40 Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure
Butter Dream Cookies
A festive red maraschino cherry tops each cookie in this recipe, contributed by one of our Midwest Living® editors.
Orange and chocolate: a holiday cookie match that tempt every Santa to take seconds. This recipe comes from Jill Drury in Milwaukee, who loved to bake cookies with her grandmother. "For the longest time I couldn't decide which cookie I liked best, until one day Grandma had me mix my favorite flavors: chocolate and orange," she says. "We came up with this cookie that I now call my holiday favorite."
Sparkling Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Lemon extract and orange peel add a citrus touch to these cutout cookies. Top with a meringue icing or your favorite frosting, or add sprinkles before baking.
Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. "I've made these cookies since 1984," says Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan. "They're one of my family's favorites."
Lemon-Vanilla Ornament Cookies
Whether you hang theses sugar cookies on a decorative tree like blogger Annie Marshall does or share them at a cookie exchange, these cutouts hold their shape beautifully. A standby on the blog Annie's Eats, it's a great recipe to have in your repertoire.
Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies
Flecks of nuts and fruit make these buttery cookies perfect for a holiday cookie exchange or gift box. The recipe comes from the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio.
Orange-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches
A round cookie cutter with scalloped edges makes a nice shape for these cookies, but bell, tree or star cutters would also be good choices for the holidays.
Chocolatey Shortbread Bites and Lemony Spritz Cookies
Date Pinwheel Cookies
Minneapolis blogger Alyssa Ruesch says it's not Christmas without these slice-and-bake cookies. It's her grandma's recipe.
3-D Snowman Cookies
For a cute twist on traditional sugar-coated cookie balls, create a snowman using melted candy coating and pretzel sticks.
Super-Duper Chocolate Kisses
Create these rich, chocolatey cookies from refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough--just add cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles and a candy center. Use colored sprinkles instead of chocolate if you'd like a more festive presentation.
Dried cranberries dot shortbread dough, giving holiday flair to these traditional cookies.
Ultimate Chocolate-Mint Cookie Sandwiches
These gooey cookies tuck mint filling inside a soft chocolate cookie sandwich, topped with a swirl of fudgy frosting.
Holiday Cranberry-Orange Slices
This slice-and-bake cookie recipe brings several favorite holiday flavors to the cookie tray. Beverly Olson of Marshfield, Wisconsin, added cranberries and orange peel to her butter cookies along with pecans. Finely chop these additions so they won't get in the way when you slice the dough.
Holiday Seven-Layer Bars
Chocolate, nuts, coconut and more fill our easy-to-make bar cookies. Mixed dried fruit bits and candy-coated milk chocolate pieces are among the layers that make this bar cookie distinctive.
Gingerbread Man Cookies
Buzz Cafe Butter Cookie Cutouts
"We use this recipe year-round for all of the holidays," says Laura Maychruk, co-owner of Buzz Cafe in Oak Park, Illinois (10 miles west of Chicago's Loop). "For Christmas, we make snowflakes and Christmas trees. The cookies are delicious even without the icing."
Triple Peanut Butter Streusel Bars
Dry-roasted peanuts, peanut butter-flavored pieces and peanut butter bring triple flavor to this make-ahead bar cookie.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroon Cookies
You can make these chewy cookies up to three months ahead of the holidays. Just freeze undipped cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container. When you're ready to serve them, thaw and then dip bottoms in melted chocolate.
Bite-size holiday treats
Friends and family will love any of these tiny treats. Clockwise, from front left:
-- Hamantaschen, a traditional three-cornered pastry pocket with a sweet filling;
-- Pistachio-Tangerine Fudge, a no-fail fudge with add-ins such as tangerine peel;
-- Cranberry-Coconut Tassies, like miniature pies with a cranberry, coconut and brown-sugar filling; and
-- Chocolate Cream Spritz Cookies, elegant cookie sticks dipped in semisweet chocolate and crushed peppermint.
Hazelnut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Colorful Sparkling Sugar Cookies
A Decorah, Iowa, reader passed along the recipe for these much-loved treats, which she enjoys bringing to cookie exchanges.
Snowmen Shortbread Cookies
To make our cute edible snowmen, roll out shortbread cookie dough and cut into a snowman shape. Decorate with powdered sugar icing, gumdrops and colored candies.
Vienna Almond Cutouts
Slice-and-bake Candy Cane Swirl Cookies add color and minty flavor to a Yuletide cookie tray. Peanut Butter Temptations sink miniature peanut butter cups into peanut butter cookie dough. Elfin Shortbread Bites come in a variety of flavors: Lemon-Poppy Seed, Chocolate Chip and Butter-Pecan. No-bake Chocolate Balls take only minutes to make.
Fat Molasses Cookies
Packed with flavor from molasses, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar, these cookies look especially nice when cut with a scalloped or round cutter and sprinkled with coarse sugar or crystallized ginger.
Bet You Can't Eat Just One Sugar Cookies
These melt-in-your-mouth cookies come from the recipe file of Georgia Morehouse of Columbia, Missouri. Her family insists she bake at least one batch for New Year's Eve. Sprinkle them with colored sugar right before they bake to give them quick-and-easy sparkle.
You won't believe the secret ingredient in these moist spice cookies: canned tomato soup! The recipe comes from the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio.
Snowballs and Nutjammers
The Cole family of Wadsworth, Ohio, bakes these each year for friends and family. The tradition started more than 50 years ago when Phrania (Fran) Cole and her sister, Ann, began making cookies as affordable gifts. The Coles like the Snowballs' tang of black walnut and the snowy, powdered-sugar coating. You can choose from two fillings when you bake the tiny, turnoverlike Nutjammers.
Sugar Cookies Like You Remember
Lemon and nutmeg flavor these old-fashioned cakelike cookies. For a cookie exchange, make the smaller 2-inch cookies. For your family, choose the jumbo 3-inchers.
Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons
Staff at the Alexander Ramsey House in St. Paul, Minnesota, sent us this recipe for festive, ribbon-shape cookies.
Kolackys (also spelled kolaches or kolaces) are a Central European pastry with a sweet center. "These cookies are time-consuming, but so worth it," says an Ohio reader who contributed the recipe.
Dust off your waffle iron to bake these Belgian-style cookies. The recipe comes from Connie Shaw of Bettendorf, Iowa, who learned it from her grandmother. "As she taught me to make them, she explained that when she lived in Belgium, families served them when neighbors called," Connie says. "I sent them to my son the two Christmases he was deployed in Iraq. They are part of his Christmas memories, too."