8 Christmas Cookies Food Network Staffers Can't Wait to Make

Here's what we'll be leaving out for Santa this Christmas Eve.

The editors and staff of Food Network have visions of sugar cookies and gingerbreads dancing in their heads. Here's some of the sweet treats they'll be whipping up this holiday season.

I’m currently on a decorating kick and have fallen in love with old school marbled papers and fabrics. So of course, I’m dying to make these Holiday Swirled Sugar Cookies —they look so festive but are really very easy. In addition to coloring them the traditional red and green, I also want to try some with deep violet or black. (What, am I the only one who matches food to furniture?)

Lygeia Grace, Director, Culinary Editorial

Food Network Kitchen’s Gooey Chocolate Buttons.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

My favorite holiday cookie is from our very own FNK. These Super Chocolatey Buttons are my absolute favorite because they are honestly the best cookie. They satisfy all cravings. The best way I can describe them is a gooey chocolate center with a slight crunch from the baked crackled sugar. I make these at least five times during the holidays and this recipe yields 60-65 cookies! I have shared these cookies so many times with friends and families that I am expected to make these for every holiday party or gathering. My cookie jar at home is always filled with them because they are always a sweet way to start or end a day.

- Vivian W. Chan, Culinary Producer, Digital

FNK_TheSpiciestGingerbreadCookiesEver_H

FNK_TheSpiciestGingerbreadCookiesEver_H

Food Network Kitchen's The Spiciest Gingerbread Cookies Ever for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©©Renee Comet

Renee Comet, ©Renee Comet

I’ve always found gingerbread cookies to be … fine. (ugh!) The cayenne, allspice and black pepper called for in this recipe got me interested, so I tried it out and realized that the complex, subtle heat in these cookies is exactly what standard gingerbread is missing. Even my skeptical family – traditional gingerbread lovers – raved about the first batch and now requests them every year. The best tip I can give you for any cookie that you’re using cookie cutters for? Don’t skip the freezing step!! It’s what stands between you and perfectly formed gingerbread friends.

- Julie Hines, Manager of Digital Programming

Black pepper and cayenne in a cookie — mistake? Nope. Those extra spices give this gingerbread a lingering and addictive heat. I always warn people to be ready. Most go back for seconds (possibly thirds).

- Leah Brickley, Senior Editor, Culinary

Food Network Kitchen’s Penguin Slice and Bake Cookies.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

These penguin cookies were a total hit at my family’s Christmas celebration last year — and they were super fun to make. (Pro Tip: Watch the video to figure out exactly how to roll the dough and build the log.) This year, my plan is to make a double batch and use a variety of candy melts to make different colored beanies because you can never have too many cute cookies.

- T.K. Brady, Digital Editor

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

When I was growing up, my grandma would invite our family to her house on the first Saturday in December to bake cookies and help decorate her tree. Each year, we would make an assortment of cookies but Spritz cookies were always a staple. They are fun to decorate, taste delicious, and make the perfect treat for while you’re decorating the tree!

- Hope Matthews, Associate Product Manager

Food Network Kitchen’s Tartan Green and Red Spritz Cookies.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making a version of spritz cookies every Christmas. The old family recipe I use calls for cream cheese, in addition to butter, so there’s a nice tang in each of the pressed cookies. This all-butter recipe from Food Network Kitchen recently got my attention, though, because there’s a splash of almond extract in the dough; I’m a sucker for all things almond, so maybe I’ll make a batch of these too, especially if I can manage the beautiful red-green swirl effect.

- Maria Russo, Senior Editor

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

As a child I looked forward to Christmas, not for the presents but for the cookies! We always baked lots of them (at least a dozen different varieties) and my mom would let my sisters and I each choose our own special recipe to make. One year, my sister Katie attempted molasses cookies just like these — but she mistakenly measured just one quarter teaspoon of molasses. I’ll never forget how hard we all laughed when her crumbly cookies came out of the oven and she said, “You know, it was pretty difficult to get that sticky molasses out of the spoon”. To this day, I still crack a smile when I make a batch of these chewy treats — and I love how their sweet spiciness pairs with lots of cozy beverages like cider, tea, coffee and cocoa. Good memories and delicious flavor: the perfect holiday treat!

- Kristie Collado, Associate Editor

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

December is my favorite time of year specifically because I get to make these delectable thumbprint cookies. Not only is the recipe super easy to follow, it also yields so many thumbprints that you’ll have more than enough to leave out for Santa, his elves and his trusty reindeer. I fill half of my delicious rounds with raspberry jam and the other half with milk-chocolate chips for a fun kid-approved surprise. Make them this Christmas – it’ll put you right on top of the nice list!

- Michelle Baricevic, Online Editorial Coordinator – Food Network Magazine

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