Freeze  About  1 hr 30 mins 
5/27
Two-Tone Glazed Cinnamon Cookies

    A soft cream-cheese based sugar cookie gets the royal treatment with decadent swirls of easy homemade glazes.

Makes: 14 servings
Serving size: about 14 cookies
Prep   35 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   8 mins  375°F per batch
6/27
Cranberry-Pear Bars with Orange Frosting

    With a delectable mix of winter fruits and luscious frosting, these cinnamon-spiced cookies make an elegant dinner-party dessert.

Serving size: 48 bars
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   20 mins  350°F 
7/27
Orange-Ginger Shells

    These pretty holiday cookies are filling with a tangy orange frosting and topped with crushed pistachio nuts.

Serving size: about 80 sandwich cookies
Prep   55 mins 
Bake   8 mins  375°F per batch
8/27
Chocolate Blooms

    These snazzy thumbprint cookies feature the irresistible combination of creamy dark chocolate and raspberry ganache.

Serving size: about 56 cookies
Prep   40 mins 
Chill   15 mins 
Bake   8 mins  350°F 
9/27
Macadamia Nut Cookies with Vanilla Cream Frosting

    With fluffy frosting and a dash of cardamom, these cake-light cookies make a gorgeous holiday open house dessert.

Serving size: about 5 dozen cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   10 mins  375°F 
10/27
Triple-Decker Decadence

    A pretty swirl of ganache adds a special twist to these rich and chocolatey holiday cookies.

Serving size: about 14 cookie stacks
Prep   40 mins 
Chill  1 hr 30 mins 
Bake   8 mins  350°F per batch
11/27
Mini Raspberry and White Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    With layers of raspberry preserves, white chocolate, and mascarpone, these decadent cookie sandwiches are irresistible.

Serving size: 72 sandwich cookies
Prep  1 hr 
Chill   30 mins 
Bake   7 mins  375°F 
12/27
Cherry-Walnut Balls

    A surprising and delicious filling of maraschino cherries and toasted walnuts makes these sweet bites irresistible. Powdered sugar makes a quick (and delicious) topper.

Makes: 48 servings
Prep   40 mins 
Cool   5 mins per batch
Bake   18 mins  325°F per batch
13/27
Santa Madeleines

    Fluffy vanilla frosting with red food coloring turns traditional French cookies into an impressive Christmas treat that's ideal for cookie exchanges or holiday open houses.

Makes: 24 servings
Prep  1 hr 15 mins 
Bake   10 mins  375°F 
14/27
Holiday Must-Have: Madeleine Pan Set

    Get everything you need to make your own Santa madeleines! Innovative BHG Test Kitchen chefs turned shell-shape madeleine cookies into splendidly bearded Santas.

15/27
Bittersweet Chocolate and Peppermint Sandwiches

    Buttery sugar cookie bars are layered with fluffy peppermint frosting. Piped bittersweet chocolate rims the top of each bar.

Makes: 36 servings
Prep  1 hr 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   7 mins  to  9 mins  350°F 
16/27
Cherry-Almond Meringue Cookies

    Cherry preserves fill these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. They're ideal to make ahead; you can store them at room temperature for up to three days or in the freezer for as long as three months.

Makes: 48 servings
Prep   45 mins 
Bake   20 mins  300°F 
Stand  1 hr 30 mins 
17/27
Cherry Pistachio Cremes

    These pretty cookies offer a creamy, cherry-flavored mixture, rolled in crushed pistachio nuts, and topped with a maraschino cherry.

Makes: 21 servings
Prep   50 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   8 mins  to  9 mins  350°F 
18/27
Chocolate-Peppermint Meringue Kisses

    Ideal for a holiday open house, these sweets feature a layer of crushed peppermint candy, velvety chocolate, and billowy meringue.

Makes: 192 servings
Prep  1 hr 
Bake   7 mins  300°F 
Stand  1 hr 30 mins 
19/27
Blackberry Strudel Cookies

    Seedless blackberry jam mixed with coconut, walnuts, and currants fills these beautiful spiral cookies.

Makes: 48 servings
Prep   35 mins 
Bake   12 mins  400°F 
Chill  2 hrs  to 3 hrs 
20/27
Lemon Blueberry Fans

    These sweet fans are filled with blueberry jam. Cream cheese makes the dough extra moist, while lemon peel adds a touch of zest.

Makes: 54 servings
Prep  1 hr 
Bake   8 mins  to  10 mins  375°F 
Chill  1 hr  to 2 hrs 
21/27
Italian Fig Pockets

    A fruity blend of figs, dates, pine nuts, raisins, and cinnamon -- with a light citrus punch from orange zest and juice -- fills these soft cookie pockets. A star-shaped cookie cutter and coarse sugar adds a festive touch.

Makes: 40 servings
Prep   50 mins 
Bake   12 mins  to  15 mins  350°F 
Chill   30 mins 
22/27
Spritz Blossoms

    These dainty cookies, decorated with powdered sugar icing and silver dragees, are always a hit at parties -- and they make beautiful gifts.

Makes: 80 servings
Serving size: 80 cookies
Prep   40 mins 
Bake  7 hrs  375°F per batch
Stand   30 mins 
23/27
Little Dippers

    These cookies twinkle like little chocolate stars. To get the effect, dip baked cookies in melted chocolate and brush with edible gold luster dust.

Makes: 48 servings
Prep   45 mins 
Bake   10 mins  350°F per batch
Stand  1 hr 
24/27
White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

    A Christmas classic goes from traditional to fabulous when dipped in melted white chocolate, then rolled in nonpareils and edible glitter.

Makes: 60 servings
Serving size: 60 cookies
Prep   40 mins 
Bake   10 mins  325°F per batch
Stand   30 mins 
25/27
Hazelnut-Cocoa Coins

    Toasted hazelnuts give these chocolaty cookies crunchy goodness. Drizzle melted chocolate over each one after they've come out of the oven.

Makes: 60 servings
Prep  1 hr 
Bake   6 mins  to  8 mins  375°F 
Chill  1 hr  to 2 hrs 
26/27
Peppermint Palmiers

    If you love mint, try these refreshing cookies. Be sure to use white (clear) creme de menthe instead of green to avoid adding color to your cookies.

Makes: 80 servings
Serving size: 80 cookies
Prep   45 mins 
Chill  3 hrs 
Freeze  4 hrs 
27/27
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