I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes

Ginger & Spice Crackles

Festive cookies are a Christmas tradition in my family—and they can help brighten any holiday gathering! I especially love these recipes for a few important reasons: all can be made a few days in advance, and some can even be frozen for longer-term storage. These cookie recipes are packed with my favorite holiday, including (but not limited to) ginger, chocolate, coconut, mint, lemon and vanilla. Compared to many other elaborate Christmas cookies, these ones are relatively easy to make and mostly rely on things I already have in my pantry which helps me save money at the store. I think everyone, including dietitians, should enjoy a seasonal treat during the holiday season. I hope these recipes help bring joy to your plans this month—even if it's just enjoying one or two on a gloomy day at home. For more beginner- and budget-friendly tips and recipes, check out Thrifty.

01 of 11

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

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.

02 of 11

Ginger & Spice Crackles

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.

03 of 11

Peppermint-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark

peppermint chocolate yogurt bark

This eye-catching frozen peppermint-chocolate bark was inspired by Williams Sonoma's Original Peppermint Bark--our loose interpretation of the treat is frozen and made with Greek yogurt, chocolate and crushed candy canes. For the creamiest bark, be sure to use full-fat yogurt, as fat-free yogurt can get icy when frozen. Serve this healthy dessert when you want all those festive holiday flavors in a lightened-up—and totally delicious—package. Just don't stuff your Christmas stockings with this bark because it melts quickly.

04 of 11

Italian Lemon Cookies

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.

05 of 11

Snickerdoodle Thumbprint Cookies with Chocolate


This healthy cinnamon-sugar snickerdoodle thumbprint cookie recipe has an added bonus: chocolate filling! With slightly crispy edges and a chewy, chocolaty center, these snickerdoodle cookies are the ultimate crowd pleaser.

06 of 11

Mini Pistachio Cakes

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.

07 of 11

Chocolate-Coconut Thumbprints

Chocolate-Coconut Thumbprints

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.

08 of 11

Cinnamon Icebox Cookies

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.

09 of 11

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These lemon sugar cookies are simple and delicious. A light hand with sugar and a touch of lemon makes them not overly sweet or tart with a soft, chewy texture. They're perfect for pairing with coffee or tea or serving alongside ice cream.

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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.

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Spritz Cookies


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 on the recipe page.

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