The 25 Best Holiday Cookies to Make This Month
Bring a little holiday cheer to your kitchen with these festive Christmas cookie recipes. We've pulled together our best cookies including fun twists on gingerbread, sugar cookies and more. Whether it's Almond Linzer Cookies or Chocolate-Coconut Thumbprints, you'll love these seasonal and tasty treats (just make sure to leave a few for Santa!).
Holiday cookies don't get any cuter than these mini gingerbread houses that kids and adults alike will love. Use a mini gingerbread house cookie cutter to cut out all the parts (the kids will love helping with this part), then build the houses and let the kids go to town decorating. Line up your finished creations to make a gingerbread house village, eat them up or prop them up on mugs of cocoa for dipping and munching.
Almond Linzer Cookies
In this almond cookie recipe, star-shaped cutters give these classic jam-filled sandwich Linzer cookies holiday sparkle, but you can also use a more traditional round or scalloped cookie cutter. Almond flour adds crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Look for it near other specialty flours in natural-foods markets.
It's time to break out your spritz cookie press for these festive Christmas spritz cookies! These easy Christmas cookies can be decorated with sprinkles or flavored with citrus, spices or sweet sugar glaze. And if you're looking for healthy cookies, these fit the bill thanks to whole-wheat pastry flour that keeps their texture soft while giving them a boost of fiber. For ideas on how to dress up these spritz cookies even more with different flavorings or a glaze, see Tips below.
Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
Coconut oil stands in for butter in this dairy-free, eggless cookie recipe for completely mouthwatering gingerbread cut-outs. Decorate cookies with a simple vegan icing or sanding sugar.
These flourless chocolate treats look like tiny snow-capped mountains. Made with a blend of almonds, coconut and chocolate, they are gluten-free and have a rich, decadent flavor.
Mini Pistachio Cakes
Adding matcha, a powdered green tea with a grassy flavor, balances the sweetness of these little tea cakes and adds gorgeous color too. You can add more matcha to the glaze for a festive green tint or sprinkle some on top. Alternatively, use dehydrated raspberry powder for a pink hue.
These double-chocolate thumbprints are filled with chocolate ganache and topped with toasted coconut. The ganache will set as it sits, but won't harden completely, so if you're going to pack the cookies up, layer them between pieces of wax paper to prevent them from sticking.
Spiced Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
Renowned author and spice aficionado Lior Lev Sercarz loves these French sablé-style cookies so much, he sells a collection of five different flavors twice a year. In this variation, he uses tart amchoor (ground dried green mango) to give them a citrusy brightness. These healthy cookies will get you in the holiday spirit.
Italian Lemon Cookies
These soft Italian lemon drop cookies feature both sweet and tangy flavors thanks to plenty of fresh lemon juice and a powdered sugar glaze. These easy cookies are perfect with tea and coffee and will make a great addition to your holiday cookie platter.
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
These airy coconut cookies get an upgrade with a simple dark chocolate drizzle in this healthy dessert recipe.
Thumbprints with Ruby Chocolate
You can fill these thumbprint cookies with jam or ruby chocolate, a naturally pink chocolate that has a tart, fruity flavor. You can find ruby chocolate (also called ruby cacao or ruby couverture) at some specialty grocery stores, including Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and online.
Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Cookies with Dates
Cookie recipes usually require you to combine the liquid ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another, but for this gluten-free cookie recipe the dry ingredients are sprinkled right on top of the liquids so there's just one bowl to clean. Don't skip the step of refrigerating the dough. The oat flour needs time to hydrate or the cookies will be too dry and crumbly. Regular rolled oats work if you're not gluten-sensitive.
Chouquettes (Sugared Mini Puffs)
These tiny puffs are made from choux pastry, the same dough that's used to make cream puffs and eclairs. For a festive look, decorate with various colors of pearl or sanding sugars—both have larger granules that won't melt when baked.
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brown butter chocolate chip cookies take regular chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level. The browned butter add nuttiness to each cookie, while a sprinkle of sea salt takes these easy treats over the top.
Coffee Star Cookies
Spelt flour's earthy flavor is a good companion to the warm spices and molasses in these cheerful cookies. Play around with the glaze and decorations to vary the look of the batch.
Ginger & Spice Crackles
These soft and moist cookies are spiked with ginger, cinnamon, and a hint of clove, and they crackle on top when they bake. Rolling them in powdered sugar gives them a lightly sweet coating on the outside that looks like a dusting of fresh fallen snow.
Stained Glass Sugar Cookies
You won't believe how easy it is to make these seriously impressive cookies. Crushed hard candy melts in the center of these festive sugar cookies, making a gorgeous stained-glass effect. Use any shape cookie cutter you like, just make sure you have two--a big one for each cookie, and a slightly smaller one for the hole in the middle.
Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
This recipe takes oatmeal cookies up a notch with its cinnamony, buttery, delicious take on a much-loved classic dessert.
Almond Cream Cutouts
These cream cheese-based sugar cookies are flavored with almond paste. They're beautiful right out of the oven but try one of our decorating ideas for added pizzazz.
Chocolate Chunk-Walnut Meringue Cookies
Look to these meringue cookies if you want a new, simple, no-fuss holiday cookie recipe. They're ready to eat after drying in the oven for an hour, but you can leave them in there longer–even overnight.
Cinnamon Icebox Cookies
Slice-and-bake icebox cookies are the ultimate make-ahead treat. You can make a batch and bake as many as you like, saving the rest of the dough in the freezer. These simple swirled cookies are rolled in finely chopped pecans. They're mildly sweet—perfect for after dinner or paired with coffee.
This crispy-on-the-bottom-and-chewy-on-the-inside gluten-free cookie recipe is a twist on a traditional Italian holiday treat, pignoli, or pine nut cookies. Look for almond paste--a mixture of ground almonds and sugar (available in tubes or sometimes tubs)--near other baking supplies in well-stocked supermarkets or specialty stores. Sweeter marzipan doesn't work well in these cookies.
Cranberry-Almond Thumbprint Cookies
A dip in egg white and a quick roll in sugar adds a delightfully crisp crust to these holiday cookies. You'll have leftover jam--perfect for spreading on toast or for glazing the Cranberry Galette with Sesame Frangipane (see Associated Recipes).
Flourless Chocolate Cookies
These flourless cookies get their volume from whipped egg whites (like a meringue) instead of grains, making them gluten-free and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A chocolate chip in each bite adds to the rich chocolate flavor.
Yummy Molasses Crackles
Nancy Caverly gave her grandmother's recipe for ginger molasses cookies a little makeover--reducing the butter and adding crystallized ginger for a spicy jolt.