This Christmas cookie guide will feed Santa! You’ll find delicious recipes for traditional Christmas cookies, as well as more unique cookie recipes.
Nothing makes us happier than a beautiful tray of handmade holiday cookies! Not only are Christmas cookies a great treat for Santa, but they also make wonderful handmade gifts for teachers, neighbors, and loved ones!
We’ve pulled together our very best Christmas cookie recipes for you to have all in one spot. So preheat your oven, whip out the sprinkles, and let’s get baking!
When should I start baking Christmas cookies?
If you want to bake cookies fresh for a holiday party or Christmas Day, you’re going to get the best flavor and results baking them as close to the event as possible.
The one exception to the “as close as possible” rule is shortbread. Shortbread cookies tend to improve in both flavor and texture with 2-3 days of resting time at room temperature in an airtight container.
But don’t get overwhelmed yet! The great thing about the vast majority of holiday cookies is that they freeze beautifully—both fully baked and in dough form. So you can start baking your holiday cookie recipes months in advance.
How do you keep cookies fresh for Christmas?
We recommend clearing out some space in your freezer to make sure you have fresh cookies for Santa on Christmas. That way, you can space out your baking so you don’t get overwhelmed and your oven doesn’t get overloaded.
Bake one cookie recipe per week (or every few days) leading up to the big day, pop it in the freezer, and then when it’s time to assemble a tray for your holiday party or gifting, all you have to do is remove a few cookies from each batch in the freezer and assemble.
Make sure to check each individual holiday cookie recipe for the best method for freezing and storing for that particular cookie.
Okay, let’s get on with the cookies!
Traditional Christmas Cookies
- Cut-Out Sugar Cookies. Our rolled sugar cookie recipe gets tons of five star reviews every holiday season. The sugar cookie dough is lightly-flavored with vanilla, which makes for a delicate cookie that is addictive! Don’t miss our cookie icing recipe that makes for beautiful, stackable cookies.
- Copycat Lofthouse Sugar Cookies. These cakey, fluffy sugar cookies are just like the ones you’d get at the grocery store. We highly recommend adding sprinkles for holiday flair!
- The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. You can’t go wrong with a classic! Our secret ingredient makes these the best, most flavorful chocolate chip cookies ever! We’ll let you decide if you want to add nuts or not.
- Monster Cookies. Monster cookies have a little something for everyone—M&Ms, nuts, oats, and more!—and can be customized to whatever ingredients you have kicking around your kitchen.
- Small Batch Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies. These buttery cookies are perfect with a hot drink.
- Chocolate Candy Cane Gooey Butter Cookies. Part cookie, part fudge, you won’t want to miss these decadent Christmas cookies topped with crushed candy canes.
- Clementine and Cloves Spritz Cookies. This citrus-y sweet twist on the popular spritz cookies is full of holiday flavor and spice.
- Nanaimo Bars. This Canadian classic is one that gets requested again and again every holiday season!
- Thumbprint Cookies. With a buttery shortbread base and a fruity jam filling, these cookies are festive and easy to make.
Unique Christmas Cookies
- Chewy Lemon Snowdrop Cookies. Hands down, these pillowy lemon cookies are one of our best Christmas cookies. They always make it onto my holiday cookie trays!
- Nutella Crunch Cookies. I love recipes for easy Christmas cookies, and these chocolate hazelnut cookies definitely fit the bill!
- Mint-Chocolate Marble Cookies. It’s not Christmas without some peppermint! Making these cookies is a combination of tasty baking and fun art project. If there is only one slice and bake cookie on your list, make it this one!
- Chewy Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies. I always compare these cookies to a mocha chip frappuccino…in cookie form!
- Bourbon Bacon Brown Sugar Cookies. Bourbon and bacon in a cookie? Sure thing! They add a rich saltiness to these soft cookies.
- Chewy Gingerbread Cookies. Stand aside, tough gingerbread men. We’ll take our cinnamon, molasses, and ginger in the form of these soft, chewy cookies instead.
- Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies. These caramel-stuffed chocolate cookies are what chocolate dreams are made of.
Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies
- Grain-Free Paleo Sugar Cookies with Coconut Butter Frosting. These festive cookies can be rolled out and cut just like traditional sugar cookies, so your gluten-free friends don’t have to miss out!
- Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you are gluten-free and like your chocolate chip cookies chewy and soft, then this recipe is for you!
- Buckeyes. More a candy than a cookie, Buckeyes are a Midwestern classic that will appeal to any chocolate and peanut butter lover.
Everybody loves a food gift! These cookie-themed homemade gifts will appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth.
- M&M Cookie Mix Jars. These cookie mix jars are affordable and easy to make in bulk, so you can have a whole load of gifts ready in no time! The resulting m&m cookies are chewy, tender, and festive.
- Edible Cookie Dough. Treat your loved ones with this eggless, eat-it-with-a-spoon edible cookie dough.