24 Eye-Catching Christmas Cookie Recipes
Almost nothing says "holidays" like cookies. Baking them warms the kitchen and fills the house with aromas of cinnamon and ginger, nuts and chocolate. These festive recipes like our Chocolate Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies) and Spritz Cookies will definitely make your holidays merry and bright. Be sure to try all of these tasty cookies, and share them with friends and family this season.
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.
Salted Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
Hazelnuts do double duty in this cookie recipe. Hazelnut flour adds nuttiness to the dough, while chocolate-hazelnut spread is used for the filling. A touch of fresh orange zest and juice adds a sweet note to balance the nut and chocolate flavors.
Pfeffernüsse (German Spice Cookies)
Pfeffernüsse are small spiced German cookies commonly seen during the holiday season. Translating to "pepper nut," the aromatic cookie gets its name from the pinch of pepper added to the dough—here, we use white and black pepper for a punch of flavor. The sweet orange glaze helps balance the pepperiness of the cookie's spices. Serve with a cup of warm mulled wine.
Cranberry-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
In this installment of Diaspora Dining, Jessica B. Harris' series on foods of the African diaspora, the author and historian rings in some changes to the Christmas traditions of her own childhood.
Chocolate Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)
These melt-in-your-mouth polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies) get a chocolate makeover by replacing all the nuts in the traditional version with ground chocolate. Delicious just as they are, you can also grate a little cinnamon stick over them before serving.
Espresso Walnut Marzipan Cookies
Marzipan is typically made with almonds, but here we use walnuts to make the marzipan for these nutty cookies. The espresso flavor is delicate, but adds a nice bitterness to the cookie. If you prefer, you can brew your own espresso and use that instead of instant espresso.
These light and airy cookies take their flavor inspiration from cannoli, a Sicilian dessert featuring a crisp pastry shell filled with creamy ricotta. Orange zest adds a nice citrus flavor, while chopped pistachios provide crunch. Serve these cookies for any holiday gathering.
This quick, no-fuss, chewy chocolate cookie is made on your waffle iron. No need to haul out the big mixer, you can mix the batter with a small hand mixer or even by hand. Kids love these!
Vegan Meringue Cookies
Magical aquafaba—the liquid from canned chickpeas that often gets poured down the drain—mimics egg whites in these airy vegan meringue cookies. The other magical thing? These cookies require just three ingredients! Save the chickpeas themselves for hummus, stew or any one of our other recipes that call for canned chickpeas.
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.
Gingerbread Pine Cones
"This is a really good, solid gingerbread recipe," says Duff Goldman. "I was in a baking store and I saw this really cool cookie mold shaped like a pine cone and I knew I had to have it. I thought this would be a perfect gingerbread cookie and if I could make it look like it got snowed on, that would be awesome." You can also cut out the dough using traditional cookie cutters: In Step 3, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Transfer the cookies to the prepared pans, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Reroll any dough scraps and continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used. Bake until just beginning to brown along the edges, 9 to 12 minutes. This recipe is adapted from Super Good Cookies for Kids Copyright © 2022 by Duff Goldman. Used with permission of HarperCollins Children's Books.
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.
Chocolate-Dipped Cardamom Cookies with Candied Grapefruit
Inspired by the German cookie Kardamom Plätzchen, we swap rum for rye whiskey, as the spiciness pairs well with the cardamom in these delicate cookies. For the melted chocolate, we recommend that you chop a chocolate bar instead of using chocolate chips—the former has a higher cocoa butter content which means smoother melting. Candied grapefruit peels add an extra flavor contrast as well as a pretty finish.
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.
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.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
The spelt flour in these ginger molasses cookies offers a chewy texture and a nutty flavor that shines with the ginger in this easy holiday cookie recipe.
Oatmeal-Coconut Cookies with Cranberries & White Chocolate
Our classic oatmeal cookie recipe gets a flavor twist with coconut, white chocolate chips (which have a more delicate flavor than milk or dark chocolate) and tart dried cranberries. The result is a chewy, sweet treat that's sure to leave you coming back for more.
Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
These chewy and moist carrot cake sandwich cookies are packed with carrots, crunchy pecan pieces and chewy raisins and filled with an orange-scented cream cheese frosting. They are rich and satisfying and would pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.
Lingonberry Linzer Plätzchen (German Lingonberry Linzer Cookies)
These tasty Linzer cookies are inspired by Linzer torte, an Austrian dessert featuring a nutty, jam-filled pastry with a lattice-designed top. Depending on the region and country you're in, you'll find these cookies under a variety of names—in Austria, they're called Linzer Augen, which translates to Linzer "eyes" to reflect their circular design with a round cutout. This version uses lingonberry jam for the filling, a drizzle of white chocolate and a dusting of crushed dried raspberries.
Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies
Natural almond butter gives these gluten-free cookies a wonderfully rich flavor and tender, slightly chewy texture. Folding in chopped toasted almonds along with mini chocolate chips ensures plenty of chocolate and crunch in every bite.
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.
Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
A generous amount of melted chocolate gives these cookies a fudgy, brownie-like texture, but it also means a very soft dough. Chilling it helps firm the dough up to a scoopable consistency.
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.
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.