Spread some love this holiday season with these fun and festive cookie exchange recipes.
They’re easy, delicious, and ideal for sharing with friends.
The holidays are just around the corner, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for the annual cookie exchange!
You know, that fun get-together with friends where everyone brings a platter of cookies? It’s a blast!
And from chocolate chip and red velvet to gingerbread and candy cane, I’ve got a wide assortment of cookies for you to sample.
So if you’re as obsessed with cookie swap parties as I am, you’ll want to bookmark this list.
35+ Easy Cookie Swap Recipes for the Holidays
If you like mocha, you’ll love these coffee cookies!
The dough is infused with coffee and studded with chocolate chips, creating that luscious mocha flavor we all love so much.
And it’s not just the flavor that makes these cookies awesome; it’s the texture too.
Crisp and chewy around the edges with a soft and gooey middle and crunchy pecans is about as dreamy as it gets.
These cookies look and taste like candy canes. They’re the perfect holiday treat!
And don’t be intimidated by the way they look.
While they seem complex to make, it’s just a matter of forming the dough into two ropes and twisting them together.
As for the red hue, just mix some red (gel) food coloring into the dough. Easy, right?
If baking isn’t your thing, but you still want to participate in a cookie exchange, try these tasty no-bake cookies.
They aren’t just embarrassingly easy to make; they’re also incredibly addictive.
You’ll use cocoa and peanut butter for the base, along with milk, oats, and sugar. Mix, mold, chill, and serve!
Wonderfully sweet and chewy, they’re even better with some chopped nuts or chewy raisins in the mix.
Cookie exchange parties almost always take place at Christmas. So it only makes sense to have a recipe for gingerbread cookies!
As someone who doesn’t like overly spiced cookies, I’m very particular about gingerbread recipes.
But I have complete faith in this one.
The dough has the perfect ratio of molasses, brown sugar, and spices, giving the cookies a wonderfully balanced flavor.
Don’t have time to make cookie dough from scratch? Use a box of cake mix instead!
If you’re a fan of soft, fluffy, cake-like cookies, these are for you. And all it takes is a doctored box of devil’s food cake mix with chocolate chips and walnuts.
These white chocolate macadamia cookies are a personal favorite of mine! They’re soft, chewy, and have all the textures you want in a cookie.
But it’s the mix-ins that really do it for me.
Nothing – and I mean nothing – beats the combination of white chocolate and macadamia nuts (unless you add freeze-dried raspberries, that is!).
Do yourself a favor and make a double batch – one for you and one for sharing.
When I hear “Christmas cookies,” the first thing that comes to mind is peppermint.
I’m not sure what makes it such a hit during the holidays (and not all year), but you just can’t beat that sweet and refreshing flavor.
And as the name suggests, these cookies are so soft and buttery they’ll melt in your mouth. They’re so good, you’ll want to make them year-round.
I’ll never get tired of building up these butter-cup cookies! Why? Because they won’t let you down and mess you around.
Seriously, though, these peanut butter cup cookies are Delicious with a capital D!
They’re soft and buttery, with an entire piece of peanut butter cup in the middle. Biting into these is like eating two desserts in one.
Here’s another fantastic dessert mash-up your entire family will love.
I mean, why would you pick between red velvet cake and a chocolate chip cookie when you can have both?
These babies are soft-baked with a rich red velvet base covered with chocolate chips.
And in case you didn’t know, red velvet already contains some cocoa powder. So the chocolate chips double the chocolatey factor.
10. Sugar Cookies
I know these sugar cookies look simple, but get ready to be blown away!
They’re soft, sweet, and so insanely buttery, you might have a fight on your hands.
Once your friends get a bite of the crisp and chewy edges and melt in your mouth center, they’ll snatch up every last one.
So, while these cookies may not win in the looks department, they’ll definitely bag the flavor and texture categories.
These snickerdoodle cookies are as fun to say as they are to munch on.
Sugary, buttery, and oh-so-soft, they’re a lot like sugar cookies. The only difference is that they’re rolled in cinnamon sugar – twice.
The double coating adds extra sweetness and warmth, plus a subtle crunch on the outside.
It makes the sugar cookies so much prettier, to boot!
Calling all sweet tooths, this one’s for you.
This recipe makes crispy, chewy, buttery cookies peppered with white chocolate chips.
Ooh boy, you’re in trouble!
To say these cookies are addictive is an understatement. Sure, they’re on the sweet side, but the cinnamon in the cookie base balances it out just right.
Clearly, I’m obsessed with white chocolate cookies, so here’s another recipe I know you’ll love.
If you’re a fan of Subway’s treats, good news! This recipe makes the perfect copycat.
They’re crisp and chewy around the edges, soft and chewy in the middle and jam-packed with white chocolate and macadamia nuts in every bite.
Excuse me as I wipe the drool off my face.
These cookies are made of Bisquick mix, but no one has to know. As a matter of fact, no one will even notice!
Peanut butter cookies are thick yet soft, chewy, and moist. And they taste just like traditional peanut butter cookies.
The difference is, this recipe only calls for four ingredients: Bisquick, peanut butter, and condensed milk.
The vanilla is optional, but I highly recommend keeping it in the mix. I promise it makes a difference.
These Danish butter cookies look so festive they’ll spread Christmas cheer, for sure. Just looking at them fills me with glee!
Like shortbread, Danish cookies are soft, crumbly, sweet, and buttery. Only they’re usually piped to give them that fun swirl appearance.
To make them extra spectacular, dip half the cookie in chocolate* and sprinkle with red and green nonpareils.
Not only do these embellishments make the cookies so much prettier, but they also add more flavor and texture, too.
*Note: these can totally be made ahead, but if you plan to add the chocolate, I suggest candy melts or tempered chocolate.
Tempering will ensure the chocolate is shiny and, more importantly, will keep it from blooming (turning cloudy) as the cookies sit.
Regular chocolate will work fine if you’re serving them right away.
Love Panera’s famous kitchen sink cookies? Today’s your lucky day because this recipe replicates them to a tee.
Soft, chewy, and studded with chocolate chips, toffee bits, and crunchy pretzels – they really do have everything but the kitchen sink!
And those are just suggestions. So feel free to add M&Ms, salted potato chips, and even popcorn to the dough!
Here’s another cookie that’s jam-packed with a variety of add-ins!
Why stick to just chocolate chips when you can also load your cookie dough with dried cherries, pecans, and oats?
This combination of flavors and textures gives you chunky cookies that are soft, chewy, melty, and crunchy, all in one bite.
They’ll tantalize your taste buds, for sure.
Lemon drop cookies go by many names. But whether you call them anginetti, lemon crinkles, or Italian cookies, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is this: these cookies are beyond heavenly.
Both the cookie base and the glaze are flavored with lemon, so you’ll definitely get a burst of zestiness when you bite into them.
They even smell citrusy!
Pizzelles are thin, waffle-like Italian cookies with crisp and chewy textures.
This isn’t what makes them extraordinary, though. It’s the way they look.
Pizzelles get their jaw-droppingly intricate patterns from a unique pizzelle maker.
It’s a kitchen appliance that works like a waffle maker but has engravings on the top and bottom pans.
You can find them online easily enough, and they’re not expensive. So go ahead and splurge – it’s the holidays, after all!
Chocolate icebox cookies are wonderfully chocolatey, with crisp edges and soft and buttery interiors.
If you need a cookie recipe you can make ahead, try this. The dough holds really well in the freezer, and they bake up flawlessly.
That said, you can freeze almost any cookie dough and even bake them from frozen.
So don’t wait until the last minute to make your cookie exchange recipes. I start mixing, portioning, and freezing dough as early as November!
21. Turtle Cookies
Too impatient to wait for cookie dough to chill? I feel you, Boo!
Fortunately, this recipe for turtle cookies doesn’t require any chilling or resting whatsoever.
Once you’re done mixing and shaping, the dough balls will be ready for baking. And trust me, when it comes to turtle cookies, waiting is almost unbearable.
Packed with caramel bits, pecans, and chocolate chips, these cookies are to die for.
It’s almost the end of the year, and you need to use up those boxes of lemon cake mix you got on sale. So what do you do?
You make these insanely tender cookies, that’s what!
Make no mistake; these lemon cake cookies don’t taste like a last-ditch effort to utilize a boxed cake mix.
Instead, they’re wonderfully soft, buttery, and exploding with bright, lemony flavors.
Butterballs, Russian tea cakes, snowballs, polvorones – these cookies go by a thousand different names.
I know them as Mexican wedding cookies, but don’t feel you have to get a wedding invitation before you whip them up.
These cookies are shortbread bites disguised with powdered sugar. They’re buttery, crumbly, and so soft they’ll melt in your mouth.
The powdered sugar doesn’t just make them extra sweet but elegant, as well. Just don’t wear black when you eat them!
24. Grinch Cookies
These soft, ooey-gooey cookies will make your heart grow three sizes after just one bite.
They’re green cookies covered with white powdered sugar and finished with a red heart sprinkle in the middle.
Even the grumpiest person will smile at the mere sight of them!
If you’re not a fan of green tea or matcha cookies, you can relax. These are simply butter cookies colored green.
That said, if you are a fan of matcha, why not add some to the mix?
25. Cowboy Cookies
These bad boys are a must-make if you like cookies with everything on them!
Crisp, soft, chewy, and irresistible, the combo of chocolate and oatmeal really steals the show.
I know many people aren’t huge fans of oatmeal cookies but don’t knock it until you try it. Believe me, you’ll love ’em.
26. Gumdrop Cookies
These gumdrop cookies are almost too cute to eat. It’d be a shame not to, though.
Besides being so freakin’ adorable, they’re also a must-try for their wonderfully unique flavor.
Infused with coconut and oatmeal, the cookies are moist and chewy with a flaky, coconut-y twist.
And the gumdrops aren’t just for presentation, either.
As they bake, the jellies melt into chewy, ooey-gooey morsels that burst with fruitiness.
These are essentially lemon crinkle cookies jazzed up with orange juice and dried cranberries.
Just when you think crinkle cookies couldn’t get any better, amirite?
This crinkle version is for you if you like some chewiness to contrast the softness of the cookies.
It’s also for you if you love all things orange. Infused with both juice and zest, the citrus flavor is strong in these cookies!
Made with rolled oats, sugar, butter, and cocoa powder, Eskimo cookies are soft, buttery, chewy, and simply delicious.
They’re rolled in powdered sugar for an extra layer of sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
And believe it or not, they’ve been tickling people’s taste buds since the 1950s. They remain popular to this day, and I’m not surprised why.
Here’s another copycat Subway cookie that will be a hit in this year’s cookie swap.
This is my tried-and-true recipe for a traditional chocolate chip cookie.
(You didn’t think I’d come up with a list of cookie recipes without the most iconic one, did you?)
These cookies are soft, chewy, and exploding with chunks of warm, melty chocolate.
So if you don’t have a go-to recipe for classic chocolate chip cookies, this one won’t disappoint!
These cookies are peanut buttery, but they’re entirely butter-free.
But wait, there’s more: these cookies don’t contain flour, either. They’re low-carb, but they’re high in flavor!
Don’t hesitate to try this if you’re looking for a healthy option to add to your arsenal of cookie recipes.
Whether you’ve run out of chocolate chips or just looking for a different cookie flavor profile, this recipe has you covered.
Instead of the typical chocolate chips, you’ll fill your cookie dough with Heath bar bits.
Besides the sweet toffee flavor, the candy also gives the cookies a lovely crunch. Delish!
These aren’t your average thumbprint cookies, folks! Instead of the usual jammy center, they’re filled with decadent and dreamy caramel.
They’re also completely covered with chopped pecans and drizzled with melted chocolate.
I’m not drooling; you’re drooling.
No Girl Scouts in sight, huh? That’s alright, you don’t need them. You can just make your very own Samoa cookies at home (for half the price!).
I’m not gonna lie; these cookies require some time and effort to pull off. They’re 200% worth it, though.
Between the soft, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, luxurious caramel, fresh coconut, and sinful chocolate, they’re something special.
This recipe proves you don’t need a ton of ingredients to make the perfect chocolate cookies.
Here, all you’ll need are butter, eggs, chocolate chips, and a box of chocolate cake mix.
Sometimes, the simple things in life are the most extraordinary.
And hey, I won’t tell if you don’t!
If sweet, spiced, chewy, and ooey-gooey cookies are what you’re after, the search is over. This recipe is the absolute winner.
Featuring molasses, brown sugar, chocolate chips, and spices, these cookies are rich, cozy, and incredibly warming.
It’s like cinnamon hot chocolate that you can chew! Need I say more?
According to legend, one customer loved the Neiman Marcus cafe’s cookie so much, they asked for the recipe.
Little did they know that it would cost them $250!
In an attempt to get back at the cafe, the customer shared the recipe with everybody.
And I’m so glad they did!
Capping off this collection is my recipe for soft and chewy butterscotch cookies.
I just can’t get enough of the sweet, salty, and buttery flavors in this one.
They’re definitely a “batch” made in heaven.
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