25 Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes to Make This Holiday
Christmas cookies are a sweet holiday tradition, and if you’re looking for new recipes to add to your rotation, we have plenty. For the chocolate lovers, we’ve got chocolate pretzel crinkle cookies and triple-chocolate peppermint cookies, and for those who like spice in their cookies, show-stopping brown butter-cardamom spitzbuben. There’s also triple-ginger rye cookies, walnut crescents, and s’mores (yes, s’mores!) linzer cookies. Read on for even more Christmas cookie recipes.
Chef Sarah Grueneberg transforms egg whites into these delicious classic Southern cookies that are barely baked, then left in the oven overnight to develop their wonderful crispy-chewy texture.
Raspberry-Hazelnut Macaroons (Haselnussmakronen)
These German raspberry-hazelnut macaroons require just five ingredients and are extremely no-fuss. Says Berlin-based blogger Luisa Weiss, “You just throw the dough together, heat up some jam and you’re almost there.”
These spiced cookie bars are an essential part of a German Christmas. They are an excellent make-ahead sweet; in fact, they get more tender and flavorful the longer they sit.
Sugar-Crusted Chocolate Cookies
This is Jacques Torres's recipe for sablés, a classic French butter cookie with a sandy, crumbly texture (sablé means "sandy")—though this fabulously dense version is actually more like shortbread.
Adding cardamom to these crispy cookies gives them a subtle spiced flavor. You can fill the thumb print with other jams or with chocolate.
Marshmallow crème doctored with peppermint extract and confectioners’ sugar makes a speedy filling for these cookies.
Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam
Kevin Sbraga adds anise and coriander to the raspberry jam that he spreads between the hazelnut cookies (which are spiced with cinnamon and cloves).
Baby Bûche de Noël Cookies
Jessie Oleson rolls chocolate cookie dough into ropes, then cuts them into mini logs to resemble the classic French bûche de Noël cake.
You can substitute pecans, walnuts or macadamias for the cashews used here.
These gingerbread cookies use butter instead of shortening and corn syrup, and get finished with royal icing for decoration.
Nutmeg makes a scintillating addition to rich, buttery shortbread. Though these cookies bake for about 50 minutes, the actual work time is amazingly brief for something so special.
Buttery Hazelnut-Fig Biscotti
These biscotti are made with toasted hazelnuts and dried Calimyrna figs—and they’re perfect for dipping into coffee or even sweet wine.
Iced Brown Sugar Cookies
"I really like the idea of using white frosting on this cookie, which has a little bit of brown sugar in it for great color, because the contrast between the two is so distinct," says Matt Lewis of Brooklyn's Baked bakery.
Delicate and substantial at the same time, Nick Malgieri's pistachio-topped coconut meringues are chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. For the best results, bake them on a dry day: Humidity can make meringues disappointingly soft.
Chocolate Pretzel Crinkle Cookies
By substituting the flour with Glutino pretzels, this version of the holiday staple is not only gluten-free but also perfectly salty-sweet with the best-ever chewy center.
Triple-Ginger Rye Cookies
Hearty rye flour paired with three types of ginger—powdered, candied, and fresh—lends an earthy, lightly spicy flavor to these delicious holiday cookies.
These lightly boozy balls come together in about 30 minutes. But while you can eat them soon after they’re made, they taste best the day after.
Key Lime Macarons
These tangy, one-bite sandwich cookies from Uyen Nguyen get a surprise pop of flavor courtesy of fennel seeds.
Molasses Thumbprints with Cajeta
These cookies from Ivan Marquez feature homemade cajeta, a flavorful caramel that can be refrigerated for up to a week in an airtight container.
Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues
Made with chocolate, cacao nibs, and cocoa powder, these intensely flavored meringues have a delicate, crispy exterior with a soft, chewy, marshmallow-like interior.
These crumbly and buttery walnut crescents from Nadine Redzepi are super simple. If you’re not a walnut fan, you can use pecans or hazelnuts instead.
Brown Butter-Cardamom Spitzbuben
German for “cheeky boys,” these Bavarian cookies will be the star of your holiday cookie platter. Brown butter and cardamom make this simple cookie into a fragrant treat. Take the time to freshly grind the cardamom—its robust, citrusy flavor is worth it. You can use round or fluted cutters to cut out the cookies and any shape that takes your fancy for the center.
Triple Chocolate–Peppermint Cookies
The peppermint bark in these cookies is simple to make and adds a beautiful pop of color and flavor in each cookie, though store-bought bark will work well here, too.
S’mores Linzer Cookies
Linzer cookies are descendants of the linzertorte, named for the Austrian city of Linz. Swapping graham flour and hazelnut meal for the all-purpose flour and almond meal gives these linzer-inspired cookies the flavor of s’mores.
Tortellini Dolci al Forno (Emilian Fruit-Stuffed Christmas Cookies)
Not to be confused with the pasta of the same name, these classic Emilian Christmas cookies are made from a tender, flaky dough filled with a sweet-tart trio of fruit: cherry preserves, rich saba (cooked-down grape must), and candied citron.