25 Best Christmas Cookies – Once Upon a Chef

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Christmas homemade gingerbread cookies on wooden table

Are you ready to bake and spread some holiday cheer? Christmas cookie season is here! Whether you need inspiration for your cookie platters, homemade gifts for teachers and neighbors, or a festive potluck dessert, these Christmas cookies have you covered all season long. From gingerbread guys and gals to chocolate biscotti, there is something for every cookie lover on this list. Be sure to read my best baking tips before you get started to ensure success. Break out your cookie cutters and let the baking begin!

25 Best Christmas Cookies

Sweet but not cloying, these buttery, nutty, sugar-crusted shortbread cookies come from pastry chef Lisa Kolb Ruland of the blog Unpeeled. They are perfect to serve with coffee or tea any time of day, and they make a lovely homemade gift. GET THE RECIPE

These chewy and soft molasses cookies with a sparkly sugar crust are loved by kids and grown-ups alike. The recipe calls for a hint of ground black pepper; you won’t know it’s there, but it adds a subtle heat that lingers on the palate. GET THE RECIPE

Photo by Suzana Marinkovic

Buttery and crisp, these almond-scented sugar cut-out cookies are a dream to make. The dough comes together in minutes, is easy to work with, and holds its shape perfectly when baked. GET THE RECIPE

These classic chocolate chip cookies are reliably thick, chewy on the inside, and crisp around the edges—and they have the perfect balance of salty, sweet and chocolaty flavor. GET THE RECIPE

Gingerbread cookies are quite possibly the cutest holiday cookies but, they often taste like cardboard! Not so with these darling gingerbread guys and gals: flavored with ginger, molasses and warm spices, and with a perfect crispy-chewy texture, they taste just as good as they look. GET THE RECIPE

Sweet and buttery sugar cookies coated with cinnamon-sugar—who can resist an old-fashioned snickerdoodle? This is a great recipe to make with young kids; little ones love forming the squishy dough into balls and rolling them in cinnamon-sugar before baking. GET THE RECIPE

Chewy, ultra-rich, and sprinkled with flaky sea salt, these sinfully good peanut butter cookies from Roof shelter are made with only five ingredients, and they are also gluten spirit dairy-free. GET THE RECIPE


Linzer cookies are nutty, buttery sandwich cookies filled with jam inspired by the famous Viennese Linzer torte. The small cut-out on the top cookie creates a beautiful stained-glass-window effect. Get the recipe

They may look plain, but these crave-worthy cookies are rich and buttery with a crisp, sugary exterior and soft, chewy interior. The secret ingredients? Cream cheese, which makes the cookies tender, and a hint of almond extract, which gives the cookies a delicate almond flavor. GET THE RECIPE

scottish shortbreadCrisp, ultra-buttery, and not too sweet, shortbread cookies are easy to make with ingredients that are always on hand. Traditionally baked in large rounds and cut into wedges, shortbread is served in Scotland on winter solstice and holidays. It’s delicious with tea or coffee any time of day — and since it’s plain (in a good way), kids love it too. GET THE RECIPE

oatmeal raisin cookiesThese are the be-all-and-end-all oatmeal raisin cookies. They are made with fewer oats than most recipes, which, surprisingly, makes for much better oatmeal cookies. They are also sweetened entirely with brown sugar, which gives them a wonderful flavor and texture. GET THE RECIPE

Chocolate Biscotti

My son calls these chocolate biscotti “crunchy brownies.” It makes sense – biscotti are twice-baked cookies made intentionally dry and crisp for dunking into tea or coffee – and these are loaded with chocolate. They might seem like fancy adult cookies, but children love them too. Serve them with a glass of hot chocolate or warm milk for dunking and you will have very happy kiddos. GET THE RECIPE

Easy to make and sinfully good, peanut butter blossoms are chewy peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s kisses. GET THE RECIPE

Chocolate CrinklesChocolate crinkle cookies are what happens when you cross a brownie with a chocolate chip cookie. To get the crinkled exterior, you roll the chocolate dough balls in powdered sugar. As the cookies bake, they spread, causing the sugar to crack and reveal the chocolate cookie underneath. GET THE RECIPE

15. Brookies

When a brownie and a cookie have a baby, you get a brookie. These marbled bar cookies are ideal for cookie swaps and holiday parties when you need a fun potluck treat for all ages. Get the recipe

almond biscotti

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Inspired by the cookies served at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, these biscotti are made by shaping an almond-studded cookie dough into loaves, baking it, slicing it, and then baking it again. They are lightly sweet, buttery, crunchy but not tooth-shattering, and good any time of day. GET THE RECIPE

Buckeyes are no-bake peanut butter candies dipped in chocolate that resemble the nut of the Ohio state tree, the buckeye. They’re not cookies, but they belong on your holiday cookie spread. Get the recipe

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

These gorgeously light meringue cookies have a crisp outer shell and marshmallowy interior filled with chocolate chips. Bonus: they’re naturally gluten-free. GET THE RECIPE

coconut macaroons

Chewy inside and golden-crisp outside, these coconut macaroons are wonderful plain but even more irresistible dipped in melted dark chocolate. They keep well for days on end, making them the perfect cookie to bake ahead or gift to friends and neighbors over the holidays. GET THE RECIPE

A longtime family favorite, these toffee almond sandies are buttery, sweet shortbread cookies studded with caramelized toffee bits and slivered almonds. The recipe makes a ton and the cookies keep for a long time – the perfect holiday cookie! GET THE RECIPE

These sophisticated chocolate cookies come from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by the late Gina DePalma. A variation of baci di dama (Italian lady’s kisses), which consist of two tiny hazelnut cookies and a rich chocolate filling, they are the perfect Christmas cookie for the chocolate lovers in your life. GET THE RECIPE

Technically not cookies, but the perfect addition to any Christmas cookie platter, these rich truffles are pure chocolate bliss. They’re so intensely chocolate, you really only need one or two to satisfy your sweet tooth. Bonus: they’re easy to make with one bowl and a microwave. GET THE RECIPE

These exceptional chocolate chip cookies are made with two secret ingredients: finely ground oatmeal and coconut. Everyone loves them but no one will guess what’s in them. GET THE RECIPE

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Want to jazz up the traditional Mexican wedding cookie? This unique variation is flavored with lime, pecans and ground coconut. GET THE RECIPE

If you like the famous thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop in the Hamptons, you’ll love this copycat recipe. The cookies are crunchy, buttery, and downright addictive. GET THE RECIPE

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