The 80 Best Christmas Cookies to Make This Holiday Season (All Cookie Swap and Santa Approved)
If you’re anything like us, the holiday season is synonymous with two things: watching cheesy Hallmark movies 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? Maybe a list of the 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.)
1. Chocolate-Peppermint Linzer Cookies
Cookie texture meets brownie flavor in these festive sandwich cookies. Jam is traditional, but we’ve swapped it for a vibrant pink peppermint ganache.
2. Brown Sugar Cookies with Dulce de Leche
Oh hi, 25-minute frosted and decorated cookies. (Royal icing could never.)
3. Sweet Potato Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Topping
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.
5. Cookies-and-Cream Shortbread Cookies
It’s a cookie within a cookie! They’re like our favorite store-bought sammies, only a little classier and a lot tastier.
8. Chocolate-Peppermint Icebox Cookies
Here’s an ingenious way to make good use of all those candy canes. (C’mon, no one ever finishes a whole one.)
10. Pecan Brittle Bark Cookies
So you have to make the pecan brittle bark ahead of the cookies. We promise the results are worth the effort.
11. Butterscotch Icebox Cookies
These come together with seven ingredients. We repeat: seven ingredients.
12. Easy Cranberry-Pecan Sandwich Cookies
The buttery, almost salty cookies are the perfect foil to the tart filling. Take a batch to Aunt Jackie’s house and you’ll win major brownie (er, cookie?) points.
13. Matcha-Cranberry Linzer Cookies
Food dye who? These adorable Christmas cookies are colored with matcha powder for a seasonably appropriate hue and a toasty flavor.
14. Flourless Cocoa Cookies
No one will know that they’re gluten free, even when they go in for round two.
17. Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Is it really the holidays if you aren’t swimming in a sea of snowflake and reindeer cutouts?
18. Tie-Dye Sugar Cookies
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* 2020, but whatever.)
21. Maple-Pecan Icebox Cookies
You had us at three little words: pure maple syrup.
22. Caramel-Stuffed Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
Chewy, spicy cookies are filled with molten caramel…and the results are glorious. You’ll want a few napkins for these babies.
23. Cinnamon Roll Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze
Go ahead, eat a few cookies for breakfast.
24. Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Pie? Way too much work. These cookies offer the best of both dessert worlds (and leave you more time to watch A Christmas Story).
25. Lemon Meringue Cookies
They look like little works of art, but don’t let that stop you from eating one, or a few.
26. Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caffeine and sugar? This has afternoon snack written all over it.
28. Rocky Road Cookies
Everyone needs a 30-minute cookie on their Christmas list. Especially when it involves chocolate and marshmallows.
29. Giant Brown-Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies
The bigger the cookie, the closer to Santa—or so they say.
30. Coconut Cookies
Sugar cookies and macaroons happen to make a fantastic pair.
31. Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies
We’ve never met a person who can say no to cheesecake. Just saying.
32. Homemade Milano Cookies
Psst: Those bagged cookies have been on the grocery store shelf since last Christmas. You can do better.
33. Itty-Bitty Sandwich Cookies
Honey, we shrunk the Oreos. And good thing, too. Now you can eat them by the handful.
34. Roasted Almond and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
You wouldn’t know it, but these babies are gluten free and dairy optional.
36. Big Raspberry-Rye Cookies
These cookies have a secret: They’re packed with crushed freeze-dried raspberries for a sweet-tart punch of flavor.
37. Little Jam Flower Cookies
They’re. So. Cute! (And you can fill them with any flavor you please.)
38. Aran Goyoaga’s Peanut Butter–Banana Cookies
A cookie that’s kinda good for you? Be still our sugar-loving heart.
39. Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Just because the leaves have fallen doesn’t mean pumpkin season is over, people.
40. 4-Ingredient Lemon Cookies
We get it: You have a thousand presents to wrap. But we bet you can still whip up a batch of these cookies.
41. Caramel Coconut Macaroons
Meet your new favorite holiday cookie: They’re sweet but not cloying, play nice with chocolate and are easy to pack into cookie boxes.
42. 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
The Christmas season is a marathon, not a sprint. These 20-minute, three-ingredient beauties will get you through the busiest parts.
43. Heart Thumbprint Cookies
No, it’s not Valentine’s Day. The heart shape is because we love Christmas, duh!
44. Pumpkin Black and White Cookies
Hot tip: If you bite down the middle, you get a bit of every flavor.
45. Tiny Coconut Cookies with Hibiscus Glaze
How’d you like to spend Christmas on a tropical island? Well, these cuties are the next best thing.
47. Black Sesame Shortbread
But if you want to keep things simple, we don’t blame you. These six-ingredient cookies are unexpectedly sophisticated.
48. Cranberry Spice Cookies with Eggnog Icing
The eggnog icing is optional, but we know you have an open carton lingering in your fridge.
49. Gingerbread Spiced Snowflake Sugar Cookies
Let it snow…cookies, that is.
50. Mexican Wedding Cookies
Polvorones, Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies: Call ’em what you want, just don’t inhale as you take a bite.
51. Italian Christmas Cookies
These cookies are flavored with vanilla, but you can swap in anise if you want to be traditional.
52. Vanilla Biscuit Christmas Cookies
You can’t go wrong with a Santa-approved classic.
54. Crispy Gingersnap Cookies
The snappier, the better.
55. Peanut Butter Blossoms
We can’t explain it, but these are a Christmas classic.
56. Christmas Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Preserves
Everyone knows the best Christmas cookies are covered in confectioners’ sugar.
57. Vanilla Wreath Cookies
Deck the halls with sugar, butter and frosting.
58. Candy Cane Cookies
These are—dare we say?—better than the real thing.
59. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
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.
60. Bourbon-Soaked Cherry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you don’t already have a stiff cocktail at the holiday party, grab one of these guys.
62. Christmas Snowman Cookies
Unlike Frosty, these won’t melt on you.
63. Hot Chocolate Cookies
They’re made with actual hot cocoa mix for the full effect.
64. Peppermint Bark Cookies
It’s two treats in one, and what could be bad about that?
65. White Chocolate Maple Pecan Cookies
A sweet-salty number is just what your cookie plate needs to be complete.
66. Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies
Red and green are givens, but we have a soft spot for this millennial-loved color.
67. Christmas Tree Cookies
Who’s the winner of the cookie swap? You are.
68. Cookie Brittle
It’s buttery and tender like a shortbread but studded with chocolate chips and baked like a bar. Basically, it has everything.
70. White Chocolate Ginger Cookies
Christmas tree sprinkles on everything, we say.
71. Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
The sour cream ensures these cut-out cookies are ultra-tender and just a little tangy.
72. Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Psst: They’re spiked with rum. Need we say more?
73. Spiced Cocoa Polvorones
These look like the classic snowball Christmas cookie, until you bite in and are greeted with tons of chocolate.
74. Plum Linzer Cookies
The cookie dough is flavored with vanilla and orange for a tart twist.
75. Brown Butter Biscoff Snickerdoodles
Cookie butter, meet snickerdoodle cookies. (Now meet our mouth.)
76. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Go ahead and leave them out with a note for Santa, but save us one from the batch.
78. Christmas Butter Cookies
They look so fancy, but they’re actually super easy to pipe and bake.
79. Santa Claus Cookies
They’re almost too cute to eat…but we’re not about to hold back.
80. Chai, Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies
Merry Christmas to all, but especially to these spicy, chocolatey cookies that take less than an hour to make.