Our Favorite Christmas Cookies to Make Every Year
Basic Thumbprint Cookies
One of the most common answers to “What is your favorite Christmas cookie?” has to be “Thumbprints!” Not only can these sweets be baked and frozen up to three months in advance for a stress-free season, but they can also be dressed up with all kinds of flavor combos. Might we recommend lemon-coconut, almond-cherry, or peanut butter and jelly?
Chocolate Wreath Sugar Cookies
Transform sugar cookies into cute winter wreaths with the addition of chocolate shavings and red candies. Set out a platter of these, one of our most popular Christmas cookies, at your next party.
Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees
It wouldn't be Christmas without sugar cookies. Gather family, friends, and frosting, then get decorating. For glam, use festive shades of edible glitter to make your best Christmas cookie trees twinkle.
Confetti Cookie House
Gingerbread houses are adorable, but this rainbow-color version takes the fairy tale concept to new cuteness levels. Cut the cookie dough in structure shapes then bake on a cookie sheet. Once cooled, use royal icing to “glue” pieces together, then accessorize with colorful candies.
Chocolaty Melting Snowmen
Quick, grab one of these popular Christmas cookies before they melt. Kidding, they only look like they're melting; they won't actually. Bring one of our best chocolate cookie recipes to life with adorable Frosty-like faces of vanilla candy coating, peanut butter cups, and a cute sprinkle nose.
Holiday Snowmen Cookies
This favorite holiday cookie recipe looks and tastes like the cutouts you made with Grandma as a kid, but the recipe is remarkably quick and easy because it starts with store-bought refrigerated cookie dough. (Talk about an ideal solution if you forgot about that bake sale or cookie exchange.)
Roly Poly Santas
This may well be one of the top 10 Christmas cookies ever created in our Test Kitchen. They look festive and intricate but don't require any difficult decorating. They’re adorably pudgy once you press the cookie dough rounds together to bring the Santas to life. Don’t forget the cinnamon candy jolly red nose!
Easy Sugar Cookies
If you're tired of plain sugar cookies, this favorite Christmas cookie recipe is for you. With seven flavor variations, these easy holiday cookies can be changed every time you make the recipe. White chocolate pistachio, anyone?
Put your other holiday cookie baking plans on ice for a moment and consider adding these pretty penguins to your platter! The kid-favorite Christmas cookie recipe looks like sugar cookies, but there’s a little zip in the cookie dough: a full teaspoon of peppermint extract.
Holiday Cookie Pizza
Store-bought sugar cookie dough is the “crust” on this dessert pizza that combines the best of favorite Christmas cookies and candies into one holiday dessert. Bake it for 15 minutes, top with melted chocolate and peanut butter, then sprinkle on a handful of candies for one of the simplest and best Christmas cookie recipes for kids (of all ages).
Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
Stop dreaming about a white Christmas and make your own. Leaf-shape cookie cutouts and a dusting of powdered sugar transform our tasty rosemary shortbread cookies into a beautiful snowflake centerpiece. Their elegant flavor and presentation might make these bites your new favorite Christmas cookies.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
A filling of creamy chocolate frosting or milk chocolates makes our best peanut butter cookies completely irresistible. Stir together a big batch up to three months ahead of your parties. Snack on a couple, then freeze the rest until party time. Thaw them to share this favorite Christmas cookie recipe with all your holiday revelers.
Red Plaid Cookies
Sugar, spice, and everything nice is what the holiday is all about. The best Christmas cookies with a sweet-spicy twist feature plenty of molasses, ginger, and cloves like these. To add a seasonal touch, roll the cookie dough balls in red or green decorative sugar before baking or top with gold luster dust after baking.
Monster Chocolate-Toffee Cookies
The original monster cookie gets a cheery makeover with the help of crunchy toffee pieces, toasty pecans, and red and green candies. Serve the popular Christmas cookies warm with a tall glass of milk. Or play Santa and box some up to send to family and friends.
Related: How to Mail Cookies
White Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread
When the cookie tray needs some sparkle, turn to this festive recipe. A Christmas classic goes from traditional to fabulous when dipped in melted white chocolate then rolled in nonpareils and edible glitter. The slightly fruity treat is one of our most popular cookie recipes of all time.
Mint Chocolate Tree Cookies
Treat holiday guests to a forest of minty green Christmas cookies. If you think these look complicated, don't fret. These cookies prove that some of the cutest and best Christmas cookie recipes are easier than they seem. Pecan halves form the trunks to your trees made with a little food coloring in four simple steps.
“These are stellar! I made them for a party, and they disappeared in the blink of an eye, so I came home and made some for myself the next day,” says BH&G fan Donna. We’re pretty sure the eggnog flavor will instantly bump these thumbprint cookies up on your favorite Christmas cookie recipe list, too.
Related: How to Make Homemade Eggnog
Peanut Butter Snappers
Peanut butter, caramel, chocolate? These pecan-studded cookies have it all. Awe your Christmas crowd by whipping up a batch of these delicious treats that look (and taste) like a cross between a turtle candy and peanut butter cookie.
Coconut, Cherry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Our best oatmeal cookies meet our classic chocolate chip cookie recipe in this combination. They’ll be a favorite Christmas cookie for anyone who craves chocolate-covered cherries (that is, everyone). Brown sugar and cinnamon ensure holiday flavor.
Mint Meringue Kisses
You don't need to be a pastry chef to create these impressive-looking treats. You can whip up a batch of perfectly peaked mint meringues using sugar, eggs, and mint extract. At the holidays, we embrace the idea that two cookies are better than one, so we sandwiched melty smooth chocolate between two of these popular Christmas cookies.
The sweet, gooey filling in these tarts has a hint of raspberry liqueur that pairs perfectly with the crisp pastry outside. Pipe or dollop on our chocolate buttercream frosting to finish one of the best Christmas cookies. Warning: They might be the best fruit and cocoa combo you'll ever taste, so save some appetite for one…or two.
Salted Chocolate-Caramel Rounds
Feast your eyes on our best chocolate cookie recipe that's filled with chocolate. Sweet meets salty for an irresistible pairing in this dessert full of gooey goodness.
Test Kitchen Tip: For a mess-free counter, place the baked cookies on waxed paper or on a wire rack set over waxed paper. When you're done drizzling the cookies with caramel, throw away the waxed paper for easy cleanup.
Star Mint Meringues
For our favorite Christmas cookie that's easy and low-cal, try our light and airy meringues. Prep takes only 20 minutes. Even better? Only six ingredients go into these minty goodies.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cater to your guests' diets by offering a gluten-free option. Make a simple gluten-free flour blend so you can bake a batch of the best Christmas cookies with zero wheat. Combine the blend with butter, sugar, eggs, and mix-ins, and you're 7 minutes from a pan of tender and tasty chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Dedicate your oven to cooking the meal: These rich-tasting truffles are our best chocolate chip cookies that call for zero baking time. In addition to being deliciously easy, they look great thanks to a melted chocolate drizzle. Package a dozen of these favorite Christmas cookies in a gift box for a thoughtful food gift for coworkers, neighbors, and friends.
S’mores aren’t only for summer. Filled with a scoop of marshmallow creme and topped with a piece of milk chocolate, these spritz sandwiches will remind you of toasting marshmallows around a fire. For a super-cute presentation of one of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes, arrange them in the shape of a snowman on your dessert table.
Maple-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
This favorite Christmas cookie recipe is for everyone who believes the best oatmeal cookies have raisins. The sweet, chewy boost makes these even more irresistible. In addition to dried fruit (feel free to swap in dried cranberries), a maple syrup glaze sweetens each bite.
A maraschino cherry-cream cheese filling finds a home between vanilla wafers in this yummy and popular Christmas cookie recipe. Dip the whole shebang into a chocolate coating to amp up the wow factor. If you’re feeling creative, sub in almond slivers, crushed candy, white chocolate drizzles, or chocolate shavings for the sprinkles.