The holiday season is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: cookies! We’ve created the ultimate list of Christmas cookie recipes to include in your celebrations, many of which are tried-and-true favorites from our own editors and staff. Whether you’re looking for the perfect cookie exchange recipe or a new twist on a classic cookie, our list has it all.
Christmas Lights Cookies with Royal Icing
While these cookies from Dessert for Two look like a million bucks, they are surprisingly easy to make yourself. Simple sugar cookies are topped with royal icing and artfully decorating using M&M's. You will totally win the cookies exchange this year!
Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
Cooking Classy's Peppermint Meltaway Cookies are the essence of the holidays. Light and airy peppermint-infused cookies are topped with fluffy homemade frosting and crushed candy canes. These bite-sized treats are sure to be a hit this holiday.
Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Ever heard of black cocoa powder? These gorgeous Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies from Liv For Cake are made with the rich dark baking ingredient and are a must! After baking, they are dipped in melting chocolate and crushed candy canes for the perfect holiday treat.
Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Nothing says the holidays quite like cranberry! Live Well Bake Often's Chocolate Cranberry Cookies are a feast for the senses. Creamy white chocolate chips and chewy dried cranberries not only make for a beautiful-looking cookie that will be the centerpiece of your cookie platter but a tasty one, too.
Candy Cane Cookies
These perfectly festive Candy Cane-shaped cookies from Kristine's Kitchen are the epitome of the holidays. Simple sugar cookie dough is twisted and shaped, baked, and then topped with crunchy peppermint candy. These are a great option for cookies exchanges or holiday bake sales!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
These aren't just any peanut butter cookies, they're Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies! Amanda's Cookin' puts a new spin on an otherwise simple cookie, making them perfect for the holidays. If you substitute cocoa powder in place of flour, the result is a chewy cookie that screams for a glass of milk.
Brown Sugar Cookies
Give your go-to cookies recipe a twist this holiday season and bake up some Brown Sugar Cookies. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven comes together quickly and is easily customizable when you use festive cookie cutters, colored frosting and sprinkles.
Chewy Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Post-holiday dinner dessert deserves a plate of these Chewy Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Bakers Brigade. Molasses and instant coffee come together in this chocolatey cookie that would be highly enjoyed with an espresso on the side.
Salted Caramel Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
The warm flavors of the holidays are all here in A Taste of Madness' Salted Caramel Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. Nutella, salted caramel and chocolate chips put a unique twist on the traditional cookie and makes it fancy enough for all your festivities.
Pinwheel Sugar Cookies
Knock your fam's socks off this holiday with Princess Pinky Girl's Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies. The different-colored dough is layered, rolled and sliced before baking to make these festive and fun cookies. Don't forget the sprinkles!
The holidays are a great time to try your hand at new recipes, and these Linzer cookies are the place to start. This recipe from Rasa Malaysia is made with buttery and crumbly dough that's baked into perfect circles and sandwiched together with a sweet jam. Don't forget the generous amount of powdered sugar on top!
Italian Almond Cookies
Need a simple cookie this holiday? This six-ingredient recipe for Italian Almond Cookies from An Italian In My Kitchen is for you. The buttery cookie is light and airy with the perfect amount of almond flavor. We imagine these as a perfect after-dinner treat enjoyed best with a cup of coffee.
What do you get when you combine the best cookie in the world with the most iconic Christmas flavor? Eggnog Snickerdoodles! Wondermom Wannabe has developed an easy way to combine your fave flavors into a chewy cookie that pairs great with a glass of milk, or let's be honest, eggnog.
Toffee Nutella Cookies
You had us at Nutella! Food Fanatic's Toffee Nutella Cookies is the perfect blend of hazelnut, chocolate and toffee that results in a chewy cookie that you won't be able to stop eating.
Speculoos Spice Cookies
Dust off your cookie cutters to make these traditional Dutch cookies from The View from Great Island. They’re subtly spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger, and they look great topped with a simple royal icing. Get all the details by clicking here.
Keep it simple (but oh so delicious) by making a batch of these fudge cookies from Simply Stacie. You can skip the nuts if your crew isn’t into them, and you’ll end up with a melt-in-your-mouth cookie either way. To get the recipe, click here.
Inspired by those addictive cookies found in the grocery store, these pretty cookies from The View from Great Island are bound to be a hit. Bake up delicate lace cookies, then layer them with dark chocolate to make the most delicious sandwich cookie. Click here to get the recipe.
Oreo cookies are already delicious, but these bonbons from Love & Risotto transform them into something special. Let your whole crew get involved in rolling up the bonbons and dipping them in chocolate—the final product will be super satisfying. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies
These cookies from The View from Great Island are super easy to make using your favorite flavor of jam. Let the kids get involved mixing the batter and topping them with the jam before popping the cookies in the oven. To grab the recipe, click here.
Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies
Get your gingerbread fix with these tasty cookies from Crazy for Crust. They’re filled with warm spices and molasses and are perfectly chewy. Topped off with M&Ms, you’ve got a dessert that’ll wow your whole crew. To get the recipe, click here.
Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
We guarantee that the little ones will love helping you decorate these adorable cookies from Bakergirl. Plus, you can swap out the peanut butter cookie for your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread recipe if that’s more your speed. To get the recipe, click here.
Nutella Cookies with Filling (Nutellotti)
Made with just four ingredients, these cookies from Italian Recipe Book are super easy to whip up. And since everyone loves Nutella, they’re bound to be a crowd pleaser. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Cranberry Orange Cookies
Brighten up your dessert table with these simple cookies from Cooking with Bliss. With a tangy mix of fresh cranberries and orange zest, they’re bound to be a family favorite. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Hazelnut Spread-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
It'll be tough to go back to regular old cookies after making these stuffed chocolate chip cookies. And, be sure to save a couple for yourself, because these ooey-gooey treats will be gobbled up in no time! Click here to get the recipe.
Soft Ginger Cookies
If you love the taste of gingerbread but are looking for a more kid-pleasing version, Veggie and the Beast‘s recipe for soft cookies should fit the bill. Rolled in a bit of white sugar, these little guys are a perfect balance of spiced and sweet. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Candy Twist
Looking for a classic cookie with a special holiday twist? Depending on the holiday, you can dress these cookies up and make them look like Christmas, Halloween, Easter or even Valentine’s Day. The secret is in the candy you choose and the perfect base recipe to draw from. Get it by clicking here.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Peanut butter and chocolate fans, take note: this classic recipe from House of Nash Eats is a must. Basic peanut butter cookies are taken to the next level with a chocolate kiss placed on top after baking. Click here to snag the recipe.
These nut-free cookies make a perfect lunchbox treat or after-school snack. Little ones and adults alike will love the combo of oats, sunflower butter, honey, coconut and dried cranberries. Click here for the full recipe.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
It’ll be easy to get the little ones involved in making these yummy cookies. They’ll love mixing up the batter and rolling the dough balls in powdered sugar—not to mention nibbling on their creations after they’ve been baked! To snag the recipe, click here.
Gingerbread Skillet Cookie
We love this fun twist on gingerbread cookies from Sempre Dolce. It’s way easier than rolling and cutting out each cookie, which makes it an instant winner for us. To find out how it’s done, click here.
Homemade Thin Mints
Unfortunately, we don’t usually see Girl Scouts selling their addictive cookies during the holiday season, but luckily there’s a way to get your Thin Mint fix with minimum effort. This recipe from Averie Cooks will be done in no time, and the cookies will disappear even faster! Click here to get the recipe.
Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
These crunchy chocolate chip cookies really go great with ... well, anything. We’ve tested them several times and we’re here to tell you that this simple recipe will impress your kids, teachers, neighbors and co-workers every time. Click here for your new go-to chocolate chip recipe!
Starry-Eyed Christmas Cookies
These little cookies couldn’t be easier—just melt some chocolate kisses on top of pretzels, and then the kiddos can help you decorate with festive M&Ms. Check out the recipe at The Wicked Noodle by clicking here.
Sugar-Free Chunky Monkey Cookies
If your kids are cookie obsessed, then make these cookies that you can feel good about sneaking in a second, third, maybe even fourth helping. Sophia from Veggies Don’t Bite created this recipe that is sugar-free (her solution is date paste!) and combines crispy oat edges with the sweet delicious flavor of chocolate chips. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Chocolate-Dipped Pineapple Macaroons
With the mix between homemade pineapple jam and bittersweet chocolate, these delectable bites are sweet, tart, chocolatey and chewy. Bonus: they’re gluten-free. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Ayren, Red Tricycle’s D.C. Editor, has a son who is allergic to peanuts, so she adapted this no-bake chocolate cookie recipe by swapping in almond butter or sunflower butter for the peanut butter. She tells us that the cookies are “chewy, chocolate-y, NO BAKE, and easy to make (i.e. kids can help). I forgot that I had to make cookies for my kid’s holiday party, so I tried these and, no lie, it took less than 15 minutes to make them.” Get the recipe by clicking here.
Sicilian Fig Cookies (Cuccidati)
Amber Guetebier, Red Tricycle’s Managing Editor, shares this recipe and tells us, “I made these for my Sicilian friend for Christmas. They are totally time-consuming (over 2 hrs from start to finish) but perfect if you want something autentico for the holidays, and if your kids are tenacious and into baking and getting covered in flour and honey." Curious? Get the recipe by clicking here.
You can’t go wrong with classic snickerdoodles, and this recipe from No. 2 Pencil puts a modern twist on the old favorite with the addition of nutty brown butter. What results is a thick and chewy cookie that the whole family will adore. Click here to get the recipe.
Raspberry Ribbon Cookies
There’s something about shortbread that screams holidays, so these raspberry ribbon cookies are a perfect choice. The little ones will love the delicious raspberry jam on top, too. Snag the recipe by clicking here.
Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
It’s not news that peanut butter and chocolate go great together, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised when these four-ingredient cookies from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook disappear shortly after pulling them from the oven. Believe it or not, they really do take just four ingredients and less than ten minutes prep! Waiting is truly the hardest part. To get the recipe, click here.
These little treats, also known as cinnamon Mexican wedding cookies, are definitely tastier than your average snowball. They’re a snap to make, too, leaving more time for you and your little ones to frolic in the snow. Click here to get the recipe.
Sprinkle Fortune Cookies
This year, make these colorful fortune cookies from Glitter and Bubbles for Santa—he’s sure to gobble them up. Kids will love dipping the cookies in different types of sprinkles. Click here to get the details.
Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
If you've got a lactose-intolerant little one, these oatmeal coconut cookies from ¡Hola! Jalapeno are a lifesaver. Plus, you can adjust them to fit your family's taste by adding mix-ins like peanut butter or chocolate chips. To get the recipe, click here.
Basic Sugar Cookies
When it comes to the holiday season, you can never go wrong with a simple batch of basic sugar cookies. They're perfect for kid involvement too, from cutting out the dough to decorating the cooled cookies. Click here to snag the recipe.
Magical Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
Cream Cheese Christmas Tree Cookies
Dig out your cookie cutters to make these cute little trees topped with a delicious vanilla frosting. The cream cheese added to the cookie batter gives them a special touch, too. To get the recipe, click here.
Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
Keep things simple with a chocolate chip cookie recipe our Ad Ops Manager swears by. Get the recipe from Food.com by clicking here.
When you’re in dire need of a cookie fix or just don’t have the time to scour your pantry for all of the ingredients, try out this lemon cookie recipe courtesy of Red Tricycle’s former Digital Media Manager, Brandi McWade. The cookies are actually made from a box of lemon cake mix, which makes this as convenient as it can get. Get the recipe by clicking here.
Even though these are technically brownies, we couldn't resist including them in our roundup of must-have holiday sweets. They're the perfect combination of rich chocolate with icy, cool peppermint. Get the recipe from Leah's Thoughts by clicking here.
Hello Dolly Bars
Shelley, Red Tricycle's Atlanta Editor, tells us, "My mom made Hello Dolly bars every Christmas, and I made myself sick on them every Christmas. They still are my favorite cookies in the world, made even better because I thought their names were in honor of D. Parton herself for the first 20 or so years of my life. And I'm a fan. Of Dolly the person and the cookie." To get the delicious recipe, click here.
Kitchen Sink Cookies
We love cookies we can customize, which is why we love Kitchen Sink Cookies from Amber, Red Tricycle's Managing Editor. She writes, "Years ago another mom passed this idea on to me and I make them every year. She called them Kitchen Sink cookies. Just take a basic oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and amp it up by adding craisins, coconut, nuts and chocolate chips. You usually have to increase the liquid by a few tablespoons, especially if you use shredded coconut, but they are pretty hard to get wrong and really easy to make with kids. Omit the nuts or add chopped dried apricots to change it up." Click here to grab the recipe.