Our 50 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.

Double Chocolate and Candied-Ginger Cookies

A signature cookie from a cafe in Paris with bittersweet chocolate, sea salt, and spicy crystalized ginger. Get the recipe for Double Chocolate and Candied-Ginger Cookies »

Sugar Cookies Sandwiches with Cardamom Milk Chocolate Ganache

In many parts of the world, from Asia to the Americas, cardamom finds its way into cookies. Get the recipe for Sugar Cookies Sandwiches with Cardamom Milk Chocolate Ganache »

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.

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 »

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 »

Todd’s Snickerdoodles

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

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.

Christmas Tree Cookies

Tree-shaped sugar cookies, adapted from an old standby, Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, epitomize a classic American Christmas.

Anise Seed Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich.

Chocolate-Glazed Almond Spice Cookies (Lebkuchen)

The recipe for these Christmas cookies come from the bakery Rischart in Munich.

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.

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.

Chocolate-Cornflake Cookies (Marens-Kornflexkökur)

Cornflakes bring a pleasing crunch to these fluffy, chewy chocolate meringues.

Anise-Almond Sprinkle Cookies

A Pernod-accented glaze gives these cookies their trademark anise flavor.
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 »

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Hazelnut Cream Sandwich Cookies (La Deliziosa)

Hazelnut Cream Sandwich Cookies (La Deliziosa)

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Florentines

A glossy coating of chocolate makes these famously buttery, crunchy wafer cookies.

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) »

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 »

No-Bake Chocolate-Oat Cookies

Adapted from Patty Piner’s soul food cookbook Sweets, these chewy chocolate cookies are made entirely on the stovetop.

Cherry Snowball Cookies

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

Palmiers

These delicate French cookies are sugar-dusted and flaky, with a toothsome bite.

Cinnamon and Kirsch Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)

The recipe for these almond and cinnamon Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich.

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 »

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.

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) »

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) »

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies

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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.

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) »

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) »

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.

Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes)

Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes)

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) »

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.

Poppy Seed-Honey Cookies (Pirishkes)

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

Sprinkle Cookies

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.