Break out the cookie cutters, because Christmastime means cookie time. With recipes for chewy cookies like chocolate chip or snickerdoodle, or traditional Danish cookies, within these recipes there’s something for every cookie lover. Infuse your cookies with matcha for an authentic Christmas tree color, or make bourbon balls to serve at your next holiday party. Hint: cookies make great holiday gifts, but with these delicious recipes, its hard to say if they’ll ever make it from the pan to the tin. Whether you’re searching for a classic gingerbread cookie or for a flavorful mint chocolate chip recipe, our best Christmas cookie recipes have you covered.
Black and White Cookies
These generously iced, cakelike cookies are as cherished by New Yorkers as bagels and cream cheese. To quicken the setting of the glazes, place the cookies in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes after each coating.
Smoky Whiskey Balls
This recipe, from Eatocracy managing editor Kat Kinsman, appeared in our 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar. Kat says: “I’m a freak for bourbon balls and for smoke, so I decided to play around with them a tad a while back. The result is this recipe: rich with chocolate and the smoky vanilla notes of the whiskey, with an added kick from bourbon-soaked pecans.” Get the recipe for Smoky Whiskey Balls »
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe, from pastry chef Kierin Baldwin, appeared in our 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar. Kierin says: “I’m a junkie when it comes to the mint-chocolate flavor combo and this cookie definitely fits the bill. The pieces of candy cane melt slightly as the cookies bake, giving them a beautiful shiny holiday look. Baking the frozen cookies for a short time in a hot oven keeps the cookies soft in the center once they are cool.” Get the recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies »
These delicate French cookies are sugar-dusted and flaky, with a toothsome bite.
Chocolate Almond Cookies (Strazzate)
Featured in our book Best Cookies, these traditional crumbly cookies from the Basilicata region of Italy are flavored with Strega, an Italian herbal liqueur, but Galliano, which can be found in most liquor stores, is a fine substitute.
Swedish Shortbread Cookies
In Sweden, these shortbread cookies are traditionally cut into star shapes and garnished with pearl sugar, which can be found at specialty baking stores and online sources.
Swedish Dream Cookies
Called dream cookies because of their airy texture, these Swedish treats are meant to dissolve in your mouth when you eat them.
Cut into Christmas trees, wreaths, snowflakes, snowmen, candy canes, and every other holiday design imaginable, these are classic holiday treats in the U.S. The cookies themselves are pure buttery comfort, but when decorated with royal icing, sprinkles, dragees, and sanding sugar, they’re elevated to cultural icons, beloved by children and grown-ups alike. Plus, they’re almost as much fun to make as they are to eat.
Molded Ginger Cookies (Speculaas)
A specialty of the Netherlands and Belgium, these are cousins of gingerbread, only lighter and more delicately spiced. They’re also showstoppers, thanks to the intricately carved wooden molds used to make them, which form the cookies into bas-relief images of characters and symbols from stories about Saint Nicholas, or Sinter-klaas, whose name day, December 6, kicks off the Christmas season in that part of the world.
Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)
Traditional French shortbread cookies taste best using a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold.
Iconic star-shaped Italian cookies from our book Best Cookies are infused with kirsch and cream to add richness and depth.
Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)
These chewy almond meringue cookies, speckled with pine nuts, are a favorite holiday cookie of former SAVEUR managing editor Greg Ferro. This recipe is based off one by cookbook author Nick Malgieri.
Blanketed in multicolored sprinkles, these festive-looking treats from our book Best Cookies are a staple of Italian bakeries.
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
A blend of white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch makes a perfect gluten-free base for these sweet and spicy cookies that have long been a holiday favorite.
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies
Our gluten-free twist on classic sugar cookies uses rice flour as the base. Gluten-free doughs tend to be more delicate than standard cookie doughs; if the dough becomes too soft to work with, cut out shapes and place unbaked cookies on trays in the freezer for 3-5 minutes before baking.