Classic Christmas Cookies and Bars to Bake This (and Every) Christmas
The Best Sugar Cookies
If you can make only one cookie recipe this holiday season, this best-loved classic sugar cookie should be it. The dough bakes up to be sturdy enough to hold the royal icing yet tender and chewy in the middle. No wonder we’ve declared them “the best!” Rolling, shaping, baking, and decorating Christmas cookies is a tradition that gets the entire family involved generation after generation.
Essential Chocolate Chip Cookies
A cookie press gives these buttery classic spritz cookies their traditional shape. In a pinch, a heavy-duty pastry bag tightly fitted with a large tip makes a decent substitute; be sure the dough is slightly softened for easier piping.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Like peanut butter cups? Then these are the traditional Christmas cookies for you. The dynamic duo of chocolate and peanut butter will forever keep these classic peanut butter blossom cookies on the favorite-dessert list. Whether your family tops them with chocolate Kisses or chocolate stars, we promise the cookies will be delicious.
Sugar, spice, and a pinch of cream of tartar for a hint of tang and puffy texture are the keys to the simple snickerdoodle. It's all about balancing the amount of dough and the cinnamon-sugar coating, and this simple version nails it. The sizes and amounts here will produce the traditional Christmas cookie you know and love.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Like a fresh coating of snow, a dusting of powdered sugar covers these chocolate cookies. Get a head start on holiday baking by chilling this traditional Christmas cookie recipe for up to 24 hours. You can also store baked crinkle cookies in the freezer for up to three months to pull out when guests come knocking.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
Chilling this sweet and salty classic peanut butter cookie dough before shaping it prevents spreading and makes them easier to handle. To speed the process, cover the dough and place it in the freezer for one-third the chilling time. Don’t skip the fork crisscross; it adds an eye-catching geometric pattern and helps the dough flatten just enough.
Any way you slice ‘em, as ginger people, gingerbread house parts, or otherwise, these cutouts are crowd-pleasers. Cinnamon, cloves, molasses…all the quintessential ginger cookie flavors are here. The aroma of these spiced classic gingerbread cookies wafting through the house will have everyone running to gobble one up.
Classic Christmas Sandies
Delicate pecan flavor makes these powdered sugar-coated cookies hard to resist. Maybe that's why this sandies recipe is a one of our must-make traditional Christmas cookies each year. Because they are similar in size to the traditional German Christmas cookie pfeffernusse (small, if you're not familiar), you have our full permission to savor more than one.
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies
These pretty pinwheels, sometimes known as elephant ears, are often made with puff pastry dough. But we start from scratch (with a simple dough, don’t worry!) so you can make the start-to-finish baking fun with your family. For a festive twist on the classic Christmas cookie, substitute a peppermint filling by omitting the cocoa powder and adding a small amount of peppermint extract.
Jumbo Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
As colorful as an ornament-dressed Christmas tree and as sweet as the classic sugar cookie recipe you made with your mom as a kid, these sprinkle-filled treats are one of our new favorites. (And will be yours, too, we think.) An extra egg yolk gives the cookie dough a richer flavor—all the better to enjoy in its supersize fashion.
Test Kitchen Tip: Use a quarter-cup measuring cup to ace the jumbo portion size.
You can make these chewy traditional Christmas cookies in a variety of sizes: one or two bites or a giant grown-up cookie (scooped with a quarter-cup measuring cup). Either way, spiced raisins and sweet cinnamon oats pack each oatmeal cookie. Serve with a glass of milk for Santa's (or your) dunking pleasure.
Star Mint Meringues
Meringue cookies are an airy and low-calorie classic thanks to their combination of whipped egg whites and sugar. Pipe the classic Christmas cookie recipe into your desired shape, and decorate with candy cane-hue food coloring. The color will hint at the flavors to come—we’ve infused the meringue with peppermint extract for extra holiday vibes.
Giant Ginger Cookies
Chewy and seasonally spiced, these Christmas cookies are giant in size (about double a standard homemade cookie) and ginger flavor. Dark molasses lends the most intense punch; light molasses makes a milder classic gingerbread cookie. Opt for shortening to score the softest texture.
Classic Whoopie Pies
Monster Oatmeal Cookies
We love a good monster cookie. It's hard not to with their crunchy candy pieces and tender texture thanks to oats. Dress up the traditional Christmas cookies recipe for the season by snagging a bag of red and green candies (rather than the rainbow mix).
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies
Almond Icebox Rounds
Homemade icebox cookies have long kept Christmas cookie baking breezy: Prep then freeze until you're ready to slice and bake. So ditch the cookie cutters and try these deliciously rich and buttery classic Christmas cookies for your next holiday party. Everyone will go nuts for the crunchy sliced almond exterior.
Related: Try These Icebox Cakes and Pies Too
No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
As fast as crisp, buttery French madeleines are to make, they disappear faster. Smear the classic Christmas cookies with vanilla bean buttercream icing and crushed peppermint for festive cookies. Then enjoy one or two with a glass of eggnog or other festive holiday drink!
Lemon zest and juice add bright citrus undertones to these macaroon cookies. A wealth of sweet coconut crisps on the outside and stays chewy inside. (These traditional Christmas cookies are not to be confused with almond flour and egg white French macarons; although we adore those, too.)
Flour, sugar, and butter are the only three ingredients in this crisp holiday cookie favorite. Given their simplicity, these cookies are surprisingly irresistible.