All-Time Favorite Christmas Cookies

Pure and simple, these Better Homes and Gardens favorites are recipes you'll want to share, hand down, make again and again, and save in your recipe box.

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Lemon-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

    This 6-ingredient delight features an unexpected combo: finely shredded lemon peel and chopped pecans. The result is a tangy, crunchy Christmas treat.

Serving size: 20 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   18 mins  325°F 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

    Dedicate your oven to cooking the meal -- these no-bake truffles are deliciously easy and look delectable thanks to a melted chocolate drizzle.

Serving size: about 20 truffles
Prep   30 mins 
Freeze   30 mins 
Stand   30 mins 
Chocolate Palmiers

    With their double-pinwheel shape, these cocoa-filled cookies look impressively difficult to make. Actually the rolling is simple, but that's your secret!

Serving size: about 72 cookies
Prep   35 mins 
Chill  4 hrs 
Bake   8 mins  375°F per batch
Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

    In this take on a classic, hints of peanut butter and brown sugar add flavor to the oatmeal cookies while sweet marshmallow creme makes the filling a cinch.

Makes: 13 servings
Serving size: 13 sandwich cookies
Prep   40 mins 
Bake   8 mins  350°F per batch
Pecan Crispies

    The combo of toasted pecans and semisweet chocolate pieces give sweet crunch to these wedge-shape cookies. The fun part? Cutting the baked cookies with a pizza cutter before serving them.

Serving size: 48 cookies
Prep   45 mins 
Bake   20 mins  350°F per batch
Cool   2 mins per batch
Chocolate-Raspberry Tassies

    The rich, gooey filling in these tarts has a hit of raspberry liqueur.

Serving size: 24 tarts
Prep   40 mins 
Bake   12 mins  to  15 mins  375°F 
Cool   10 mins 
Vanilla and Chocolate Santa's Sandwiches

    These delicate cookie sandwiches feature a raspberry-cream filling.

Serving size: 22 large/30 small sandwiches
Prep   45 mins 
Freeze  2 hrs  to 3 hrs 
Bake   8 mins  to  10 mins  350°F 
Christmas Blondies

    Fruitcake ingredients -- brandy, candied cherries, and walnuts -- fill these bar cookies.

Serving size: 24 bars
Prep   15 mins 
Bake   30 mins  350°F 
Peppermint Cream Bites

    A chocolate cookie crumb crust is topped with rich layers of peppermint cream and chocolate fudge.

Serving size: 30 rounds
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   8 mins  350°F 
Freeze   45 mins 
Tangerine Butter Cookies

    Tangerine zest gives these tender cookies a fresh twist. They freeze and pack well, so they're ideal for making ahead or gift-giving.

Serving size: 84 cookies
Prep   45 mins 
Bake   9 mins  350°F per batch
Honey-Roasted Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache

    With a rich layer of devil's food cake, a creamy peanut butter filling, and a fudgy topping, these easy bar cookies are a chocoholic's dream.

Serving size: 48 bars
Prep   40 mins 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
Stand   5 mins 
Chocolate Chippers

    For a chocolate fix, minus all the fat and calories, try this light and airy meringue cookie.

Serving size: about 32 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Bake  1 hr 30 mins  200°F 
Microwave   2 mins 
Star Mint Meringues

    For an easy low-cal holiday sweet, try these light and airy meringues. Prep takes just 20 minutes, and only six ingredients are required.

Serving size: about 24 cookies
Prep   20 mins 
Bake  1 hr 30 mins  200°F 
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

    In the 1920s, creamy filling mounded between two big, puffy cookies became a phenomenon. For the holidays, we've paired red velvet cookies with a luscious cream cheese-based filling.

Serving size: 60 one-inch or 42 two-inch cookies
Prep   45 mins 
Bake   7 mins  to  11 mins  375°F 
Chocolate Bonbon Pops

    You don't even need to bake these holiday sweets. Simply combine cookies and nuts with orange liqueur and a few other ingredients in a food processor and freeze for a lovely treat. For intense chocolate flavor, use Oreos.

Serving size: 20 pops
Prep   30 mins 
Freeze   30 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Chai Spice Girls

    Move over gingerbread boys -- make room for sugar and spice and all things nice. Just two bags of chai tea plus two teaspoons each of pumpkin pie spice and molasses flavor an all-time favorite -- holiday cookie cutouts.

Serving size: 18 to 20 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Chill  3 hrs 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
Cardamom Snaps

    For a homemade gift they'll love, package these spiced cookies in a glass tumbler, seal with waxed paper, and tie with a pretty bow.

Makes: 48 servings
Serving size: 48 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   8 mins  375°F 
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 
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.

Spicy Ginger Houses

    Black pepper spices up classic gingerbread. These easy-to-create houses make creative, edible decorations for your holiday table.

Makes: 8 servings
Serving size: 8 (6-inch) cookies
Prep   50 mins 
Chill  4 hrs  to 24 hrs 
Bake   8 mins  to  10 mins  350°F 
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 
Peanut Butter Blossoms

    Creamy peanut butter makes this Christmas favorite even more delicious. Fill the center with creamy chocolate frosting or your favorite mocha candy.

Makes: 54 servings
Serving size: 54 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   10 mins  350°F per batch
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
Toffee Bars

    Topped with walnuts and featuring a creamy layer of rich chocolate, these decadent bar cookies are like your favorite toffee candy -- but better. Serve them warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes: 36 servings
Serving size: 36 bars
Prep   15 mins 
Cool   32 mins 
Bake   15 mins  350°F 
Raspberry Sticks

    An easy filling of raspberry preserves and a coarse sugar topping make these tender shortbread cookies a Christmas-party favorite.

Makes: 30 servings
Serving size: 30 cookies
Prep   35 mins 
Bake   28 mins  375°F 
Stand  1 hr 
Sparkle Trees

    To create these festive Christmas trees, dress up simple cutouts with powdered sugar icing (colored green) and a candied cherry.

Makes: 16 servings
Serving size: 16 (6-inch) or 28 (4-inch) cookies
Prep   50 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
Honey-Ginger Bites

    In this modern spin on pfeffernusse, white pepper adds subtle zip, while ginger and honey keep things sweet. It makes the perfect baked gift!

Makes: 40 servings
Serving size: about 20 dozen small cookies (40 servings)
Prep   40 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Bake   6 mins  350°F per batch
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 
Sandwich Stars

    To create the ultimate cookie sandwich, stack four cutouts at different angles. Festive brown-butter filling (tinted red or green) keeps the stars in place.

Makes: 18 servings
Serving size: 18 sandwich cookies
Prep   40 mins 
Chill  1 hr 30 mins 
Bake   7 mins  375°F 
Cinnamon Wreaths

    Jazz up simple wreath cookies with creamy white chocolate frosting (see recipe) and red and green chocolate pieces.

Makes: 18 servings
Serving size: 18 to 20 cookies
Prep   30 mins 
Chill  1 hr 
Cool   2 mins 
Tri-level Brownies

    This crowd-pleaser features two layers of creamy chocolate and a chewy oatmeal cookielike layer. Walnut halves (or your favorite holiday candy) make a tasty topper.

Serving size: 32 brownies
Prep   15 mins 
Bake   35 mins 
Peanut Butter Cookies

    A gooey chocolate-caramel center makes these peanut butter cookies better than the rest. Serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serving size: 24 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
Ginger Cookies

    These cookies offer all the goodness of gingerbread but they're much easier to make -- you don't have to roll and cut dough.

Makes: 120 servings
Serving size: 120 cookies
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   8 mins  350°F per batch
Coconut Candy Bars

    These homemade chocolate candy bars combine shredded coconut, almonds, and graham cracker crumbs in an irresistible mix that's hard to beat.

Makes: 36 servings
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   22 mins  350°F 
Almond Biscotti

    Homemade almond biscotti is even more delicious when dunked in hot chocolate or a glass of tawny port.

Makes: 84 servings
Serving size: 84 cookies
Prep   25 mins 
Cool   15 mins 
Bake   45 mins  325°F 
Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies

    A creamy blend of lemon curd and mascarpone cheese fills these tender cookie sandwiches. Powdered sugar adds a pretty finishing touch.

Serving size: about 20 sandwich cookies
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   8 mins  400°F per batch
Cool   1 min per batch
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