Our Favorite Christmas Cookies to Make Every Year

Best Sugar Cookies christmas trees
Photo: Blaine Moats

These favorite Christmas cookie recipes are treats you'll want to save so you can make them again and again. We have renditions of all the most popular Christmas cookies, including sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and spiced gingerbread, plus fresh new ideas. Share these favorite holiday cookie recipes with your friends and family to spread Christmas cheer.

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Basic Thumbprint Cookies

thumbprint cookies
Blaine Moats

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?

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Chocolate Wreath Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Wreath Sugar Cookies
Jason Donnelly

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.

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Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees

Best Sugar Cookies christmas trees
Blaine Moats

It wouldn't be Christmas without sugar cookies. Gather family, friends, and frosting, then get decorating. For glam, use festive shades of edible glitter ($11, Walmart) to make your best Christmas cookie trees twinkle.

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Confetti Cookie House

Confetti Cookie House
Hannah Bigot

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 and then bake on a cookie sheet. When the cookies are cool, use royal icing to "glue" the pieces together, and then accessorize with colorful candies.

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Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

Chocolaty Melting Snowmen cookies with reese's
Jason Donnelly

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.

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Holiday Snowmen Cookies

Holiday Snowmen Cookies
Kritsada Panichgul

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.)

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Roly Poly Santas

Roly Poly Santas
Kritsada Panichgul

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!

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Easy Sugar Cookies

Easy Sugar Cookies
Blaine Moats

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?

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Peppermint Penguins

Peppermint Penguins on festive clipboard
Jason Donnelly

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.

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Holiday Cookie Pizza

Holiday Cookie Pizza
Hannah Bigot

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 and 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).

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Scott Little

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 and then freeze the rest until party time. Thaw them to share this favorite Christmas cookie recipe with all your holiday revelers.

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Red Plaid Cookies

Red-Plaid Cookies
Karla Conrad

Try a new twist on classic sugar cookies with our decoration inspiration: red plaid. We love how the bright red pops against the white. This favorite Christmas cookie recipe is totally doable. Just roll, layer, stack, and slice.

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Monster Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

Monster Chocolate-Toffee Cookies
Kritsada Panichgul

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.

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White Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread

White Chocolate and Cherry Shortbread in white dish
Peter Krumhardt

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 and rolled in nonpareils and edible glitter. The slightly fruity treat is one of our most popular cookie recipes of all time.

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Mint Chocolate Tree Cookies

Mint Chocolate Tree Cookies
Andy Lyons

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.

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Eggnog-Nut Thumbprints

Eggnog-Nut Thumbprints
Andy Lyons

"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.

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Masa Harina Thumbprint Cookies

brown Masa Harina Thumbprint cookies with Cajeta caramel sauce in middle
Jacob Fox

Masa Harina, a flour made from lime-soaked corn, is commonly used to make tortillas. It gives this Christmas cookie recipe a toasted, nutty flavor when baked. Pair the corn flavor of the cookies with a rich dulche de leche filling. A sprinkle of espresso powder in the dough balances the sweetness.

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Coconut, Cherry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Coconut Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Blaine Moats

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.

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Mint Meringue Kisses

Mint Meringue Kisses
Jason Donnelly

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.

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Chocolate-Raspberry Tassies

Chocolate-Raspberry Tassies in box with red tissue paper
Andy Lyons

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.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Andy Lyons

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.

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Shortbread Sticks

Shortbread Sticks
Adam Albright

When you crave a classic, try this almost-couldn't-be-easier shortbread recipe. You need only three ingredients, plus sprinkles, sugars, or icing for decorating, to make one of the best Christmas cookie recipes you'll taste all season.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Karla Conrad

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.

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Pumpkin Praline Cookies

pumpkin cookies topped with frosting on a marble gray background
Jason Donnelly

This Christmas cookie recipe has us looking forward to pumpkin season all year long. In addition to pumpkin puree, these cookies are filled with toffee bits, toasted pecans, and cinnamon. Once the cookies have cooled, top them with a homemade brown sugar frosting.

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S'mores Spritz-Wiches

S'mores Spritz-wiches shaped like snowman with top hat and scarf
Blaine Moats

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.

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Maple-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Maple-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Jason Donnelly

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.

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Chocolate-Cherry Dips

chocolate-covered cherry dips with sprinkles
Jason Donnelly

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.

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Jumbo Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Jumbo Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Andy Lyons

Start with the recipe for our best toffee cookies. Combine it with our double-chocolate cookie dough. Voilà, you have one crave-curing supersize treat (about double the size of a standard homemade cookie). If you're not partial to toffee or want to switch the flavor and texture of this popular Christmas cookie, try white baking pieces instead.

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Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies

Chocolate-Peppermint Waffle Cookies
Andy Lyons

Yes, your favorite Christmas cookies can be cooked outside the oven. Simply heat up your waffle iron. These mint-chocolate cookies are pressed to crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside perfection then glazed in a rich cocoa coating and sprinkled with crushed peppermints.

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Jumbo Apple-Oatmeal Cookies

Jumbo Apple-Oatmeal Cookies on white and pink stripe background
Dera Burreson

We recommend using Gala or McIntosh apples for this easy Christmas cookie recipe. As they bake, the sweet apples get soft in contrast to the chewy oats. Leave plenty of room on your cookie sheet ($3, Target) as the jumbo cookies spread as they bake.

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