100 Hottest Holiday Cookies

Here are our 100 best holiday cookies. Whether you're baking for an office party, cookie swap or family get together, these cookies are showstoppers.

  • Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Caroline Murphey

    Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies

    Rich eggnog and spicy chai make the perfect pairing for this cookie. Use a little eggnog, powdered sugar, and nutmeg to make a simple glaze.
  • Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies
    Photo: Jan Smith

    Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies

    Spices like cloves and cinnamon balance with maple syrup to make a cookie that tastes like the holidays. Spread on some maple frosting and top with walnuts for a very special cookie.
  • Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies
    Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lydia Degaris-Pursell

    Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies

    Maple syrup gives these cookies a subtle sweet flavor. Spice them up with cinnamon and nutmeg, and top with toasted walnuts.
  • Chocolate Chip Meringues
    James Carrier

    Chocolate Chip Meringues

    Bite-sized frothy meringues studded with chocolate bits are a wonderful treat for this holiday season.
  • Raspberry Linzer Cookies
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Raspberry Linzer Cookies

    Crunchy almond cookies make a beautiful frame for sweet raspberry preserves. Dust with powdered sugar for a snowy holiday look.
  • Christmas Cookies 4 Ways

    Christmas Cookies 4 Ways

    Love having choices? Then this recipe is for you. Stick with classic sugar cookies, or add spices, lemon zest, or cocoa for fun variations. Cut the dough into lovely holiday shapes and decorate with Royal Icing for a truly original cookie.
  • Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

    Rolling red and plain-colored dough gives these cookies their fun look. Sandwich them together with a layer of peppermint-cream cheese frosting.
  • Toffee-Chocolate Chip Shortbread
    Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Lynn Miller

    Toffee-Chocolate Chip Shortbread

    Jazz up traditional shortbread with luscious bits of chocolate and salty toffee.
  • Rocky Road Brownies
    Photo: James Carrier

    Rocky Road Brownies

    Mini marshmallows melt into this walnut-topped brownie during baking, giving it a gooey, fudgy texture.
  • Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies
    Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker

    Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies

    Slather on the peppermint frosting when you make these cookie sandwiches and then roll the edges in crushed peppermint candy.
  • Butterscotch Bars
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Butterscotch Bars

    Condensed milk and butterscotch morsels melt together to make a gooey center for these streusel topped bars.
  • Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

    Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

    Fans of classic cookies will love these simple confections accented with dried cranberries and gooey white chocolate.
  • Chocolate Chip Blondies

    Chocolate Chip Blondies

    Put a twist on classic blondie bars by adding chocolate morsels and baking them in muffin tins.
  • Louisiana Pecan Balls
    Photo: Quentin Bacon

    Louisiana Pecan Balls

    These cookies are simple to make and ready in less than an hour. Dust with a little cinnamon or cocoa powder for a pretty presentation.
  • Coconut-Cranberry Chews
    James Carrier

    Coconut-Cranberry Chews

    We love the mix of coconut, red cranberries and zesty orange in these chewy delights.
  • Hello Dolly Bars
    Oxmoor House

    Hello Dolly Bars

    Also called Seven Layer Bars, this treat combines coconut, chocolate morsels, pecans, butterscotch bits and graham crackers into a sticky-sweet delight.
  • Luscious Lemon Bars
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Kacy Carroll

    Luscious Lemon Bars

    A crumbly, butter cookie bottom is the perfect partner to smooth lemon filling and powdered sugar.
  • Rudolph's Christmas Sugar Cookies
    Ralph Anderson; Mindi Shapiro Levine

    Rudolph's Christmas Sugar Cookies

    These reindeer come together in a snap when you use refrigerated cookie dough. Carefully break or cut pretzels for antlers and make Rudolph come to life with chocolate candies for eyes and a Red hot for his nose.
  • Orange-Walnut Tassies
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Orange-Walnut Tassies

    Flaky cream cheese dough makes the perfect nest for a sweet orange and walnut filling.
  • Peppermint Bonbon Cookies

    Peppermint Bonbon Cookies

    This decadent holiday combination pairs a soft and chewy chocolate cookie with crunchy peppermint candy on top. These gems are great plain or try them with a double glaze.
  • Salted Caramel Brownies
    Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Philippa Brathwaite

    Salted Caramel Brownies

    With their rich, indulgent flavors, these layered brownies are a definite crowd-pleaser.
  • Iced Sugar Cookies
    Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Sarah Smart

    Iced Sugar Cookies

    Decorate with dragée (sometimes called sugar pearls), gold or silver dust, and coarse or sparkling sugar.
  • Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches
    Photo: Beatriz Da Costa

    Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

    These moist pumpkin cookies are wonderful plain or sandwiched with cream cheese filling.
  • Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing

    Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing

    Try a variety of cookie cutters for a beautifully festive presentation.
  • White Chocolate-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
    Oxmoor House

    White Chocolate-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

    Put a twist on classic oatmeal raisin cookies by adding white chocolate morsels and a bit of orange extract.
  • Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Mashed banana adds rich flavor and moistness to these cookies.
  • Cappuccino Blossoms
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Cappuccino Blossoms

    These coffee and almond cookies topped with chocolate kisses are easy enough to make that your children can help you prepare them.
  • Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues

    Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues

    Crispy, light almond meringues get a special touch when you dip them in semisweet chocolate.
  • Buttery Lemon Squares
    James Carrier

    Buttery Lemon Squares

    Bake up a dreamy lemon custard with a crumbly crust for a treat at your next holiday party.
  • Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches
    James Carrier

    Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches

    Diamond-shaped cutouts add elegance to these beautiful jam-filled cookies.
  • Hazelnut-Chocolate Biscotti
    Ralph Anderson; William Dickey; Lisa Powell Bailey, Buffey Hargett; Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

    Hazelnut-Chocolate Biscotti

    This crunchy cookie gets its rich flavor from two kinds of chocolate candy bars and hazelnut liqueur.
  • Brownie Cookies
    Oxmoor House

    Brownie Cookies

    You'll love how these scrumptious double-chocolate cookies are similar in texture to thick and fudgy brownies.
  • Maple-Date Bars
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Maple-Date Bars

    Two layers of crumbly oatmeal topping sandwich a layer of sweet dates in these super moist bars.
  • Peppermint-topped Brownies
    Photo: Leigh Beisch

    Peppermint-topped Brownies

    Get ready to indulge! These brownies have three decadent layers: moist brownie, chocolate ganache, and a beautiful layer of peppermint candy. Several reviewers recommended using WalMart’s candies, as they melt the best. If you don’t love peppermint, try topping the ganache with nuts, marshmallows, or coconut.
  • Molasses-Spice Crinkles
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Molasses-Spice Crinkles

    The strong, sweet flavor of molasses balances well with a team of spices in these soft, chewy cookies crusted with sugar.
  • Mudslide Cookies
    Photo: Randy Mayor

    Mudslide Cookies

    Get your milk ready! A dash of coffe intensifies the luscious flavor of cocoa powder and three types of chocolate.
  • Sparkling Ginger Stars
    Oxmoor House

    Sparkling Ginger Stars

    These cookies almost seem to twinkle when you sprinkle heavy sugar on top before baking.
  • Two-Layer Caramel-Pecan Bars

    Two-Layer Caramel-Pecan Bars

    Caramel lovers rejoice! A crunchy brown sugar base holds a gooey layer of caramel topped with chopped pecans.
  • Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies

    Large chocolate chunks create big, luxurious pockets of melty chocolate in these brownies.
  • Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

    Caramel bits and chopped apple are the perfect autumn substitute to raisins in these crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside oatmeal cookies.
  • Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Cookies
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

    This recipe contrasts the tartness of the cherries with the cocoa and semisweet chocolate chips for an elegant, and delicious, addition to your holiday table.
  • Chocolate Malted Cookies
    Randy Mayor

    Chocolate Malted Cookies

    Malted milk powder adds richness to these delectable chocolate chip cookies.
  • Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

    Mix oats with bittersweet chocolate and sweet dried cherries for a sweet and satisfying cookie. Add your favorite nuts to make them extra special for your loved ones.
  • Death by Caramel Bars

    Death by Caramel Bars

    These showy brownies are nice and tall with pockets of caramel goo. They are wicked enough on their own, but for an over-the-top dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.
  • Double-Chocolate Biscotti
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro

    Double-Chocolate Biscotti

    Vanilla extract enhances the dusky mix of cocoa and mini-chips in these twice-baked slice cookies, which deliver deep chocolate taste.
  • Double-Ginger Cookies
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell; Food Kellie Gerber Kelley

    Double-Ginger Cookies

    These gingery rounds bake up moist thanks to a bit of applesauce and the sugar on top gives them a beautiful presentation.
  • Frosted Ginger Cookies
    Leigh Beisch

    Frosted Ginger Cookies

    We love these moist cookies topped with a tart lemon glaze.
  • Peanut Butter Cookies with Butterscotch Bits
    Photo: John Montana; Styling: Lynn Miller

    Peanut Butter-Butterscotch Cookies

    These nutty cookies get a buttery, caramel-y touch when you add butterscotch bits to the dough.
  • Gluten-Free Brownies
    Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Paul Grimes

    Gluten-Free Brownies

    For cookie swaps or family get togethers, bake these brownies for guests with gluten allergies.
  • Wreath Cookies
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Wreath Cookies

    With only a few ingredients, you can transform shredded wheat cereal into these whimsical holiday wreaths. Let the kids help shape and decorate them with cinnamon candies, M&Ms, or crushed peppermints.
  • Raspberry Pinwheels
    Photo: Kana Okada; Styling: Sara Quessenberry

    Raspberry Pinwheels

    Sweet cream cheese dough pairs well with the raspberry jam in these pretty pinwheels.
  • Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

    Almond paste lends an elegant flavor to these buttery cookies, and bright red raspberry jam will match perfectly with your holiday spread!
  • Snickerdoodles
    Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Snickerdoodles

    Just hearing the word snickerdoodle makes us excited to take a bite of these chewy, buttery cookies dusted with cinnamon.
  • Spicy Oatmeal Crisps

    Spicy Oatmeal Crisps

    These aren’t your typical oatmeal cookies! Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper give these crispy cookies a wonderful kick. Line your pan with parchment paper to make it easier to remove the cookies.
  • Triple-threat Chocolate Cookies
    Photo: Peden & Munk; Styling: Amy Wilson  

    Triple-threat Chocolate Cookies

    Prepare to abandon all restraint when you try one of these cookies, made with melted chocolate and chocolate chips in the batter and layered with a chocolate ganache filling.
  • Peppermint Layer Cookies
    Annabelle Breakey

    Peppermint Layer Cookies

    Friends and family will ooh and aah over these fun treats. Dip the ends of these multicolored cookies into melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy.
  • Peanut Butter-Toffee Turtle Cookies

    Peanut Butter-Toffee Turtle Cookies

    Mix toffee bits and chopped pecans right into the cookie dough and after baking, top with caramel and a chocolate drizzle.
  • Gingerbread Cookies
    Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Karen Tack

    Gingerbread Cookies

    These little gingerbread men are almost too cute to eat! Give them personality with chocolate candies and colored icing.
  • Sugar Cookie Pops
    Oxmoor House

    Sugar Cookie Pops

    Let your kids get in on the action with these colorful cookie pops. They can roll cookie dough balls in their favorite sprinkles and colored sugar and help you stick each cookie on a craft stick to complete the look.
  • Gingersnaps

    Gingersnaps

    Hear that? Your friends and family will gobble up these crispy, spicy gingersnaps straight off the cooling rack.
  • Vanilla Bean Shortbread
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Vanilla Bean Shortbread

    Buttery, crumbly shortbread gets a flavor boost when you add vanilla bean.
  • Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints

    With a double shot of chocolate and hazelnut flavors, kids and adults will rave over these filled cookies. The espresso powder is optional, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor.
  • Crunchy Sesame Cookies
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

    Crunchy Sesame Cookies

    These sweet treats taste similar to peanut butter cookies, but they get their rich nutty flavor from sesame-seed paste and sesame oil instead.
  • Dark Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread

    Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread

    Edges tipped with unsweetened chocolate and white chocolate enhance the coffee flavor in these cookies.
  • Easy Cheesecake Bars
    Photo: Charles Walton IV; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Easy Cheesecake Bars

    Your guests will never know how easy these bars were to make! If you like, use chocolate frosting to pipe holiday shapes on the top.
  • Rugelach
    Photo: Maura McEvoy

    Rugelach

    This update of the traditional sweet uses flaky piecrust and a filling of apricot jam, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts.
  • Dutch Spice Cookies
    James Carrier

    Dutch Spice Cookies

    These simple almond and spiced cookies can be made in less than an hour. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for a party or cookie swap.
  • Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

    Macadamia Butter Cookies with Cranberries

    We love these thick, satisfying cookies. The lightly spiced batter and dried cranberries provide a great counterpoint to the macadamia nuts' richness.
  • Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Photo: James Carrier

    Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    If you are of the school that thinks chocolate chip cookies should be soft and chewy, you'll love this recipe. Add 1 cup chopped pecans if you like a little crunch.
  • Royal Raspberry Bars
    James Carrier

    Royal Raspberry Bars

    Your friends and family will feel like kings and queens when you serve them this bar. A crumbly coconut-oatmeal base holds a layer of raspberry jam and meringue topping.
  • Amaretto Butter Cookies
    James Carrier

    Amaretto Butter Cookies

    These delicate, buttery cookies are flavored with bright orange peel and rich amaretto liqueur. Arrange slivered almonds in a star pattern for a striking presentation.
  • Peppermint Molasses Cookies
    Photo: James Carrier

    Peppermint Molasses Cookies

    Spicy molasses cookies studded with peppermint candy is an intriguing yet delicious flavor combo. Glazing the cookies with a peppermint frosting gives them a pretty pink glow.
  • Fig-Pecan Macaroons
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro

    Fig-Pecan Macaroons

    These light-as-air cookies are flavored with bright lemon, spices, and sweet dried figs.
  • Double Chocolate Chunk-Peanut Cookies

    Double Chocolate Chunk-Peanut Cookies

    Peanut butter cookies get a boost with lots of peanuts, chocolate chunks, and cinnamon.
  • Mocha-Chocolate Shortbread

    Mocha-Chocolate Shortbread

    Melt chocolate morsels on top of this simple coffee shortbread for an easy frosting.
  • Crunchy Frostbite Cookies
    Oxmoor House

    Crunchy Frostbite Cookies

    Dip one side of these crispy oatmeal cookies into melted white chocolate for a “frosted” effect. Sprinkle red or green sugar on top for a fun Christmas look.
  • Earl Grey Tea Cookies
    Photo: Sang An

    Earl Grey Tea Cookies

    Set these simple cookies out with after-dinner coffee and tea and they’ll disappear in no time!
  • Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars
    James Carrier

    Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars

    If you mixed cheesecake and pumpkin pie, this is the dessert you’d come up with. Perfect for any autumn get-together, you can store these bars up to 3 days before your party.
  • Lemon-Coconut Snowballs

    Lemon-Coconut Snowballs

    Lemon and coconut add a new twist to the traditional wedding cookie. Don't be shy when rolling these in powdered sugar -- the more powdered sugar, the bigger the snowball!
  • Fudgy Mocha-Toffee Brownies
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Fudgy Mocha-Toffee Brownies

    Coffee and toffee give these rich chocolate brownies a unique twist. If they haven't all been gobbled up, store leftover brownies in an airtight container for up to a week or wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze for up to four months.
  • Orange-Spice Madeleines
    James Carrier

    Orange-Spice Madeleines

    Orange peel and almond paste add richness to these delicate spiced cookies. If you like, when they’re still warm, dust the cookies with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • Mexican Spiced Shortbread Cookies
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Mexican Spiced Shortbread Cookies

    These chocolate cookies get a little heat from cinnamon, chipotle chile powder, and ancho chile powder. Balance the heat with a sweet brown sugar icing and top with a salty pecan.
  • Moravian Wafers
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Moravian Wafers

    These thin crispy wafers really bring the heat! Six spices blend well with molasses and brown sugar.
  • Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies

    Two of the most popular cookies combine forces to create these chewy cookies perfect for company or a holiday snack.
  • Oatmeal-Pecan Snack Cookies
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

    Oatmeal-Pecan Snack Cookies

    Pecans and dried cherries add substance to these spiced oatmeal cookies.
  • Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro

    Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

    Brown sugar and butter underscore the tawny sweetness of the almond toffee bits.
  • Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro

    Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

    Fudgy brownies get a decadent top layer of swirled cheesecake and brownie batter in these over the top bars. Raspberry extract also works well as a flavoring.
  • Toffee Blond Brownies
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Toffee Blond Brownies

    These gooey brownies are buttery and taste slightly like caramel from the brown sugar. Toffee bits melt during baking to create a crunchy topping.
  • Gingerbread People
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Gingerbread People

    Decorate these delightful cookies with vanilla frosting and colored sugar. If you don’t have time to make gingerbread men, roll the dough into a log and cut round cookies instead.
  • Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti

    Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti

    Perfect for a gift, this biscotti has a beautiful orange flavor and the pistachios and cranberries add great holiday color.
  • Oatmeal and Pie Spice Cookies
    Photo: Laurie Frankel

    Oatmeal and Pie Spice Cookies

    Oatmeal cookies get a holiday boost when you add pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice to the dough.
  • White Chocolate Snowballs
    Photo: Laurie Frankel

    White Chocolate Snowballs

    Roll cookie dough in sweetened flaked coconut and sandwich them together with a white chocolate filling.
  • Pecan Snowballs
    Photo: Kana Okada; Styling: Sara Quessenberry

    Pecan Snowballs

    Toasted pecans blend with with almond extract and vanilla extract in these rich bite-sized cookies. Make sure to freeze the balls before baking so they retain their round shape.
  • Pecan Squares

    Pecan Squares

    With less than 10 ingredients you can make a pan of gooey pecan bars. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an over the top holiday dessert.
  • Chocolate-and-Almond Macaroons

    Chocolate-and-Almond Macaroons

    Simple and elegant, these toasted coconut macaroons are perfect for a holiday gift. Top coconut macaroons with an almond and drizzle with chocolate.
  • White Christmas Dream Drops
    Photo: Alex Farnum; Styling: Robyn Valarik

    White Christmas Dream Drops

    Unlike traditional meringues, which are crisp all the way through, these are still chewy on the inside, like mini pavlovas—but with white chocolate chips and plenty of peppermint.
  • Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters
    Quentin Bacon

    Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters

    Perfect for chocolate lovers, these drop cookies are enhanced with the rich flavors of macadamia nuts and coconut. You can also substitute the macadamias for hazelnuts.
  • Apricot Buttons
    James Carrier

    Apricot Buttons

    Buttery walnut cookies serve as the perfect base for a dab of apricot jam.
  • Lemon Sugar Cookies
    James Carrier

    Lemon Sugar Cookies

    These beautiful cookies feature traditional sugar cookie dough dressed up with tart lemon juice and grated lemon peel.
  • Chocolate Thumbprints
    James Carrier

    Chocolate Thumbprints

    Finally, a thumbprint cookie for all the chocolate lovers! Fill each cookie with a bit of thick and decadent ganache.
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