Ethnic-Inspired Holiday Cookie Recipes

Three Pepper Spiced Cookies
Spice up your holiday baking by whipping up a batch of cookies inspired by another culture. Every recipe here is a delight.

Italian Fig Pockets

Dried fruits flavored with orange zest fill these soft cookie pockets. A star-shaped cookie cutter and coarse sugar dresses them up.

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies with Dulce de Leche Filling

Lightly spiced chocolate cookies and dulce de leche, a caramel sauce popular in Central and South America, make delightful mini cookie sandwiches.


We've added lemon glaze and a candied fruit topper to Germany's famous spicy Lebkuchen honey cakes.

Greek Honey-Dipped Cookies

"Melomakarona," a traditional Greek Christmas cookie, is made in a rounded shape so it retains its soft texture. After the cookies cool, they are dipped in a mixture of honey and spices.

Gone Bananas Biscotti

We've given this crunchy Italian cookie a bit of extra flair by adding banana to the batter and dipping it in chocolate.

Baklava Tassies

No need to make homemade dough -- these Baklava (a Greek favorite) start with purchased phyllo dough cups. The classic honey and walnut filling is irresistible.

Earl Grey Bocca Di Nonna

These rich sandwich cookies, filled with dark, satiny ganache, are adapted from an Italian celebration cookie called Bocca di Dama -- or Lady's Kisses


These traditional Argentine cookie sandwiches feature a creamy dulce de leche filling with a caramel flavor.

Irish Creme Delights

The creamy splendor of Irish coffee bursts from these coffee-flavor treats topped with an Irish Creme frosting.

Polvorones Sevillanos

Topped with toasted coconut, this Spanish shortbread cookie features an infusion of citrus flavors, including chopped candied pineapple and a lemon glaze.

Viennese Almond Bars

Named for the enchanting Austrian capital, this raspberry-almond cookie looks fancy but it starts with a sugar cookie mix.

Italian Spice Cookies

A powdered sugar drizzle adds an extra touch of sweetness to these cinnamon-spiced cookies. Orange peel adds a touch of zest.

Anzac Cookies

These nutty oatmeal-coconut cookies are inspired by the variation that soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp were gifted during World War II.

Greek Almond Shortbread Rounds

Rose water, a distillation made from rose petals, blesses these cookies with a distinctive fragrant, floral flavor.

Sweet Empanaditas

A simple and sweet pineapple filling tastes delicious inside the cookie crust rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

Italian Amaretti Cookies

Gently flavored with amaretto, these Italian macaroons pair beautifully with espresso.

Austrian Walnut Chocolate Bars

A rich chocolate-rum frosting makes these moist bar cookies irresistible. Serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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