55+ Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes
It goes without saying that Christmas is the perfect excuse to make cookies—whether you’re giving them as a gift, decorating them with your family, or leaving them out for Santa, cookies are a simple and delicious way to spread holiday cheer and get everyone smiling. And fortunately, baking an impressive batch of holiday cookies doesn’t require a ton of time or effort in the kitchen. These easy Christmas cookie recipes maintain all that saccharine holiday magic without requiring too much energy or attention, so you can focus on sharing and enjoying them with those who matter most.
Sparkling Ginger Stars
A heavy sugar crust and the peppery bite of fresh ginger make these gingerbread cookies scrumptious. Be sure your spices are fresh; it will make a big taste difference here.
Chocolate Sugar Cookie Bars
Take your favorite cookie and turn it into a big slice bar. This dough is perfect for baking in an 8-inch pan. These bars are still perfect for bake sales or cookie swaps. We topped these chocolate sugar cookie bars with a creamy frosting and a few sprinkles for a festive touch. Simply switch out the sprinkle color to make them work all year round. What makes this recipe so perfect? You can prepare the dough up to 2 days in advance and bake the bars when you’re ready. What else can you make with this Chocolate Sugar Cookie recipe? Try these creamy Chocolate Cookie Cups with Caramel Filling or these Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies topped with roasted marshmallows.
Don't let these macaroons intimidate you. With just six ingredients, they are surprisingly simple to make and guests will be very impressed with the results.
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies
These easy chocolate oatmeal drop cookies are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Chocolate minichips disperse better in the batter, but you can use regular chips.
Chocolate Chip-Snickerdoodle Jam Bars
This may seem like an over-the-top cookie combo, but trust us on this one—you’re going to love these decadent hybrid cookie bars. Just imagine a chocolate chip cookie merged with a snickerdoodle and a jam thumbprint to create a single, epic (and epically delicious) cookie experience. The great thing about these bars is that they rely on one versatile cookie dough, that you enhance with various add-ins to create your layers. Plus, you can customize the cookie bars with any jam you please. We used just enough sweet-tart raspberry jam to balance the chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar, but you could use blackberry, orange, or even cranberry jam.
Rudolph's Christmas Sugar Cookies
Start with refrigerated sugar cookie dough to make these adorable reindeer cookies. Kids can help place Rudolph's eyes, mouth, and antlers.
Iced Shortbread Cookies
These are perfect for the holidays because they are so versatile and make for a fun project with kids.
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.
Sparkling Snowflake Sugar Cookies
Adults will love these elegant cookies, made with a touch of brandy. And they're great for a Hanukkah party.
Chai Swirl Cheesecake Bars
These eye-catching dessert bars taste like your favorite chai latte, reimagined in cheesecake form. Featuring flavorful swirls of chai-infused cream cheese filling, each bite offers richly aromatic, spiced flavor set against a cool and creamy vanilla cheesecake backdrop. They’re a simple dessert to make, but undeniably impressive.
Cranberry Cookies With Orange Glaze
Oh, so festive! These cakey cranberry cookies are a perfect Christmastime snack, dessert, or even breakfast.
Kids will love baking--and eating--these swirly, not-too-minty cookies. Feel free to swap out the red food coloring for green, if you prefer.
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?
Ginger-Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Lemon, molasses, and ginger are an unexpected, but unbeatable combination in these simple sandwich cookies. The cookie itself is delicious on its own, but then the tart lemon curd brings out the best in the molasses and warm spices. The higher quality lemon curd you use, the better the sandwiches will be, but you can also make your own. This batch is easy to make and only look fancy, making them a perfect addition to a cookie swap.
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
Brown sugar and butter underscore the tawny sweetness of the almond toffee bits in these oatmeal toffee cookies.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties
We’re not exaggerating when we say these peppermint patties knock York’s out of the water. These are perfect to make with kids because they’re easy and—let’s face it—messy. They make a sweet after-dinner treat, mid-day pick-me-up, or even cookie swap contribution. If you’re not crazy about peppermints, try leftover candy canes, crushed, nuts, sea salt, or sprinkles as toppings.
Big Crunchy Sugar Cookies
Sparkling sugar cookies are holiday classics. These goodies, which earn their name from a coating of coarse sugar, received our Test Kitchens highest rating.
These holiday cookies look complicated, but they're super easy to make. Feel free to substitute any dried fruit or nuts in the filling if pecans or chocolate aren't your thing.
Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
You’ve probably heard of olive oil cake, and if you’ve ever tasted one, you know how much rich character olive oil can bring to a dessert. And that’s certainly the case for these anything-but-average chocolate chip cookies. With their crispy edges and perfectly gooey center, they’re downright dreamy. Fruity olive oil subtly shines, complementing the melt-in-your mouth chocolaty factor in this distinctly delicious twist on the cookie jar classic. Although it’s tempting to go straight from the bowl to the oven, it’s important that the cookie dough is thoroughly chilled before baking. Not only will this step make scooping the cookies easier, but refrigeration solidifies the oil, which keeps the cookies from spreading too fast and becoming too thin. Being that olive oil is the star ingredient in this chocolate chip cookie recipe, be sure to use a good quality oil.
5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
When glazing, use a shallow bowl that will accommodate the entire cookie.
Chewy Chocolate-Molasses Cookies
Forget the holidays, you’re gonna want these cookies all winter long. Chewy nuggets of candied ginger, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, and warm hints of molasses made this cookie a favorite in our test kitchen. To prevent overmixing the dough, fold in the chocolate—it’ll also produce a tougher cookie. To make these cookies look as good as they taste, reserve a few of the chocolate chunks to place on top of each cookie. That way, they won’t all get hidden in the dark dough.
The neighborhood will smell the sweet aroma of almond and orange when you're baking this French cookie recipe. Just be sure you've made enough to share.
Crunchy Frostbite Cookies
Dip one side of these crispy oatmeal cookies into melted white chocolate for a “frosted” effect.
Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies
The chai gives this cookie a kick while the eggnog topping shows a sweet side.
Fudgy Flourless Chocolate-Pecan Cookies
Believe it or not, these chewy, brownie-like cookies are gluten free. Try not to eat them all in one sitting--our Test Kitchen found them especially hard to resist.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
We’ve got a triple-threat here: Rich red velvet, gooey, fudgy brownies, and tangy cheesecake unite to form a dessert bar everyone will love. These red velvet cheesecake brownies are decadent without being too sweet, thanks to the cheesecake swirl, and a delicious twist on plain old brownies. They slice super clean, but remain gooey and soft. If you like your brownies fudgy bake them on the lower 30-minute end. For cakier brownies, bake longer, up to 35 minutes. Lining your pan with parchment keeps these from sticking to the pan, making them much easier to slice.
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.
These delicate moon-shaped cookies are soft and tender on the inside with a delectable nutty flavor from browned butter and toasted walnuts.
Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookie
Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
If you have a neighborhood cookie swap or church social on your calendar this season, these sandwich cookies are sure to be a hit. Cookies and bars are always crowd-pleasers—and make great handmade gifts for friends and family during the holidays. Choose a gingersnap or linzer from this lineup of Christmas treats if you want to include some of the classic holiday cookies on your dessert tray as well.
Peanut Butter Wreaths
Looking for the ultimate easy cookie? These no-bake peanut butter wreaths should do the trick. The oats and peanut butter add buttery and salty notes, making these almost like a praline. Toasting the oats beforehand really enhances the flavor and prevents the oats from getting soggy. Since these cookies are so easy and make a huge batch, you can get creative with your toppings—try other candies, like chocolate chunks, or fun holiday sprinkles to give these some serious spirit.
Chocolate-covered shortbread is the yummy end to a wonderful meal. You're likely to have all of the ingredients for this recipe stocked in the pantry.
Spiced Molasses Drops
You've never had spice cookies like these. A secret ingredient--black pepper--adds just a hint of heat.
Hello Dolly Bars
Snickerdoodles are already a classic cookie, but add chai and they become irresistible. Cinnamon, cardamom, and a touch of black pepper intermingle beautifully to create a warm, buttery cookie that tastes like the beloved winter drink. Try dipping them in coffee or tea, or leaving them out with some milk for Santa.
Peanut Butter-Toffee Turtle Cookies
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
We think 1/8 inch is the perfect thickness for a crisp, buttery cookie, but this dough can be rolled to 1/4 inch thick if you prefer a soft texture.
White Chocolate OREO Cookie Balls
All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
When it comes to making cookies from scratch, these crispy-chewy chocolate chip cookies represent the best of the best. Simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions make this a recipe you'll come back to again and again. Whip up a batch of these all-time favorite cookies and they won't last long. Pro tip: Bake 10 minutes for a softer cookie or up to 14 minutes for a crispier cookie.
After you've made these craveworthy cookies, don't forget to try our fun variations. All sorts of goodies—from crushed white-chocolate pretzels to toffee candy—can be added to the batter to create other signature cookies.
Peppermint Molasses Cookies
We all know and love the classic Italian wedding cookie—but add some bourbon and hazelnuts, and you’ve got an elevated twist. They’re buttery and nutty with a surprise bite from the bourbon. Best of all, these ingredients aren’t just available during the holidays, but all year.
For centuries Southerners have treasured their jars of molasses—the cooked-down sugar cane mixture that is thick, brown, sticky and sharp with tangy flavor. From the hills of Tennessee to the plains of Georgia, the syrup was a table condiment for drizzling on biscuits and pancakes, or stirring into desserts. Still a treat today, the strong, sweet flavor of molasses balances well with a team of spices in these soft, chewy cookies crusted with sugar.
Easy Cheesecake Bars
Guests will never know how easy these cheesecake bars were to make! If you like, use chocolate frosting to pipe holiday shapes on the top.
Almond Joy Cookies
Chocolate Cutout Cookies
Cut-out cookies don't have to be vanilla. This year, try a deep, dark chocolate version. Dust your cutting board with cocoa powder to preserve the color and flavor.
Picky eater? No problem. Even if you don't love eggnog, you'll love this easy cookie. Whether you make it for Santa or for yourself (no judgment here), this festive recipe is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Though they're delicious without any bells and whistles, the boozy, four-ingredient Eggnog-Bourbon Buttercream is what truly makes these cookies shine. Want something with a bit more spice? Try these Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies next.
White Chocolate Snowballs
Chocolate Thumbprints with Caramel and Sea Salt
From Great Falls, Montana, Colette Tihista-Longin writes, "I found this cookie recipe in an old collection at a yard sale. The original recipe has a chocolate filling, but I adapted it to include caramel and sea salt several years ago. It's a hit every year at our cookie exchange." Despite the name for this style of cookie, the end of a wooden spoon makes a neater, deeper depression in the cookie than your thumb will.
Brown Butter-Coconut Cookies
Your search for the perfect Christmas cookie swap recipe is over. Our test kitchen couldn’t get enough of the heavenly combination of white chocolate, toasted coconut, and brown butter. These cookies are lighter than the average holiday cookie since they’re not heavy on spices or molasses, but they’re just as jolly, and the brown butter really takes the flavor to the next level.
Important: Bake the dough while cold; otherwise, it will spread too much and the cookies will lose their fluffy texture.
Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters
These rich drop cookies taste like chocolate-covered macadamia nut candies. Take care not to overbake the tasty treats; their centers should remain soft and chewy.
Red Velvet Crackle Sandwich Cookies
All the flavors of red velvet cake in a bite-size package! Use a small trigger-handled ice cream scoop for uniform cookies.
Pecan Pie Bars
These chewy, bite-size bars require just 20 minutes of prep time.