Our 44 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes To Add To Your Holiday Tradition

It's time to break out the cookie cutters

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

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. Get the recipe for Black and White Cookies »Helen Rosner

Green Tea Matcha Christmas Tree Cookies

Green Tea Matcha Christmas Tree Cookies
Made from shade-grown tea leaves, matcha has a deep, rich flavor and packs a ton of antioxidants. Use this recipe from Tiny Urban Kitchen blogger Jennifer Che for cute Christmas cookies with a little something extra. Get the recipe for Green Tea Matcha Christmas Tree Cookies »Noah Fecks

Smoky Whiskey Balls

Smoky Whiskey Balls
Little truffles pack a big punch, rich with chocolate and the smoky vanilla notes of whiskey with an added kick from bourbon-soaked pecans. Get the recipe for Smoky Whiskey Balls »Noah Fecks

Todd's Snickerdoodles

Todd's Snickerdoodles
Cinnamon-sugar dusted snickerdoodles are always one of the most-requested holiday cookies. Get the recipe for Todd's Snickerdoodles »Noah Fecks

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (Schokiladen-Butter-plätzchen)

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (Schokiladen-Butter-plätzchen)
The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich. Their base is simple, leaving plenty of room for creative decorations. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (Schokiladen-Butter-plätzchen) »Todd Coleman

Christmas Tree Cookies

Christmas Tree Cookies
Tree-shaped sugar cookies, adapted from an old standby, Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, epitomize a classic American Christmas. Get the recipe for Christmas Tree Cookies »Helen Rosner

Anise Seed Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

Anise Seed Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)
The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich. Get the recipe for Anise Seed Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl) »Todd Coleman

Chocolate-Glazed Almond Spice Cookies (Lebkuchen)

Chocolate-Glazed Almond Spice Cookies (Lebkuchen)
The recipe for these Christmas cookies come from the bakery Rischart in Munich. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Glazed Almond Spice Cookies (Lebkuchen) »Todd Coleman

Raspberry Jam Sandwich Cookies (Spitzbuben)

Raspberry Jam Sandwich Cookies (Spitzbuben)
Little crumbly sugar cookies filled with a jammy raspberry filling are a sweet and pretty addition to holiday dessert spreads. Get the recipe for Raspberry Jam Sandwich Cookies (Spitzbuben) »Todd Coleman

Jam Thumbprints

Jam Thumbprints
Finely chopped walnuts add a deep, nutty flavor to classic buttery thumbprint cookies in a recipe adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. Get the recipe for Jam Thumbprints »Helen Rosner

Chocolate-Cornflake Cookies (Marens-Kornflexkökur)

Icelandic chocolate cornflake cookies
Cornflakes bring a pleasing crunch to these fluffy, chewy chocolate meringues. Get the recipe for Icelandic chocolate cornflake cookies »Ingalls Photography

Anise-Almond Sprinkle Cookies

Anise-Almond Sprinkle Cookies
A Pernod-accented glaze gives these cookies their trademark anise flavor. Get the recipe for Anise-Almond Sprinkle Cookies »Helen Rosner

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies
These classic holiday cookies, which we adapted from Carol Gelles' 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes, are rich with molasses and spices and nutty from the addition of whole wheat flour. Get the recipe for Gingerbread Cookies »Helen Rosner

Afghans

Afghans
Folding cornflakes into the dough before baking gives simple chocolate cookies an addictive crunch. Get the recipe for Afghans »Helen Rosner

Hazelnut Cream Sandwich Cookies (La Deliziosa)

Hazelnut Cream Sandwich Cookies (La Deliziosa)
These crumbly, buttery cookies are filled with a luscious hazelnut-flavored pastry cream. Get the recipe for Hazelnut Cream Sandwich Cookies (La Deliziosa) »Helen Rosner

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Florentines

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Florentines
A glossy coating of chocolate makes these famously buttery, crunchy wafer cookies. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Florentines »Helen Rosner

Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa)

Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa)
Deep-fried and then drenched in a honey syrup, yak kwa are a traditional Korean sweet flavored with sesame oil and fresh ginger juice. Get the recipe for Ginger Cookies Dipped in Honey (Yak Kwa) »Helen Rosner

Sweet Pretzel Butter Cookies

Sweet Pretzel Butter Cookies
An egg wash before baking is the secret to the gorgeous golden color of these pretzel-shaped butter cookies. Get the recipe for Sweet Pretzel Butter Cookies »Helen Rosner

No-Bake Chocolate-Oat Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate-Oat Cookies
Adapted from Patty Piner's soul food cookbook Sweets, these chewy chocolate cookies are made entirely on the stovetop. Get the recipe for No-Bake Chocolate-Oat Cookies »Helen Rosner

Cherry Snowball Cookies

Cherry Snowball Cookies
These buttery, almond-scented cookies are stuffed with liqueur-soaked Luxardo cherries. Get the recipe for Cherry Snowball Cookies »Penny De Los Santos

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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 »Noah Fecks

Palmiers

Palmiers
These delicate French cookies are sugar-dusted and flaky, with a toothsome bite. Get the recipe for Palmiers »Helen Rosner

Cinnamon and Kirsch Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)

Cinnamon and Kirsch Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)
The recipe for these almond and cinnamon Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich. Get the recipe for Cinnamon and Kirsch Star Cookies (Zimtsterne) »Rischart

Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies

Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies
Replacing standard all-purpose flour with whole grain rye makes a dense, fudgy cookie with an intense and complex chocolate flavor. Get the recipe for Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies »Helen Rosner

Sweet Benne Wafers

Sweet Benne Wafers
Adapted from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen cookbook, these tuile-like cookies are crunchy, light, and airy with a delicate nuttiness from toasted sesame seeds. Get the recipe for Sweet Benne Wafers »Helen Rosner

German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)

German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse)
These fragrant treats provide a delightful rush of warm spices when bitten into. For best results, start with whole spices and grind them yourself. Get the recipe for German Spice Cookies (Pfeffernüsse) »Helen Rosner

Anise Seed Cookies (Bizcochitos)

Anise Seed Cookies (Bizcochitos)
These cookies are delicate and crumbly with a light dusting of spicy, sweet cinnamon sugar. It's worth seeking out fresh lard, often carried by butcher shops; it's more flavorful than the supermarket variety. Get the recipe for Anise Seed Cookies (Bizcochitos) »Helen Rosner

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies
At brunch at the Liberty Bar in San Antonio, a plate of these spicy-sweet cookies is set down on the table at the beginning of the meal—gratis. Featured in our book Best Cookies, they make a perfect cookie for holiday parties, especially when drizzled with a little melted white chocolate. Get the recipe for Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies »Helen Rosner

Chocolate Almond Cookies (Strazzate)

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. Get the recipe for Chocolate Almond Cookies (Strazzate) »Helen Rosner

Swedish Shortbread Cookies

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. Get the recipe for Swedish Shortbread Cookies »Todd Coleman

Swedish Dream Cookies

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. Get the recipe for Swedish Dream Cookies »Todd Coleman

Duche de Leche Cookie Sandwiches (Alfajores)

Duche de Leche Cookie Sandwiches (Alfajores)
Variations on this elegant cookie can be found throughout Latin America, but alfajores are associated above all with the cafe culture of Buenos Aires. They're served year-round with coffee, but during the holidays home cooks all over Argentina break out their trusted family recipes—each one unique but always with a decadent filling of dulce de leche sandwiched between two rounds of crisp butter cookie. Get the recipe for Duche de Leche Cookie Sandwiches (Alfajores) »Helen Rosner

Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)

Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)
Specialties of Basel, in northern Switzerland, these chocolatey confections are often described as Swiss brownies. Almonds, sugar, and chocolate are ground fine and bound together with egg whites to create a satisfyingly chewy texture, while cinnamon and cloves impart an unmistakable flavor of old-fashioned Christmas cheer. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli) »Helen Rosner

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
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. Get the recipe for Sugar Cookies »Todd Coleman

Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes)

Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes)
These Norwegian wafer cookies, eaten across Scandinavia during the Christmas season, are light and crisp and perfumed with cardamom. They're made like waffles on a special griddle that imprints an intricate design, and then they're rolled and filled with whipped cream. Get the recipe for Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes) »Helen Rosner

Mexican Butter Cookies with Sprinkles (Galletas con Chochitos)

Mexican Butter Cookies with Sprinkles (Galletas con Chochitos)
Tiny, ring-shaped butter cookies like these are a popular holiday treat in Mexico. They're typically decorated with chocolate sprinkles, but green, red, and white ones transform them into festive Christmas wreaths. Get the recipe for Mexican Butter Cookies with Sprinkles (Galletas con Chochitos) »Helen Rosner

Molded Ginger Cookies (Speculaas)

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. Get the recipe for Molded Ginger Cookies (Speculaas) »Todd Coleman

Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)

Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)
Traditional French shortbread cookies taste best using a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold. Get the recipe for Shortbread Cookies (Punitions) »Todd Coleman

Poppy Seed-Honey Cookies (Pirishkes)

Poppy Seed-Honey Cookies (Pirishkes)
These simple, crunchy cookies are delicious drenched in warm honey. Get the recipe for Poppy Seed-Honey Cookies (Pirishkes) »Todd Coleman

Cherry-Almond Star Cookies

Cherry-Almond Star Cookies
Iconic star-shaped Italian cookies from our book Best Cookies are infused with kirsch and cream to add richness and depth. Get the recipe for Cherry-Almond Star Cookies »Helen Rosner

Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli)

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. Get the recipe for Pine Nut Cookies (Pignoli) »Todd Coleman

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkle Cookies
Blanketed in multicolored sprinkles, these festive-looking treats from our book Best Cookies are a staple of Italian bakeries. Get the recipe for Sprinkle Cookies »Helen Rosner

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

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. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies »Anna Stockwell

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

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. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies »Helen Rosen