36 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

holiday cookies
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    Christmas Cookies

    chocolate chip icebox cookies
    Diana Rattray

    Christmas cookies are a holiday tradition for many families. Festive cookies make wonderful gifts, and cookie baking and decorating is a great way to get the kids involved in the festivities.

    Most baked cookies can be frozen decorated or undecorated, or you can freeze your cookie dough now for baking and decorating just before the holidays. See these cookie baking tips for more decorating and gift-giving ideas.

    Here are dozens of our favorite cookie recipes, including basic shortbread and sugar...MORE cookies, butter cookies, fancy bars, and traditional Christmas cookie recipes. 

    Pictured: Chocolate Chip Icebox Cookies

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    Classic Snickerdoodles

    Snickerdoodles
    Diana Rattray

    These snickerdoodle cookies are a holiday tradition. The cinnamon-sugar coated cookies make the whole house smell of sugar and spice!

    Classic Snickerdoodles

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    Red Velvet Crinkles

    red velvet crinkle cookies
    Diana Rattray

    The vibrant red color makes these cookies the perfect treat for Christmas and Valentine's Day.

    Red Velvet Crinkles

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    Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs

    classic sugar cookies filled
    Diana Rattray

    Bake these classic sugar cookies in shapes to fit the occasion and then decorate them with icing or sprinkles. Or fill them with jam, dulce de leche, or chocolate ganache.

    Filled or Decorated Sugar Cookies

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    Best Ever Blondies With Shortbread Crust

    best blonies
    Diana Rattray

    The shortbread crust gives these extra-special chewy, gooey blondies some crunchy texture. Use mini chocolate chips or regular semisweet chocolate chips in these bars.

    Best Ever Blondies With Shortbread Crust

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    Perfect Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

    Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
    Diana Rattray

    These chocolate shortbread cookies are surprisingly easy to prepare, and the flavor is out-of-this-world. These awesome cookies are made with only four ingredients.

    Perfect Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

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    Jam-Filled Kolache Cookies

    Kolache Cookies with Apricot Filling
    Diana Rattray

    A cream cheese dough makes these classic kolache cookies soft and delicious. Use your favorite preserves or jam in the filling for the cookies.

    Jam-Filled Kolache Cookies

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    Easy Ribbon Cookies With Candied Cherries

    ribbon cookies with cherries and pecans
    Diana Rattray

    The three portions of dough are layered in a pan to form a loaf. The cookies are then sliced and baked.

    Easy Ribbon Cookies With Candied Cherries

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    Big Skillet Snickerdoodle Cookie

    snickerdoodle skillet cookie
    Diana Rattray

    This scrumptious snickerdoodle cookie is perfect for a holiday party! Serve it in thin wedges with caramel sauce or a scoop of ice cream.

    Big Skillet Snickerdoodle Cookie

     

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    Maple Flake Shortbread Cookies

    maple flake shortbread cookies
    Diana Rattray

    If you love maple-flavored treats, these cookies are for you! Maple flakes are the secret to the fabulous maple flavor. If you can't find maple flakes locally,  buy 1-pound bags from Amazon. They are incredible in cookies, on cereal, or sprinkled over ice cream.

    Maple Flake Shortbread Cookies

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    Mocha Butterball Cookies

    mocha butterball cookies
    Diana Rattray

    Cocoa powder and espresso (or coffee) powder flavor these fantastic mocha butter cookies. Make extra cookies and freeze them for later.

    Mocha Butterball Cookies

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  • 12 of 36

    Brown Sugar Shortbread

    brown sugar shortbread cookies
    Diana Rattray

    These buttery brown sugar shortbread cookies are classic. Sprinkle them with some vanilla sugar or cinnamon sugar just before you put them in the oven.

    Brown Sugar Shortbread

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  • 13 of 36

    Easy 3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

    3-ingredients - easy coconut macaroons
    Diana Rattray

    These simple macaroons can be dressed up for the holidays with chopped red and green candied cherries.

    Easy 3-Ingredient Coconut Macaroons

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  • 14 of 36

    Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

    lemon cream cheese cookies
    Diana Rattray

    Make these soft lemon cookies for your friends and family and watch them disappear! A flavorful lemon icing is the perfect finishing touch.

    Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

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  • 15 of 36

    Soft Pumpkin Cookies With Brown Butter Icing

    soft pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing
    Diana Rattray

    These cookies will be a big hit with everyone! The brown butter icing adds flavor to these easy soft spiced cookies.

    Soft Pumpkin Cookies With Brown Butter Icing

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  • 16 of 36

    Date Pinwheel Cookies

    pinwheel cookies and more
    Judd Pilossof/Getty Images

    These traditional holiday pinwheels boast a date and nut filling. 

    Date Pinwheel Cookies 

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    Pumpkin Cookies With Caramel Icing

    pumpkin cookies with caramel icing
    Diana Rattray

    A simple caramel icing tops these soft pumpkin drop cookies.

    Pumpkin Cookies With Caramel Icing​​

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  • 18 of 36

    Meltaway Butter Cookies

    meltaway butter cookies
    Diana Rattray

    These melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies are a snap to fix and bake.

    Meltaway Butter Cookies

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    Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

    old fashioned sugar cookies
    Diana Rattray

    These old-fashioned sugar cookies are always a hit. Add a dash of ground nutmeg for seasonal flavor.

    Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

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    Classic Forgotten Cookies With Variations

    forgotten cookies with chocolate chips
    Diana Rattray

    The name "Forgotten Cookies" comes from "forgetting" about the cookies and leaving them in the oven overnight or for several hours (after turning the oven off). 

    Classic Forgotten Cookies With Variations​​

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    Soft Molasses Drop Cookies

    Soft Molasses Cookies
    Diana Rattray

    There's no chilling or rolling required for these soft molasses cookies. Dust them with powdered sugar or drizzle with vanilla icing.

    Soft Molasses Drop Cookies

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  • 22 of 36

    Molasses Crinkles Recipe

    molasses crinkles
    Diana Rattray

    Use regular granulated sugar or larger grained decorating sugar on these fabulous spiced molasses crinkles.

    Molasses Crinkles Recipe

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  • 23 of 36

    Brown Sugar Sour Cream Drop Cookies

    Brown Sugar Sour Cream Drop Cookies
    Diana Rattray

    Sour cream gives these soft brown sugar drop cookies great flavor and texture. Feel free to add chopped nuts to the batter before baking.

    Brown Sugar Sour Cream Drop Cookies

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    Chocolate Butterball Christmas Cookies

    chocolate butterball cookies
    Diana Rattray

    Melted bittersweet or semisweet chocolate is added to the cookie dough to make these fabulous chocolate butterballs. Finely chopped pecans add texture.

    Chocolate Butterball Christmas Cookies

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    Basic Butter Shortbread

    classic butter shortbread
    Diana Rattray

    These easy vanilla butter cookies need only five ingredients. You don't even need an electric mixer.

    Basic Butter Shortbread

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    Classic Magic Cookie Bars

    magic cookie bars
    Diana Rattray

    Layers of graham cracker crust, coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk make these little bars magical.

    Classic Magic Cookie Bars

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    Chocolate Crinkles

    chocolate crinkles cookies
    Diana Rattray

    These beautiful cookies are surprisingly easy to make and bake.

    Chocolate Crinkles

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    Crispy Sand Tart Cookies with Cinnamon

    sand tart cookies with cinnamon
    Diana Rattray

    A cinnamon-sugar topping makes these sand tarts extra-special.

    Crispy Sand Tart Cookies with Cinnamon

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    Peanut Butter Shortbread Cut-Outs

    Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies
    Diana Rattray

    These cookies are not only easy to prepare — they're egg-free. Drizzle melted chocolate over these shortbread cookies for the holidays. 

    Peanut Butter Shortbread Cut-Outs

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    Chewy Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies

    chocolate coconut blondies
    Diana Rattray

    These fabulous bars are brimming with flavor. The blondies include coconut, chocolate chunks, and a melted chocolate drizzle.

    Chewy Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies

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    Mom's Date Drop Cookies

    Mom's Date Drop Cookies
    Diana Rattray

    A dab of batter partially covers the date filling in these soft brown sugar cookies.

    Mom's Date Drop Cookies

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    Date Squares with Oat Crust

    Date Bars
    Diana Rattray

    Make this your go-to recipe for date squares. These delicious date bars boast a crumbly oat crust and a generous date filling. 

    Date Squares with Oat Crust

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    Old-Fashioned Jumbles Cookies With Raisins

    Jumbles Cookies With Raisins
    Diana Rattray

    If you like old-fashioned favorites, these cookies are for you! Use dried cranberries instead of raisins for a festive look.

    Old-Fashioned Jumbles Cookies With Raisins

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    Soft Sugar Cookies With Sour Cream

    soft sugar cookies with sour cream
    Diana Rattray

    Ice these soft cookies with the included quick icing and sprinkle them with decorating sugars.

    Soft Sugar Cookies With Sour Cream

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    Favorite Jam Filled Thumbprint Cookies with Chopped Nuts

    jam thumbprints
    Diana Rattray

    Use your favorite jam or preserves to fill these delightful thumbprint cookies. 

    Favorite Jam-Filled Thumbprint Cookies

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  • 36 of 36

    Lemon Butter Cookies

    lemon butter cookies, snowballs
    Diana Rattray

    These delicious little snowballs are brimming with fresh and vibrant lemon flavor. Roll the cookies in powdered sugar after they've cooled.

    Lemon Butter Cookies