My Grandma called cookies "the original comfort food", and she meant it. There were always cookies at her house - especially at Christmas time, when she would bake countless dozens, pack them into little tins, and distribute them to practically everyone she knew.
If she wasn't going to see you until weeks after Christmas, she'd just put your tin in the freezer and - lucky you! - you'd be eating Christmas cookies in February. ♥️
Likewise, I don't have one single memory of Christmas as a child (or an adult) that doesn't include platefuls of my mom's homemade Christmas cookies. That's the thing about Christmas and cookies. Christmas traditions may vary wildly from family to family, but generally, cookies are involved.
'Tis the Season to Bake Cookies
Recently, a reader sent me a cookie recipe that's been in her family for generations, saying "They take a few hours to make and are gone in a few minutes. My husband and grown children can't get enough of them!" For many of us, it's recipes like that make Christmas Christmas.
What follows is a list of some of my all-time favorite Christmas cookie recipes. Some are old, some are new, all are deliciously nostalgic.
If YOU, dear baker, have a favorite family Christmas cookie recipe that isn't a closely guarded secret, I'd love nothing more than for you to share it too. Leave it in the comments if you dare so that others might have the privilege of baking it too. We may not all be able to get together for a giant cookie swap (how much fun would that be???) but, we can at least share a few of our favorites recipes.
- 'Tis the Season to Bake Cookies
- #1. Cranberry pistachio cookies
- #2. Chewy brown sugar cookies
- #3. White chocolate chip cookies
- #4. Frosted brown butter citrus shortbread Christmas cookies
- #5. Christmas funfetti cookies
- #6. Double chocolate kiss cookies
- #7. Malted White Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Halva Buttercream
- #8. Marshmallow brownie crinkle cookies
- #9. Chocolate fruit and nut shortbread cookies
- #10. Spritz wreath cookies
- #11. Peppermint hot fudge thumbprint cookies
- #12. Cherry almond rugelach
- #13. Chocolate mint brownies
- #14. Mini gingersnaps
- 💬 Comments
#1. Cranberry pistachio cookies
These incredibly rich and tender pistachio shortbread cookies are baked with a dollop of cranberry orange sauce, then drizzled with vanilla icing, and topped with a crunchy sprinkle of roasted pistachios. They are pretty little jewel-like cookies with all the right flavors and colors for the holiday season.
#2. Chewy brown sugar cookies
These little brown sugar cookies are outrageously soft and chewy with an intense toffee-like flavor that comes from brown butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, ready to bake any time you wish. And the cookies themselves stay soft and chewy for days. Not that they're likely to last that long.
#3. White chocolate chip cookies
These brown butter white chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy with a rich toffee flavor that just melts in your mouth. Make the basic recipe or toss in some macadamia nuts or dried cranberries for white chocolate macadamia cookies or white chocolate cranberry cookies.
#4. Frosted brown butter citrus shortbread Christmas cookies
These are, without a doubt, the BEST tasting decorated Christmas Cookies I've ever eaten. Brown butter citrus shortbread is delicious all on its own - buttery, not overly sweet, and laced with the subtle flavors of orange, lemon, and lime.
Dark and white chocolate fondants are easy to work with, gorgeously glossy, and taste wonderful with the brown butter citrus flavor of the cookies.
#5. Christmas funfetti cookies
Christmas Funfetti Cookies are super soft and chewy, bursting with the flavors of butter and vanilla, and packed with Christmas funtetti sprinkles. The perfect holiday recipe for those times when you want something uncomplicated, delicious, and fun, fun, fun.
With or without the funfetti sprinkles, this is my absolute favorite vanilla sugar cookie recipe. They have a slightly crispy exterior while managing to remain soft and chewy on the inside. Most importantly, they are bursting with the flavors of butter and vanilla.
#6. Double chocolate kiss cookies
These delicious little chocolate shortbread cookies have a surprise chocolate kiss in the center. 😘
These are especially great cookies to bake with young children. The dough is a simple shortbread requiring only a handful of ingredients, and rolling it around a chocolate kiss is a fun and easy task for small hands.
#7. Malted White Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Halva Buttercream
These buttery shortbread sandwich cookies are flavored with white chocolate and malted milk powder then filled with delicious halva buttercream and drizzled with white and dark chocolate.
#8. Marshmallow brownie crinkle cookies
These fun chocolate and marshmallow sandwich cookies are made with brownie-like chocolate crinkle cookies and homemade marshmallow piped onto the cookies while still warm. These cookies are chewy, fudgy, soft, and gooey, with crispy brownie edges.
#9. Chocolate fruit and nut shortbread cookies
There are so many good things going on in these tasty little shortbread cookies. Packed with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate, each bite delivers some new combination of sweet, salty, fruity, chocolate, and nuttiness.
#10. Spritz wreath cookies
Buttery and tender spritz cookies originated in Germany and are typically made from little more than flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. This spritz cookie recipe is nearly that simple but includes a bit of cream, vanilla, and almond extracts to add more flavor.
#11. Peppermint hot fudge thumbprint cookies
If you love chocolate, these chocolate thumbprint cookies are dangerously delicious. The cookie is a rich, buttery chocolate shortbread that practically melts in your mouth. But then, instead of the more traditional fruit filling, these thumbprint cookies are filled with peppermint hot fudge.
The result tastes a bit like a mug of hot chocolate in cookie form.
#12. Cherry almond rugelach
This cherry almond rugelach recipe includes tender, flaky cream cheese dough wrapped around tart cherry jam and roasted almonds for a cookie that's like a delicious two-bite rolled-up tart.
The cream cheese dough is super easy to work with and produces gorgeous layers of flaky pastry that's buttery and not overly sweet.
#13. Chocolate mint brownies
Calling all chocolate and peppermint lovers! These rich chocolate mint brownies, topped with mint icing, bitter chocolate glaze, and chopped creme de menthe mints, are about as mint-chocolatey as you can get.
#14. Mini gingersnaps
These little chewy Gingersnap Cookies are all about sugar and spice, and everything nice. They are sweet little two-bite treats, bursting with Christmas spices, and positively addicting.