Our Best Recipes for a Cookie Swap
With these cookies, you'll be the life of any cookie swap party.
Pumpkin Pie Cutout Cookies
Bake the cookies up to five days ahead, and store in an airtight container. To make our wind cookies and leaf cookies, we used round cutters and swirly piping to represent the wind, and various sizes of leaf-shaped cutters for fluttering foliage. For more on decorating cookies, visit southernliving.com/cookietips.
Lavender-Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
These delicate, crispy shortbread cookies are incredibly impressive given how easy they are to make. With just the right balance of gentle herbaceous, floral flavor and saltiness, these not-too-sweet shortbread cookies are the perfect treat to pair with anything from coffee and tea to lemonade or rosé. While both have fairly potent flavors, when applied with an expert touch (i.e. knowing restraint), lavender and rosemary make an amazing team—delivering sophisticated personality to whatever they touch. Culinary lavender buds are readily available in many nationwide supermarkets, but you can also order them online if you have trouble finding them locally. One key baker's tip to remember when it comes to making shortbread, definitely don’t skip out on chilling your dough before baking. This resting period helps the dough relax (resulting in a more tender, delicate cookie) and helps the cookies keep their shape in the oven. If you plan to make these lavender shortbread cookies for a special occasion (or you just love them so much you want to keep them around), you can easily whip up a double or triple batch of dough in advance and keep the unbaked logs frozen; when you’re ready for cookies, just pop the logs out of the freezer, then slice and bake. If you wanted to dress them up even further, a simple lemon glaze would be a delightful addition drizzled over the baked and cooled lavender-rosemary shortbread.
The Ultimate Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Everybody needs a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, and this is the one that you can rely on, time after time. Topped with flaky sea salt and bursting with bittersweet chocolate chunks, this sweet treat is not for the faint of heart. By baking them at a high temperature for a short burst of time, the exterior boasts a crisp texture and golden-brown color, while the inside remains melty, chewy and warm as ever. For the ultimate sweet deal, top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drink it alongside a tall glass of milk.
Cherry and Pistachio Rugelach
You can switch out the cherry preserves and dried cherries for another fruit that comes in both spread and dried form, such as apricot, currant, or blueberry.
Swedish Holiday Cookies
Bring these cookies to your next holiday cookie swap.
Golden Almond Cookies
Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies
The chai gives this cookie a kick while the eggnog topping shows a sweet side.
Stacked Snowman Cookies
Kids will love helping to frost and deliver these stackable snowman cookies!
Thin Mint Whoopie Pies
Inspired by the favorite Girl Scout Cookie, these mint-chocolate whoopie pies are a Thin Mint lover’s dream. The addition of crushed Thin Mints to the soft and fluffy dessert sandwiches delivers the perfect element of crunch.
Pecan Bar Cookies
Though these delicate cookies have a crisp outside, they are soft inside, making them the ideal bar cookie in our book.
Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies
Store these frosted cookies between layers of parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from sticking together. You can bake and freeze the cookies up to a month in advance; bring the cookies to room temperature before frosting them.
Lemon-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies
Serve a plate of melt-in-your-mouth cookies to friends and family tonight. The ginger in these cookies make them extra memorable.
Cranberry Meringue Cookies
Chilled Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal, Chocolate, and Walnut Cookies
Chewy oatmeal and crunchy walnuts can completely transform the typical lunch box chocolate chip cookie, adding new flavors and texture while subtly increasing the cookie's nutritional value.
5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
When glazing, use a shallow bowl that will accommodate the entire cookie.
Peanut Butter Icebox Cookies
Triple Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate lovers will be delighted over Triple Chocolate Cookies with chopped semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate chips inside the cookies and melted white chocolate on the outside.
Caramel Popcorn Cookies
Experimenting with unusual ingredients can produce an irresistible batch of cookies. In this recipe, caramel and popcorn pieces create the ultimate combination of salty and sweet—in cookie form!
Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries
We love these thick, satisfying cookies as humble as peanut butter cookies but not as crumbly. Dried cranberries provide a slightly tart counterpoint to the macadamia nuts' richness. The dough is somewhat sticky; chilling it briefly makes handling easier.
Cocoa Fudge Cookies
You can mix these incredibly easy, fudge cookies right in the saucepan. When freshly baked, these thin cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers. You can make them with either Dutch process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder; we opted for the latter.
No holiday dessert table is complete without Spritz Cookies. For truly authentic Spritz Cookies, be sure to invest in a cookie press to get that oh-so-perfect shape.
Chocolate Malted Cookies
Four types of chocolate make these cookies an extra-special treat for the chocolate lover in your family.
Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and rich and delicious all the way around is how readers rate these brownie-like cookies. Need we say more?
Triple Fruit Cookies
Make these cookies up to a week in advance, since they freeze well. Dried fruits are available in most supermarkets and health food stores.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Butterscotch Bits
Crisscrossed fork marks and all, these peanut butter cookies are just like Mom made, with the addition of yummy butterscotch morsels for extra flavor and a sweet crunch.
Make the cookie dough up to a month in advance, wrap it tightly, and freeze. Thaw dough completely by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.
Anise Tea Crescents
Rolling the cookies in powdered sugar while they're still warm results in a deliciously sweet, snowy coating.
Bizcochitos are anise-flavored drop cookies that originated in New Mexico. Prepare the dough in advance, and refrigerate up to three days. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to three days. Omit the aniseed if you don't care for its licorice flavor.
Spicy Oatmeal Crisps
Pepper may sound like an odd ingredient for a cookie, but it complements the other spices well (although you can omit it if you prefer).
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
Roasted sesame-seed paste and dark sesame oil deliver a deep, nutty flavor. A touch of corn syrup and cornstarch ensure crispness.
Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies
These adorable cutout cookies are flavored with maple syrup and classic fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Walnuts provide a delicious crunch.
Lemon-Thyme Icebox Cookies
Fragrant thyme and lemon zest brighten the flavor of these delicate Lemon-Thyme Icebox Cookies.
Chewy Molasses Cookies
Perfectly spiced and wonderfully tender, these molasses cookies are a staff favorite.
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Add some color to your cookie tray with these jam-filled thumbprints. This recipe could also be your healthy alternative for the next school party.
Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues
Dress up these almond-flavored meringue cookies by dipping half of each cookie in a glaze of melted chocolate.
This classic cookie recipe will take you back to your grandma's kitchen in no time. In about 30 minutes, you'll be savoring the flavor of your childhood all over again.
Cream Cheese Meltaways with Lemon Glaze
When shaping these buttery cookies, do not try to form perfectly smooth balls. If the dough is handled too much, the cookies will become heavy and dense.
Humble ingredients in these cornmeal-based cookies yield a light, subtly spiced sweet treat. The touch of lemon is a "refreshing surprise," says one reviewer.
Friends and family will gobble up these crispy, spicy gingersnaps straight off the cooling rack.