23 Fruity Holiday Cookies That Are Sure to Be a Hit

Even fruitcake naysayers will be asking for more of these deliciously sweet treats.

October 27, 2022

Related To:

Chock-Full of Jam, Dried Fruit and More

When it comes to holiday cookies there is no shortage of options. You can indulge in chocolate cookies or ones that are loaded with nuts and spices. You whip up a quick and easy cookie recipe or go all-out with festive decorating ideas. And do you know what? Every one of those options is wonderfully delicious. But, if you ask us, it’s just not the holidays until a fruitcake-inspired treat takes center stage. That’s why we love these sweet treats. They’re loaded with jams, jellies and dried fruit for the sweet flavor that makes fruitcake a holiday tradition — but without the overly dense texture that gives fruitcake its bad reputation. Every cookie recipe in this roundup is a winner but we can’t help but make a batch of Sunny’s dressed–up peanut butter thumbprints. She rolls them in sparkly sugar and finishes them with a dot of strawberry jam for a treat that no one can say ‘no’ to!

Get the Recipe: Sunny's Holiday PB and J Thumbprints

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

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

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


Scandinavia is known for all kinds of cookies, mostly flavored with anise or lemon. The flavor we found most compelling in cookies from all over Scandinavia, however, was brown butter — it's nutty, rich and delicious, and pairs perfectly with a tart fruit jam. These cookies get their elegant shape from the teaspoons used to form them.

Get the Recipe: Spoon Cookies: Lusikkaleivat (Finland)

Polish Fruit and Nut Bars

We tasted cookies from all over Europe, and these Polish Fruit and Nut Bars really stood out. They are beatiful, satisfying, sweet and colorful and the dried fruit really sings Christmas. They're traditionally made on Christmas Eve.

Get the Recipe: Mazurkas (Poland)

Middle Eastern Date Cookies

Maamoul are soft sugar cookies that are traditionally stuffed with a wintry date and orange filling. We also love apricot-raisin and quince-walnut filling.

Get the Recipe: Maamoul: Stuffed Date-Orange Cookies

Dried Cherry and Almond Biscotti

Crisp, sweet and nutty, Anne's Italian biscotti make great homemade gifts or after-dinner nibbles.

Get the Recipe: Dried Cherry and Almond Biscotti

Butter and Jam Thumbprints

Teatime or playtime, these old-time Butter and Jam Thumbprints are always a holiday favorite.

Get the Recipe: Butter and Jam Thumbprints

PB and J Blondie

Jeff is way more into blondies than brownies. "Anytime I can put peanut butter into a dessert, I do it. Chewy, crunchy, nutty and just a bit fruity, this cookie will stand out among an often crowded holiday sweets table!"

Get the Recipe: PB and J Blondie

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

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

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

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

Christmas Citrus Squares

Lemon squares, the favorite bar cookie, are dressed up for the holidays with clementine juice and wedges of blood oranges.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Citrus Squares

Cherry Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies

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

Get the Recipe: Cherry Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies

Fruit and Nut Shortbread

Melissa decks out classic holiday shortbread cookies with a fruity topping.

Get the Recipe: Fruit and Nut Holiday Shortbread

Coconut Cranberry Macaroons

Cranberry and orange add a yuletide note to these wheat-free Coconut Cranberry Macaroons.

Get the Recipe: Coconut-Cranberry Macaroon

Orange-Chocolate Bars

These chocolate cookies get fruity flair from a creamy orange filling. Zest and juice from both oranges and lemons gives the decadent chocolate layer a tangy edge.

Get the Recipe: Damaris' Orange-Chocolate Bars

Italian Spumoni Cookies ("Spumookies")

Traditionally, spumoni is a molded Italian dessert featuring different layers of ice cream along with candied fruits and nuts. Jeff Mauro puts his twist on the Italian classic by turning it into a cookie complete with chocolate chips, pistachios and dried cherries.

Get the Recipe: Italian Spumoni Cookies ("Spumookies")

Czech Squares

A walnut crust and cherry jam will make these Czech Squares a hit at your holiday table.

Get the Recipe: Czech Squares

Golden Rugalach

A traditional Hanukkah pastry, Golden Rugalach are satisfying little packages of nuts and fruit tucked inside a rich, flaky dough.

Get the Recipe: Golden Rugalach

Cherry Berry Bars

Sunny's bar cookies are a quick version of holiday fruit cake.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Berry Bars

More from:

12 Days of Cookies