40 Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure | Midwest Living
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40 Christmas Cookie Recipes to Treasure

Sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, butter cookies and more will add a little sparkle, a little dazzle and lots of memories to your holiday season.

Valencia Delights

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."

Valencia Delights

Butter Dream Cookies

A festive red maraschino cherry tops each cookie in this recipe, contributed by one of our Midwest Living® editors.

Butter Dream Cookies

Valencia Delights

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."

Valencia Delights

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.

Sparkling Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

 

Caramel Heavenlies

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."

Caramel Heavenlies

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.

Lemon-Vanilla Ornament Cookies

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.

Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

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.

Orange-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolatey Shortbread Bites and Lemony Spritz Cookies

Finishing touches add a festive flair to these cookies. Dip Chocolatey Shortbread Bites in melted semisweet or white chocolate and top with a chocolate candy. Give extra zing to Lemony Spritz Cookies with Lemon Glaze and colored sugar.

Lemony Spritz Cookies

Chocolatey Shortbread Bites

Date Pinwheel Cookies

Minneapolis blogger Alyssa Ruesch says it's not Christmas without these slice-and-bake cookies. It's her grandma's recipe.

Date Pinwheel Cookies

3-D Snowman Cookies

For a cute twist on traditional sugar-coated cookie balls, create a snowman using melted candy coating and pretzel sticks.

3-D Snowman Cookies

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.

Super-Duper Chocolate Kisses

Cranberry Shortbread

Dried cranberries dot shortbread dough, giving holiday flair to these traditional cookies.

Zingy Cranberry Shortbread

Ultimate Chocolate-Mint Cookie Sandwiches

These gooey cookies tuck mint filling inside a soft chocolate cookie sandwich, topped with a swirl of fudgy frosting.

Ultimate Chocolate-Mint Cookie Sandwiches

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 Cranberry-Orange Slices

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.

Holiday Seven-Layer Bars

Gingerbread Man Cookies

The recipe for these spiced cutout cookies comes from the Goldmoor Inn near Galena, Illinois. Decorate with Royal Icing. While the cookies are still warm, make a small hole in the top for a satin ribbon, which lets you use the cookie an ornament or gift.

Gingerbread Man Cookies

Royal Icing

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."

Buzz Cafe Butter Cookie Cutouts

Triple Peanut Butter Streusel Bars

Dry-roasted peanuts, peanut butter-flavored pieces and peanut butter bring triple flavor to this make-ahead bar cookie.

Triple Peanut Butter Streusel Bars

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.

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroon Cookies

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.

Hamantaschen

Pistachio-Tangerine Fudge

Cranberry-Coconut Tassies

Chocolate Cream Spritz Cookies

Hazelnut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

We loaded these crisp and chewy chocolate chip cookies with white and chocolate chips along with toasted hazelnuts. They taste great with a cup of Christmas Candy-Cane Hot Cocoa.

Hazelnut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Christmas Candy-Cane Hot Cocoa

Colorful Sparkling Sugar Cookies

A Decorah, Iowa, reader passed along the recipe for these much-loved treats, which she enjoys bringing to cookie exchanges.

Colorful Sparkling Sugar Cookies

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.

Snowmen Shortbread Cookies

Vienna Almond Cutouts

These cookies taste great on their own, but if you like, decorate them with royal icing.

Vienna Almond Cutouts

Royal Icing

How to Marble Icing on Cookies

Cookie temptations

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.

Candy Cane Swirl Cookies

Peanut Butter Temptations

Elfin Shortbread Bites

Chocolate Balls

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.

Fat Molasses Cookies

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.

Bet You Can't Eat Just One Sugar Cookies

Mystery Cookies

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.

Mystery Cookies

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.

Snowballs

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.

Sugar Cookies Like You Remember

Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons

Staff at the Alexander Ramsey House in St. Paul, Minnesota, sent us this recipe for festive, ribbon-shape cookies.

Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons

Kolackys

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.

Kolackys

Gadettes

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."

Gadettes

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