Home Desserts Cookies 32 Best Christmas Cookies (+ Easy Recipes)

32 Best Christmas Cookies (+ Easy Recipes)

Looking for the best Christmas cookies that are also easy to make?

From shortbread to molasses to sugar, these recipes make the holidays even sweeter.

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Reindeer Cookies for Christmas

It’s the time of year to dust off the rolling pin and crank up the oven! 

I don’t know about you, but I have a long list of Christmas cookie recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Maybe you need a platter for a party or like to give out cookie boxes to your nearest and dearest.

I know I like the homemade gift route far better than wandering stores hoping for inspiration. 

Either way, this list of 32 incredible Christmas cookies will bring a smile to everyone’s festive faces.

1. 3-Ingredient Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Classic, clean, and crazy-easy, these three-ingredient shortbread cookies blow any sugar cookie recipe out of the water. 

Be sure to start with soft butter and let it combine fully with the powdered sugar. 

And don’t forget to have the mixer on low when you add the flour! We’ve all been covered one too many times.

The trick is not to over-mix the dough. You’ll finish working it as you roll it out.

2. Stained Glass Cookies

These cookies are so pretty and make incredible edible tree decorations. 

They’re also deceptively easy to make. 

You need not boil sugar and hover over the pot until it reaches just the right temperature. 

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Nope. All you need are crushed rock candies!

They melt right in the middle as the cookies bake and will set hard and shiny.

3. Christmas Candy Cane Cookies

This is one to try with the kids!

It’s gonna be messy, but it’s gonna be a lot of fun, too.

You’ll need just one dough, half of which gets colored red. 

When it’s cold and easy to handle, roll out little strips and twist.

4. Butterscotch Cookies

Being a big fan of all things cookie, I will happily chow down on some crispy-edged sugar cookies.

But I am more drawn to the chewy, soft, and sweet cookies that almost bends when you pick them up.

This fantastic recipe incorporates butterscotch chips for a deep caramel flavor that is so good, you won’t miss the chocolate.

Want that gooey center? Pull the tray when the edges are just turning, and they look under-baked.

Coconut Macaroons

5. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons

When you’re making a million cookies, having a few super-fast recipes is a must. 

And this simple recipe is a sweet and slightly tropical delight you will happily add to the platter.

Once the egg whites are nice and stiff, fold everything through, scoop, and bake. 

I like the light finish, but a drizzle of dark chocolate would be extra special. 

6. Best Ever Fruitcake Cookies

Fruity, nutty, and colorful, these cookies are such an excellent way to incorporate fruit and nuts into the list. 

Not everyone likes the dark flavors of a traditional Christmas cake. This recipe has all those great dried fruit flavors in a lightened cookie version. 

The green and red cherries really pop against the light cookie, but you can use any dried fruits you prefer. 

7. Hot Chocolate Cookies

Be warned: these are dangerous. 

The melted chocolate in the cookie dough gives the cookies a fudgy texture that is like a brownie.

But the star is the melted chocolate under the gooey marshmallow. 

You can make these ahead, but I highly recommend baking them just before you need them, so they stay warm and messy. 

8. Pignoli Cookies

As much as I love the classics, I also really enjoy finding something a little different. 

The almond and pine nut combination is such a nice change from the usual cookies you see on a cookie plate, but it fits in so well. 

If you can’t find the almond paste, it’s super easy to make your own!

9. Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies

There’s something extra creamy about a cookie with cream cheese added. 

The cookies stay wonderfully tender and flavorful and pair great with nuts, chocolate, or even crushed candy canes. 

10. Easy Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon is the king of holiday flavors, and rightfully so. 

It can be sweet, spicy, and beautifully warm. 

These soft cookies highlight everything we love about cinnamon, with nothing to distract from its deliciousness. 

Of course, you could always make a double batch and through in some chopped candied pecans.

11. Easy No-Bake Grinch Cookies

The decoration for these is so simple, but so, so cute. 

And you don’t even have to make the cookies!

This recipe uses golden Oreos and dips them into a green-tinted white chocolate and coconut oil mixture. 

The mini-hearts are ridiculously adorable, and you can have these ready to go in under an hour. 

12. Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies

These cookies are for those of us who love the dark flavors of the holidays. 

The molasses makes them ultra-chewy and gives a deep and rich caramel flavor. 

For a touch of sweetness, try throwing in some white chocolate chips. 

13. Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe

One for the grown-ups, these biscotti are spicy and perfect alongside your Irish coffee

You will need to bake this dough once as a flattened log and then again after cutting your biscotti.

The second bake is what gives it that great crunch.

14. Skillet Snickerdoodle Cookie

With everything going on this year, maybe you’re having a low-key Christmas at home.

But there’s no reason it can’t still be decadent. 

Skillet cookies are warm, soft, and extra delicious.

I would probably add in some caramel here and top with a big scoop of ice cream. 

I like to make mine in mini-skillets, so I don’t have to share!

15. Polar Bear Cookies

These might just be too cute to eat.

Like the Grinch cookies, you will be starting with Oreos (how easy is that)?

The nose and ears are made using white chocolate wafers, and the tip of the nose can be any fun color you prefer. 

16. Easy Reindeer Cookies

Who knew pretzels and M&Ms was all it took to make a reindeer?

I like the use of peanut butter dough here, but gingerbread cookie dough would also make a nice coloring and flavor. 

These are shaped by hand, but you can also use a gingerbread cookie cutter and turn them upside down!

17. Turtle Cookies

It might be the holidays, but chocolate and caramel never go out of season as far as I’m concerned. 

These cookies are very sweet, especially with the caramel bits melted through. 

With that in mind, it would be best to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. 

Try not to over-mix the dough and bake them just until they start to color for that lovely soft middle.

18. Easy Cocadas Recipe – Mexican Coconut Candies

Much like the macaroons from above, these are sweet, chewy, and pretty easy to put together. 

The big difference is the inclusion of dulce de leche and chopped macadamia nuts. 

You need not whip up any egg whites. Just mix the coconut and nuts with a can of dulce de leche.

They bake for around 15 minutes, and that’s it. 

19. Jingle Bell Bites (Holiday Shortbread Cookies)

We’ve already established my love for shortbread. 

And these make the plate even cuter.

You can flavor your dough with a touch of almond, but the red and green sprinkles really make them pop. 

I like the simple squares seen here, but they would also be pretty when shaped into something fun. 

20. Sweet Potato Pecan Cookies

Made too much sweet potato puree for that pie? I have you covered!

Like banana adds flavor and moisture to recipes, the sweet potato will make these tender, flavorful, and beautifully colored. 

I am obsessed with the orange glaze and will be adding it to a few other cookies!

21. Kahk Cookies

These Egyptian cookies are yeast-based and full of a honey, sesame seed, and pistachio filling. 

You’ll need ghee to make these as close to traditional as possible. If you can’t find it, you can make clarified butter at home. 

Be sure to cool the filling before adding it to the dough and seal them tight so nothing seeps out.

22. Basler Brunsli (Swiss Chocolate Spice Cookies)

Chewy yet crisp, chocolatey yet spiced, these might just be your new favorite recipe. 

Using almonds makes these a great gluten-free option and adds texture to the baked cookie.

Something unusual here is that they need to sit out to dry overnight. 

23. Italian Ricotta Cookies

In the same way the cream cheese added tons of moisture to the crescent cookies above, ricotta is used here to make these thick cookies moist and tender. 

There’s lemon zest in the cookies and juice in the glaze for a citrus note.

But I think orange would make a nice change and would probably use that glaze from the sweet potato recipe!

24. Linzer Cookies

In my opinion, Linzer cookies are perfect.

Tender, buttery shortbread packed with sweet and tart raspberry jam? I could eat the whole tray.

I like to bake mine just enough so they’re done, but I always pull the tray before they turn golden. This way, they are crumbly and soft. 

When cooled, you can spoon the jam in place or use a piping bag to make it easier and neater.

25. Jam Thumbprint Cookies

The truth is, these are essentially the same as Linzer cookies, just in a different shape. 

Sometimes we don’t have time to roll and cut out dough. 

Here you get all that amazing flavor, with half the work. 

I like to use a variety of jams for something super colorful. 

26. Pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)

If you’ve ever been to the Scandinavian part of the world, you’ll know they love spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) and that most of their sweets are not overly sweet. 

These cookies have a distinct ginger flavor, along with a deep caramel from molasses and unique spice from cloves and black pepper. 

They might not be for everyone, but the complexity in this little cookie is truly delicious. 

27. Kourambiethes (Greek Christmas Cookies)

You’ve probably had something like this before and not known their name. 

I wish I knew how to pronounce it, but I’ll just stick with the great recipe and call them Greek. 

They are much like a shortbread, but there is an egg in the dough, along with brandy.

Don’t skip the butter whipping step! It’s the key to the texture.

28. M&M Christmas cookies

If you’re looking for a simple way to add some festive color to the cookie box, this recipe is for you.

The dough itself is pretty standard and will make a lovely chewy cookie that you could make extra of and cut in half. 

I would add white chocolate and cranberries to one and keep the other fun with the M&Ms.

Another excellent option would be to make cookie bars. Just be sure to let the whole thing cool before slicing. 

29. Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

If you hate the idea of getting covered in flour when rolling out cookies, I have a trick for you. 

Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Start with your hand, pressing slightly, and then come in with the rolling pin. 

You won’t need flour! Just transfer the rolled dough to the fridge, and when you’re ready, you can cut it right from the parchment. 

I love the simple design to make these snowflakes. 

But if you’re not feeling like piping, dipping half in chocolate would look just as cute.

30. Brown Butter Toffee Cookies

You might not think that browning butter is worth the time and effort, but it so is!

The nutty flavor you get just from cooking the butter down a little is beyond amazing. The smell alone is worth it!

I also highly recommend sprinkling with sea salt (for all your chocolate chip cookies).

31. Chocolate Cherry Cookies

It’s amazing how adding a red cherry to a chocolate chip cookie immediately makes them more festive. 

The pop of color is all they need to fit right at home with the Grinch cookies and red and green shortbread bites. 

I also love the cherry juice in the cookie dough for an extra boost of flavor with the rich chocolate. 

32. Melt-in-Your-Mouth Eggnog Cookies 

These simple spiced melt in your mouth cookies are pretty amazing on their own. 

You could leave them plain or add any number of frosting flavors. I would try out gingerbread or maybe a peppermint ganache.

But what’s more festive than eggnog?

Feel free to leave out the rum if you want these kid-friendly.

32 Best Christmas Cookies (+ Easy Recipes)


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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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