Make this Christmas extra sweet and homemade with the best Christmas cookies!

From the sweet and spicy gingerbread men to the soft and mellow melt in your mouth shortbread cookies, Christmas cookies are fun, festive and delightfully delicious.

So dive into this collection of recipes, put on the Christmas music, plug in the Christmas lights, and get baking! Christmas only comes once a year, savor it like it was the last cookie in the house!

images of The BEST Christmas Cookies with writing

Tips for Making Christmas Cookies

When making Christmas cookies, you’ll want to follow the recipe closely, especially the first time you make a new cookie!

  • Ingredient Temperature: Ensure ingredients (such as butter and eggs) are at room temperature unless otherwise directed in the recipe.
  • Butter: Use real butter as margarine or other substitutes may not produce the same results.
  • Measure Flour Correctly: Be sure to measure your flour by spooning the flour into the measuring cup. Scooping flour out of the bag (or container) with a measuring cup packs the flour into the cup. This can cause you to have too much flour and affect the consistency of your Christmas cookies.
  • Chill Time: Read through the directions since many Christmas cookies require chilling time to get the right consistency of dough (such as Easy Sugar Cookies or Gingerbread Cookies).
  • Bake Time: Always check cookies at the lowest end of the bake time suggested in the recipe.

How to Decorate Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies can be decorated with frosting, icing, and of course an array of Christmas sprinkles.

  • A good royal icing is perfect for decorating sugar cookies. It dries hard and shiny (and sprinkles can be added) making cookies easy to store and stack.
  • Frosted Cookies are made with a favorite buttercream or flavored frosting such as peppermint buttercream. These are delicious but can be more difficult to store as the frosting is softer and doesn’t set up.
  • Melted Chocolate is perfect for dipping shortbread or other Christmas cookies or treats such as easy buckeyes. Once dipped in chocolate, make them extra festive by dipping them in sprinkles too.
  • Roll cookies such as classic thumbprint cookies in nuts.
  • Cut sugar and gingerbread cookies into Christmas shapes and decorate with all kinds of Christmas decor.
  • Top with Christmas sprinkles, crushed candy canes, and more.

Freezing Christmas Cookies

Most cookies, including Christmas Cookies, can be made months ahead of time and frozen. The great thing is that cookies can be frozen before or after baking meaning that you can do your holiday baking in advance.

I would recommend decorating cookies after defrosting as condensation can ruin the cookies.

If you are freezing cookie dough, I would recommend freezing it in smaller portions to help defrost quickly. To defrost, refrigerate the dough overnight.

Favorite Christmas Cookies

From our list of favorite cookies to yours, more than one of these cookies is sure to find a way to the dessert table this Christmas!

plated Candied Pecans
Candied Pecans
It will be hard not to eat handfuls of these sweetened nuts!
View the recipe
scattered baked candy cane cookies on a white plate
Candy Cane Cookies
Peppermint flavored dough twisted into cute candy canes.
View the recipe
Homemade Peppermint Bark on a plate
Homemade Peppermint Bark
No baking required for this sweet treat.
View the recipe
baked Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Chewy rich chocolate crinkle cookies are dotted with mini chocolate chips to give them extra fudgy flavor, and covered in powdered sugar!
View the recipe
Eggnog cookies with bite out
Eggnog Cookies
Wonderfully soft and chewy Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting are your favorite holiday drink in cookie form! These are destined to become your new favorite holiday cookie!
View the recipe
Peppermint Brownies with candy canes in aheart
Peppermint Brownies
Fudgy chocolate brownies topped with a delicious peppermint topping.
View the recipe
Decorated Gingerbread Cookies
Perfect Gingerbread Cookies
This gingerbread cookie recipe is made with real molasses, real butter and flavored with just the right touch of ginger is guaranteed to please any palate, young or old! 
View the recipe
iced sugar cookies with sprinkles
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Nothing says year-round holiday fun like baking easy sugar cookies and decorating them with family and friends.
View the recipe
a bowl full of buckeyes
Easy Buckeye Recipe
Buckeyes are a favorite recipe – creamy Peanut Butter Balls dipped in chocolate.
View the recipe

Classic Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies are a wonderful way to share your own Christmas traditions with friends and family throughout the holiday season. From cookie platters at your holiday parties to hosting a cookie exchange, Christmas cookies are loved by everyone. That is why some of them have remained classic Christmas traditions.

Plate of peanut butter blossoms cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Classically buttery and sweet, these peanut butter blossoms are so easy to make!
View the recipe
Stack of Ginger Snaps with one that has a bite taken out
Soft and Chewy Ginger Snaps
This recipe creates the perfect ginger cookie, spiced with cinnamon, crinkly, and chewy!
View the recipe
shortbread cookies on a plate
Whipped Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)
Easy shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery cookies that melt in your mouth. These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites. High-quality butter and vanilla will produce the best results.
View the recipe
a plate of Thumbprint Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies
Buttery soft cookies rolled in nuts and filled with jam are the perfect addition to any cookie tray!
View the recipe
Mexican Wedding Cookie with pecans on cooling rack
Mexican Wedding Cookies
How to make classic Mexican Wedding Cookies!  Mexican Wedding Cookies (also commonly known as “Russian Tea Cakes” or “Snowballs”) are so simple to make and just require a handful of ingredients!
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Christmas Cut Out Cookies on a plate with a glass of milk
Christmas Cut Out Cookies
These cookies are shaped with a cookie cutter, then baked and topped with colorful icing!
View the recipe
scattered baked candy cane cookies on a white plate
Candy Cane Cookies
Traditional candy cane shaped sugar cookies with a hint of peppermint are the perfect addition to your holiday baking!
View the recipe
easy snickerdoodles in a stack with a bite out of it
Easy Snickerdoodle Recipe
These Snickerdoodle Cookies taste just like the ones Grandma used to make! Who doesn't love Snickerdoodles?
View the recipe
three Nanaimo Bars stacked with Nanaimo Bars in the back
Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo bars are one of those desserts no one can resist! A chocolatey nutty base topped with a sweet buttery custard layer and more chocolate.  
View the recipe
Decorated Gingerbread Cookies
Perfect Gingerbread Cookies
This gingerbread cookie recipe is made with real molasses, real butter and flavored with just the right touch of ginger is guaranteed to please any palate, young or old! 
View the recipe
iced sugar cookies with sprinkles
Sugar Cookie Recipe
Nothing says year-round holiday fun like baking easy sugar cookies and decorating them with family and friends.
View the recipe
spritz cookies on a plate
Spritz Cookies
Flavored with almond extract and portioned out with a cookie press, it’s easy to churn out dozens of yummy cookies.
View the recipe
Snowball cookies with a bite taken out of one in a white bowl
Snowball Cookies
Snowball cookies are buttery and nutty with an airy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
View the recipe

Drop Christmas Cookies

For the busy baker, sometimes we just need need to free up some time in the kitchen. Simple and sweet, drop cookies are the perfect solution!

baked Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Chewy rich chocolate crinkle cookies are dotted with mini chocolate chips to give them extra fudgy flavor, and covered in powdered sugar!
View the recipe
stack of Molasses Cookies
Molasses Cookies
Moist, chewy, and flavorful, these Molasses Cookies are a must-have on any baking tray!
View the recipe
Almond joy cookies on a baking sheet
Almond Coconut Macaroons
These cookies are essentially a coconut macaroon that’s loaded with chopped almonds and chocolate chips. Add a drizzle of chocolate over the top and a whole almond, and you’ve got a cookie that’s as pretty as it is delicious.
View the recipe
plate full of Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
These Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies are chewy, sweet, and perfect for any time of year!
View the recipe
a stack of sugar cookies with a bite out of it
No Roll Sugar Cookies Recipe
These easy no roll Sugar Cookies are a cinch to make! Simply mix the ingredients together and bake; no chilling, no rolling pins and no messy floured counters!
View the recipe

No-Bake Christmas Cookies

Ice them, frost them, and give them away as a Christmas gift. No bake Christmas cookies are sweet and cute additions to the holiday dessert platter.

a bowl full of buckeyes
Easy Buckeye Recipe
Buckeyes are a favorite recipe – creamy Peanut Butter Balls dipped in chocolate.
View the recipe
Peppermint Bark Pretzel Bites with ribbon and a glass of milk in the back
Peppermint Bark Chocolate Pretzel Bites
This easy holiday treat is made with pretzels, peppermint kisses, dark chocolate, and crushed peppermint candy. They’re sweet, minty, and salty!
View the recipe
Peanut butter balls in a bowl with a bite taken out of 1
Peanut Butter Balls
Peanut Butter Balls are one of those treasured Christmas cookie recipes that will end up being a family tradition.
View the recipe
oreo truffles in bowl
Oreo Truffles
Oreo Truffles are made with just five ingredients. A fudgy chocolate filling with cookie crumbs and white chocolate shells!
View the recipe
Homemade Peppermint Bark on a plate
Homemade Peppermint Bark
A simple recipe for homemade peppermint bark! Made with dark chocolate and peppermint-infused white chocolate, then topped off with crushed candy cane pieces, you’ll never need to buy store-bought peppermint bark again!
View the recipe
close up of plated Fantasy Fudge squares
Fantasy Fudge
Rich & decadent, this Fantasy Fudge is a delicious treat all year round!
View the recipe
Peppermint Bark Pretzels on a plate of crushed candy cane
Peppermint Bark Pretzels
These peppermint bark pretzels are an easy, 4-ingredient holiday treat that double as a sweet edible gift!
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5 oreo cookie pops in a cup
Snowman Oreo Cookie Pops!
Here is a super fun no bake recipe that kids just love!
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Rocky Road squares on a plate
Rocky Road
This easy Rocky Road recipe is a simple fudgy treat loaded with chocolate, peanut butter, nuts and marshmallows!
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a stack of gingerbread fudge
Easy Gingerbread Fudge
A seasonally spiced gingerbread fudge that takes just minutes to make and doubles as a great edible Christmas gift.
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6 minute caramels laid out on parchment paper
Easy Microwave Caramels
Simple and easy caramels made in the microwave with just one bowl and no candy thermometer! Sprinkle them with salt, dip or drizzle them with chocolate or wrap them in waxed paper to give as gifts!
View the recipe
Ritz thin mints in a stack on a marble board
Ritz Cracker Thin Mints
Crunchy, buttery Ritz crackers straight from the box are easy to dip in melted mint chocolate and ready to eat in a flash.
View the recipe

Bar Cookies

These recipes combine the best of everything in the dessert world – bars and cookies! These are easy to serve, fun to make, and even easier to eat!

stack of millionaire shortbread on plate
Millionaire Shortbread
This Millionaire Shortbread is made with a shortbread base, rich caramel filling and topped with dark chocolate!
View the recipe
Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars in a pile
Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars
These Nanaimo Bars are a great twist on a classic dessert, combining chocolate, coconut, and mint-flavored custard!
View the recipe
three Nanaimo Bars stacked with Nanaimo Bars in the back
Nanaimo Bars
Nanaimo bars are one of those desserts no one can resist! A chocolatey nutty base topped with a sweet buttery custard layer and more chocolate.  
View the recipe

Other Christmas Treats and Cookies

Then there are the other treats that just don’t seem to fit any category, but still have the festive flair of Christmas.

plated Candied Pecans
Candied Pecans
These candied pecans are easy to make and the perfect addition to salads, desserts or just for snacking!
View the recipe

holding a handful of caramel marshmallow popcorn
Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn
Have a movie night at home with the family and munch on this super tasty Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn that comes together in just 5 minutes.
View the recipe
Eggnog cookies with bite out
Eggnog Cookies
Wonderfully soft and chewy Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting are your favorite holiday drink in cookie form! These are destined to become your new favorite holiday cookie!
View the recipe
Walnut rugelach on a plate
Rugelach Cookies
Rugelach are delicious pastry-like cookies that are fun to make and utterly satisfying to eat.
View the recipe
A stack of pecan toffee with a title
Pecan Christmas Crack (Ritz Cracker Toffee)
Pecan Christmas Crack. Imagine all of the deliciousness of toffee, topped with chocolate and pecans; once you make this toffee bark and crack it into pieces, you simply can’t stop munching!
View the recipe
Peppermint Brownies with candy canes in aheart
Peppermint Brownies
Fudgy chocolate brownies topped with a delicious peppermint topping.
View the recipe
Several Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
This recipe is so quick and easy, but results in cookies that are chocolaty, rich and decadent!
View the recipe
Caramel corn in a white bowl with a wooden scoop
Homemade Caramel Corn
This classic Christmas treat can be made with a variety of mix-ins for a fun and festive treat!
View the recipe
a bowl of white French meringue cookies
Grandma’s Meringue Cookies
These airy bites of lemony sweetness shatter and dissolve the second you pop them in your mouth!
View the recipe
Hershey Kiss Cookies
Chocolate kiss cookies are always amazing, but this recipe is even more decadent with cocoa mixed into the batter.
View the recipe

Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite Christmas Cookie recipe is!

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Merry Christmas all you bakers and cookers, I love this app, Its my go to always, if it’s not here you don’t need it?……

  2. Here is the recipe that you may be looking for on this post!
    Ingredients

    • 2 cups butter
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 ½ cups cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • food coloring optional

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
    2. Cream butter and vanilla with a stand mixer until fluffy.
    3. Add flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch a little at a time mixing.
    4. If using food coloring, divide dough and knead in a few drops of coloring to reach desired color.
    5. Roll into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (not a non-stick cookie sheet). Flatten with a fork, a meat tenderizer, or the bottom of a pretty glass. Top with sprinkles if desired.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely and let sit at least 24 hours before serving.

    Recipe Notes
    We use salted butter. You can use unsalted and add a pinch of salt to taste.
    Ensure the mixture is beaten until light and fluffy.

  3. I’m looking for your recipe for “The Best Christmas Cookies-Buttery
    Shortbread Christmas” cookies. You have a picture of them on your site,
    but I can’t find the recipe. They’re the best cookies I’ve ever made.
    The picture is top middle image, they’re pink, green and white.
    They’re roll-out cookies and you used a meat tenderizer to make the
    little holes on top.

    1. Here is the recipe that you may be looking for on this post!
      Ingredients

      2 cups butter
      1 cup powdered sugar
      3 cups flour
      1 ½ cups cornstarch
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      food coloring optional

      Instructions

      Preheat oven to 300°F.
      Cream butter and vanilla with a stand mixer until fluffy.
      Add flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch a little at a time mixing.
      If using food coloring, divide dough and knead in a few drops of coloring to reach desired color.
      Roll into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (not a non-stick cookie sheet). Flatten with a fork, a meat tenderizer, or the bottom of a pretty glass. Top with sprinkles if desired.
      Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely and let sit at least 24 hours before serving.

      Recipe Notes
      We use salted butter. You can use unsalted and add a pinch of salt to taste.
      Ensure the mixture is beaten until light and fluffy.

  4. I have never made shortbread cookies, but I can’t wait to try these!! Can I line my pan with parchment paper, or do you bake these right on the pan? Just afraid I won’t be able to get them off the pan! Also, when you say to let cookies sit at least 24 hours, do you mean to let them sit on the baking pan or a cooling rack, or to let them sit in a container for 24 hours before serving? Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi Janet, We like to line our baking tray with parchment paper before baking. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack then you can transfer them to a container to sit for 24 hours before serving. Hope that helps!

  5. I really like these vanilla cookies recipe. One of the best cookies i have ever tried. Thanks for sharing this recipe with all of us.5 stars

  6. I’ve been making these cookies for years. It was the one recipe I absolutely needed from my mother in law. I just use a cup of corn starch. I also roll them out and frost. Since the cookies aren’t too sweet, they pair great with a light butter cream frosting. I refrigerate for at least an hour, then roll out and cut out thick cookies. Then bake just till light brown(12 mins). Do not over bake. They are always a hit.4 stars

  7. I just made these for a Christmas cookie exchange at work tomorrow afternoon. I haven’t waited the 24 hours yet to eat them. I had to try them only 1 hour old and the flavor is great. I only yielded 60 cookies so I think I made them a little too big. The texture is off a bit. crumbly in my mouth like a shortbread should be, but then it kind of zaps all the moisture out of my mouth. I can’t wait to try them again tomorrow. Thanks so much for the recipe.4 stars

  8. These really are the best Christmas cookies! They came together quickly with just five ingredients. And they melt in your mouth. So good! Could I ask what you used to make the little dimple pattern on the cookies? I love it, but couldn’t find anything in my kitchen that looked like that:) Thank you!5 stars