40 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

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One of the best parts of Christmas is all the baking and sweets. And while I love a good cake or cheesecake, there’s doubt that this time of year is all about the Christmas cookies! Most of us have some classic Christmas cookie recipes we’ve been using since we were kids, but it’s also fun to change it up every once in a while and add in something new.

From decorated sugar cookies and drop sugar cookies, to gingerbread men, spritz cookies, shortbread and peanut butter blossoms, you’ll find it all in this list – plus SO much more! A couple of my favorites are the pecan pralines and caramel coconut macaroons (they’re no-bake!). They are all perfect for a cookie platter or for gifting and are sure to be a hit!

40 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

A plate full of neatly organized cut-out sugar cookies with a cloth napkin underneath it

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies

These easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies have a secret ingredient that makes them super soft and moist while still allowing them to hold their shape in the oven. Paired with a classic sugar cookie icing, they’re perfect for decorating!

A white plate with a stack of classic peanut butter blossom cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms

These easy Peanut Butter Blossoms are soft & chewy cookies that are full of creamy peanut butter! It’s a classic cookie recipe that’s loved by all and perfect for the holidays.

clasic spritz cookies recipe

Buttery Classic Spritz Cookies Recipe

These Spritz Cookies are buttery, tender and such festive Christmas cookies! The cookie dough is super easy to put together and there’s so many ways to decorate them. A great make-ahead cookie!

Thumbprint Cookies Filled with Apricot and Raspberry Jam

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

These cute little Thumbprint Cookies are easy to make with a dollop of your favorite jam! They’re soft, chewy, and made with just 7 ingredients.

gingerbread cookies recipe

The Best Gingerbread Cookies

These easy Gingerbread Cookies are soft, chewy and full of holiday goodness! A classic Christmas cookie recipe that’s perfect for decorating.

eggnog cookies recipe

Soft and Chewy Eggnog Cookies

These Eggnog Cookies are insanely soft and chewy. You have to make them! Even if you don’t like eggnog, you will fall in love with these cookies.

southern pecan pralines recipe with bite taken

Best Southern Pralines Pecan Recipe

These are seriously the BEST Southern Praline Pecans! With the amazing flavor of brown sugar and butter, these are pure heaven! A little bit candy and a little bit cookie, they melt right in your mouth!

A pile of crackly gingersnaps on a plate sitting on top of a folded kitchen towel

Gingersnap Cookies

These easy homemade Gingersnap Cookies are full of warm spices with a peppery kick! You can make them as chewy or crispy as you like – either way, you’ll be obsessed with these classic molasses cookies.

BEST Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe | Easy No Chill Cookie Recipe

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

If you’re wondering how to make soft and chewy sugar cookies, then you have to try this recipe. These cookies require no chilling, are easy to make, and stay wonderfully soft and chewy for DAYS!

Five snickerdoodles stacked on top of each other with a cinnamon stick beside them

Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

Tender, buttery and slightly tangy sugar cookies are coated in cinnamon sugar and baked to perfection in this classic dessert! Whip up a batch of these Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies and experience blissful comfort with each cozy bite.

A close-up shot of chocolate covered shortbread cookies arranged on a white plate

Classic Shortbread Cookies

These Easy Shortbread Cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with that classic sweet and buttery flavor. Sprinkled with sugar and dipped in chocolate, they make an excellent addition to your holiday cookie tray!

stacked cranberry oatmeal cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies are chewy oatmeal cookies with plenty of dried cranberries and some chopped pecans! They are dipped in white chocolate to take the cookie to the next level! Delicious!

A Tin Filled with Butter Cookies and Lined with Parchment Paper

Chocolate Dipped Danish Butter Cookies

These tender Homemade Butter Cookies are dipped in chocolate and decorated with your favorite sprinkles. They’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious and super easy to make!

recipe for easy Italian ricotta cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies are soft, cake-like little cookies with lovely flavor and a tasty icing on top! They are easy to make and perfect for any holiday – especially Christmas!

close up image of No Bake Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons

No Bake Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons

These Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons are no bake and so easy to make! The perfect mix of coconut, caramel and chocolate! I’m in love!

Picture of candy cane cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

This Candy Cane Cookies recipe is a classic Christmas treat! It’s made with a simple cookie dough that’s flavored with peppermint, colored red and white, and twisted into a candy cane shape!

A Single Lace Cookie Propped Up Against a Stack of More Cookies

Lace Cookies

These thin and crispy Lace Cookies are a quick and easy treat made with just 7 ingredients. They’re sweet, buttery caramels in crispy cookie form!

stack of grinch cookies

Grinch Cookies

These Grinch Cookies are inspired by Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! They are chewy sugar cookies that have been colored green and adorned with a red heart!

Bitten into chocolate crinkle cookies.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These decadent chocolate crinkle cookies are ready in 30 minutes. Extremely fudgy and chocolatey, they’re the perfect holiday cookie.

stacked sugar cookie christmas trees on marble table

Stacked Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees

These Stacked Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees are soft and chewy sugar cookies stacked with green vanilla buttercream and decorated like Christmas trees! They are so festive and a fun treat for the holidays!

A stack of gingerbread cookies with eggnog icing.

Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Icing

These Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnong Icing are soft, moist, chewy and delicious! With the tasty combination of eggnog and gingerbread, these are the ultimate Christmas cookies!

Picture of a Russian Tea Cake

Russian Tea Cakes (Snowball Cookies)

Russian Tea Cakes are tender, buttery cookies with a light nutty flavor all covered in powdered sugar! Also called “Snowballs,” these cookies are delicious and a wonderful holiday classic!

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

These White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies have soft and chewy centers with lightly crisp edges! They use an extra egg yolk for chewiness and are loaded with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts for the ultimate cookie!

image of stack of Double Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are two soft chocolate cookies sandwiched around delicious homemade chocolate frosting!

Festive peppermint bark cookies in a stack

Peppermint Bark Cookies

These Peppermint Bark Cookies are festive, fun, and 100% delicious. A light cookie base, perfectly-balanced white chocolate peppermint topping, and crushed candy canes create one of the best Christmas cookies of all time!

Homemade chocolate chip cookies lined up on a kitchen countertop with some loose chocolate chips

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick, soft, chewy, and fully loaded with chocolate chips, this easy recipe turns an everyday treat into the indulgence of a lifetime. Everyone will be smitten with these meltingly tender Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Fifteen Molasses Cookies on a Black and White Counter Top

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

You have to try these supremely Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies. They’re full of cozy molasses flavor and they’re great for making ahead of time!

Spritz cookies dipped in chocolate and decorated with colorful sprinkles

German Spritz Cookies (Spritzgebäck)

These delicious German Spritz Cookies are a holiday classic. Light, buttery, and dipped in chocolate, you can make these spritz cookies in any shape you like. They’re a tasty Christmas cookie and fun to make with the whole family!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies for Christmas

Peppermint Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Peppermint Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies are soft, chewy Christmas chocolate cookies topped with peppermint Hershey kisses. Perfect for cookie exchanges!

A metal tray full of pecan tassies with a bite missing from the top one.

Pecan Tassies

These Pecan Tassies are perfect for your Christmas desserts tray. A cream cheese crust and decadent pecan pie filling make for an irresistible one-bite dessert. Ready in less than an hour!

Overhead image of a stack of brown sugar cookies with the top cookie broken in half.

Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

These Easy Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies are made with plenty of brown sugar for a soft and chewy cookie that’s a delicious spin on the classic!

Iced anise cookies staked on a serving plate.

Anise Cookies

Festive Anise Cookies are soft, flavorful, and have just the right amount of sweetness. The savory licorice-like flavor of the anise pairs beautifully with the tender cookie and sweet glazed icing. These Italian Cookies will make a perfect addition to your Christmas gathering and delight your guests with their unique flavor.

lots of butterscotch cookies piled onto white countertop

Salted Butterscotch Cookies

These Salted Butterscotch Cookies are crisp little butterscotch delights! Totally addicting and made even better by the touch of salt on top! You’ll be making these cookies over and over!

Almond crescent cookies dusted in powdered sugar on a plate.

Almond Crescent Cookies

Almond Crescent Cookies are a melt-in-your-mouth sweet almond explosion of flavor. This is a fast and easy Christmas cookie perfectly suited for sharing with family and friends.

A plate piled high with sugar cookies coated in red, white and green nonpareil sprinkles

Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

Soft and chewy homemade sugar cookies are covered in your favorite holiday sprinkles – these Christmas Sprinkle Cookies are perfect for Santa’s cookie plate! They’re made with kitchen staples and great for getting the kids involved.

A uniform arrangement of powdered sugar coated vanilla butter cookies with one missing a bite

Melting Moments Cookies

These soft Vanilla Butter Cookies melt in your mouth and proceed to melt your heart! Dusted with powdered sugar, they’ll provide some classic charm to any holiday cookie tray with minimal effort.

A Tall Stack of Cocoa Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These decadent Chocolate Sugar Cookies are supremely soft and chewy! If you’re a fan of rich chocolate desserts, you have to give these cocoa cookies a try.

A Serving Plate Full of White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

These easy homemade Peppermint Sugar Cookies are soft and chewy cookies with peppermint pieces and white chocolate chips. They’re festive, flavorful and hard not to get addicted to!

Neatly arranged peppermint chocolate sugar cookies on a marble countertop

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

This easy recipe makes soft and chewy chocolate sugar cookies, dips them into more chocolate, then covers them with crunchy peppermint pieces! These Peppermint Chocolate Sugar Cookies are about to take the title of your favorite Christmas dessert.

Picture of Turtle Chocolate Cookie Cups

Turtle Chocolate Cookie Cups

These Turtle Chocolate Cookie Cups have a moist, chewy chocolate cookie base and a caramel cheesecake filling. They’re topped off with chopped pecans and a caramel drizzle!

Christmas Cookie Baking Tips

  • Weigh Your Ingredients: One of the best things you can do for your cookie baking is invest in a food scale and weight your ingredients, particularly your dry ingredients like flour. Cookies are actually far more likely to have issues turning out correctly with small adjustments than things like cakes or cheesecakes, making a scale even more important. For the best results and the same results every time, I high recommend one. I have this food scale, which is a little more pricey, but this food scale would work great as well and isn’t as much of an investment.
  • Measure Accurately: If you really don’t want to invest in a food scale, check out my post for how to measure flour accurately. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your cookie baking.
  • Silicone Baking Mat: Use a good quality silicone baking mat for baking. It promotes the best spread and even browning. Using non-stick baking spray right on a cookie sheet adds greasiness that can lead to extra spreading. If you don’t want to invest in a silicone mat, then use parchment paper.
  • Let Cookie Sheets Cool Between Batches: You don’t want the bottom your cookies to start cooking before the rest of it by placing them on hot sheets. Have a couple that you rotate so they have time to cool between batches.
  • Oven Temperature: The wrong temperature can totally change the outcome of a cookie and often ovens read the wrong temperature. You may have it set to 350°F, but it’s actually baking at 325°F. The wrong temperature can lead to over-browning, over-spreading, under baking, etc. Get an oven thermometer and put it in the middle of you oven to check that the temperature is accurate.
  • Don’t Over Bake Your Cookies: Use bake times as a guide. Ovens can vary, so pay attention to your cookies. Typically they are done when the edges are set and the just beginning to brown. The middle can look a little under baked if you want a softer and chewier cookie, but they shouldn’t look super shiny or glossy. Cookies bake a little more as they cool, so if they look over baked, they’ll be even more over baked by the time they cool. Also keep in mind that if you’re baking more cookies at a time, you’re baking time will likely increase a bit. Similarly, if you bake fewer cookies at a time, it may decrease a bit.
  • Bake One Batch at a Time: This will give you more evenly baked cookies.
  • Cool on Cookie Sheet: Allow your cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them so that they don’t break apart. Also, be sure they are fully cool before decorating them so that icing and other decorations don’t melt.

Cookie Troubleshooting

Here are some troubleshooting tips for cookies. While all recipes vary, this is a good place to get started when trying to figure out what when wrong.

If your cookies are spreading too much.

  • Cookie dough is a little too warm (which could mean your butter was too warm).
  • You didn’t refrigerate the cookie dough. When the cookies are refrigerated, moisture is absorbed by the dry ingredients. If you skip that step (and it was required by the recipe you’re using), the moisture is still hanging out in there and ends up making your cookies spread more.
  • You added too much milk or mis-measured an ingredient. Keep in mind that even the type of sugar you use can affect moisture. If you try reducing sugars or adding more, it will affect your cookies’ spread.
  • Your cookie dough balls might be too big – bigger balls spread more.
  • You added less mix-ins – the fewer white chocolate chips/nuts in a cookie, the more likely they are to spread more.

If your cookies didn’t spread enough.

  • The number one culprit here is going to be over-measuring the flour. A food scale is always most accurate. Try pressing the cookies down a little bit before baking them to help them spread more, or try adding a teaspoon of milk (don’t add too much) to bring the cookie dough together.
  • Cookie dough could be a little too cool.
  • Mix ins – if one particular cookie has a lot of mix ins, they may stay in a mound in the center of the cookie so it ends up not spreading as well. I know – a pain.
  • Did you reduce the sugar at all or mis-measure it? That makes a difference. Sugar adds moisture, which adds to the cookies’ spread.
  • Did you make smaller cookie balls? They will likely spread less. Try flattening them out a bit prior to baking.

Best Icing for Christmas Cookies

If you’re looking to frost your cookies, royal icing is always a great option. I have a great guide on how to decorate cookies with royal icing, if you want to check that out. If royal icing isn’t something you want to deal with, try out this Easy Sugar Cookie Icing. It tastes great, dries hard and lasts just as well. You just can get quite an intricate with your decorations. And finally, chocolate is always a great option. If you want to add something special to your cookies without bothering with icing, try dipping them in chocolate and adding sprinkles. I love the extra texture of the chocolate, plus it’ll actually help keep your cookies fresh for longer. I recommend something like Ghirardelli melting wafers, but almond bark also works well.

A bunch of sugar cookies decorated like candy canes, snowflakes, Christmas trees and gingerbread men on a countertop

How long do Christmas cookies last?

This depends a little on the cookie, but generally speaking Christmas cookies last for about 3-5 days. Cookies that are covered in icing, like frosted cutout cookies or these gingerbread cookies, or dipped in chocolate, like these butter cookies, can often last up to a week or longer.

How to Store and Freeze Christmas Cookies

It’s always best to store cookies in an airtight container. Unless they’re required to be refrigerated, I recommend leaving them at room temperature. If storing them for longer than 3-5 days, you can put them in the fridge or freeze them.

Freezing Baked Cookies

This is convenient for leftover cookies or for making things ahead of time. Plus, having already-made cookies in the freezer to pull out and snack on is a bonus. Here’s how to do it:

  • Flash Freeze: To freeze cookies, you have the option of flash freezing them first. Flash freezing helps make sure the cookies won’t stick to each other, and it helps make sure certain decorations won’t get messed up if your cookies are stacked. To do that, freeze them for about an hour first, then proceed with wrapping and storing them.
  • Add to Container: Put your cookies in an air-tight container or freezer bag. You can separate layers with parchment paper or try not to stack them if you really don’t want any decorations getting messed with. Be sure to write the date on the bag or label the container.
  • Freeze: Most cookies freeze well for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw: To thaw them, place them in the fridge to thaw overnight. In a pinch, you can thaw them on the counter, but keep in mind that condensation can form, which could affect your cookies. Also, if you are trying to keep decorations nice and you have the cookies stacked, you can unstack them before thawing. Keep in mind that colored icings and sprinkles can bleed if exposed to condensation when thawing.

Freezing Unbaked Cookie Dough

Freezing cookie dough is easy and most drop cookie dough freezes well. Plus, it’s handy to have cookie dough ready to go in the freezer for when you need it. To freeze cookie dough:

  • Roll Balls: Go ahead and roll your made cookie dough into balls and flash freeze it. To do that, freeze them for about an hour first, then proceed with wrapping and storing them.
  • Add to Container: Put your cookie dough balls into an air-tight container or freezer bag. Be sure to write the date on the bag or label the container.
  • Freeze: Most cookie doughs freeze well for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw and Bake: Some cookies may do well baking from frozen. If so, add a couple minutes to the bake time. Otherwise, thaw the cookie dough in the fridge or on the counter and bake as directed.

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    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say. Everyone writes their recipes differently. While my older recipes don’t all have gram measurements included, the vast majority of my recipes do.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29