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If making Christmas cookies is not part of your family’s holiday traditions yet, it should be!
With a little mixing, some baking, a dash of decorating, a little nibbling, and hopefully some gobbling, you can bring together everyone you love most.
The best part about making Christmas cookies is seeing everyone’s joy when their favorites are included.
From melt-in-your-mouth meringues to classic Christmas cookies, this list includes some of the best Christmas cookies to make for any occasion.
If your holiday schedule is busy, many of these can be prepared in advance and decorated later. Those with children will find some exciting ideas that both entertain and delight.
Don’t forget to pin this Christmas cookies image on Pinterest!
More Holiday and Christmas desserts to check out:
- Christmas Dessert Ideas That Your Guests Will Love
- Jolly Christmas Cake Pop Recipes That Are Crowd Pleasers
- More Delicious and Cute Cake Pop Recipes To Bake This Holiday
1. Classic Vanilla Biscuits
Get the recipe from Recipe Tin Eats
These delicious vanilla treats are classic Christmas cookies and are a delight to decorate. When fully decorated, these Christmas cookies double as edible Christmas decorations.
While most sugar cookie dough needs to be chilled, these classic vanilla biscuits can go from mixing to baking with no downtime. Because they keep their shape through baking, they make a great choice to make with kids.
You can decorate them with icing or dip them in chocolate — whichever fits your style better. Each batch makes 40 cookies, which means plenty to sample and plenty to display.
This would also make the perfect DIY Mason Jar gift idea for coworkers, friends, and family – they will sure appreciate the love and effort you put into baking these delicious cookies!
2. Old Fashioned Gingerbread Men Cookies
Get the recipe from The Stay at Home Chef
One of the best budget-friendly Christmas craft ideas for kids is baking and decorating a set of Ginger Bread Men. Filling in the eyes, mouth, bow and buttons will bring loads of joy and happiness to your kids!
While some gingerbread cookies are crispy and brittle, these soft and chewy delights will quickly become a holiday favorite. If molasses is not something you regularly have on hand, this recipe gives some easy substitutes.
Gingerbread cookies are a craft, food, and story time all rolled into one for an unforgettable cookie-making afternoon. Use different cutter shapes and your favorite royal icing colors to tell different stories. Try adding candy or edible glitter for some regal (but still utterly delicious) gingerbread folk.
3. Easy Holiday Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
Get the recipe from Inspiration for Moms
There’s no single flavor that defines the holidays, but peppermint certainly is among those that do. These peppermint cookies literally melt in your mouth. Peppermint shines in each component of the cookies, supported by creamy icing and crumbly cookie.
Using standard peppermint candy canes will result in heavenly cookies, however, you can use any hard candy and flavor extract to create one-of-a-kind holiday treats. Imagine the possibilities — you could craft a pina colada cookie by using coconut extract with crumbled pineapple candy.
If you have candy canes, butter, flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, and milk on hand, you can have these peppermint cookies in your belly in less than an hour.
4. Best M&M Christmas Cookies
Get the recipe from Kim’s Cravings
If you think the best Christmas cookies are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, these candy-studded cookies might be just right. Be careful — these cookies are so low-maintenance you might start making them all the time!
Depending on what works in your schedule best, you can make these cookies either without chilling the dough or after a several-hour dough chill. Because these cookies can be dropped onto the baking sheet without first being rolled into balls, this fuss-free recipe is perfect for anyone with a long holiday to-do list.
5. Sugar Cookie Bars
Get the recipe from Lil Luna
It is still possible to create cookie-decorating memories without the hassle of rolling out, cutting, and frosting individual cookies. To let kids (or those young at heart) still decorate their own portion, you can serve individual bars and provide a selection of sprinkles and frostings.
Baked in a sheet pan, this recipe makes enough for a crowd. These bars are flexible — they can be made the same day or frozen for up to six months. This recipe calls for delicious cream cheese frosting, but you can feel free to substitute your favorite premixed icing to save time.
6. Christmas Lights Cookies
Get the recipe from Dessert for Two
M&M cookies may be a perennial favorite, and this recipe takes that idea to the next level. A sugar cookie acts as a tasty base and royal icing serves to keep the candy pieces upright. As this recipe only makes one dozen cookies, you do not have to worry about overindulging.
This recipe is optimized for kids allowing you to decorate these cookies with your favorite toddler or two. To achieve different effects, you can experiment with different varieties of holiday mixes of M&M’s.
7. Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Get the recipe from The Cookie Rookie
Basking in peppermint goodness, these easy-to-make chocolate peppermint cookies are enough to get anyone into the holiday spirit. Dark cocoa contrasts splendidly against red and white peppermint chips to create a picture-worthy cookie.
These easy Christmas cookies are ideal for hot cocoa. Of course, no one will judge if you prefer them all on their own. The magic is in the peppermint baking chips, which are chopped into smaller pieces. Who knows — if you leave these cookies out for Santa, he might just bring more goodies!
8. Chocolate Swirled Meringues Cookies
Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Decadent swirls of chocolate and festive sprinkles combine to create the ultimate holiday treat. The best part about this recipe is that, as long as you follow the directions, it works every time.
If sprinkles are not your style, you can use miniature chocolate chips or maybe try some crushed peppermint. Drizzle with melted chocolate or caramel after they are cool for a sophisticated effect. Although the low-heat baking takes some time, these scrumptious meringues are worth the wait.
9. Raspberry Linzer Christmas Cookies
Get the recipe from Ana’s Baking Chronicles
Homemade raspberry jam works perfectly with almond-based cookies for an elegantly luscious cookie. The secret to success in this recipe is toasting the almonds or almond flour before mixing it into the cookie dough.
Instead of using the star cookie cutters in this recipe, you can use whatever you have or create your own holiday patterns. If you do not have any raspberries on hand, you can switch out the raspberry jam with your favorite flavor of jam. For a true culinary adventure, imagine using chocolate hazelnut spread instead of jam for a nutty, chocolate delight.
10. Rudolph Reindeer Chocolate Macarons
Get the recipe from Mom Loves Baking
For the ultimate cute cookie, try making these Rudolph macarons. They may be a little more involved than other cookie recipes, but they will definitely steal the show.
If you are planning a cookie-decorating day with kids, you can make the macarons beforehand and let the kids do the decorating. Some kid-friendly tasks included in this recipe are sorting the M&M’s into different colors, breaking pretzels into antler shapes, and for older kids, piping faces onto the reindeer.
11. Christmas Tree Shortbread Cookies
Get the recipe from The Café
Dipping these soft shortbread cookies in a mint glaze is a lot easier than making and piping royal icing. A quick swirl of green icing and a dash of sprinkles results in professional-looking cookies that is actually inexpensive and easy to make.
For a warmer, less minty cookie, you can switch out the mint extract in the glaze with vanilla or almond extract. To give your cookies a chocolate spin, try using chocolate shavings instead of sprinkles.
12. Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Get the recipe from Crowded Kitchen
In less than half an hour, you can be enjoying healthy oatmeal chocolate chips that are also vegan and gluten-free. Sprinkling some sea salt on top gives these cookies the perfect amount of salt to balance out the sweetness. For a fruity version, you can use raisins instead of chocolate chips.
This recipe includes several substitutions for different food allergies to make it possible for everyone to enjoy holiday treats. Those who often prepare vegan or gluten-free food will already have many of the ingredients in their pantries.
13. Gluten-Free Christmas Sugar Blossom Cookies
Get the recipe from Mama Knows Gluten Free
With this recipe, you can upgrade standard Christmas sugar cookies with Hershey candies and sprinkles. Include everyone in your holiday celebration with these gluten-free Christmas sugar blossom cookies. Cheerful Christmas colors and a scrumptious cookie will make these blossom cookies a family favorite.
For those whose diets require dairy-free in addition to gluten-free, this recipe does include a variation that does not have dairy. Some of the more fun kid-friendly steps are rolling cookie dough in sprinkles and pushing the Hershey candy into the center of each cookie.
14. Chocolate Covered Oreo Christmas Tree
Get the recipe from Snack Works
If your oven is busy with other holiday delicacies, you can make your cookie dreams come true with only a microwave and a few ingredients. These are great for holiday parties or cookie-decorating afternoons. It is easy to scale this recipe up if you are expecting more guests.
Green candy coating gives your “tree” the characteristic green color, but you could use white almond bark for a white Christmas theme. Sprinkles and colorful M&M’s round out this dessert to a joyful effect.
15. Eggnog Snickerdoodles Cookies
Get the recipe from Boulder Locavore
Nothing says the holidays like soft, chewy eggnog-infused snickerdoodles. The spices, buttery flavor, and eggnog are truly a match made in heaven, and these delicate delights are sure to be a family favorite for years to come.
An optional eggnog drizzle makes each cookie an extra-special holiday extravagance. Red and green sprinkles over the icing give these cookies a cheerful spin. To make your snickerdoodles stand out, another exciting add-in idea is to experiment with crumbled bacon in the cookie dough.
16. Gluten-Free Vegan Sugar Cookies
Get the recipe from The Vegan 8
If you prefer crispy cookies to soft cookies, these cookies are the gluten-free, oil-free, and vegan road to crispy cookie success. This recipe needs to be followed exactly, but, luckily, includes plenty of helpful tips to make sure your vegan sugar cookies are a hit.
For a vegan spin on the classic Christmas sugar cookie decorating experience, you can whip up the vegan royal icing and decorate to your heart’s content. If you would prefer to avoid hours of piping icing, you can decorate these beauties with sprinkles or a glaze.
17. Gluten-Free White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Get the recipe from Gluten Free Cuppa Tea
Featuring an extensive troubleshooting section, this recipe makes baking gluten-free easy. However, from the taste, you would never guess this recipe contains no gluten. For dairy-free or vegan variations, this recipe includes some helpful substitutions.
As soon as you try the gingerbread and white chocolate together, you will fall in love with this divine combination. Dipping the cookies in melted white chocolate gives them a snowy appearance and a blissful creaminess. Sprinkle with your favorite gluten-free extras, and you have an instant holiday classic.
18. Holiday Spritz Cookies (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
Get the recipe from Paleo Running Momma
If you have never used a cookie press to make spritz cookies, you are missing out. Spritz cookies are fun and easy for little hands. In addition to tasting good, these cookies can be enjoyed by guests who follow paleo and gluten-free diets.
After these cookies have been baked, you can either eat as-is or decorate them. A few topping ideas are paleo icing, melted chocolate, coconut flakes, sprinkles, or crushed candy. Because of the short cooking time and the variety of topping ideas, spritz cookies are a great choice to make with children.
19. Christmas Cream Cheese Cookies
Get the recipe from Life with the Crust Cut Off
This recipe makes perfect buttery domes of deliciousness every time. A simple glaze elevates the cookies and gives them a wintery appearance. Vibrant red and green sprinkles baked into the dough are a funfetti surprise.
To make the perfect hot cocoa companion cookie, try dipping them in melted chocolate. Adding gel food coloring to the dough can help add variety to your cookie display. If you use red and green food coloring in your cream cheese cookies, you could create a striking contrast with some drizzled white chocolate.
20. Red Velvet Peppermint Whoopie Pies
Get the recipe from Joy + Oliver
Whoopie pies are like two cookie-sized cakes stuck together with marshmallow buttercream. Rich red velvet cake, marshmallow buttercream, and crushed peppermint candy works together to create a showstopper of a holiday dessert.
If that sounds like too much mint, you can always swap the crushed peppermint for miniature chocolate chips or your favorite crushed candy bars. You can make a red velvet hot chocolate cookie by leaving out the peppermint and dusting the outside with hot cocoa mix and cinnamon.