93 Christmas Cookie Recipes for Absolutely Any Holiday Occasion
Around this time of year, there’s no such thing as too many Christmas cookies. With the right cookie recipes, these tasty little holiday treats are ready for any occasion: Gift exchanges, office holiday parties, school celebrations, family gatherings, and more can all benefit from the addition of a few of the best Christmas cookies, just like all holiday greetings and Instagram posts are improved with the inclusion of some good Christmas quotes.
You may have Christmas cookie recipes passed down from a mother or grandfather; you may have some favorites you’ve picked up over the years. Or you might not have found your can’t-resist, must-make holiday cookie recipe yet, and that’s all right: It takes time to find that perfect treat that is easy for you to make, satisfies the whole family, and makes a great homemade gift, too.
Fortunately for you, we have dozens of cookie recipes perfect for the holiday season. From a foolproof peanut butter cookie recipe to giftable bars to easy lemon bars, these recipes are sure to satisfy every sweet tooth. They have a range of skill levels, cooking times, and ingredients, too, so finding the right treat for your ability and time availability will be a breeze.
The real challenge here is picking just one Christmas cookie to bake this season: If you end up picking a handful to enjoy (and share, if you want), you’re not the only one. Find your perfect recipes, set up some Christmas movies on Netflix, and get baking—you might just find that filling your cookie jar is a whole lot easier than tracking down all the Christmas gifts you need this year.
There’s a lot to love about a great meringue cookie—a crisp outer shell, a gooey soft interior, and in this case, salty-sweet cornflakes for crunch. To make them perfectly is all about getting egg whites to form stiff, glossy peaks. The key is to start with an extra clean bowl. Before you get going, wash the bowl of your stand mixer, then wipe down with a mixture of distilled vinegar and water, which breaks down any remaining fat that might be clinging to the bowl from previous recipes like whipped cream. Cornflakes add great crunch but experiment with other cereals and find out what you like best. Cocoa pebbles? Grape Nuts? Have fun with it! The edible gold is optional, but it makes for a showstopper effect, worthy of birthdays, holidays, or New Year’s Eve celebrations. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Get the recipe: Cornflake Meringues
Caramelized Honey Nut Bars
Caramel-coated almonds and pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) make up the filling of these incredibly tasty honey-nut bars. The base is a classic press in short dough, which comes together quickly in a food processor. Then, you’ll make a quick caramel coating that envelops the nuts and seeds. We like the combination of almonds and pumpkin seeds here but feel free to swap in an equal measure of whatever nuts you like. The nut mixture tops the crust and then it all goes to bake together in the oven, resulting in a chewy treat that’s as welcome alongside mid-morning coffee as it is after a dinner party. Pro tip: these bars are easiest to slice when they are just this side of room temperature (read, slightly warm). For extra clean cuts, get your knive very hot under running water, wipe it dry then slice. Repeat and slice.
Get the recipe: Caramelized Honey Nut Bars
Spicy Citrus Sandwich Cookies
These sandwich cookies not only look bakery-worthy, they’re totally delicious. The off-center cut out takes normal sandwich cookies to a modern-art place, and sparkling sugar and lime zest add a spectacular sparkle. As for the dough, it’s flavored with lime zest and spicy cayenne pepper, making for a unique sweet-tart pairing. The cookies stick together with a lemon curd center, which draws on the citrus flavors in the dough. Make these your go-to gifting cookie for the holiday season and you’re sure to win rave reviews. If lemon curd is too tart for your palate, try half curd and half vanilla frosting for a mellower take on the filling (but raspberry jam works too). And if you’d rather keep your cookies strictly sweet, feel free to omit the cayenne pepper. One last tip: to keep your edges crisp, freeze or refrigerate the cut out dough until firm prior to baking.
Get the recipe: Spicy Citrus Sandwich Cookies
Gingersnaps With Crystallized Ginger
Get the recipe: Gingersnaps With Crystallized Ginger
Chocolate Peppermint Shortbreads
Double chocolate plus peppermint? That’s a recipe for holiday cookie success! First, you’ll make a cocoa-infused shortbread dough, which is spiked with just enough peppermint extract to give a hint of mint, rather than an intense toothpaste-like flavor. Then you’ll press the dough into a cool square-edged log. (But if that feels too hard, you can just roll them into a round log.) Don’t rush the chilling process. This makes the dough easier to slice plus helps the cut cookies hold their shape in the oven. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they get a glossy coating of melted chocolate and a sprinkle of peppermint candies. For the easiest clean up, set the cookies on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet before pouring the chocolate over. Top with the crushed candies and let cool until the chocolate is firm. The result? A modern take on peppermint patty flavors, all dressed up for a party. Serve alongside hot cocoa or eggnog for a festive pairing.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Shortbreads
Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Thins
Hello, good looking! These gorgeously shiny and crisp cookies are also gluten-free, thanks to buckwheat groats, which are triangular-shaped seeds of a buckwheat plant. The toasted groats add texture to these wafer-like cookies, plus the signature subtle, nutty flavor of buckwheat, which tilts the cocoa- and toffee-flavored dough toward the grown-up side. Serve with a glass of milk for dunking, or take advantage of the wide, flat shape to make ice cream sandwiches. Play up the toasty flavors with butter pecan, or double down on the cocoa-infused dough with scoops of chocolate ice cream. Want to get a head start on holiday baking? This dough can be made two days ahead. Refrigerate until ready to bake, then scoop and bake straight from the fridge. Be sure to let them cool completely before packing up for giving: they’ll lose they’re crispiness if stacked before they reach room temperature.
Get the recipes: Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Thins
Nutella Cones With Hazelnut Praline
If you’re looking for a cookie recipe to win the holiday bake sale, look no further. These adorable cones steal the show. Plus, they’re surprisingly simple to make. They start with a chocolate coating reminiscent of Magic Shell, that lines the inside of mini sugar cones. While it may seem tricky at first, once you get into the rhythm of coating the shells it will go lickety split. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, though: it keeps the cones from getting soggy and keeps them crisp and crunchy. An easy-to-make mixture of toasted hazelnuts and Nutella gets tucked inside each cone then more Magic Shell drapes over top. A sparkly, crunchy homemade hazelnut praline tops them off (but you could use a similar store-bought version if you can find it). These cookies are a decadent Nutella-lover’s dream, but we think even non-chocoholics will swoon for them.
Get the recipes: Nutella Cones With Hazelnut Praline
Dark Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Use high-quality chocolate to maximize the flavor of this creamy, rich fudge.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate Walnut Fudge
No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
It’s no secret that chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in confectionary heaven. These chewy treats get a third partner: rolled oats, which add an extra layer of texture and might even trick your guests into thinking these are healthy. We’ve also thrown in some peanuts to boost the crunch factor and add a double dose of nuttiness. Best of all, these simple, rustic-looking cookies don’t even require an oven. Just drop spoonfuls of batter onto baking sheets and let cool until set. There’s no need to refrigerate them, either; they’ll keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Get the recipe: No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Cookies
Microwave Peanut Brittle
If you’ve ever wondered how to make peanut brittle, you’re in luck. In fact, our method is fairly foolproof, since we use a microwave to do the bulk of the work. This crunchy candy may look complicated, but your handy kitchen appliance can easily pull off the task. You’ll use the microwave to melt some of the key ingredients together—sugar, salt, light corn syrup, and butter. Stir in the peanuts, vanilla extract, and a little baking soda, then spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Once it has hardened, break into small pieces for a sweet, nutty treat.
Get the recipe: Microwave Peanut Brittle
White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
These chewy cookies will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Get the recipe: White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Soft pumpkin-flavored cookies are sandwiched together with a sweet cream cheese filling.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Fig Crumb Bars
In this not-so-classic bar cookie, a layer of dried figs, brown sugar, and orange juice anchors the buttery cinnamon topping.
Get the recipe: Fig Crumb Bars
Oat, Raisin, and Nut Bars
The star of this recipe, oats are packed with goodness, from cholesterol-fighting fiber and antioxidants to a nutty taste and chewy texture.
Get the recipe: Oat, Raisin, and Nut Bars
Update a childhood favorite with these chewy bars topped with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crumbled graham crackers.
Get the recipe: S’mores Blondies
Mint Brownie Bites
Peppermint extract in the chocolate ganache and a garnish of crushed peppermint candies give mini brownies a cool, wintry bite.
Get the recipe: Mint Brownie Bites
Brown Sugar Cookies
Dust these cute little treats with cinnamon sugar before baking for a touch of sweetness and spice.
Get the recipe: Brown Sugar Cookies
Chocolate-Pistachio Slice-and-Bake Cookies
These rich, eye-catching, pistachio-studded cookies look sophisticated, but couldn’t be simpler to make. Sprinkle the cookies with coarse sugar to give them extra shine.
Get the recipe: Chocolate-Pistachio Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Toffee-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Rolled oats add texture and a pleasing nuttiness to these chewy favorites.
Get the recipe: Toffee-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you like variety, try making some of the cookies in the batch using other jams, like apricot or peach.
Get the recipe: Raspberry Rugelach
Jam Sandwich Cookies
Dust the tops of these buttery, jam-filled cookies with confectioners’ sugar for a beautiful wintry effect.
Get the recipe: Jam Sandwich Cookies
Feeling decadent? Dip one side of each cookie in melted chocolate.
Get the recipe: Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti
Add ground almonds to the batter and fold in toasted slivered almonds for a double dose of nuttiness.
Get the recipe: Almond Thins
Coconut Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Toasting the coconut before adding to the batter to deepens its flavor and give it a lovely golden color.
Get the recipe: Coconut Slice-and-Bake Cookies
These whimsical treats can be decorated to suit any holiday or occasion and make a perfect activity for kids.
Get the recipe: Lollipop Cookies
Creamy peanut butter bites dipped in bittersweet chocolate are an irresistible indulgence.
Get the recipe: Buckeyes
Kitchen Sink Chocolate Bark
This addictive sweet-and-salty candy is loaded with tasty ingredients, including shredded coconut, mixed nuts, dried fruit, and pretzels.
Get the recipe: Kitchen Sink Chocolate Bark
These spicy cookies get their holiday flavor from a mix of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
Get the recipe: Chewy Gingersnaps
Add cashews and candied ginger to the batter to add a nutty crunch and an extra spicy kick.
Get the recipe: Cashew Gingersnaps
Chocolate Chunk Gingersnaps
Chunks of chocolate in every bite give the cookies a decadent twist.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Chunk Gingersnaps
Double Chocolate Brownies
Cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate ensure these brownies have a deep, rich flavor.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Brownies
Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
For a childhood take on standard brownies, fold in chopped mini peanut butter cups.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
White Chocolate and Peppermint Brownies
Your search for the perfect Christmas brownie ends right here with these party-ready sweets. We start with our favorite chocolate brownie recipe, using both cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate, and bake as usual. Once the brownies have cooled completely, the fun begins. First, dress them up with a layer of melted white chocolate, then sprinkle with chopped peppermint candies (leftover candy canes work great here, too) for a pretty holiday touch. When everything is set, cut into squares and enjoy. A rich, cakey brownie base topped off with smooth white chocolate and crunchy bits of peppermint goodness—who could resist?
Get the recipe: White Chocolate and Peppermint Brownies
Buttery shortbread makes a great gift; its firm texture means that it will transport well.
Get the recipe: Classic Shortbread
Toasted Pecan Shortbread
Toasting the nuts deepens their flavor, making them a delicious crunchy addition to the basic recipe.
Get the recipe: Toasted Pecan Shortbread
Dress up the original by melting chocolate in the microwave and drizzling over the cooled shortbread.
Get the recipe: Chocolate-Drizzled Shortbread