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24 Best Holiday Cookies (+ Easy Recipes)

by insanelygood
Gingerbread Cookies

I will not give you a countdown, but I think we’re all aware that Christmas is coming!

One of the best parts of the season is making holiday cookies. It’s a great excuse to spend some time in the kitchen, and the options are endless.

Whether you’re looking for something sweet to leave out for Santa or homemade treats for family and friends, there’s a holiday cookie for everyone.

Variety is the cinnamon spice of life, after all!

With these 24 holiday cookie recipes, you can countdown to Christmas with something new every day. 

Sugar Cookies

1. Easy Sugar Cookies Recipe

A true classic, this sugar cookie recipe can be the foundation of making holiday cookies. 

This recipe is nice and easy, with just 7 ingredients. Just be sure to let your butter soften before use for the softest cookie possible. 

Keep them sweet and simple, or experiment with candy-cane bits, white chocolate, cranberries, and more.

2. Mostaccioli di Mamma

As much as I love a simple cookie, I do think that holiday cookies are great for experimenting. Spend a little extra time and try something new!

You won’t be disappointed when this recipe comes out of the oven.

They are a little dense with a lovely almond and honey flavor, along with a little spice. 

Once baked and cooled, the rich dark chocolate brings everything together perfectly. 

3. Lady’s Kisses – Baci di Dama

Straight out of Italy, these nutty cookie sandwiches are a must-try!

Made with almond flour and crushed hazelnuts, they’re not overly sweet. 

The Nutella filling will make them irresistible to pretty much everyone.

For a pleasant alternative, they would be delicious with a white chocolate salted caramel ganache.

4. Gingerbread People

You really know it’s the holidays when gingerbread people come out!

I always like to add a little extra ginger to mine, along with some orange zest for a little twist. 

You’re going to need to chill this dough before you roll it out, but when baked, the cookies are soft inside with a nice edge. 

We all know decorating is the best part! Be creative and get the kids involved. 

Forget the scarves and buttons and try out some wacky aliens for a laugh.

5. Chewy Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Can we just agree that mint and chocolate should be acceptable year-round? 

The rich and almost bitterness of the chocolate combined with fresh mint extract shouldn’t be saved for the holidays.

These cookies are rich, sweet, and soft. 

Remember to add the crushed candy canes right out of the oven so they stick! I wouldn’t advise putting them on during baking, as they will melt and look a little messy.

If you can’t find peppermint extract, you can leave it out and still get some mint flavor from the candy canes. 

6. Pecan Pie Cookies

I have to admit that I actually prefer pecan pie over apple. There’s just something so satisfying about a slice of super sweet pie with crunchy toasted pecans. 

It might also have to do with the bourbon I always add…

If you’re a pecan pie lover, these cookies are for you.

This recipe combines a tender, nutty, brown sugar cookie with dollops of delightful pecan pie filling for a perfect mouthful.

Since they’re thumbprint cookies, be sure to chop your nuts small so they sit nicely in the center of the cookies.

Now, just imagine how good they’ll be drizzled with some Bourbon Caramel Sauce!

7. Mincemeat Cookies

Don’t worry, I haven’t lost it just yet.

If you’ve never had a mince pie before, now is the time to try it! The filling is an incredible combination of currents, brandy, candied peel, and spiced apple.

It’s a true British staple during the holidays.

Imagine all those Christmassy flavors in a cookie!

Made with dark brown sugar for that real deep molasses flavor, they’ll be a unique and fast favorite addition to your cookie plate.

8. Cheese & Rosemary Biscuits

My love of shortbread extends beyond the sweet cookie you know and love. 

With no added sugar, this buttery biscuit has a pronounced cheese flavor, and the almost lemony rosemary will be such an unexpected treat.

But it doesn’t end there! You can add bacon bits, use smoked cheese, mix in onion, or even jalapenos for a holiday cookie with a big twist.

Just don’t get them mixed up!

9. Jammy Coconut Mallows

These cute little sandwich cookies are made with a subtle vanilla biscuit, sweet raspberry jam, and squishy marshmallows. 

Chilling the dough before rolling makes the process a lot easier and less messy. 

Be sure your cookies are cooled completely before adding the marshmallows and reheating in the oven. I wouldn’t suggest using Marshmallow Fluff here, as the idea is for it to set in the middle.

Brushing the edges with warmed jam will help the coconut stick, but you can also use chocolate for a pleasant contrast. 

10. Red Velvet Cookies

Though they don’t have those holiday flavors, you can’t deny their bright color will lift a plate or box of cookies. 

This recipe tops these super easy, cake-mix cookies with white chocolate chips for a red and white look. But I think they would look great with some holiday sprinkles mixed into the dough.

11. Chocolate Amaretti Cookies

Crinkle cookies remind me of snowy days by the fire. And a holiday cookie plate wouldn’t be complete without a few different options. 

This recipe is more grown-up, with the amaretti mixed right into the dough for that great almond flavor. 

Almond extract is easy to overdo and can taste a little synthetic. Luckily, the liquor used will add a subtle flavor that won’t linger.

For something for the kids, try these simple Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

12. Christmas British Flapjacks

If you’re looking for something a little different, these flapjacks will fit the bill. 

Chewy and versatile, they can be made festive by adding a whole slew of fun and tasty ingredients. 

The ingredient list might look a little intimidating, but you can leave some things out if you want something simpler. 

I would add in some pecans and leave out the figs in favor of dried apricots. But I would also throw in a little extra brandy!

13. Balkan Kifle Walnut Crescent Cookies

This recipe is a mouthful, but these little beauties are worth every syllable.

They look like little croissants and can be filled with jams, creams, or any combination of fruits.

For the dough, you will need to plan, as it needs to chill overnight. When rolling, be sure to leave the dough in the fridge to keep cold before rolling.

This recipe has a lemon-nut filling that you’ll love. But you can change it up however you like. 

I think some of that mincemeat you made would work particularly well!

14. Palmiers

Crisp and sweet, these little bites are so easy to make. 

Though they look impressive, they come together with just 4 ingredients and in 15 minutes.

Using store-bought puff pastry, it’s as easy as brushing a sugar-butter mixture over the pastry and rolling it up.

Try adding some cinnamon in with the sugar for that real holiday feel. 

15. Puerto Rican Coconut Kisses

My favorite thing about holiday cookies is the variety. Whether making them myself or buying a box in the store, I like knowing that there will be lots to choose from.

Though these are amazing no matter the time of year, I think they add a delightful change to the spicy cookies we’re used to.

Chewy and sweet, they come together in just 10 minutes. And the dark chocolate drizzle adds a little decadence. 

16. Thin Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Biscotti freeze well, last longer than traditional cookies, and are versatile and easy to make.

With plump cranberries and lots of orange zest, you’ll get all the great flavors of the holidays in a light and crisp cookie that is great with a cup of coffee. 

To help plump the cranberries and add something extra, I suggest using rum or orange liquor. 

I love the added pistachios here for a subtle flavor and extra bit of texture.

To finish, dip them in chocolate and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios. 

17. Ginger Cookie Sandwiches with Lemon Mascarpone Filling

These ginger cookies are fantastic alone. 

The crisp edges and tender middles make them perfect for afternoon tea or just a quick treat. 

They have a deep flavor with notes of black treacle, seasonal spices, and a little caramel from the brown sugar. 

But they are taken up a notch with the lemon and mascarpone filling.

The sweet, creamy, and zesty filling cuts through the darker flavors for something lighter and irresistible.

18. Italian Fig Cookies

If you’re looking to impress, this is the recipe for you.

Seeing 20 ingredients and multiple steps might intimidate, but the flavors of rum, fig, citrus, and almonds with the tender and sweet vanilla cookie is one for the books. 

You can find candied peel in the grocery store, and you can always substitute dates for currents here. 

Once you read through, you’ll see that it’s not that difficult, and you should have most of the ingredients at home already.

When they’re done, baked, and covered in a lemon glaze, you’ll have homemade and Instagram-worthy holiday cookies. 

19. “Candy” Bars

This recipe is an excellent way to jazz up that easy sugar cookie recipe.

Press into a baking dish and bake as you would normally. You can add some chopped pecans, chocolate chips, or citrus zest into the dough.

The real fun starts when they’re cold. 

First, spread some salted caramel sauce over the top. Then, you can sprinkle over chopped nuts, pretzels and coconut, before drizzling with dark chocolate.

As always, you can switch it up for your own liking. 

I would suggest making a double batch and having two pans. Top one with the caramel and salty goodness. 

Top the other with nut butter or Nutella and sprinkle with chopped dried fruits and maybe a white chocolate drizzle. 

20. White Chocolate Raspberry Thins

Another colorful option here, these raspberry thins are beautifully pink and will really pop.

You’ll need freeze-dried raspberries for the cookie which you can find in most stores and online. They must be blitzed to a powder and incorporated into the cookie dough. 

After baking, stripe with white chocolate and sprinkle with some extra freeze-dried raspberries. 

21. Chai Tree and Snowflake Cookies

Chai tea offers lovely warm spices, sweetened with vanilla. This recipe uses white sugar to really let the chai sing.

Cut into fun festive shapes or simple rounds and decorate with a touch of glazing for an extra sweet note.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

22. Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookie Recipe

With a sweet and salty mix, you’ll want to make an extra batch of these babies!

The peanut butter cookie is soft and crumbly, made with brown, white, and powdered sugar.

The combination allows for a deep caramel flavor from the molasses, along with just the right amount of sweetness and stability. 

Peanut butter can be changed for your favorite nut butter, just be aware that the flavor will change. 

Place your kisses in the middle after letting these cool for a few minutes. 

23. Matcha Spritz

Matcha has a great earthy, somewhat nutty, and occasionally bitter taste. You’ll usually find it sweetened in tea or a dessert. 

Though not your usual holiday flavor, the pale green color of these cookies just screams Christmas.

The dough will be soft, as you will need to pipe these cookies onto their tray.

Be creative! Pipe in lines and dip in chocolate. Or decorate into fun cookie wreaths that you can hang on the tree. 

24. Pumpkin Spice Rum Balls

Read that again and tell me you’re not already on your way to the store!

They might not technically be a cookie, per se, but once you try these, you’ll be converted.

With just 7 ingredients, everything gets mixed at once until incorporated. 

The Rumchata adds a warm spiced vanilla undertone that pairs perfectly with the pumpkin.

This recipe suggests rolling in cinnamon and powdered sugar, but I think they’ll be great striped in a little chocolate and topped with some finely chopped nuts.

24 Best Holiday Cookies (+ Easy Recipes)

Directions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious holiday treat that will impress family and friends!
Holiday Cookies

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