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The 90 Best Christmas Cookies to Make This Holiday Season (All Cookie Swap and Santa Approved)

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best christmas cookies universal
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

If you’re anything like us, the holiday season is synonymous with two things: watching cheesy Hallmark movies or heart-warming family Christmas flick, and baking cookies—approximately 2,000 batches, give or take. We know you already have your yearly lineup (gingersnaps, snowballs and peanut butter blossoms, natch), and we would never suggest you break your traditions…but surely you can make room for one more recipe? Perhaps flourless cocoa cookies, no-bake sugar cookie truffles or cinnamon roll cookies with cream cheese glaze strike your fancy? Maybe a list of the 90 best Christmas cookies this side of the North Pole will convince you that there’s no such thing as too many treats. (Seriously, Santa told us so.)

46 Easy Christmas Treats the Whole Family Can Help Make


best christmas cookies: chocolate-peppermint linzer cookies
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Chocolate-Peppermint Linzer Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, make ahead, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Cookie texture meets brownie flavor in these festive sandwich cookies. Jam is traditional, but we’ve swapped it for a vibrant pink peppermint ganache.

best christmas cookies: brown sugar cookies with dulce de leche
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Brown Sugar Cookies with Dulce de Leche

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 24

Oh hi, 25-minute frosted and decorated cookies. This is ideal for anyone making last minute dessert table additions. (Royal icing could never.)

best christmas cookies: sweet potato sugar cookies with marshmallow topping
Photo: Christine Han/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Sweet Potato Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Topping

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 15

Vegetables in a cookie? You better believe it. Here, the sweet potato lends moisture and color for a soft, bright cookie that’s better than any marshmallow-topped casserole.

best christmas cookies: pistachio icebox cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. Pistachio Icebox Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Icebox cookies are a holiday savior because you can make the dough ahead of time and bake the cookies whenever a craving strikes.

best christmas cookies: cookies and cream shortbread cookies
Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Cookies-and-Cream Shortbread Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 24

It’s a cookie within a cookie! They’re like our favorite store-bought sammies, only a little classier and a lot tastier.

best christmas cookies: chocolate gingerbread cookies
Katherine Gillen

6. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 15

If a soft molasses cookie and a good old chocolate chip number had a very delicious Christmas cookie baby, it would be one of these treats.

best christmas cookies: gingerbread lattice cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. Gingerbread Lattice Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 24

The time you would’ve spent frosting is spent weaving instead—and the result is a hundred times more sophisticated.

best christmas cookies: chocolate peppermint icebox cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

8. Chocolate-Peppermint Icebox Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 36

Here’s an ingenious way to make good use of all those candy canes. (C’mon, no one ever finishes a whole one.)

best christmas cookies: vanilla bean thumbprint cookies with dulce de leche
Rebecca Firth

9. Vanilla Bean Thumbprint Cookies with Dulce de Leche

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 35

Here’s a nifty baking trick: Gently simmer a can of sweetened condensed milk and it’ll turn into homemade dulce de leche like magic.

best christmas cookies: pecan brittle bark cookies
Rebecca Firth

10. Pecan Brittle Bark Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 30

So you have to make the pecan brittle bark ahead of the cookies. We promise the results are worth the effort.

best christmas cookies: butterscotch icebox cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

11. Butterscotch Icebox Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, make ahead
  • Serves: 24

These come together with just seven ingredients. We repeat: seven ingredients.

best christmas cookies: easy cranberry pecan sandwich cookies
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

12. Easy Cranberry-Pecan Sandwich Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 12

The buttery, almost salty cookies are the perfect foil to the tart filling. Take a batch of these Christmas cookies to Aunt Jackie’s house and you’ll win major brownie (er, cookie?) points.

best christmas cookies: matcha cranberry linzer cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

13. Matcha-Cranberry Linzer Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 24

Food dye who? These adorable Christmas cookies are colored with matcha powder for a seasonably appropriate hue and a toasty flavor.

best christmas cookies: flourless chocolate cookies
The Fearless Baker

14. Flourless Cocoa Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 42 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 22

No one will know that they’re gluten free, even when they go in for round two.

best christmas cookies: sugar cookie truffles
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

15. No-Bake Sugar Cookie Truffles

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no cook, make ahead, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 20

Are they a cookie or a candy? Who cares? They’re delicious, and you can totally start with store-bought cookies to add to the food processor with cream cheese and white chocolate.

best christmas cookies: vanilla bean icebox cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

16. Vanilla Bean Icebox Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 24

Vanilla isn’t boring, it’s underrated. One cookie and you’ll understand.

best christmas cookies: cut-out sugar cookies in snowflake shapes
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

17. Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 24

Is it really the holidays if you aren’t swimming in a sea of snowflake and reindeer cutouts? These buttery cookies aren't just adorable, they also taste amazing.

best christmas cookies: tie-dye star sugar cookies
Katherine Gillen

18. Tie-Dye Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 24

These will be a hit with your Gen Z cousin who’s all over the latest trends. (Or she’ll scoff and say tie dye is *so* last year, but whatever.)

best christmas cookies: lemon icebox cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

19. Lemon Icebox Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Last-minute cookie swap? We’ve got your back. This dough can be made up to three months in advance.

best christmas cookies: black and white cookies
Quentin Bacon/Modern Comfort Food

20. Ina Garten’s Black and White Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 10

No, Ina Garten isn’t coming to your Secret Santa party, but her cookie recipe will suffice. And if you end up with a little extra icing, we strongly suggest serving with strawberries.

best christmas cookies: maple-pecan icebox cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. Maple-Pecan Icebox Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 24

You had us at three little words: pure maple syrup.

best christmas cookies: caramel-stuffed gingerbread crinkle cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

22. Caramel-Stuffed Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 24

Chewy, spicy cookies are filled with molten caramel…and the results are glorious. You’ll want a few napkins for these babies.

best christmas cookies: cinnamon roll cookies with vanilla cream cheese glaze
Katherine Gillen

23. Cinnamon Roll Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 36

Go ahead, eat a few cookies for breakfast. (’Tis the season, right?) They go great with espresso — we promise.

best christmas cookies: pumpkin cheesecake cookies
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

24. Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 25

Pie? Way too much work. These cookies offer the best of both dessert worlds (and leave you more time to watch A Christmas Story).

best christmas cookies: lemon meringue cookies
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

25. Lemon Meringue Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 20

They look like little works of art, but don’t let that stop you from eating one, or a few. Serve with some tea, lemonade, or eat on their own. We hear they pair well with vanilla ice cream.

best christmas cookies: espresso chocolate chip cookies
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

26. Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 20

Caffeine and sugar? This has afternoon snack written all over it. Dip into a latte or wash it down with hot cocoa... maybe just make two batches.

best christmas cookies: nutella sandwich cookies
Erin McDowell

27. Nutella Sandwich Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 20

We love a good ol’ jar of Nutella, but bonus points if you make your own. Eat these for breakfast or as an accompaniment to your espresso martini nightcap.

best christmas cookies: rocky road cookies
Photo: Matt Dutile/Styling: Erin McDowell

28. Rocky Road Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Everyone needs a 30-minute cookie on their Christmas list. Especially when it involves chocolate and marshmallows. Similar to the iconic ice cream flavor, they're a total fan favorite.

best christmas cookies: giant brown sugar snickerdoodle cookies
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

29. Giant Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 10

The bigger the cookie, the closer to Santa—or so they say. These babies are perfect if you're sick of chocolate or simply want something easy to go with your morning cuppa.

best christmas cookies: coconut sugar cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

30. Coconut Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Sugar cookies and macaroons happen to make a fantastic pair. We know that because we've helped ourselves to far too many of these.

best christmas cookies: cheesecake thumbprint cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

31. Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 24

We’ve never met a person who can say no to cheesecake. Just saying. Drizzle with strawberry sauce or eat them on their own... either way is approved by us.

best christmas cookies: homemade milano cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

32. Homemade Milano Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 20

Psst: Those bagged cookies have been on the grocery store shelf since last Christmas. You can do better. While they require a bit more effort, they're so worth it.

best christmas cookies: mini chocolate sandwich cookies
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

33. Itty-Bitty Sandwich Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 36

Honey, we shrunk the Oreos. And good thing, too. Now you can eat them by the handful.

best christmas cookies: roasted almond chocolate chunk cookies
Aran Goyoaga

34. Roasted Almond and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 26 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, dairy free, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 12

You wouldn’t know it, but these babies are gluten free and dairy optional. So if you have less than 30 minutes on your hands, we say go for it.

best christmas cookies: berries and cream sugar cookies
Katherine Gillen

35. Berries and Cream Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Forget the little lad: There’s a big man up north who loves this flavor combination. But you can totally sing the jingle while you bake them.

best christmas cookies: big raspberry rye cookies
© Heidi Swanson/Super Natural Simple

36. Big Raspberry-Rye Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 12

These cookies have a secret: They’re packed with crushed freeze-dried raspberries for a sweet-tart punch of flavor.

best christmas cookies: little jam flower cookies
Charlotte Bland/La Vita e Dolce

37. Little Jam Flower Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 30 to 40

They’re. So. Cute! (And you can fill them with any flavor you please.)

best christmas cookies: peanut butter banana cookies
Aran Goyoaga/Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple

38. Aran Goyoaga’s Peanut Butter–Banana Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, gluten free, dairy free
  • Serves: 14

A cookie that’s kinda good for you? Be still our sugar-loving heart. These are flourless, not to mention dairy and egg free.

best christmas cookies: pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting
Katherine Gillen

39. Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 12

Just because the leaves have fallen doesn’t mean pumpkin season is over, people. In fact, we're happy to make these year-round.

best christmas cookies: 4-ingredient lemon cookies
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

40. 4-Ingredient Lemon Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, <15 minutes
  • Serves: 24

We get it: You have a thousand presents to wrap. But we bet you can still craft a batch of these cookies. (Psst: All you need in 15 minutes.)

best christmas cookies: caramel coconut macaroons
Photo: Christine Han/Styling: Erin McDowell

41. Caramel Coconut Macaroons

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, gluten free
  • Serves: 24

Meet your new favorite holiday cookie: They’re sweet but not cloying, play nice with chocolate and are easy to pack into cookie boxes.

best christmas cookies: 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies
Yumna Jawad/Feel Good Foodie

42. 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 18

The Christmas season is a marathon, not a sprint. These 20-minute, three-ingredient beauties will get you through the busiest parts.

best christmas cookies: heart thumbprint cookies
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

43. Heart Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

No, it’s not Valentine’s Day. The heart shape is because we love Christmas, duh! But honestly you can opt for any shape you'd like.

best christmas cookies: pumpkin black and white cookies
Katherine Gillen

44. Pumpkin Black and White Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 12

Hot tip: If you bite down the middle, you get a bit of every flavor. The recipe reiterates the importance of using plain canned pumpkin as opposed to pie filling, though, because you'll be adding your own spices.

best christmas cookies: tiny coconut cookies with hibiscus glaze
Katherine Gillen

45. Tiny Coconut Cookies with Hibiscus Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 36

How’d you like to spend Christmas on a tropical island? Well, these cuties are the next best thing. And something else great— the glaze doesn't contain any food dye, thanks to the hibiscus concentrate used to flavor it. 

best christmas cookies: banana split cookies
Ashley Maxwell/Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook

46. Banana Split Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 18

If there’s a time to take things OTT, it’s the holidays. Pair these cookies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re really committed. This recipe comes from popular California bakery Milk Jar Cookies, and honestly, we can't get enough of 'em.

best christmas cookies: black sesame shortbread
Taylor Peden and Jen Munk/Cook This Book

47. Black Sesame Shortbread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 16

But if you want to keep things simple, we don’t blame you. These six-ingredient cookies are unexpectedly sophisticated. But we promise, the kids will love them.

best christmas cookies: cranberry-spice cookies with eggnog icing
Sally's Baking Addiction

48. Cranberry Spice Cookies with Eggnog Icing

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, one bowl, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 36

The eggnog icing is optional, but we know you have an open carton lingering in your fridge. We definitely recommend dipping them.

best christmas cookies: gingerbread spiced snowflake sugar cookies
Spoon Fork Bacon

49. Gingerbread Spiced Snowflake Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes (+ chilling time)
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, make ahead
  • Serves: 26

Let it snow…cookies, that is. The gingerbread spice has quite a few ingredients (cinnamon, cloves, all spice, star anise seeds and mace, to name a few), but the end result is so worth it.

best christmas cookies: Mexican wedding cookies
Two Peas and Their Pod

50. Mexican Wedding Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 38 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 42

Polvorones, Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies: Call ’em what you want, just don’t inhale as you take a bite into that buttery goodness.

best christmas cookies: Italian christmas cookies
The Recipe Critic

51. Italian Christmas Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

These cookies are flavored with vanilla, but you can swap in anise if you want to be traditional. Regardless, don't skimp on the sprinkles!

best christmas cookies: vanilla biscuit christmas cookies
RecipeTin Eats

52. Vanilla Biscuit Christmas Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 40

You can’t go wrong with a Santa-approved classic. Make sure to get your hands on a variety of cookie cutters.

best christmas cookies: eggnog cookies
Spend with Pennies

53. Eggnog Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 32 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy
  • Serves: 40

They’re soft, rich and lightly spiced. Would pairing them with a glass of eggnog be overkill? Actually, don't answer that—we don't care.

best christmas cookies: crispy gingersnap cookies
The Clean Eating Couple

54. Crispy Gingersnap Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, gluten-free (optional)
  • Serves: 48

The snappier, the better. (As an added bonus, these are easily made gluten free.) They're low-sugar too, so the whle family can get in on them.

best christmas cookies: peanut butter blossoms
Gimme Some Oven

55. Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 36

We can’t explain it, but these are a Christmas classic. Pro tip: mix up the Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Cups, to make a totally mixed batch.

best christmas cookies: christmas linzer cookies with raspberry preserves
What's Gaby Cooking

56. Christmas Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Preserves

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 10

Everyone knows the best Christmas cookies are typically covered in confectioners’ sugar. You can get creative with the jam, but we all know that raspberry is the best.

best christmas cookies: vanilla wreath cookies
Half Baked Harvest

57. Vanilla Wreath Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 22

Deck the halls with sugar, butter and frosting. Just make sure to Instagram these babies, or they totally didn't happen.

best christmas cookies: candy cane cookies
Saving Room for Dessert

58. Candy Cane Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 48

These are—dare we say?—better than the real thing. Don't worry, we won't tell Santa.

best christmas cookies: chewy ginger molasses cookies
Gimme Some Oven

59. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 42 to 46

Snappy, crunchy cookies aren’t for everyone. For those of you who prefer pillowier treats, these soft, spiced cookies are just like what Grandma use to make.

best christmas cookies: bourbon-soaked cherry oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
How Sweet Eats

60. Bourbon-Soaked Cherry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 24

If you don’t already have a stiff cocktail at the holiday party, grab one of these guys. And don't worry, the bourbon will bake out so the whole family can have them.

best christmas cookies: spritz cookies
Sally's Baking Addiction

61. Spritz Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 84

You’ll need a cookie press to make these classic Christmas cookies, but look how pretty they turn out. The colors really add to it.

best christmas cookies: christmas snowman sugar cookies
Cupcake Project

62. Christmas Snowman Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 22 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 32

Unlike Frosty, these won’t melt on you. Sweet buttercream on top of a chewy sugar cookie, FTW.

best christmas cookies: hot chocolate cookies
A Cookie Named Desire

63. Hot Chocolate Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 18

What’s the secret to these decadent and perfectly chewy Christms cookies? They’re made with actual hot cocoa mix for the full effect.

best christmas cookies: peppermint bark cookies
I Am a Food Blog

64. Peppermint Bark Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 24

It’s two treats in one, and what could be bad about that? These are both delicious and festive, making them the ultimate Christmas cookie.

best christmas cookies: white chocolate maple pecan cookies
Broma Bakery

65. White Chocolate Maple Pecan Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 26 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 16

A sweet-salty number is just what your cookie plate needs to be complete. Just remember to serve a healthy amount of milk to wash it all down.

best christmas cookies: pink peppermint sugar cookies
How Sweet Eats

66. Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 24 to 36

Red and green are givens, but we have a soft spot for this millennial-loved color. And again, make sure you have a wide range of cookie cutters for these! It's more fun that way.

best christmas cookies: christmas tree meringue cookies
This Silly Girl's Kitchen

67. Christmas Tree Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 24 to 30

Who’s the winner of the cookie swap? You are. (Psst: These "cookies" are actually soft and gooey meringues, but no one at the cookie swap will mind after they take one delicious bite.)

best christmas cookies: cookie brittle
The Modern Proper

68. Cookie Brittle

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 24

It’s buttery and tender like a shortbread but studded with chocolate chips and baked like a bar. Basically, it has everything we could ever want.

best christmas cookies: magical tahini chocolate chip cookies
Bojon Gourmet

69. Magical Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, vegan, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 18

What makes them magical? Well, they’re free of nuts, gluten, grains and refined sugar, and they’re vegan (not to mention delicious).

best christmas cookies: White chocolate ginger cookies
Grandbaby Cakes

70. White Chocolate Ginger Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 34

Christmas tree sprinkles on everything, we say. (We’re pretty big fans of the white chocolate, too.) Just don't forget to chill before serving.

best christmas cookies: sour cream sugar cookies
The Modern Proper

71. Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 23 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 8

The sour cream ensures these cut-out cookies are ultra-tender and just a little tangy. But we all know the decorating will be the best part.

best christmas cookies: eggnog snickerdoodles
So Much Food

72. Eggnog Snickerdoodles

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 18 to 20

Psst: They’re spiked with rum. Need we say more? Jenny, the creator behind the recipe claims the secret is high quality butter... so don't skimp!

best christmas cookies: salted gingersnap mallowmars
Spoon Fork Bacon

73. Salted Gingersnap Mallomars

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly
  • Serves: 40

Replace the usual shortbread base with store-bought gingersnaps, and suddenly you have a party-ready version of the grocery fave. We promise it's worth making from scratch.

best christmas cookies: plum linzer cookies
A Cookie Named Desire

74. Plum Linzer Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 38 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 30

The cookie dough is flavored with vanilla and orange for a tart twist. Amanda, the baking extraordinaire who came up with the recipe, says "they're like sugar plum fairies dancing on your tastebuds."

best christmas cookies: brown butter biscoff snickerdoodles
Two Peas and Their Pod

75. Brown Butter Biscoff Snickerdoodles

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Cookie butter, meet snickerdoodle cookies. (Now meet our mouth.) Bet you can't only eat four.

best christmas cookies: chocolate crinkle cookies
Gimme Some Oven

76. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, <30 minutes
  • Serves: 20 to 22

Go ahead and leave them out with a note for Santa, but save us one from the batch. Consider adding cinnamon and cayenne for an extra kick.

best christmas cookies: brown butter bourbon pecan chocolate chunk cookies
Half Baked Harvest

77. Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 24

Brown butter, toasty pecans, boozy bourbon: These are a few of our favorite things. They were made for the derby but TBH are perfect year-round.

best christmas cookies: chocolate-dipped butter cookies
Sally's Baking Addiction

78. Christmas Butter Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 30

They look so fancy, but they’re actually super easy to pipe and bake. Like, your kids could honestly make them.

best christmas cookies: santa claus star cookies
Half Baked Harvest

79. Santa Claus Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, special occasion–worthy
  • Serves: 22

They’re almost too cute to eat…but we’re not about to hold back. Note: This one is best for the piping pros.

best christmas cookies: chai chocolate chip coconut cookies
Spoon Fork Bacon

80. Chai, Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 30

Merry Christmas to all, but especially to these spicy, chocolatey cookies that take less than an hour to make.

best christmas cookies: cranberry curd thumbprint cookies
Katherine Gillen

81. Cranberry Curd Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, make ahead
  • Serves: 32

Since the holidays are busy even without a baking project, you can (and should!) make the curd a couple days ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake.

best christmas cookies: star-shaped cinnamon shortbread cookies
Quentin Bacon/Go-To Dinners

82. Ina Garten’s Cinnamon-Spiced Shortbread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 2 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 16 to 20

Not only are these cookies delicious, but according to the Contessa, the house smells amazing when you make them.

best christmas cookies: raspberry almond thumbprint cookies
Jenny Huang/What's for Dessert

83. Claire Saffitz’s Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 22

These chewy-yet-crisp jewels are vying for the top spot at your cookie exchange, and with their sweet-tart fruit flavor, they just might win.

best christmas cookies: gooey triple chocolate cookies
Matt Armendariz/What's Gaby Cooking: Take It Easy

84. Gooey Triple-Chocolate Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Serves: 14

If you’ve ever been torn between baking cookies or brownies, this is the decadent mashup of your dreams. Just don't skimp on that flaky salt topping!

best christmas cookies: mini chocolate chip cookies
Katherine Gillen

85. Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, one bowl
  • Serves: 24

These babies are meant to be eaten in multiples (or better yet, by the handful). And since our motto is “more cookies, fewer dishes,” we made sure that the dough can be made using a single bowl.

86. Snack-Safe Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, no bake
  • Serves: 12

Sans the raw eggs and wheat flour, this cookie dough won't put you at risk of salmonella. And trust us: everyone at the party—adults and kids alike—will lose their minds over these delightful bowls.

87. Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, make ahead
  • Serves: 24

Here's a pro tip: chill these babies in the fridge for 15 minutes before popping them in the oven. That way, the cookies won't spread too much.

88. Healthy No-Bake Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 26 minutes
  • Why I Love It: gluten free, vegan, no bake
  • Serves: 16

This lighter option will be much-appreciated after a major feast. And lucky for you, the oven gets to stay off. Yep, we got ourselves a no-bake here.

89. Slice-and-Bake Shortbread

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, make ahead, <10 ingredients
  • Serves: 36

Don't forget to leave some out for Santa! The best part is you can make a ton of the shortbread dough and freeze it, to slice and bake it whenever you want.

best holiday cookies: m&m cheesecake cookie bars
What's Gaby Cooking

90. M&M Cheesecake Cookie Bars

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours, 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser
  • Serves: 24

Make with red and green M&Ms for the ultimate festive Christmas cookies. And trust us— this mashup is way easier than making an entire cheesecake.


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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...

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Freelance PureWow Editor