Fruit and Spice-Filled Cookies

We took one bite of these dried fruit and nut-stuffed cookies and thought, this isn’t a cookie, it’s fruit and cake. Just kidding, that’s the old Fig Newton’s line, but that’s exactly what these warmly spiced nuggets taste like. If you’re a confident dough-roller, go ahead and work on a lightly floured surface, but if you’re new or timid roll the dough on a piece of parchment paper. That way, if the dough gets too soft, you can pop the whole thing in the refrigerator to firm back up before you proceed. We like to finish these with rainbow nonpareils but they’re just as pretty drizzled with the icing alone.

Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue Cookies (Brutti Ma Buoni)

We finally found it: our perfect meringue cookie. Crunchy yet yielding on the outside, tender on the inside, and full of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate. We like these with an afternoon coffee or cup of tea but they’re also good crumbled on top of a bowl of ice cream. Here’s another idea: layer broken cookies, lightly sweetened whipped cream, and chocolate sauce together in glass cups for a Wintery Eton Mess. Because meringues are sensitive to humidity, be sure they’re completely cool before you store them.

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

Biscotti are typically on the drier side. They’re made that way intentionally, just to give you an excuse to dunk them in your morning latte. We went one step further and put the coffee right inside the cookies. They’re so nice we baked them twice and gave them the tuxedo treatment with a generous dip in melted white chocolate. But for chocoholics out there you could dip them in melted milk or dark chocolate instead. Either way we still think it’s a good idea to dunk them in your coffee (or, come to think of it, your hot chocolate).

Neopolitan Butter Cookies

These layered cookies are easier to make than you might think. All three doughs are whizzed up right in the food processor so there’s only one bowl to clean. The dough is then pressed and stacked in a regular 8x8-inch baking dish before chilling, slicing and baking. You can make the dough and press it in the baking dish up to 3 days ahead. Fun fact: Some of our tasters swore the pink layer tasted like strawberry just because it was pink! We think they’re extra pretty with a pink layer but you can use your favorite colors to give these their own unique personality.

Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

There’s no prettier cookie to serve at tea time then these pignoli studded bites. The addition of almond paste makes for an incredibly tender, moist dough while a bit of finely grated orange zest cuts through the richness of the nuts. Because they use powdered sugar, instead of granulated, these cookies really do melt in your mouth. Be careful when shopping for almond paste that you don’t accidentally pick up marzipan (often sold right next to one another). While they are made of the same ingredients—ground almonds, sugar, and some sort of binder like corn syrup or egg whites—almond paste is less sweet and more coarsely ground.

Pistachio Florentine Cannoli

We flipped the script on a traditionally deep-fried cannoli. Instead, we used delicate florentine cookies as the shells and piped them full of a lightly sweetened ricotta mixture. The first few cookies might be a little tricky to mold but you’ll get the hang of it. If the cookies harden before you have a chance to form all of them, stick them back in the oven for a minute or two to soften. You’ll want to fill them just before serving, but you can make the cookies up to a week ahead of time. Keep them tightly covered in an airtight container.

Italian Thumbprint Cookies

What starts as a simple shortbread cookie gets gussies up with the addition of marmalade and jam and a drizzle of white chocolate. Microwaving the jam before you bake it helps to cook out some of the moisture in the preserves so it stays in place while baking. We like the slightly bitter edge of marmalade and the tangy sweetness of plum or raspberry preserves but feel free to use any jam or fruit preserves you like. The white chocolate drizzle is optional but it sure does make for a pretty presentation.

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Cookies

These sweet, crunchy morsels combine the best ingredients of three classic cookies in one simple, speedy treat.

Your Favorite Holiday Cookies... In Cocktail Form

Now you can drink a snickerdoodle, gingersnap, or rum ball.