Our Best Christmas Cookies

Spread some holiday cheer with sugar, spice and lots (and lots) of frosting! We've rounded up 100 of our favorite Christmas cookies so that you can find the perfect treats for your cookie plate.

October 29, 2021
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

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Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Holiday Monster Cookies

Whether you’re still learning the basics of cookie making or are all about using those pro baking tips you’ve mastered over the years, there’s no better time to bake from scratch than during the holidays. Whether you whip up an assortment of cookies to serve alongside homemade hot chocolate on movie night or are baking a batch to pack and ship to someone special, you’ll find that cookies always spread cheer. We have a hard time narrowing down our favorites (which is why this collection has 100 recipes!) but do admit that these giant, saucer-sized treats are at the top of our list! They’re packed with all your festive favorites (red and green candies, peppermint chunks, salty pretzels and white chocolate chips), so they really live up to their name. If you leave these mammoth treats for Santa, don't forget a supersized glass of milk for washing them down!

Get the Recipe: Holiday Monster Cookies

Gingerbread Man Mug Mates

These gingerbread men are people-pleasers — you'll love how they hang around with lots of holiday spirit.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Man Mug Mates

Poinsettia Pinwheel Cookies

Despite the intricate design, these festive pinwheels are simple to create. The cream cheese in the cookie dough adds just the right amount of pliability, so you can cut, fold and shape with ease. We decorated the cookies with white, red and green coarse sanding sugar, sometimes called pearlized sugar, but you can feel free to swap in plain confectioners' sugar. They'll look stunning either way!

Get the Recipe: Poinsettia Pinwheel Cookies

Reindeer Mask Cookies

With these playful cookies, everyone can join in the reindeer games.

Get the Recipe: Reindeer Mask Cookies

Minty Christmas Tree Cutout Cookies

Lined up in a row on a platter, these cute treats are sure to get your guests in the holiday spirit. The cookies are tender but hold their shape when baked (so you end up with precise Christmas trees, not Christmas blobs). And adding mint makes them extra special.

Get the Recipe: Minty Christmas Tree Cutout Cookies

Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Macaroons

Simple and decadent, Ina's Coconut Macaroons make great take-along, cookie-tin treats.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Macaroons

Classic Sugar Cookies

These familiar cookies have crispy edges (thanks to superfine sugar) and a slightly soft middle. The small amount of baking powder ensures that they puff just a little without spreading too much — so they're perfect for cut-outs in all your favorite holiday shapes.

Get the Recipe: Classic Sugar Cookies

Eggnog Meltaway Cookies

The secret to these cookies' melt-in-your-mouth texture is the confectioners' sugar, which easily comes together with almonds in a food processor. The flavors of rum, bourbon and nutmeg make the little snowball look-alikes taste just like your favorite holiday drink. We'll say "cheers" to that!

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Meltaway Cookies

Penguin Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Not all the holiday fun happens at the North Pole. These South Pole denizens are the season's cutest critters. Have fun shaping and rolling colorful sugar cookie dough so that every slice produces a perfect penguin.

Get the Recipe: Penguin Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Citrus Crinkle Cookies

These soft-and-chewy cookies are positively bursting with bright citrus flavor. We created this versatile recipe to highlight whatever citrus fruit you like the best — try tart lemon, zesty lime or sweet orange. A few drops of food coloring add a vibrant visual cue. These cookies are equally festive during the summer or winter months.

Get the Recipe: Citrus Crinkle Cookies

White Chocolate Bark

Making candy sounds like a really complicated thing to do, which is why Ina likes to make chocolate bark, which is quite simple. Temper white chocolate in the microwave, a foolproof way that also cuts down on prep time. Once the chocolate is poured onto a baking sheet, add your favorite toppings and then let it harden. Ina chose items that look good and taste good together: pistachios, cranberries and apricots.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Bark

Pan-Banging Pecan Snickerdoodle Cookies

We packed these cookies with cinnamon, pecans and chocolate toffee chunks for the ultimate snickerdoodle experience--and then added one finishing touch. Inspired by blogger Sarah Kieffer's internet-famous crinkled chocolate chip cookies, we pulled the snickerdoodles out of the oven midway through cooking and banged the baking sheet on the counter, producing a cookie with the best of both worlds--crispy ripples around the edge and a soft, chewy center.

Get the Recipe: Pan-Banging Pecan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Cheesecake-Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies

The classic flavors of red velvet cake are transformed into cookies with the cream cheese baked right inside.

Get the Recipe: Cheesecake-Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies

Millionaire Shortbread Cookies

Marc Murphy takes shortbread cookies to a whole new level by layering the traditional recipe with dark chocolate and homemade cookie butter. Garnish the glistening squares with flaky salt before serving.

Get the Recipe: Millionaire Shortbread Cookies

Peppermint Meringues

These minty, pink-striped meringues are easy to make and use a clever decorating trick: Paint lines of food coloring gel up the sides of a pastry bag before filling it with meringue, and each cookie will come out striped as you pipe it. You can use this same trick with frosting for cupcakes.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Meringues

M&M Magic Bars

This quick and easy bake-sale classic goes over the top for the holidays — we've loaded the bars with your favorite Christmas candies.

Get the Recipe: M&M Magic Bars

Ina's Fruitcake Cookies

"Many years ago Lee Bailey, the wonderful cookbook writer, asked me to make 600 pounds of these cookies to sell at his store and I still love them," says Ina. "They're not only totally delicious (don't think fruitcake — think cookies) but you can make rolls of the dough, refrigerate them and just slice and bake them off as you need them all throughout the holidays."

Get the Recipe: Fruitcake Cookies

Gingerbread Biscotti

These biscotti have the same warm spices and crispy-crunchy texture that you love in a traditional gingerbread person, but require less time and effort than the classic cutout cookie! Each one gets an extra dip of melted white chocolate and a sprinkle of sanding sugar, for a sparkly holiday treat fit for a cookie tin. By Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Biscotti

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Double down on the peanut butter goodness in Nancy Fuller's traditional blossoms. Incorporate smooth peanut butter into the cookie batter before folding in peanut butter chips. The intense peanut butter flavor pairs perfectly with the addition of a chocolate kiss candy in the center.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Blossoms

Alton's Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

Alton rolls two doughs together, chocolate and peppermint, to make a festive slice-and-bake cookie.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Roll into the holidays — and our season-long cookie fest — with Alex Guarnaschelli's crisp gingerbread men spiked with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

Linzer Star Sandwich Cookies

Alex sandwiches raspberry jam in between two buttery star-shaped cookies to make this festive holiday treat that'll be the centerpiece of your dessert spread.

Get the Recipe: Linzer Star Sandwich Cookies

Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge

With just three ingredients and five minutes' prep time, Ree's fudge is perfect in a pinch. Turn the refrigerator-friendly treat into a dessert for the holiday table by topping the finished chocolate fudge with crushed peppermint candies.

Get the Recipe: Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge

Butter and Jam Thumbprints

These are a classic holiday favorite for a reason — the buttery dough melts in your mouth and pairs perfectly with the tangy jam (baker's choice on the flavor!). Plus, they're just too nostalgic and adorable to resist.

Get the Recipe: Butter and Jam Thumbprints

Butterscotch Blondies

Blondies are wonderful to make around the holidays because they come together quickly and one tray results in a whole batch of treats. Not to mention, these blondies are loaded with festive flavor, thanks to the toasted pecans, white chocolate chips and dried cranberries studded throughout. The drizzle of sweet butterscotch sauce and pinch of flaky sea salt makes for a winning salty-sweet combination.

Get the Recipe: Butterscotch Blondies

Valerie's Neapolitan Holiday Cookies

Valerie Bertinelli whips up this classic Italian bakery treat just like her mom did during the holiday season.

Get the Recipe: Neapolitan Holiday Cookies

Trisha Yearwood's Snickerdoodles

Top these easy cookies with cinnamon and sugar before baking until the cookies are set but the centers are still nice and soft.

Get the Recipe: Snickerdoodles

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths

Cornflakes get dressed for the holidays when mixed with a green marshmallow coating. Shaped into individual wreaths and topped with festive candies, these crunchy treats are a fun no-bake project.

Get the Recipe: Cornflake Christmas Wreaths

Super Chocolatey Buttons

Tiny chocolate cookies with a gooey center (even when cooled!) make decadent one-bite treats.

Get the Recipe: Super Chocolatey Buttons

Sunny's Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies

Sunny's cookies are chewy and firm at the same time. "The cinnamon and ginger in the pumpkin pie spice works so well with the peppermint and chocolate, the spice blend should be added to any of your chocolate chip cookie recipes for an added hit of warmth and flavor."

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Chocolate Chip Candy Cane Cookies

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men

Melissa d'Arabian uses white rice flour, tapioca flour and buckwheat flour for her gluten-free take on traditional gingerbread men. Because there isn't any gluten, you don't have to worry about overworking the dough when using up your cutout scraps.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men

Cream Cheese Cookies

A triple dose of cream cheese (mixed into the batter, in chunks in the dough and as a glaze on top) makes these pillowy cookies extra tangy. We topped ours with lime zest and minced cranberries, but these treats are the perfect vehicle for many toppings — consider your favorite cheesecake flavorings for inspiration.

Get the Recipe: Cream Cheese Cookies

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Iced oatmeal cookies remind me of home, family and baking on a cold winter's day. I love them because they are classic cookies (oatmeal, cinnamon and raisins) that have been dressed up for the holidays like mountains with freshly fallen snow.

Get the Recipe: Iced Oatmeal Cookies

The Best Butter Cookies

Your search is over -- this perfect butter cookie will stay in your recipe box for years. It's crisp, yet tender and perfect for tea for two or cookies for Santa. Plus, you have the choice to make drop cookies or a slice-and-bake version!

Get the Recipe: The Best Butter Cookies

Peppermint Bark Cookies

The combination of white peppermint bark atop a chocolate cookie base equals the ultimate holiday treat. This big-batch recipe is ideal for cookie swaps, festive parties or even wrapping up as gifts. It is also easy enough for baking with the whole family. Instead of forming individual cookies, you break the giant sheet into pieces, just like you would with traditional bark.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Bark Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Katie Lee's thumbprint cookies can be made entirely in the food processor. Pulse unsalted roasted peanuts with old-fashioned oats as the base for a crumbly dough that will taste just like your favorite sandwich once a dollop of jelly is added after baking.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl Cookies

Why settle for one cookie flavor when you can have three? Peanut butter, sugar cookie and fudgy brownie batter are swirled together and baked into one giant cookie, making for a slice-and-bake you'll want to serve at parties and keep in the freezer for a weeknight cookie fix.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Brownie Swirl Cookies

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Our Triple Chocolate Cookies are a chocolate lover's dream: They're chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and full of white, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chunks.

Get the Recipe: Triple Chocolate Cookies

Giada's Dried Cherry and Almond Cookies with Vanilla Icing

Tart dried cherries and toasted almonds take a sweet turn in Giada’s easy slice-and-bake holiday cookies.

Get the Recipe: Dried Cherry and Almond Cookies with Vanilla Icing

Ginger Cookie with Garam Masala

Aarti Sequeira adds subtle spice to ginger cookies with a touch of garam masala.

Get the Recipe: Garam Masala-Chocolate Gingerbread

Tri-Color Christmas Spritz Cookies

These cheerful spritz cookies are ready to brighten your holiday cookie table — no extra fussing, frosting or decorating needed.

Get the Recipe: Tri-Color Christmas Spritz Cookies

Peppermint Cookies-and-Cream Cookies

These festive cookies are perfect for the holidays, thanks to the generous addition of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and refreshing peppermint candies. Make sure to chill the dough before baking to ensure a thick and fluffy cookie that your friends and family will enjoy in their holiday tins.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Cookies-and-Cream Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread is Ina's favorite cookie for the holidays. You can make many variations with one easy dough: Serve the shortbread plain, dipped in chocolate, or add pecans to the dough to make pecan shortbread.

Get the Recipe: Shortbread Cookies

Marshmallow-Stuffed Blizzard Cookies

These holiday sugar cookies sparkle like winter snow! Vegan marshmallows don't have gelatin in them and are the key to an ooey gooey center that stays fluffy throughout baking.

Get the Recipe: Marshmallow-Stuffed Blizzard Cookies

Alton's Gingersnaps

These crisp spiced cookies are addictive, but even Alton can't pinpoint the reason. "I don't know why I like them so much, but when I start eating them I tend to have a very, very hard time stopping," he admits.

Get the Recipe: Ginger Snaps

Giada's Holiday Biscotti

Giada likes these crisp cookies because she can snack on them all day — not just at dessert. She says of the white-chocolate-covered treats, "My favorite is to dip them in my coffee."

Get the Recipe: Holiday Biscotti

Jeff Mauro's Cherry White Chocolate Almond Sandwich Cookies

Jeff's sandwich cookie is inspired by a cookie his wife, Sarah, makes for their family. And since he turns everything into a sandwich, Sarah's cookies are stacked and filled with almond butter filling in this version.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Almond White Chocolate Sandwiches

Anne's Meringue Cookies

Anne's cookies are nearly guilt-free, as far as holiday treats go. "This recipe calls for mainly egg whites and almonds, so it's actually good for you!" she says of her airy baked meringue cookies.

Get the Recipe: Meringue Cookies

Double-Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

These cookie sandwiches are packed with holiday cheer, thanks to a hint of molasses and gingerbread spice in the soft, chewy cookies, as well as a generous dose of spiced cookie butter spread in the filling. Plus, there's an extra dusting of sanding sugar to add the perfect sweetness and festive sheen.

Get the Recipe: Double-Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

Ferrero Rocher Cookie Cups

These truffle-stuffed cookie cups are bursting with hazelnut flavor because the nuts are not only in the truffles themselves, but also in the dough. Make sure that the muffin tin you use is a good nonstick one, because the cookies might be hard to remove otherwise.

Get the Recipe: Ferrero Rocher Cookie Cups

Alex's Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Toasted Almond Cream

This soft sandwich cookie brings Alex back to her childhood: "We didn't have much chocolate over the holidays, so I always find a recipe like this refreshing during my holiday season. The little touches — the lemon zest and cinnamon — are holiday flavors to me," she says.

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Toasted Almond Cream

Brownie Mix Cookies

Made from only four ingredients, these cookies are chocolatey, fudgy and pleasing for brownie and cookie lovers alike. Add crushed candy canes to dress them up for the holiday.

Get the Recipe: Brownie Mix Cookies

Pistachio Melbas (Australia)

Australians adopted this biscotti-like Pistachio Melba from the Eastern European/Jewish cookie Mandelbrot.

Get the Recipe: Pistachio Melbas

Tyler's Dark Chocolate Truffles

Tyler knows a perfect chocolate truffle can turn a holiday dessert into something much more special. "It’s that little bite of chocolate where you can truly appreciate the mouthfeel and flavors that make truffles a unique and special holiday treat."

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate Truffles

Anne's Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli cookies are standard at any Italian bakery. But they are the simplest of cookies to make at home, mixed in one bowl and ready in under an hour. Anne Burrell's special touch? A bit of honey.

Get the Recipe: Pignoli Cookies

Red Velvet Ooey Gooey Bars

A classic red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting has been taken to new level of ooey gooey buttery goodness, just in time for the holidays.

Get the Recipe: Red Velvet Ooey Gooey Bars

Loaded Cake Mix Cookies

Cake mix is the secret shortcut to light, fluffy cookies. Crispy cornflakes, pretzels and big chunks of dark chocolate give these an irresistible combination of crunch and gooiness — and we also added sprinkles, just for fun!

Get the Recipe: Loaded Cake Mix Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

Almond cookies like these are thought to resemble coins, making them particularly popular as a symbol of good fortune during the Chinese New Year. Traditional recipes are made with lard and flavored with almond extract. We used butter and almond flour in these to boost the nutty flavor and create a crumbly texture similar to pecan sandies. Enjoy them year-round, particularly with a cup of tea or coffee.

Get the Recipe: Chinese Almond Cookies

Bobby's Triple-Chocolate Cookies

Bobby's intense cookies are a chocolate-lover's dream. They feature bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate and even white chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Triple Chocolate Cookies

Trisha's White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Trisha has a cookie party with her friends every Christmas. "Everybody shows up with their favorite recipe, we bake all day, then everybody goes home with a delicious variety of holiday cookies. My sister, Beth, adapted this recipe from her church cookbook. I like to chop the cranberries and nuts finely so you get lots of flavor in every bite."

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Alton's Chocolate Coconut Balls

Alton asks, "Can a mere five ingredients truly deliver holiday bliss? Answer: If the ingredients are chocolate, coconut, macadamia nuts, condensed milk and almond extract, yes! Park a tin or two of these jewels under the tree and make someone's year."

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Balls

Ree Drummond's Favorite Christmas Cookies

These are Ree's favorite childhood cookies. "The dough is beautiful and tender with a slight citrus flavor from orange peel, resulting in a really versatile cookie for decorating. To decorate them, my mom would make different colors of egg yolk glaze in small glass dishes and we'd paint on the glaze to make different designs. Then, as the cookies baked, the glaze set and had a little bit of a stained-glass effect. Once they were cool, we'd decorate the detail and edges with white frosting. They have a really nice vintage quality to them."

Get the Recipe: My Favorite Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Cutouts

What could make a sugar cookie even more delicious? How about cocoa powder and melted semisweet chocolate?

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs

Buckeyes

Who doesn't love a confection inspired by nature? In this case, it's a peanut butter truffle dipped in chocolate, which resembles the nut from Ohio's state tree, the buckeye.

Get the Recipe: Buckeyes

Peppermint Muffin-Tin Cookies

Thanks to the help of a muffin tin, these peppermint-spiked sugar cookies are perfectly round every single time. They're also easy enough for everyone in the family to pitch in to help. Frozen peppermint patties are stuffed in the middle to ramp up the flavor and provide a hidden surprise with the first bite. No need to decorate after baking -- the sprinkles go right on top before going into the oven so that once they are cool, they are ready to go.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Muffin-Tin Cookies

Bake and Slice Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies just got a lot easier with this bake and slice version. Instead of pressing divots into multiple mounds of cookie dough and filling each with jam, we shaped the dough into a log with a trough and flooded the center in one go. We used raspberry and apricot jam, but it's easy to swap out for whatever you have on hand. Once the cookie logs are baked, let them cool and then slice into strips.

Get the Recipe: Bake and Slice Thumbprint Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

These spiced cookies are crisp on the outside and slightly softer inside, with a delicious cinnamon-sugar coating and a heaping spoonful of creamy glaze on top. Inspired by cinnamon rolls, the cookies make the sweetest addition to any holiday cookie box.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Ultimate Ginger Cookie

Ina's ultimate cookies are filled with spices: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, plus chopped crystallized ginger. A coating of sugar before baking gives them a crinkly crust.

Get the Recipe: Ultimate Ginger Cookie

Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

Walnuts are the base for these powdered cookies that melt in your mouth. The crumbly and buttery texture is key, so if you're making these ahead, make sure they are cooled before storing them — otherwise they will get soggy.

Get the Recipe: Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)

Super-Yummy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Anne is a dark-chocolate fan so she chops it up with walnuts to make these oatmeal cookies nice and chunky. Top them with a sprinkle of sea salt to give them a little something special.

Get the Recipe: Super Yummy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

This is basically Trisha's favorite chocolate chip cookie batter recipe, but she's replaced the egg with applesauce so you get the same great flavor without the raw egg. Freeze the little balls of dough before dipping them in chocolate-almond bark, which helps them set more quickly. If you use regular milk chocolate, add a bit of coconut oil and it'll do the same trick. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Peanut Butter Fudge

This fudge is a total triple threat -- thanks to peanut butter chips, crunchy peanut butter and chopped roasted salted peanuts. Using sweetened condensed milk, makes it quick and easy to achieve a thick, fudgy texture without cooking raw sugar; no candy thermometer required! Cut the fudge into small squares and share it with family and friends as a delicious edible gift.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Fudge

Sunny's Cereal Confetti Cookies

Sunny uses multicolored puffed rice cereal (she likes Fruity Pebbles!) to make these festive treats. They'll spread nicely in the oven (so be sure to space them well apart), resulting in a crisp-on-the-outside and chewy-on-the-inside dessert.

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Cereal Confetti Cookies

Eggnog Cookies

Alex loves these cookies because "they have all the flavors of eggnog but don't have eggnog in them." Sandwich the cookies with creamy icing, then top with a drizzle of caramel and spiced sugar.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Cookies

Gelt Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut butter blossoms take on a delicious holiday transformation that's perfect for celebrating Hanukkah. Each cookie is coated in festive sprinkles and pressed with a chocolate gelt coin (a traditional Hanukkah present) while still warm. Soft and chewy, with melted chocolate in the center, these cookies are sure to get you in the spirit!

Get the Recipe: Gelt Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate-Dipped Pineapple-Coconut Macaroons

Food Network Kitchen made these cookies just for you: sweet, tart, chocolatey and chewy all at once. The combination of homemade pineapple jam and bittersweet chocolate means these gluten-free macaroon thumbprints will be winners at your next party.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Pineapple-Coconut Macaroons

Cherry Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies

Make a cherry, pistachio and brown sugar filling for Jeff Mauro's take on colorful pinwheel cookies, which are rolled in holiday sprinkles. You can make the cookie logs ahead of time, then slice and bake them just before guests arrive.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies

Eggnog Blossoms

The spicy-rich flavors of eggnog (including nutmeg, cream and rum) add a new holiday twist to a classic cookie shape, and the striped chocolate candies on top make them even more festive.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Blossoms

Gingerbread Reindeer

These cookies turn gingerbread on its head — literally. Flipping gingerbread men upside down provides the perfect shape to decorate the cookies to look like reindeer.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Reindeer

Oreo Balls

A five-ingredient treat for the chocolate sandwich cookie enthusiast…what's not to love? These truffles encase a soft cookie filling with a chocolatey shell. They're fun to decorate with cookie crumbs or sprinkles, depending on the occasion.

Get the Recipe: Oreo Balls

Miss Brown's Praline Cookies 

I love this recipe because it combines two of my favorite sweets in one — butter cookies and Southern pralines! The results are buttery, sweet and nostalgic. I also love this recipe because it includes a simple praline sauce that can be made without a candy thermometer.

Get the Recipe: Miss Brown's Praline Cookies 

Katie Lee's Chocolate-Peppermint Whoopie Pies

"My grandma only made whoopie pies on special occasions," says The Kitchen co-host Katie. "I was always so excited to see them in her kitchen! These are inspired by her recipe and dressed up for the holidays with the addition of crushed candy canes. They are easily adaptable to any season by substituting flavorings and candies. Have fun with them and get creative. They make great gifts too."

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Christmas Tree Cookie Forest

Make your cookie platter vertical (and extra impressive!) with this 3-D Christmas tree forest. Chilling the dough after it's cut helps the shapes stay sharp during baking.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Tree Cookie Forest

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These soft and crackly cookies are a staple in Italian bakeries. The espresso powder is there to complement and elevate the chocolate — it's subtle but totally worth it. For a variation, try spiking these with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

No-Bake Sticky Toffee Balls

These easy-to-make treats are inspired by the classic British dessert sticky toffee pudding. Instead of decorating the balls with sanding sugar, roll them in confectioners' sugar combined with a large pinch of ground cinnamon.

Get the Recipe: No-Bake Sticky Toffee Balls

Geoffrey Zakarian's Hermit Cookies

"This is my favorite holiday cookie because it blends two of my favorite cookies," says The Kitchen co-host Geoffrey. "Soft chocolate chip cookies and spicy gingerbread — the best of both worlds."

Get the Recipe: Hermit Cookies

Linzer Doily Wreaths

Rolling a woven doily over cookie dough leaves an impression which, after baking and glazing with a simple green frosting, looks like the fluffy pine needles of a holiday wreath. A paper doily doesn’t provide enough of an indentation, so using a woven doily is a must—plus it can be washed and used year after year! Tart raspberry jam pairs well with the almond Linzer cookie, but feel free to mix it up with your favorite flavor.

Get the Recipe: Linzer Doily Wreaths

Narkel Naru

This is my take on a delicious childhood dessert that my guru’s wife used to make. In Bengal, narkel means coconut and naru means a ball-shaped sweet (laddoo in Hindi). Though this can be made with white sugar, it’s amazing with unrefined sugar because of the lovely earthy caramel tastes that it adds. I tried it both with traditional Indian jaggery and with panela, the Latin version of jaggery, and I have to say I almost preferred it with panela. Use any unrefined sugar you can find.

Get the Recipe: Narkel Naru

Santa Slice-and-Bake Cookies

Santa's iconic red coat, fluffy white trim and black belt cookies are sure to bring out joyful belly laughs.

Get the Recipe: Santa Slice-and-Bake Cookies

The Spiciest Gingerbread Cookies Ever

Don't let their angelic faces and doughy bodies fool you — these gingerbread cookies are super-spicy from the very first bite. Cayenne, allspice and a hefty dose of black pepper result in a complex, lingering heat that is surprisingly pleasant, and molasses makes them chewy while taking the edge off.

Get the Recipe: The Spiciest Gingerbread Cookies Ever

Jeff Mauro's White Chocolate Confetti Christmas Cookies

Around the holidays Jeff clearly has sweets on the brain; he even likes to call these his "I'm Dreaming of a White Chocolate" cookie. "One look at something covered in sprinkles and your brain explodes with excitement," he says. "Sprinkles add color, crunch and a healthy dose of holiday cheer!"

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Confetti Christmas Cookies

Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

A spiced apple filling tops these buttery cookies, packing all the flavor of your favorite pie into a single bite — for a fraction of the work! Smoosh a small scoop of vanilla ice cream between two cookies for an inspired take on "pie a la mode."

Get the Recipe: Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Classic Shortbread

This satisfying shortbread is as easy as it gets — and its traditional style is perfect for this time of year. It's simultaneously crisp, crumbly and tender because we've added a little cornstarch to the flour. And granulated sugar gives the cookies their gorgeous golden color.

Get the Recipe: Classic Shortbread

The Best M&M Cookies

We took our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and increased the brown sugar to make these cookies extra moist and chewy. Then we super-sized them -- the better to get in more of our favorite candy-coated chocolates. Save some extra candy for topping each cookie before baking. The result, cookies that look just as good as they taste!

Get the Recipe: The Best M&M Cookies

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

Inspired by the candy, this indulgent dessert is both familiar and elegant. Almond paste fortifies the rich aroma of the cherries, and the two-ingredient chocolate glaze is rich and velvety. Cocktail maraschino or glace cherries work fine here, but might we suggest you treat yourself to high-quality candied cherries, such as Luxardo or Amarena? It is the holiday season, after all.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

Slice-and-Bake Italian Rainbow Cookies

We transformed the classic cakey confection into a fun slice-and-bake cookie. But don't worry, we kept the almond flavor that's well known and loved! A dip in a raspberry-spiked chocolate icing provides extra flavor and visual appeal.

Get the Recipe: Slice-and-Bake Italian Rainbow Cookies

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bar (Canada)

There are a number of stories as to where this cookie came from. It's thought to be native to Nanaimo, British Columbia (hence the name), and it gained widespread popularity in the 1950s. Whatever its origins, we loved it. We added the twist of peanut butter to make a simple, delicious, no-bake bar cookie that's super kid-friendly and freezes well.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bar (Canada)

Cinnamon Stars

Cinnamon Stars are a classic German cookie; you'll find them in most every German household as soon as St. Nicholas Day rolls around. These gluten-free cookies are a cross between a macaroon and a meringue, with a hint of nutty spiciness.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Stars: Zimtsterne (Germany)

Santa Skillet Cookie

This holiday decorating project is a delicious brain teaser. "Where is the Santa?" you'll ask yourself as you pipe decorative circles and triangles over the giant sugar cookie. But then, you will suddenly see them — eight Kris Kringles!

Get the Recipe: Santa Skillet Cookie

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These cookies are serious about peanut butter: Each has a full-size peanut butter cup tucked inside the salty-sweet peanut butter dough. As the cup bakes, the peanut butter inside softens, creating the perfect combination of crisp cookie shell, creamy center and crunchy honey-roasted topping.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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12 Days of Cookies

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