Folks are officially in Christmas mode and that means it’s time for a second round of eating delicious food, redecorating and of course spending time with friends and family. The holiday season is also a great time to turn on those classic (and sometimes overplayed) Christmas songs, mix up a cocktail and bake away in the kitchen! Cookies are an ideal dessert to make because they’re easy and you can make big batches of dough ahead of time to store it in the freezer until you’re ready to bake.
You can also give them out as a homemade gift for friends, teachers, co-workers, etc. Just place them in a festive tin or bag (you can even include the recipe) and I’m sure it will be the best gift! If you’re excited to bake cookies this year, here are 15 Christmas cookie recipes you have to try.
1. Thumbprint Cookies
These holiday cookies are a must-have! This simple butter dough is rolled out into balls (try using a small ice cream scooper for more consistent sizes) and placed on a baking sheet.
Pressing down with your thumb on top of each round creates a spot to hold the jam. Any flavor jam will do, but I love raspberry with these cookies. This is one of the easy recipes you’ll make all year long. Here’s the recipe.
2. Candy Cane Cookies
These cookies look really impressive and are a great way to get the kids working in the kitchen! There are different beliefs on what exactly candy canes represent, some say candy canes are a beautiful symbol that represents Christmas.
Whatever you might think, there’s no doubt that these sugar cookies will bring some festivity to the table! The sugar cookie dough is flavored with a little peppermint extract and half is mixed with a little red food coloring.
Almond extract is fine, too, if you don’t have peppermint on hand. It’s best to work with this dough after it has had time to chill. These would be perfect for a cookie swap! Here is the recipe.
3. Shortbread Bites
When you don’t want the hassle of royal icing or Christmas sugar cookies, these bite size shortbread cookies are easy to make with just four ingredients. I love the red and green sprinkles and the best part of the recipe is that you can bake off the cookies and freeze them until you’re ready to serve.
And calories don’t count during Christmas, so be sure to have more than one! Perfect for setting out for your Christmas party guests to snack on, these holiday recipes were made for a crowd. Here’s the recipe.
4. Pecan Crescent Cookies
During Christmas, these cookies are a family tradition at my house and I’m sure with many other families, too. The dough is slightly sweet and loaded with chopped pecans. Once the cookies are cooled, they get a generous roll in powdered sugar.
These crescent cookies are tender and fun to make. They’re even perfect to leave out for Santa, hint hint. Here is the recipe.
5. Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
These fudgey chocolate espresso cookies look beautiful with their crackled look. Before the dough is baked, each ball is rolled in powdered sugar twice to create this snowy look.
For even more flavor, try adding in a little peppermint extract to the cookie dough. These cookies are perfect for setting up the Christmas tree with enough energy to keep you going. Here’s the recipe.
6. Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti
Biscotti are twice baked cookies and the perfect thing to dip into coffee at the end of a meal! These cookies are festive and filled with dried cranberries and pistachios to represent the colors of Christmas! If you’re craving chocolate, try throwing in semisweet or white chocolate chips.
Everyone will be fighting over these at your cookie exchange, guaranteed. Holiday baking was never easier. Here’s the recipe.
7. Chewy Molasses Cookies
These chewy cookies are filled with the flavors of Christmas! The dough is easy to make and has ingredients and spices like molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.
Each piece of dough is rolled in sanding sugar to give the finished cookies a nice crunch. If you want, you can make the dough ahead of time, scoop them out and freeze them until you’re ready to bake. Here is the recipe. Meet your new favorite cookie.
8. Red Velvet Snowball Cookies
These red velvet snowball cookies would be a delicious treat to try out this Christmas. This recipe has ingredients found in red velvet cake, like cocoa powder and red food coloring. The dough has the addition of almond flour for a nice, nutty flavor.
If you do not have almond flour at home, you can easily make your own. Just place raw blanched almonds (whole or slivered) into a food processor or blender and pulse for a few seconds until you get almond flour. It’s so easy! After the dough has baked and cooled, each cookie is rolled in powdered sugar or ‘snow.’ These tender, buttery cookies will be a big hit! Here is the recipe.
9. Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Dark chocolate and peppermint is a classic holiday flavor combination. A simple chocolate cookie dough is made with about one teaspoon of peppermint extract added in too.
10. Linzer Cookies
I love these jam-filled sandwich cookies! Feel free to roll them out and use any Christmas-shaped cookie cutter. You can make trees, stars or just simple and round like the ones pictured above.
11. Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
For some extra sweetness, each piece of dough is rolled in pearl sugar. Pearl sugar is very coarse and great to use when baking because the granules do not melt at baking temperatures. Here’s the recipe.
12. Peanut Butter Blossoms
These cookies are soft and filled with peanut butter flavor and are finished with a chocolate Hershey’s kiss on top. You can really make these cookies for any occasion, but I love how they’re rolled in festive sanding sugar sprinkles (rolling them in regular granulated sugar works too).
These cookies will look beautiful on your Christmas cookie tray! Here’s the recipe.
13. Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
These cookies look difficult to make, but they’re actually very simple. You start by making one batch of cookie dough then dividing it in half. Melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate is mixed in to one portion of dough and the other has peppermint extract and candy cane pieces mixed in.
Each piece of dough is rolled into a rectangle with a rolling pin and the peppermint rectangle is placed on top of the chocolate rectangle. Roll the dough into a log, chill and slice into cookies. These cookies store well in the freezer. Here’s the recipe.
14. Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Eggnog is a classic holiday drink and tastes even better in these cookies. They’re made like traditional snickerdoodles with the addition of eggnog in the dough and in the glaze that’s drizzled on top.
If you want a flatter cookie, you can skip the step of chilling the dough, but usually the cookies turn out better if you chill the dough. These are the perfect Christmas cookies! Here’s the recipe.
15. Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
Whoopie pies are two delicious cookies sandwiched that hold a cream feeling. The cookies are usually fluffier and for this recipe, gingerbread cookies are the star of the show.
The filling is a simple buttercream-like filling. Butter, marshmallow cream and powdered sugar are combined and spread on the bottom of half the cookies. You can add in lemon extract or zest to the cream filling if you’d like for extra flavor. Here is the recipe.