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.

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.

How to Ship Holiday Cookies

Strategies, techniques, and tips for mailing holiday cookies—from the Real Simple test kitchen to yours.

4 Cookies You Can Make With a Box of Puff Pastry

Don’t flake: Keep a box or two in the freezer and you’ll always be ready for an impromptu cookie swap.

Holiday Gingerbread Houses

We’ll be the first to admit these aren’t the easiest gingerbread houses on the market, but they are the most beautiful. The idea was to construct holiday houses without actually having to bake anything. Gingerbread that’s sturdy enough to build with is never tender and delicious to eat. So we skipped the cookies altogether in favor of pre-fab structural elements. The bonus? They already have straight edges! For those of you who’ve tried to raise a wonky side of a gingerbread house, you know what a luxury symmetry can be.

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.

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.

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.