We’ve Got All The Christmas Cookies You’re Going To Want To Make This Holiday Season

There's only 25 days of Christmas, so start baking now.

New! You can now save recipes. It's free!
sugar cookies decorated like santa claus with white frosting, red sprinkles, and chocolate for eyes

We can all agree: One of the BEST parts of the holiday season are all the sweet treats, the most classic of which are Christmas cookies. We get excited every year to combine our old standbys with creative and innovative recipes to share with friends and family. Luckily, there are myriad opportunities to try them all out, whether you're making them for a party, to give as gifts, or just to enjoy during a cozy night in at home. Whether you’re a master baker looking for a new challenge or a kitchen novice looking for easy recipes, you can get in on the holiday baking fun. Check out our favorite Christmas cookies for ideas—don’t forget to make enough to leave out for Santa and his reindeer too.

When creating this list, we thought of the perfect Christmas cookie box that’s got a little something for everyone in it. You’re going to want to start with whatever recipes you think are the most classic—like gingerbread cookies, spritz cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, peanut butter blossoms...—then go wild.

Want to add a little whimsy? There’s SO much you can do with a basic sugar cookie, whether you want to add color to the dough itself, like in our Christmas pinwheels, our candy cane cookies, or our checkerboard cookies; or on top in the form of royal icing or frosting, like in our snowflake cookies, our tie-dye Christmas tree cookies, our leg lamp cookies, or our Santa cookies (in the shape of the big man’s face).

Looking to bowl people over with unexpected flavor? Try our Santa’s trash cookies, our white chocolate cranberry orange biscotti, our panettone cookies, or our molasses cookies. Another way to add intrigue to your cookie selection is to bake up traditional holiday cookies from around the world, like our Middle Eastern ma’amoul, our Polish kolaczki cream cheese cookies, our Italian cuccidati, or our Mexican polvorones.

While we’re all for completely homemade recipes, Christmas is also one of the best holidays to get creative with store-bought options. These are great for any variety of decorating party, especially ones with little kids. You really just need some icing or frosting, some miniature candies, and a little bit of creativity to create holiday masterpieces. Check out our melted snowmen cookies, our Milano reindeer cookies, our rolo ornament cookies, our Christmas light cookies, or our Oreo Christmas tree for ideas, but feel free to get creative. The fun of decorating is the best part!

chocolate crinkle cookies with powdered sugar
1 of 92
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These extra fudgy chocolate cookies are just as beautiful as they are delicious. The best ways to guarantee your crinkles stand out? Chill your dough and roll it in powdered sugar twice.

Get the Chocolate Crinkle Cookies recipe.

spritz cookies 2022
Photographer: Erik Bernstein, Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne
2 of 92
Spritz Cookies

These buttery cookies are named after the German word “spritzen,” which means “to squirt,” because of the cookie press used to form their signature shapes. From snowflakes to Christmas trees, spritz cookies can come in many festive forms. We use food coloring to add another level of holiday cheer—but you can also decorate them with colorful sugar and sprinkles if you’d like.

Get the Spritz Cookies recipe.

santa's trash cookies
Lindsay Conchar
3 of 92
Santa's Trash Cookies

Even Santa has a snacky side. These cookies are loaded with chocolate chips, sprinkles, pretzels, and potato chips for the salty-sweet dessert of your (and his!) dreams.

Get the Santa's Trash Cookies recipe.

christmas tree cookies decorated with tie dye style green and white swirl icing
4 of 92
Christmas Tree Cookies

It isn't Christmas without cookies, and this year, we're starting with these trees decorated with a super-simple marbling technique that's totally Tik Tok-worthy. It's perfect for getting kids involved or for using on other holiday cookie shapes, like candy canes done with a red and white marble or snowflake shapes done in blue and white. The possibilities are endless!

Get the Christmas Tree Cookies recipe.

panettone cookies
5 of 92
Panettone Cookies

To think a fluffy, enriched bread can somehow translate into a buttery cookie might seem preposterous. But don’t stop reading! These cookie are the perfect base for the orange peel, currants, dried apricots, chocolate, and almonds you love about the original, with half the work.

Get the Panettone Cookies recipe.

snowball cookies
Ethan Calabrese
6 of 92
Snowball Cookies

Fair warning: the powdery confectioner's sugar that makes these snowballs "snowy" and delicious can end up dousing you in sugar with every bite, so make sure you have napkins ready and eat them over a plate to catch the winter wonderland. We should also say that this mess is totally worth it for these nutty sweet cookies, and they couldn't be easier to make.

Get the Snowball Cookies recipe.

sugar cookies decorated like santa claus with white frosting, red sprinkles, and chocolate for eyes
7 of 92
Santa Cookies

Here's a crazy idea that just might be brilliant: This year, leave the plate of cookies for Santa in his own image. He'll love sliding down the chimney to see his portrait! (Just don't forget the carrots and celery for the reindeer.)

Get the Santa Cookies recipe.

italian ricotta cookies
8 of 92
Italian Ricotta Cookies

These melt-in-your-mouth holiday cookies are an Italian classic, and a breeze to make. What’s more fun than frosting? Sprinkles! You can adorn these cookies with any combination of sprinkles, whether for a Christmas celebration or just another Tuesday.

Get the Italian Ricotta Cookies recipe.

decorated soft gingerbread cookies
Parker Feierbach
9 of 92
Gingerbread Cookies

For us, gingerbread should have a lot of ground ginger, a bit of cinnamon, and a tiny amount of cloves. It's the perfect Christmas formula. But if you don't have cloves (or really loathe them), you can just leave them out. As for the ginger, it's necessary but negotiable. Feel free to use less.

Get the Gingerbread Cookies recipe.

peanut butter blossoms
Parker Feierbach
10 of 92
Peanut Butter Blossoms

As the story goes, a woman by the name of Mrs. Freda F. Smith from Ohio developed the original recipe for these for The Grand National Pillsbury Bake-Off competition in 1957. She lost, but her cookies still became legendary, particularly after Pillsbury instated the Bake-Off Hall of Fame and ranked her recipe 7th on the list. The more you know!

Get the Peanut Butter Blossoms recipe.

red and white swirled peppermint meringues dipped in chocolate and crushed peppermint
11 of 92
Peppermint Meringues

A cookie box filled with a wide assortment of shapes, sizes and colors is such a treat to gift during the holidays. These peppermint meringues are the perfect addition to add a pop of color and fun. They practically scream “holiday!” and they taste fantastic as well.

Get the Peppermint Meringues recipe.

reindeer cookies
12 of 92
Milano Reindeer Cookies

These are the cutest upgrade to store-bought Milanos, and are a fun holiday project for little kids to get in on. Swap for the mint Milanos to make them extra festive!

Get the Milano Reindeer Cookies recipe.

candy cane cookies
Andrew Bui
13 of 92
Candy Cane Cookies

These cookies look so much more complicated than they are. They are actually just a simple sugar cookie where half of the dough gets dyed red and then twisted together. So simple!

Get the Candy Cane Cookies recipe.

white chocolate cranberry orange biscotti
14 of 92
White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Biscotti

A lot of treats consider themselves coffee/tea companions, but none hold a candle to the crispy, crunchy goodness that is the humble biscotti. These have the classic flavor combination of cranberry and orange, and we dipped in white chocolate and coated in chopped pistachios to add a little extra indulgence.

Get the White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Biscotti recipe.

basic sugar cookies — delishcom
Parker Feierbach
15 of 92
Perfect Sugar Cookies

This recipe is the only one you need. It embodies both form and function: Not only does it taste fantastically buttery with just the right amount of sweetness, it also holds its shape, is perfect for decorating, and will get you sharp, clean edges every time after baking.

Get the Perfect Sugar Cookies recipe.

christmas pinwheel cookies
Emily Hlavac Green
16 of 92
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

These easy pinwheel cookies are beyond mesmerizing but also so easy to make. Make a batch of our easy sugar cookie dough, then dye one half red. Then simply roll them together to create the swirl. The sprinkles are optional but they add so much extra fun!

Get the Christmas Pinwheel Cookies recipe.

amaretti cookies dusted with powdered sugar
17 of 92
Amaretti Cookies

If you like the flavor of French macarons, you'll love this take on Italian amaretti cookies. Soft, pillowy, moist, sweet, and lightly scented with amaretto liqueur as well as citrus zests, these cookies get made multiple times a season, year after year.

Get the Amaretti Cookies recipe.

oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies
18 of 92
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

Looking for a super-satisfying new favorite cookie? We found it: This amazing cookie has the kick of tangy cranberry balanced with creamy, sweet white chocolate, all rounded out with satisfying, good-for-you oats.

Get the Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies recipe.

stained glass cookies
Erik Bernstein
19 of 92
Stained Glass Cookies

Love sugar cookies but hate decorating them? These are for you! Simply fill cookie cutouts with hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, then bake. The candies will melt then turn soft and chewy after cooling, adding a bright pop of color to your holiday dessert table.

Get the Stained Glass Cookies recipe.

peppermint meltaways cookies topped with pink icing and crushed peppermint cookies
20 of 92
Peppermint Meltaways

These cookies have a velvety, melt-in-your-mouth texture and are topped with a pretty pink frosting, plus a shower of peppermints. There's just a touch of peppermint extract in the dough to lend the cookies a festive but not overpowering taste.

Get the Peppermint Meltaways recipe.

sugar cookies decorated with icing to look like ugly christmas sweaters
21 of 92
Ugly Sweater Cookies

Looking to wow people at the Christmas cookie swap this year? Look no further than these gorgeous cookies. We know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but these stunners truly redefine "ugly sweater."

Get the Ugly Sweater Cookies recipe.

chocolate peppermint cookies half covered in chocolate with crushed peppermint candies
22 of 92
Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

With a texture similar to a crinkle cookie (minus the sugar coating), these chocolate peppermint crunch cookies are soft in the center and slightly chewy around the edges. They're made extra festive with a dip in melted chocolate and crushed peppermint candies too.

Get the Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies recipe.

ornament cookies
Yossy Arefi
23 of 92
Rolo Ornament Cookies

These are the perfect cookie decorating project for kids (and adults who just feel like one this time of year!). All you've got to do is snag some Lofthouse cookies and candy from the store, then get creative with the ornament decorations.

Get the Rolo Ornament Cookies recipe.

leg lamp cookies
Bryce Johnson
24 of 92
Leg Lamp Cookies

We know you'll be whipping up Christmas cookies this holiday season, and there's no better way to stand out from the crowd of classic chocolate chip and basic sugar cookies than with a platter of these gams, which fans of the movie A Christmas Story might deem hotter than "electric sex" and "indescribably beautiful." 😉

Get the Leg Lamp Cookies recipe.

25 of 92
Hot Chocolate Brownie Cups

It's officially hot cocoa season, and we've got the cutest dessert ever to celebrate with. They look a little tricky but they couldn't be easier. We gave ours a Christmas spin with red and green sprinkles, but they're perfect for any winter holiday or snow day.

Get the Hot Chocolate Brownie Cups recipe.

no bake oatmeal cookies
Parker Feierbach
26 of 92
No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Want to get in on some Christmas cookie baking, but aren't so confident in the kitchen? These peanut butter chocolate cookies for you—they're a breeze to make and almost impossible to mess up.

Get the No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies recipe.

grinch cookies
Andrew Bui
27 of 92
Grinch Cookies

Not everyone's all about the Christmas cheer, and that's okay! These adorable sugar cookies will warm hearts even if they're 10 sizes too small this holiday season.

Get the Grinch Cookies recipe.

pfeffernüsse  delishcom
28 of 92

Barely crunchy on the outside and soft and fudgy on the inside, these cookies call for a thick cardamom-flavored glaze that hardens into a candy-like shell. The addition of fresh ginger, orange zest, and rum gives these little bites a warm sweetness that blends well with the dark notes of molasses and black pepper.

Get the Pfeffernüsse recipe.

snowflake cookies
Andrew Bui
29 of 92
Snowflake Cookies

These elegant snowflake cookies turn our best-ever sugar cookie dough into a magical work of art. Trust us: You don't need any special kind of decorating expertise to pull these off—just a snowflake cookie cutter and some decorating sugar pearls.

Get the Snowflake Cookies recipe.

cannoli cookies with chocolate chips and pistachios, drizzled with chocolate
30 of 92
Cannoli Cookies

If you love cannoli, but making them from scratch seems daunting, let us introduce you to these cookies. They all of the flavors you love in a cannoli, like ricotta, orange zest, mini chocolate chips, and pistachios, yet they require just a fraction of the effort (perfect for a busy holiday season!).

Get the Cannoli Cookies recipe.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Desserts