Cookie Exchange Favorites

Heart-Shape Reindeer Sugar Cookie on brown sugar
With classic Christmas sugar cookies, salted caramel-filled macarons, spritz, butter cookies, and more, these delicious decorated Christmas cookies are sure to impress your friends and family. Bonus: Every Christmas cookie recipe here is a snap to make—they'll only think you spent hours baking.

Heart-Shape Reindeer Sugar Cookies

Have a heart—make an adorable Rudolph cookie to share at your cookie exchange. Royal icing provides his fur and antler coloring, and chocolate-coated candy pieces work great for his eager eyes and famous nose. These decorated Christmas cookies will surely put friends and family in the holiday spirit!

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Make these easy Christmas sugar cookies stand out from the rest by decorating them with your favorite colored frosting and sprinkles. This recipe yields about 52 cookies, so there will be plenty to share!

Lemon-Clementine Spritz Cookies

This is no ordinary spritz cookie. Flavored with lemon and clementine zest and topped with a tangy citrus icing, these butter cookies are sure to stand out from the rest this year.

Pretty Package Cookies

Wrap up this holiday favorite with some easy frosting. Make your own easy shortbread cookies at home, or buy store-bought shortbread squares for even easier decorating!

Kaleidoscope Snowmen Sugar Cookies

Six whimsical snowmen are better than one! With a snowflake-shape cookie cutter you can make quick work of simple sugar cookies that celebrate your love for the season's frosty fellows.

Snowball Trees

Got sprinkles? Then you've likely got everything you need in your kitchen for these eight-ingredient Christmas tree cookies. Balled up to look like Christmas trees, these are the perfect addition to your cookie platter.

Rudolph Delights

These adorable cookies are inspired by everyone's favorite reindeer. One look at their cuteness, and these chocolate cookies will instantly become cookie exchange favorites.

Easy Sugar Cookies

When you make sugar cookies from scratch you can dress them up any way you'd like! Customize these simple sugar cookies by switching up the flavors with mix-ins like lemon-poppy seed, white chocolate-pistachio, and butterscotch.

Neapolitan Spritz Cookies

If you love Neapolitan ice cream, then this dessert is for you! Flavored with strawberry gelatin and bittersweet chocolate, these butter cookies look and taste like the favorite ice cream treat.

Jelly-of-the-Month Cookies

Do you have your subscription for the jelly-of-the-month club or always grab a new jar when you're at the store just in case you run out? These easy holiday cookies will help you put all that jelly to good use. The recipe yields about 72 cookies, so you can try out a variety of fruit options on top.

Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

Looks like Frosty got a little overheated! Use homemade frosting, peanut butter cups, and candies to add cute snowman toppers to these decorated Christmas cookies.

Chocolate-Espresso Spritz

Spritz cookies are great for sharing, and these delicious chocolate-espresso cookies are no exception. With a yield of about 140 chocolaty butter cookies, there will be plenty to go around.

Sugar Cookie Cups

You've never seen a Christmas cookie recipe like this before! Customize these bite-sized simple sugar cookies with a variety of yummy fillings—our favorites are lemon fluff, chocolate-peppermint mousse, and caramel-cashew.

Peppermint Snowballs

Peppermint cookies are ideal for the season, and as an added bonus, these are easy Christmas cookies to make. Full of holiday flavor, these snowballs are great for swapping and sharing with friends. Since they only require 20 minutes of prep time, you'll have plenty of time to wrap presents (or try more of our cookie exchange favorites).

S'mores Spritz-wiches

Remind your friends and family of days spent toasting marshmallows around a fire with these yummy spritz cookies. Just like a classic s'more, these cute decorated Christmas cookies have a filling of marshmallow creme and are topped with mini milk chocolate Kisses.

Angel Wings

Straight out of It's a Wonderful Life, these angel wing cookies have a yummy cream cheese filling that's sure to make them popular among friends and family. Few decorated Christmas cookies are more festive than these!

Almond Sugar Cookie Snowflakes

We're baking in a winter wonderland! Create gorgeous snowflake sugar cookies from scratch with easy-to-whip-up almond cookie dough and a few simple decorations. Ice and stack them, or bedeck them with chocolate curls and candy pearls—your choice!

Peanut Butter Bites

Chocolate-covered peanut butter cups nestle inside peanut butter cookies for a happy surprise. A sprinkling of cocoa powder adds extra chocolaty goodness and a touch of holiday cheer to these cookie exchange favorites.


Who can resist this generations-old classic Christmas cookie recipe that highlights warm baking spices and sweet-smoky molasses? Sprinkle on coarse decorating sugar for a bit of holiday cheer.

Black Forest Cookies

You don't have to tell anyone that the base of this cherry-topped sweet treat is a store-bought cookie. Enhance the flavor with cherry preserves mixed with chocolate frosting and optional cherry-flavor brandy, and they'll still become cookie exchange favorites.

Salted Caramel-Ginger Macaroons

Why settle for gingerbread when you can make these classy contributions to the Christmas cookie platter? A generous smear of caramel and quick sprinkle of sea salt take these festive French confections over the top.

Star Santa Almond Sugar Cookies

Anything but ho-hum, these ho-ho-hilarious cookies feature Santa's famous red suit and black accessories. Cut these Christmas sugar cookies into star-shapes to form Santa's body.

Lime Lights

It's no question that these Lime Lights are the sassiest batch in the Christmas cookie bunch. You can thank four doses of lip-smacking lime for that: two in the batter, one in the icing, and the last as a garnish.

Chocolate-Raspberry Tassies

The rich, gooey filling in these mini tarts gets its boozy edge from a dose of raspberry liqueur. To make these easy holiday cookies even prettier for your cookie exchange, wrap them up in a little red tissue paper.

No-Bake Lemon Drops

Lemon drops? Yes, please! The old-fashioned candy coats these refreshing no-bake Christmas cookies made with buttery shortbread and toasty almonds.

Cinnamon-Sugar Roll Cookies

A crunchy-sweet swirl of mixed nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon dresses up basic cookie dough. Vanilla glaze adds a festive holiday touch to these easy Christmas cookies.

Grape-Glazed Almond Butter Shortbread

Welcome a new flavor to the Christmas cookie plate: Concord grapes. A smear of jam looks beautiful and festive atop these easy holiday cookies. Finish with almond slices set to look like flowers.

Chocolate Snowball Cookies

These chocolate cookies are ready to party! Be sure to give these easy holiday cookies a shake in a bag of powdered sugar to give them their signature white coating before you take them to the cookie swap.

Browned Butter-Glazed Macadamia Moons

If you're a fan of traditional crescent-shape Christmas cookies, you'll love this decadent twist. Lightly spiced browned butter frosting and creamy macadamia nuts make these quarter-moon cookies irresistible.

Chocolate Crinkles

A sprinkling of powdered sugar tops these soft chocolate cookies. Prep takes just 30 minutes, and each batch of these easy holiday cookies bakes for just 8 minutes.

Cinnamon-Chipper Snickerdoodles

With just 35 minutes of prep time, these snickerdoodles feature crushed graham crackers, cinnamon chips, and white baking pieces. This crowd-pleasing recipe is sweet and flavorful—definitely holiday cookies you'll want to keep on the nice list year-round!

Dark Chocolate Chip-Granola Cookies

Thought granola was only for breakfast? Think again! These soft-yet-crunchy cookies feature almond granola and rolled oats, plus decadent dark chocolate pieces. They're great holiday cookies for more health-conscious guests.

Orange-Cream Cheese Snowmen

Ready to win the Christmas cookie exchange? Just bring a platter of these sweet Christmas sugar cookies. Rich from cream cheese, bright from orange zest, and delightfully cute any way you decorate them (we give three adorable options!), these frosty fellas will steal the show.

Cherry-Walnut Balls

Basic ingredients come together perfectly to create a batch of 48 tasty cherry-walnut cookies. The red edible glitter is optional, but we love its pretty finish on these easy holiday cookies.

Tip: Find edible glitter in the baking section at hobby stores.

Rolled Cinnamon Sandwiches

The smell of cinnamon will fill your home when you bake this essential Christmas cookie recipe. The homemade cinnamon frosting uses vanilla and apple cider for a by-the-hearth taste, while sprinkled edges allow for extra festivity.

Melomacarona (Greek Honey-Dipped Cookies)

Lightly sweetened Christmas cookies offer a nice break from all the frosting. These Grecian gems are finished with a clove-spiced honey glaze.

Candied Ginger and Orange Icebox Cookies

Meet Santa's new favorite Christmas cookie. Sun-kissed citrus brightens the frosty-white batter, while candied ginger packs a rich holiday punch. Don't forget the milk for dunking!

Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Cookies

Dry-roasted cashews add a salty spin to classic butterscotch chip cookies. Savor these easy holiday cookies all season long by stashing some in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Almond Icebox Rounds

Cream cheese gives these almond-studded slice-and-bake cookies moist texture and rich flavor. You might want to make a double-batch, because these Christmas cookies will disappear quickly!

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.