From dark fudge to bright and cheery pinwheel sugar cookies, we’ve got a whole lot of easy Christmas cookie recipes for you to try this winter
The holiday season is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: cookies! We’ve created the ultimate list of Christmas cookie recipes to include in your celebrations, many of which are tried-and-true favorites (like these cream cheese Christmas Tree cookies) from our own editors and staff. Whether you’re looking for the perfect cookie exchange recipe or a new twist on a classic cookie, our list has it all.
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Christmas Lights Cookies with Royal Icing
While these cookies from Dessert for Two look like a million bucks, they are surprisingly easy to make yourself. Simple sugar cookies are topped with royal icing and artfully decorated using M&M's. You will totally win the cookie exchange this year.
Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
Cooking Classy's peppermint meltaway cookies are the essence of the holidays. Light and airy peppermint-infused cookies are topped with fluffy homemade frosting and crushed candy canes. These bite-sized treats are sure to be a hit this holiday.
Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Ever heard of black cocoa powder? These gorgeous dark chocolate candy cane cookies from Liv For Cake are made with rich, dark ingredients. After baking, they are dipped in melting chocolate and crushed candy canes for the perfect holiday treat.
Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Nothing says the holidays quite like cranberry. Live Well Bake Often's chocolate cranberry cookies are a feast for the senses. Creamy white chocolate chips and chewy dried cranberries not only make for a beautiful-looking cookie that will be the centerpiece of your cookie platter but a tasty one, too.
Candy Cane Cookies
These perfectly festive candy cane-shaped cookies from Kristine's Kitchen are the epitome of the holidays. Simple sugar cookie dough is twisted and shaped, baked, and then topped with crunchy peppermint candy. These are great for cookie exchanges or holiday bake sales!
Brown Sugar Cookies
Give your go-to cookie recipe a twist this holiday season and bake up some brown sugar cookies. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven comes together quickly and is easily customizable when you use festive cookie cutters, colored frosting, and sprinkles.
Salted Caramel Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
The warm flavors of the holidays are all here in A Taste of Madness' salted caramel Nutella chocolate chip cookies. Nutella, salted caramel, and chocolate chips put a unique twist on the traditional cookie and make it fancy enough for all your festivities.
Pinwheel Sugar Cookies
Knock your fam's socks off this holiday with Princess Pinky Girl's Christmas pinwheel sugar cookies. The different-colored dough is layered, rolled, and sliced before baking to make these festive and fun cookies. Don't forget the sprinkles!
The holidays are a great time to try your hand at new recipes, and these Linzer cookies are the place to start. This recipe from Rasa Malaysia is made with buttery and crumbly dough that's baked into perfect circles and sandwiched together with a sweet jam. Don't forget the generous amount of powdered sugar on top!
Italian Almond Cookies
Need a simple cookie this holiday? This six-ingredient recipe for Italian almond cookies from An Italian In My Kitchen is for you. The buttery cookie is light and airy with the perfect amount of almond flavor. We imagine these as a perfect after-dinner treat enjoyed best with a cup of coffee.
What do you get when you combine the best cookie in the world with the most iconic Christmas flavor? Eggnog snickerdoodles! Wondermom Wannabe has developed an easy way to combine your fave flavors into a chewy cookie that pairs great with a glass of milk, or let's be honest, eggnog.
Toffee Nutella Cookies
You had us at Nutella! Food Fanatic's toffee Nutella cookies are the perfect blend of hazelnut, chocolate, and toffee that results in a chewy cookie that you won't be able to stop eating.
Speculoos Spice Cookies
Dust off your cookie cutters to make these traditional Dutch cookies from The View from Great Island. They’re subtly spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger, and they look great topped with a simple royal icing.
Keep it simple (but oh-so-delicious) by making a batch of these fudge cookies from Simply Stacie. You can skip the nuts if your crew isn’t into them, and you’ll end up with a melt-in-your-mouth cookie either way.
Oreo cookies are already delicious, but these bonbons from Love & Risotto transform them into something special. Let your whole crew get involved in rolling up the bonbons and dipping them in chocolate—the final product will be super satisfying.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies
These cookies from The View from Great Island are super easy to make using your favorite flavor of jam. Let the kids get involved in mixing the batter and topping them with the jam before popping the cookies in the oven.
Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies
Get your gingerbread fix with these tasty Christmas cookies from Crazy for Crust. They’re filled with warm spices and molasses and are perfectly chewy. Topped off with M&Ms, you’ve got a dessert that’ll wow your whole crew.
Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
We guarantee that the little ones will love helping you decorate these adorable cookies from Bakergirl. Plus, you can swap out the peanut butter cookie for your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread recipe if that’s more your speed.
Nutella Cookies with Filling (Nutellotti)
Made with just four ingredients, these cookies from Italian Recipe Book are super easy to whip up. And since everyone loves Nutella, they’re bound to be crowd-pleasers.
Cranberry Orange Cookies
Brighten up your dessert table with these simple cookies from Cooking with Bliss. With a tangy mix of fresh cranberries and orange zest, they’re bound to be a family favorite.
Sugar-Free Chunky Monkey Cookies
If your kids are cookie obsessed, then make these cookies that you can feel good about sneaking in a second, third, maybe even fourth helping. Sophia from Veggies Don’t Bite created this recipe that is sugar-free (her solution is date paste!) and combines crispy oat edges with the sweet delicious flavor of chocolate chips.
Hazelnut Spread-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
It'll be tough to go back to regular old cookies after making these stuffed chocolate chip cookies. And, be sure to save a couple for yourself, because these ooey-gooey treats will be gobbled up in no time.
Soft Ginger Cookies
If you love the taste of gingerbread but are looking for a more kid-pleasing version, Veggie and the Beast‘s recipe for soft cookies should fit the bill. Rolled in a bit of white sugar, these little guys are a perfect balance of spiced and sweet.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Peanut butter and chocolate fans, take note: this classic recipe from House of Nash Eats is a must. Basic peanut butter cookies are taken to the next level with a chocolate kiss placed on top after baking.
These nut-free cookies make a perfect lunchbox treat or after-school snack. Little ones and adults alike will love the combo of oats, sunflower butter, honey, coconut, and dried cranberries.
Homemade Thin Mints
Unfortunately, we don’t usually see Girl Scouts selling their addictive cookies during the holiday season, but luckily there’s a way to get your Thin Mint fix with minimum effort. This recipe from Averie Cooks will be done in no time, and the cookies will disappear even faster.
Starry-Eyed Christmas Cookies
These little cookies from The Wicked Noodle couldn’t be easier—just melt some chocolate kisses on top of pretzels, and then the kiddos can help you decorate with festive M&Ms.
Sicilian Fig Cookies (Cuccidati)
Former editor Amber Guetebier shares this recipe and tells us, “I made these for my Sicilian friend for Christmas. They are totally time-consuming (over two hours from start to finish) but perfect if you want something autentico for the holidays, and if your kids are tenacious and into baking and getting covered in flour and honey."
Raspberry Ribbon Cookies
There’s something about shortbread that screams holidays, so these raspberry ribbon cookies are a perfect choice. The little ones will love the delicious raspberry jam on top, too.
Related: All the Pie Recipes You’ll Ever Need for the Holidays
Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
It’s not news that peanut butter and chocolate go great together, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised when these four-ingredient cookies from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook disappear shortly after pulling them from the oven. Believe it or not, they really do have just four ingredients and take less than ten minutes to prep! Waiting is truly the hardest part.
Sprinkle Fortune Cookies
This year, make these colorful fortune cookies from Glitter and Bubbles for Santa—he’s sure to gobble them up. Kids will love dipping the cookies in different types of sprinkles.
Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
If you've got a lactose-intolerant little one, these oatmeal coconut cookies from ¡Hola! Jalapeno are a lifesaver. Plus, you can adjust them to fit your family's taste by adding mix-ins like peanut butter or chocolate chips.
Magical Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
These awesome candy cane kiss cookies have (you guessed it!) a tasty surprise inside. The best part? They're a cinch to make.
Cream Cheese Christmas Tree Cookies
Dig out your cookie cutters to make these cute little trees topped with a delicious vanilla frosting. The cream cheese added to the cookie batter gives them a special touch, too.
When you’re in dire need of a cookie fix or just don’t have the time to scour your pantry for all of the ingredients, try out this lemon cookie recipe courtesy of our former Digital Media Manager, Brandi McWade. The cookies are actually made from a box of lemon cake mix, which makes this as convenient as it can get.
Even though these are technically brownies, we couldn't resist including them in our roundup of must-have holiday sweets. This recipe from Leah's Thoughts is the perfect holiday combination of rich chocolate with icy, cool peppermint.