Christmas Cookie Recipes

Go ahead: grab your measuring spoons, your bowls, and your baking sheets and dive into our tempting collection of simple, delicious Christmas cookies. We’ve got all of the holiday cookie recipes you’ll need to keep baking all season, from time-tested classics like gingerbread men, sugar cookies, and snickerdoodles to creative new favorites like eggnog bars, pistachio slice and bake cookies, and matcha shortbread. Old-fashioned Italian Christmas cookie fans will go crazy for our simple biscotti recipes, or our sweet, cakey angeletti. And of course, half the fun of baking is sharing the bounty—so we’ve rounded up tons of recipes for Christmas cookies, brownies, candies, bars, and barks that are great for gifting or exchanging at a festive cookie swap. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, check out our enormous (and gorgeous!) holiday cookie calendar, which features a different cookie recipe for every single day of November and December.

4 Luxe Gingerbread Houses

We designed four gorgeous gingerbread-inspired houses to build and devour this season—no baking required. Use our printable templates to assemble the most stunning homes in Gingerbread Land.

Harlequin Gingerbread House

You’ll be blown away by the modern engineering utilized in this Gaudi-inspired home. Located right in the center of Candy Land’s capital city, this home is constructed of 100% repurposed cookies and treats. The Nutter Butter siding is adorned with edible gold pearl accents and peppermint stick structural elements. Our favorite feature is the state-of-the-art, solar-paneled, Rice Krispies treat roof. It’s located within walking distance of Candy Land College, home to some of the country’s foremost thought leaders on candy-centered architecture and design. This home and its custom interiors were recently featured in Architectural Digest and dwell magazines (January 2016 and May 2016 respectively).

Chocolate Gingerbread House

This converted Kit-Kat barn just drips cool luxury. Updated earlier in 2016, the owners swapped predictable siding for chocolate and white chocolate bricks and insulated with the most up-to-date royal icing. In addition, the roof was recently reinforced with new honey-flavored graham crackers. An extra-wide barn door at the front of the house makes for a handsome entryway. You’ll love the lofted bedroom, perfect for kids or guests. Situated in the foothills just north of Candy Land, you’ll enjoy year round snow and world-class skiing just a hop, skip, and a jump from your sturdy front door.

Pretzel Log Cabin

This rustic salty cabin is the perfect weekend getaway for ski-bums and snowboarders alike. A true ski-in, ski-out property, this cozy gem was built in November 2016. It’s situated mid-mountain right on Peppermint Peak, home to some of Candy Land’s most sought after slopes. After a morning cutting fresh tracks, head inside to make hot cocoa in the newly renovated kitchen. Then, relax in front of one of 2 wood-fired stoves and watch the snow fall. In addition, you’ll be just minutes away from Gumdrop Pass and its world-class views of the Frosted Valley: head into town to explore the wares from inspiring local artists’ community (don’t miss the Frosted Flea market on Saturdays).

Wafer Cookie Gingerbread House

Situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, this quirky two bedroom is perfect for a growing family. Custom-designed in 2016 for a couple with impeccable taste, this house's modern palette provides the perfect backdrop for your country house dreams. The charming front walkway ends in a bright pink wafer door, while a multi-colored M&M roof and gumdrop accents give it great curb appeal (shown here with seasonal sugar pine bunting). This gingerbread house is located in Candy Land County, a destination hamlet along the Caramel River. For more information regarding lake rights please contact Real Simple Real Estate.

Italian Christmas Cookies

This year we thought we’d bake something beyond basic sugar cookies. We took inspiration from some of our favorite Italian treats and folded them into 7 new recipes. From tender pine-nut studded Pignoli to striped Neopolitan Butter Cookies, you’ll want to add one (or all) of these to your holiday baking repertoire.

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.

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).

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.

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.