25 Easy (and Delicious!) Holiday Cookie Recipes
December 13, 2019

25 Easy (and Delicious!) Holiday Cookie Recipes

There’s something about the smell of just-baked cookies that screams “Christmas.” Baking (and eating!) holiday cookies is a tradition in many families. Whether you give them as gifts, share them at cookie swaps, or eat them all yourself (don’t worry, we won’t tell!), there’s nothing more comforting than spending an afternoon in the kitchen, the scents of cinnamon and vanilla in the air. No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanzaa, we’ve rounded up the best holiday cookie recipes so you can spend less time searching and more time baking. So put on your aprons and preheat your ovens — it’s holiday cookie season!

Gingerbread Star Cookie Tree

Photo courtesy Sprinkle Bakes

This unique recipe makes sweet and spicy gingerbread cookies AND a festival centerpiece all rolled into one. Stiff royal icing holds it all in place, and edible pearls give it a little bling.

Easy Sugar Cookies

Photo courtesy The Lemon Bowl

Cutout sugar cookies in whimsical shapes are the ultimate holiday cookie. This easy version will have you munching on candy canes, stockings and holiday wreaths in no time.

Christmas Blossom Cookies

Photo courtesy Somewhat Simple

These red and green thumbprint cookies are colorful AND delicious. You can be heavy-handed with the sprinkles and add a Hershey’s kiss (or other chocolate candy) for the centerpiece.

Vanilla Almond Spritz Cookies

Photo courtesy Love and Olive Oil

Delicate almond flavor and a pastel color palette make these dainty snowflake cookies all grown up. A little sanding sugar make them just sweet enough.


Photo courtesy Smitten Kitchen

Filled with jam or poppy seed paste, these shortbread cookies are popular during the Jewish holiday of Purim. Their shape is reminiscent of the three-pointed hat worn by the villain Haman.

Blizzard Cookies

Photo courtesy
Sugar Spun Run

It’s not often that a cookie brings up thoughts of an icy snowscape, but this one does. Blue sprinkles and white candy snowflakes give it a blizzardy vibe, while white chocolate chips add to the sweetness.

White Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Cookies

Photo courtesy Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons

Need a quick, easy and festive holiday cookie? These peppermint kiss thumbprints fit the bill. A candy cane Hershey’s kiss is smushed into a simple sugar cookie and voilà!

Homemade Peppermint Oreos

Photo courtesy
The Girl Who Ate Everything

Oreos are great, but homemade Oreos are next-level great, especially when filled with a from-scratch peppermint cream cheese mixture.

Soft & Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Photo courtesy The Idea Room

Forget the dry and crunchy gingerbread. These cookies are soft, chewy and have the perfect balance of sweetness (thanks to the molasses) and spice (thanks to the ginger).

Cacao Benne Cookies

Photo courtesy My Life Runs on Food

Benne (pronounced “benny”) cookies are a traditional sesame seed cookie eaten during the week-long Kwanzaa holiday. This version adds cacao powder to the mix, making a rich and decadent cookie.

Stained Glass Cookies

Photo courtesy Dinner at the Zoo

How pretty are these festive stained-glass cookies? All it takes is a basic sugar cookie dough and crushed hard candies ­— Life Savers, Jolly Ranchers, whatever you have on hand — melted into the center.

Vegan Gingerbread Tahini Cookies

Photo courtesy Cook Republic

Just because you’re avoiding animal products doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in holiday cookies! These vegan gingerbread cookies have snap and flavor, thanks to tahini (sesame seed paste), almond meal and maple syrup.

Eggnog Snickerdoodles

Photo courtesy Happiness is Homemade

Your favorite holiday beverage is transformed into an edible delicacy in this decadent recipe, with cinnamon and nutmeg giving it its signature flavor. Brandy is optional.

Cran-Pistachio Cookies

Photo courtesy The Girl Who Ate Everything

At the same time chewy and crunchy, these cranberry pistachio cookies are a not-too-sweet-treat. Add a few drops of green food coloring to make the red cranberries stand out.

Peppermint Bark Cookies

Photo courtesy Sugar Spun Run

Chocolate and peppermint are a natural pairing, and these dipped cookies have both dark and white chocolate. Rolling them in crushed candy canes give them a minty crunch.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Photo courtesy Somewhat Simple

Who doesn’t love the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth simplicity of shortbread? These simple cookies are dotted with rainbow sprinkles, cut into triangles and drizzled with a simple green icing for a seasonal twist.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Photo courtesy Well Plated

Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in these cut-out sugar cookies. Not only does it make them softer than traditional sugar cookies, its signature tang balances the sweetness of the frosting.

Snowball Cookies

Photo courtesy One Little Project

With just six ingredients, these traditional snowball cookies are easy yet impressive. Chopped pecans give them crunch, while a dousing of powdered sugar give them their snowy appearance.

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms

Photo courtesy
Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons

Peanut butter and chocolate go together like Santa and his sleigh, and these cookies tie them both together perfectly. A bright red peanut butter cookie is topped with a chocolate kiss, making them delicious and festive!

Candy Cane Cookies

Photo courtesy Spend With Pennies

These adorable candy cane cookies are as fun to make as they are to eat. Just twist and shape peppermint-flavored dough and you’ve got a batch of these delicious cookies in minutes.


Photo courtesy Brown Eyed Baker

Nothing says Hanukkah like these traditional Jewish treats made from cream cheese dough stuffed with cinnamon, dried fruit and/or chocolate.

Christmas Monster Cookies

Photo courtesy Dinner at the Zoo

Monster cookies are loaded with all the popular cookie ingredients: chocolate chips, peanut butter, oatmeal and M&Ms. This version uses red and green M&Ms and white chocolate chips for a festive take on the classic.

Marzipan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo courtesy I Am a Food Blog

Marzipan, or sweetened almond paste, is a traditional ingredient in holiday desserts in much of Europe. This recipe adds dollops of it alongside chocolate chips to make a rich and gooey cookie.

Dark & White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Photo courtesy The Kitchen is My Playground

This basic holiday cookie recipe combines white chocolate chips, green pistachios and red cranberries. A dark and white chocolate drizzle over the top ties it all together.

Greek Honey Dipped Cookies

Photo courtesy OMG Food

Melomakarona (also known as finikia) are traditional Greek cookies popular around the holidays. Flavored with orange and cinnamon, they’re soaked in a honey syrup and rolled in walnuts.

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Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.