Christmas is many people’s favorite holiday, and what’s not to love about it? It is a time to sing holiday carols and buy gifts for loved ones, attend holiday parties and decorate the house, and enjoy the wonderful smells of cinnamon and mint while spending time with family and friends. But one of the best parts about the season is baking Christmas cookies.
If you’re planning on baking a bunch of different kinds of cookies and dividing them between tins to hand out to friends and family, then it is a good idea to start planning your Christmas cookie list long before Thanksgiving turkeys are available in the grocery store. We have compiled a list of 50 Easy Christmas Cookies right here for your viewing pleasure. Which recipe will you try first?
Before we get started, let’s learn a little bit more about baking Christmas cookies and which recipes are the best options for you and your family to enjoy this holiday season.
What’s the Most Popular Christmas Cookie?
Most people naturally think that sugar cookies are the most popular Christmas cookies. However, you might be surprised to learn that when the population was surveyed, chocolate chip cookies took first place.
Sugar cookies did come in second, although there was quite a wide margin between these two popular cookie types. Of course, it’s all about choosing the cookies that suit you and your family the best over the holiday season.
That’s why today we’re going to share 50 of the best holiday cookie recipes, so you have plenty of different options to choose from this year.
What Cookies are Associated with Christmas?
When you think of Christmas, you probably have a certain type of cookie that you always associate with this time of year. Most of us think of sugar cookies at Christmas, as they are so easy to make and can be decorated in a festive manner.
These are just a few of the most popular Christmas cookies you might want to try baking this year
- Sugar cookies
- Gingerbread cookies
- Chocolate crinkle cookies
- Italian Christmas cookies
- Molasses cookies
Of course, you may also want to take inspiration from other countries and try out some new recipes this year. We love trying Italian, French, German, and other European cookie recipes, which will add some variety to your holiday spread this season.
What is the Original Christmas Cookie?
When we trace back to the origin of the Christmas cookie, you’ll find that gingerbread is the classic Christmas cookie option. This type of cookie would have been made all the way back in the Middle Ages.
It uses a combination of ginger, cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg, which combine to create a rich and delicious cookie with all of the tastes of Christmas in each bite. While our cooking techniques and equipment have certainly progressed since this time, this is still one of the most popular Christmas cookie options to this date.
The tradition of gifting Christmas cookies to your friends and family members also dates back to this time. In the past, apricots and dates were added to create more texture and sweetness, and they were prized items alongside butter, sugar, and lard.
Only the best cooks would have access to these, and families would sometimes splash out on these items for the Christmas season. Cookies are so easy to share, and during this time, families and friends would exchange cookies as a simple Christmas gift for everyone else to enjoy.
The tradition of cookie baking is a great one to carry on to this day. Even if you can’t spend a fortune on Christmas during these challenging times, baking cookies for your friends show how much you treasure them. The effort you put in will show how much you value those who are closest to you in your life.
What is the Most Eaten Cookie in the US?
Cookies are incredibly popular throughout the year in the US. The most commonly eaten cookie here is the chocolate chip cookie, which you’ll find are quick and easy to make at home or can easily be bought from a store.
In over 18 states, this is the number-one selling cookie, so it’s no surprise you can find them almost anywhere.
Other popular cookies include
- M&M cookies
- Sugar cookies
We all have our favorite cookie though, so don’t be afraid to stick to the one you know and love this holiday season.
How Many Cookies Are Eaten During Christmas?
Millions of Christmas cookies are baked and eaten each year in the US alone at Christmas, let alone when you consider the rest of the world. A fun fact to consider is how many families leave cookies out for Santa Claus each year.
It’s a tradition that many of us still enjoy doing and one that over a million households in the US take part in. In fact, if Santa took just two bites of each cookie that children leave out for him around the world, he’d eat over 330 billion cookies in just one night.
It’s no surprise that he’s able to get around the world so quickly ahead of the big day.
Can Christmas Cookies Be Made in Advance?
Christmas is one of the most hectic times of year for families, so you might be looking for ways to save time ahead of the big day. Most of the cookies we share today could be made a few days in advance of Christmas, but you’ll need to ensure you store them in a sealed container.
Some cookies can also be made and frozen, which offers you a way to always have a sweet treat on hand after a busy day at work. One thing to keep in mind is that most cookies do taste best when they are served fresh out of the oven.
A great way to always do this is to create cookie dough in advance and then just pop your cookies in the oven on the day you need to serve them. This means you and your family can enjoy freshly-baked cookies at any time of the day or night.
50 Christmas Cookies Recipes Everyone Will Love
1. Chewy Molasses Cookies
These chewy molasses cookies will quickly become one of your family’s favorite Christmas cookies. They are ideal for serving alongside sugar cookies and are packed with flavor.
The good thing about these cookies is that they are soft and chewy, so they are suitable for the youngest and oldest family members to enjoy.
2. German Chocolate Cake Cookies
Take inspiration from the German Christmas markets when cooking this German chocolate cake cookie recipe. These are ideal for the chocolate lovers in your family and would be best served alongside a warm cup of hot cocoa.
3. Cookies and Cream Christmas Cookies
Kids will absolutely adore these cookies and cream cookies this holiday season. You’ll use Oreo cookies within the recipe, which is an easy way to add the cookies and cream flavor to your baking.
With chocolate chunks in the recipe as well, these are another good option for the chocoholics in your family.
4. Italian Ricotta Christmas Cookies
Italians are known for their delicious bakery goods at this time of the year. Italian ricotta cookies might look like sugar cookies after they are frosted, but they’ll add some variety to your holiday cookie tray this year.
5. Triple Ginger Snaps
No holiday cookie tray is complete without at least one ginger-based cookie recipe. Triple ginger snaps are packed with flavor yet make a simple and unpretentious cookie for adults to enjoy.
6. Turtle Thumbprint Christmas Cookies
If you are looking for budget-friendly gifts for your family and friends this year, turtle thumbprint cookies would be a fun way to celebrate the season. Bake a huge batch of cookies and then bag them up to share a sweet treat this Christmas.
7. Chocolate Mint Macarons
For the more adventurous chefs among us, try these chocolate mint macarons. There’s certainly an art to making macarons, but it’s a fun challenge if you’ve never tried baking them before.
8. Chocolate Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossoms
Enjoy this festive twist on the classic cookie with these Christmas tree peanut butter blossoms. They will make a really cute addition to your festive spread and offer a bite-sized sweet treat after a big holiday meal.
9. Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
We were blown away when we tried these Dulce de Leche sandwich cookies for the first time. Not only do they look stunning, but they will make a rich and delicious addition to your holiday cookie spread.
10. Linzer Christmas Cookies
Linzer Cookies may look difficult to make, but they are much easier than you could ever imagine to bake. To mix things up this holiday season, switch up the jam flavor that you use in the center of each cookie for more variety.
11. Eggnog Oatmeal Cookies
Eggnog oatmeal cookies may sound like an odd combination, but you’ll be surprised by how delicious the flavors of eggnog and oatmeal are when they are combined. You’ll finish off these cookies with a light frosting, adding a little more sweetness to the dish.
12. Rolo Cookies with Sea Salt
Rolo cookies with sea salt add a touch of salt to balance out the sweetness of this popular candy. When cooking desserts or baking items this holiday season, you can always try adding a sprinkle of sea salt to make the dish more enjoyable for anyone who struggles with overly sweet foods.
13. Christmas Tree Cookie Stacks
If you can’t decide between cakes and cookies this year, try out these Christmas tree cookie stacks. They will make such a fun addition to a holiday party, and kids will love getting involved in the fun of icing these cookie stacks.
14. Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies
While the previous cookies were great for the whole family, adults will appreciate these chocolate mint sandwich cookies. By adding bright green frosting in the center, you’ll add a festive touch to any cookie this holiday season.
15. Peppermint Candy Cane Christmas Cookies
These peppermint candy cane cookies have to go down as the cutest cookie on our Christmas cookies list today. They will wow any guest you serve them to this holiday season and will make a fun addition to a holiday party.
16. Peppermint Snowcap Meringues Christmas Cookies
If you are looking for a lighter addition to your cookie selection this holiday season, we recommend adding peppermint snowcap meringues into the mix. These are good for anyone who finds cookies to be a little too filling and will make a lighter addition to the end of a big meal.
17. Snowball Christmas Cookies
Snowball cookies are such a fun way to celebrate Christmas, and kids will love helping to bake these. Create a mountain of these cookies to place in the center of your holiday cookie display to make you feel like you are living in a winter wonderland.
18. Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Chocolate coconut cookies combine two of our favorite cookie flavors into one dish. You’ll find that the coconut topping helps to lighten the taste of these rich cookies, making them a crowd-pleasing option for anyone you serve them to.
19. Triple Chocolate Turtle Christmas Cookies
While we shared one type of turtle cookie already, you’ll find these triple chocolate turtle cookies will make a good addition to these previous ones. Turtle cookies are much simpler than you might think to make, and they will impress anyone you serve them to this year.
20. Cranberry Orange Cookies
Get in the festive mood with two of our favorite holiday fruits combined in one cookie. Cranberry orange cookies make a nice change from some of the rich chocolate cookies we’ve shared so far and will be a hit with your whole family.
21. Homemade Peppermint Oreos Christmas Cookies
If your whole family loves Oreos, have a go at making these homemade peppermint Oreos for yourself. When you make your favorite store-bought treats yourself, you know exactly what will go into each and every bite.
22. Italian Anisette Cookies
These Italian anisette “S” cookies will make another pretty addition to a holiday cookie tray. They are another good example of delicious Italian baking, which anyone will enjoy on a tray of Christmas cookies.
23. No Bake Christmas Tree Cookies
The holiday season is incredibly busy for all of us. These no bake Christmas tree cookies are ideal for anyone who hates spending their time in the kitchen during this busy time of the year.
24. Ginger Spice Spritz Christmas Cookies
Ginger spice spritz cookies are another pretty cookie option. They incorporate ginger, which is one of the most popular flavors for this time of the year and is a must to add to any cookie tray.
25. Toffee Almond Snowball Cookies
If you want to take your snowball cookies to the next level, try these toffee almond snowball cookies. Combining two classic cookie flavors in each bite, they will also look great in a festive holiday bowl.
26. Viennese Crescents
Are you hosting a Christmas coffee morning this year? Viennese crescents would be the ideal cookie to serve alongside freshly made coffee or tea.
They are a good adult cookie, but be careful of the messy icing sugar on top.
27. Christmas Cookie Tree
For anyone who loves Christmas baking more than anything else, we challenge you to make this Christmas cookie tree. It tastes just as delicious as it looks but makes a fun holiday decoration as well.
You’ll stack layers of different-sized cookies to make one of the most impressive cookies on our list today.
28. Eggnog Thumbprints
Eggnog thumbprints create a cookie based on this classic Christmas drink. They are little bite-sized cookies that are good for after a heavy meal or when you feel like you need a little pick-me-up after a long day of playing with your children’s new toys.
29. Perfect Cut Sugar Cookies
No Christmas cookies list would be complete without sugar cookies. While you can make your typical sugar cookies as well, perfect cut sugar cookies are a fun way to get your whole family involved in the kitchen.
Everyone can choose their favorite shape of cookie and then decorate it to make a personalized treat they’ll love eating later on.
30. Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies
Red velvet thumbprint cookies add to the red and white color scheme for the season. You’ll use a festive chocolate in the center of each cookie, adding more color to the dish.
Red velvet cookies are a hit all year round, so you’ll likely enjoy returning to this cookie recipe further down the line.
31. Classic Sugar Cookies
These classic sugar cookies will soon become your go-to recipe for the holiday season. No spread of Christmas cookies would be complete without them, and they are easy to make even if you don’t usually enjoy baking throughout the year.
32. Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies
Many people struggle to eat a lot of Christmas cookies due to their hard texture. You’ll find these soft and chewy ginger cookies make a good alternative to some of the crunchier cookies on our list today and will be ideal for adding to your Christmas cookie platter.
33. Soft Christmas Cookies
These soft Christmas cookies could be paired with the cookies we shared above for another option for anyone who doesn’t enjoy crunchy cookies. Older members of your family will be pleased you have accommodated them and will enjoy the memory of their favorite childhood cookies.
34. Holiday Cutout Cookies
For the more artistic members of your family, you’ll want to have a party where you enjoy decorating your holiday cutout cookies. Older children will enjoy getting creative in the kitchen and designing cookies that they can show off to their family and friends.
35. Holiday Crinkle Cookies
Cocoa powder gives these holiday crinkle cookies their rich taste. The outside of the cookie is slightly crunchy, and in the middle, you’ll find they are tender and chewy. With an intense chocolate taste, you’ll find you only need one of these cookies to feel fully satisfied.
36. Oatmeal Holiday Cookie Surprises
Oats make a slightly healthier base for your Christmas cookies this year. These oatmeal holiday cookie surprises will be a good option for adults and kids alike, and you can enjoy them through the month of December.
37. Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
People often think pinwheel cookies would be a challenge to bake, but this Christmas pinwheel cookies recipe takes you through detailed instructions to bake this delicious treat. They’ll look really pretty on your holiday buffet, and you’ll be impressed how easy they were to make if you’ve never tried them before.
38. Easy Chocolatey Holiday Cookies
We don’t all have hours of free time to spend cooking this holiday season. Try out these easy chocolatey holiday cookies when you need a sweet treat in a rush.
39. Healthy No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies
You might be wondering if a cookie can really be healthy, but these healthy no bake Christmas cookies contain more nutritious ingredients than any of the other Christmas cookies you are likely to try this year.
40. Holiday Butter Cookies
Holiday butter cookies are another simple yet delicious option to add to your tray of cookies. They are quick and easy to make and require only simple ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen.
41. Swedish Holiday Cookies
One of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays is by learning about other cultures and their celebrations. Swedish holiday cookies will be a huge hit with your whole family and are well worth trying out this year.
42. M&M Christmas Cookies
You can’t go wrong with M&M Christmas Cookies, and this recipe offers you a festive twist on your year-round favorite cookie.
43. Raspberry Holiday Cookies
Raspberry Holiday Cookies might seem like an unusual choice of fruit for this time of year. You’ll find they make a great change though from the rich chocolate cookies and offer a tangy yet sweet cookie for the holiday season.
44. Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
Almond flour sugar cookies are ideal for anyone who is trying to be more mindful about what they eat this holiday season. Almond flour offers many benefits over typical flour, but you’ll still be able to enjoy a delicious spread of cookies this year.
45. Stained Glass Holiday Cookies
Brighten up any holiday cookie spread with these easy stained glass holiday cookies. They will make a bold and fun addition to any holiday buffet and add a little color to the beige spreads we often see at this time of the year.
46. Low Carb Holiday Cookies
Even if you are following a low-carb diet, you won’t have to miss out on the fun this holiday season. Try out these low carb holiday cookies for a sweet treat without ruining your healthy eating plan.
47. Red Velvet Santa Hat Cookies
We were blown away by how cute these cookies were when we first tried them. Red velvet Santa hat cookies would be great for a children’s holiday party and will impress anyone who tries them.
48. Low Fat Holiday Sugar Cookies
You might not think it’s possible to find low fat cookies, but we’re here to show you how. These low fat holiday sugar cookies are another guilt-free treat to add to some of the other healthier Christmas cookies on our list today.
They are good for anyone who is already thinking ahead to next year and their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier.
49. Gluten-Free Holiday Sugar Cookies
Catering to anyone on a gluten-free diet can be a challenge at this time of the year. You don’t want them to miss out on all of their favorite holiday treats, but you still need to be very careful about the bakery goods that you serve.
When serving family members on a gluten-free diet this year, try out these gluten-free holiday sugar cookies. You’ll be surprised how delicious they taste, and you can easily serve them to everyone in your family to reduce the amount of baking you need to do.
50. Peanut Butter Cup Christmas Cookies
Peanut butter is a staple ingredient in cookie recipes, and we couldn’t finish off our list of Christmas cookies without one recipe including it. The peanut butter cup Christmas cookies shared here are a fun addition to any holiday party.
You’ll find they are much simpler to make than you might imagine and will make a bit of a change to the classic sugar cookies and chocolate cookies we eat a lot of at this time of the year.
They are an indulgent treat that anyone will appreciate, especially the teens and adults in your family.
FAQs About Baking Christmas Cookies
Why Are Cookies a Symbol of Christmas?
Cookies can be enjoyed at any time of the year, but many families often associate them with Christmas. We can trace the history of Christmas cookies back to Medieval Europe.
They were first introduced by Dutch and German settlers, who brought cookie cutters and molds with them. It was at this time that we first started to see festive-shaped cookies like the ones we still enjoy eating to this day.
The first cookie that was associated with Christmas was the German lebkuchen or gingerbread, which is one of the most festive cookies you can bake. We’ve shared some delicious ginger-based recipes above, which your whole family will enjoy eating to get in the festive mood this year.
Who Invented the Sugar Cookie?
It’s believed that the sugar cookie was first created around the mid-1700s. It was first created in Nazareth in Pennsylvania, and it was baked by German Protestant settlers.
Sugar cookies are round and crumbly cookies that have a lot of butter in their mix, and in the past, they were referred to as the Nazareth cookie. One of the reasons that these cookies are so popular at this time of year is that they can easily be colored and decorated.
Kids and adults alike love designing and decorating fun cookies that they can share with the whole family during the Christmas season.
How Far in Advance Can You Bake Holiday Cookies?
How early you can bake your Christmas cookie will depend on the type of cookies you are making. While some cookies are best enjoyed fresh from the oven, like a classic chocolate chip cookie, other German and Scandinavian recipes will remain fresh for many days after you bake them.
One way to save time with your holiday baking is to make the dough or weigh out the ingredients ahead of time. Then you’ll be ready to pop a fresh batch of cookies in the oven on Christmas morning when you wake up.
For anyone who is worried about the lack of time, they have over Christmas, opt for something like amaretti or biscotti. Amaretti can keep for a whopping two months, whereas biscotti is good for a few weeks.
This is a great way to reduce the time you spend in the kitchen and enjoy more time with your family over the holiday season.
What is a Turtle Cookie?
Turtle cookies are a popular type of cookie which you can enjoy at any time of the year. They are a great option to serve after a festive meal, and we love making these as gifts for friends and family members.
They are chocolate cookies, which are then rolled in pecans and filled with melted caramel in the center. On the top, you’ll drizzle a generous amount of melted chocolate, which finishes them off ready to serve to your friends and family.
Of course, be careful about serving these to younger children or anyone with a nut allergy. You can always replace the pecans with something else or remove the nuts altogether in order to make a safer cookie for anyone in your family with these concerns.
Can You Make Healthy Holiday Cookies?
While many of us enjoy indulging over the holiday season, there are various reasons you might be looking for a healthy holiday cookie recipe. The great news is that you can bake great cookies which are gluten-free, sugar-free, or dairy-free.
In our list of the top 50 Christmas cookies we shared above, you’ll find some great examples of healthier cookies. While they might not taste exactly the same as the cookies you buy from your local store, you’ll find that they make the holiday season a little more enjoyable for anyone who struggles with certain ingredients.
One of the great things about baking at home as opposed to buying store-bought cookies is that you have greater control over what’s added to your bakery goods.
You can simply remove or add ingredients to fit your preferences, and you’ll find that you can enjoy customizing cookies to make your ideal cookie each and every time. When it comes to baking for allergies, always check your ingredients as well.
Sometimes they are made in factories that also work with nuts or other allergens, so be very mindful about this when baking this holiday season.
Easy Christmas Cookies Conclusion
With so many different Christmas cookies to choose from, we’re excited to see which recipe you try out first. Of course, the holidays are a great time to spend more time in the kitchen, so why not make a huge variety of the cookies we’ve shared above?
By taking the time to try out different recipes, you’ll soon find you create new holiday traditions and enjoy baking different cookies year after year. Cookies are a great gift for your friends and family members this holiday season, and they’ll show how much you appreciate those people you are close to at this time of the year.
Whichever Christmas cookies you bake this year, we wish you a happy holiday and hope you enjoy celebrating with your loved ones this year.