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These are a pastry chef’s recipes for the 24 Best Christmas Cookies for a festive holiday season. Bake your favorites and find a few new recipes to delight your family and friends this year! This list of recipes is grouped by texture and shape so you can bake a variety of flavors and textures for gifts, parties and Santa.

one linzer traditional christmas cookies.

These are the 24 Best Christmas cookie recipes! Find a variety of crunchy cookies, chewy cookies, shaped and rolled cookies and other fun, festive cookies to delight everyone. Select one from each category for a perfectly varied cookie tray or make one cookie for the 24 days of Christmas!

If you want more Christmas cookie recipes, try these easy Christmas cookie recipes, traditional Christmas cookies, or satisfy that chocolate craving with these 16 chocolate Christmas cookie recipes!

Chewy Molasses Cookies stacked for a traditional christmas cookies.
20 Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes sliced
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Why these are the Best Christmas Cookies

  • Professional quality recipes. These recipes are all created or perfected by a professional pastry chef for the best texture and flavor.
  • Variety of flavors and textures. The best cookie platters and boxes include a variety of flavors and textures to surprise and delight the recipient. Choose a few chewy cookies and several crunchy cookies in a variety of flavors for the best mix.
  • Divided into categories for easy selection. We’ve done (almost) all the work for you by subdividing all the cookies into categories. You can easily select a few from each for a perfectly varied cookie tray!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to choose cookies for a Christmas party?

When baking cookies for a Christmas party I choose cookies with different flavors and textures. I like to bake a few chewy cookies, some crunchy cookies and then a few that are unexpected, like nut roll cookies! I make sure each flavor is different so that there will be something for everyone. Also consider preparation time, and the fact that choosing some crunchy cookies {like snowball cookies} that improve with time will take away some stress from the day of your party!

How long can cookies sit out at a party?

The majority of cookies can stay at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, so don’t stress about Christmas cookies sitting out at a party. Only cookies that include perishable items like homemade lemon curd should be refrigerated after several hours.

How to display Christmas cookies at a party?

I like to arrange Christmas cookies on a range of platters at varying heights. Try placing a variety on a cake stand while others are on decorate plates on the table. The varying heights add visual interest. It is also ideal to consider the appearance of the cookies before baking. Select cookies that are different colors, shapes and sizes for the prettiest display.  

The 24 Best Christmas Cookies

There are thousands of Christmas cookies to choose from, including more than 100 Christmas cookie recipes by Chef Lindsey, but these are the best. They were chosen for their variety of flavors, textures and preparation. You will find a great selection of chewy cookies, crunchy cookies, bar cookies and some fun, festive cookies as well.

The Best Chewy Christmas Cookies

These are the best chewy Christmas cookies in a variety of flavors! Choose a few to delight guests and family alike. You’ll find traditional cookies like soft gingerbread boys alongside some unexpected additions.

gingerbread cookie with white icing and raisins.

This is my family recipe for the best gingerbread cookies that I have adapted over time. It is soft, chewy and perfectly spiced! They are amazing decorated with a simple icing or raisins. This will soon be one of your favorite Christmas cookie recipes too!

gingerbread boy with raisin decorations.
4.96 from 49 ratings

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

These are the best soft gingerbread cookies. They are chewy, soft and perfectly spiced, and the dough is easy to make, roll out and bake! This is my Mom’s recipe that I have refined over the years in professional bakeries.
Bake Soft Gingerbread Cookies
cherry cookies stacked baked fresh for easy Christmas cookies.

Soft cherry cookies are chewy with a little crunch from the pecans. A flavorful cream cheese cookie is rolled in pecans (or any nut you want) and then baked. Before cooking, a maraschino cherry is pressed on top for a festive, sweet finish. These were one of my favorite childhood Christmas cookies!

cherry cookies stacked baked fresh for easy Christmas cookies.
4.75 from 4 ratings

Cherry Cookies

These cherry cookies are a tangy and soft cream cheese sugar cookie encrusted with crunchy pecans and enhanced with a touch of almond extract and cherry. Distinct and delicious, this is easily your new favorite chewy cookie recipe!
Bake Chewy Cherry Cookies
Chewy Molasses Cookies stacked for a traditional christmas cookies.

These chewy molasses cookies are big, soft molasses sugar cookies. The dough is rolled in extra sugar before baking, which makes them a little crunchy on the outside and beautifully glittery! This was my grandmother’s secret recipe for the best molasses cookie.

Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies Perfect Stack
5 from 1 ratings

Chewy Molasses Cookies

My Grandma’s Chewy Molasses Cookies are chewy sugar cookies flavored with molasses, ginger and cinnamon. They have a crunchy outside and soft, chewy inside!
Bake Chewy Molasses Cookies
Old Fashioned Date Pinwheels stacked broken open.

These date pinwheels are a sweet, chewy old fashioned cookie. The brown sugar dough complements the date filling for the perfect bite. Depending on the size of the pinwheel, the recipe easily makes over a hundred cookies! The dough can easily be prepared ahead of time for an impressive freshly baked cookie.

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheels close up
5 from 1 ratings

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheels

These Old Fashioned Date Pinwheels are soft, chewy cinnamon brown sugar cookies with a pecan date filling! They may be old fashioned but they are absolutely sensational!
Bake Date Pinwheel Cookies
stuffed red velvet crinkle cookie broken open.

These cheesecake stuffed red velvet crinkle cookies are homemade red velvet crinkle cookies stuffed with an easy cheesecake filling. Each bite will taste like the best red velvet cake in cookie form!

red velvet crinkle cookie with cheese cake filling.

Cheesecake Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Cheesecake-stuffed red velvet crinkle cookies feature a creamy, cheesecake-like filling inside soft, chewy, chocolaty red velvet cookies!
View Recipe
Browned Butter Cardamom Snickerdoodles Wire Rack.

These browned butter cardamom snickerdoodles have all the flavor of the best snickerdoodle recipe but with a lightly spiced cookie dough. The combination of the browned butter, cardamom and cinnamon sugar make these the best snickerdoodles ever.

Browned Butter Cardamom Snickerdoodles Perfect Closeup
4.67 from 3 ratings

Browned Butter Cardamom Snickerdoodles

Chewy Browned Butter Cardamom Snickerdoodles are lightly seasoned with ground cardamom inside the cookie and in the classic snickerdoodle sugar coating. The browned butter gives them a faintly nutty taste and the perfect chewy, thick texture!
Bake Brown Butter Cardamom Snickerdoodles

The Best Crunchy Christmas Cookies

Every cookie tray needs at least one crunchy cookie. I love to choose at least two: one shortbread cookie like these Scottish shortbread and one sandy textured cookie like snowball cookies!

Moravian Christmas Cookies stacked tall white background.

These crunchy Moravian Christmas Cookies are worth the effort. A molasses spice cookie dough is rolled paper thin and then baked until crispy. Enjoy these cookies alongside other spiced cookies like cardamom snowballs for a festive treat.

Moravian Christmas Cookies - Featured Image
4.97 from 59 ratings

Moravian Christmas Cookies

Moravian Christmas Cookies are paper-thin, crispy, spiced molasses cookies. Sweet and gingery, they taste a bit like gingerbread but are waaaay more addicting!
Make Moravian Christmas Cookies
Traditional Scottish Shortbread Prepared for a traditional christmas cookies.

This Traditional Scottish Shortbread is perfection. I’ll give you all the tips for making perfectly shaped shortbread cookies with a tender, buttery texture! These can be made a week in advance and also ship very well.

Scottish shortbread with fork holes poked in the surface.
5 from 3 ratings

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

This authentic Scottish Shortbread recipe makes tender, buttery shortbread with only 4 ingredients! A professional pastry chef takes you gently through each step, to make a no-stress sensational shortbread cookie in no time!
Make Scottish Shortbread
Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies on cooling rack.

These crunchy old fashioned peanut butter cookies can be ready in 20 minutes! The dough requires no chilling and they bake up perfectly every time. You will love this nostalgic peanut butter cookie.

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies on cooling rack with perfect fork tine impressions.
5 from 2 ratings

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My Great-Grandmother’s award winning, Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies are a sweet, traditional peanut butter cookie that is crispy but not dry. Not only is each bite full of peanut butter flavor, but they’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes!
Make Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
Oat Lace Cookies Blue White China.

Crunchy, crispy, sweet lace cookies are an old-fashioned Christmas cookie staple. They are delicate oatmeal cookie that tastes like caramel. They melt on your tongue for the perfect bite.

Oat Lace Cookies Gorgeous Overhead
5 from 2 ratings

Lace Cookies

A beautiful, delicate lace cookie with hints of caramel and an irresistible crunch! These easy lace cookies are crispy and light as air.  
Bake Lace Cookies
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies in yellow towel.

These tender, crumbly chocolate chip shortbread cookies taste like chocolate chip cookies with the texture of classic shortbread! Serve these with an array of cookies or make a shortbread assortment with chocolate shortbread cookies and these cranberry orange shortbread cookies.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies in yellow towel
5 from 1 ratings

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

These Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies magically have texture of a classic shortbread cookie while remaining soft and moist. A sweet brown sugar, vanilla dough is marbled with semi-sweet chocolate chips for a sweet treat that is perfect as dessert or with a cup of coffee!
Make Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
white and red peppermint checkerboard cookies.

These peppermint checkerboard cookies are delicious cookies in a fun and festive checkerboard pattern. An easy to follow tutorial shows you how you can make your own! After assembling, it’s a simple slice and bake situation.

white and red peppermint checkerboard cookies.

Peppermint Checkerboard Cookies

Peppermint checkerboard cookies feature a minty sugar cookie dough that’s pressed, sliced and baked into fun red-and-white checkerboards!
View Recipe

Shaped Christmas Cookies

These festive fun Christmas cookies will mix up the textures and flavors in any box, tin or platter! They are as beautiful as they are delicious. Many are some of our most popular recipes!

apricot kolacky cookies stacked on white lace plate.

This kolacky cookie recipe will knock your socks off! It is a traditional Hungarian Christmas cookie recipe and has hundreds of comments and reviews. It is one of the most popular posts all year round alongside Hungarian nut roll cookies. I suggest making both. Tis the season!

Traditional Hungarian Apricot Kolaches | My Hungarian husband's favorite Christmas Cookie recipe! He says they taste just like his grandma used to make!
4.90 from 98 ratings
Apricot Kolacky Cookies (kiffles) have flakey cream cheese pastry dough wrapped around an easy apricot filling! These two-bite cookies are buttery, crisp and addicting.
Make Kolacky Cookies
diamond shaped linzers with powdered sugar.

This is my recipe for linzer cookies. I have made tens of thousands of these cookies over the years as a professional pastry chef and people can’t get enough! The dough is a brown sugar almond dough flavored with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Raspberry Linzer Cookies on dark surface with extra powdered sugar.
4.97 from 51 ratings

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies are a soft, tender almond cookie sandwiched with raspberry jam and topped with confectioner’s sugar. The cookie dough is flavored with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almonds. These are the best linzer cookies you’ll ever try!
Bake Traditional Linzer Cookies
Pecan tassies on a wire rack with one bitten.

This is my great-grandmother’s recipe for pecan tassies and they are phenomenal! Truly the best you’ll ever have. Your family will love them so much, you’ll probably want to whip up a batch of these chocolate pecan tassies too!

Pecan tassie on a dark background with flaky layered crust.
4.72 from 21 ratings

Pecan Tassies

These Pecan Tassies are like miniature pecan pies with a sensational cream cheese crust. They are sweet and completely addicting!
Make Pecan Tassies
mini apple pies on white cake stand.

Do not under estimate the power of bite-sized mini apple pies! These are even easier than apple hand pies and they are made in mini muffin tins with an easy, press-in cream cheese crust. To make them even easier you could make a batch of my easy apple compote to fill them, or chop up a jar of apple pie filling!

mini apple pies on white cake stand.
5 from 50 ratings

Mini Apple Pies

These easy Mini Apple Pies have a press-in cream cheese crust with a spiced apple pie filling and a brown sugar pecan crumble topping! Bite-sized apple pies baked in muffin tins are perfect for cookie plates, easy party desserts or even afternoon snacks.
Bake Mini Apple Pies
Pistachio Cranberry Sablee Cookie whole.

These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are one of my favorites! I have made tens of thousands for my bakery and they are one of our customers’ favorite cookies. The dough is an easy brown sugar dough flavored with orange zest. I like to bake them soft, but they are also delightful when crunchy.

Pistachio Cranberry Sablee Cookie whole.
4.67 from 3 ratings

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

These easy Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies are a slice and bake cookie that are flavored with orange zest and cinnamon. Big pieces of pistachio and cranberries add flavor and texture! The dough comes together in just 15 minutes and easy to make ahead. 
Bake Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Fun & Festive Holiday Cookies

The holidays are about having fun! These cookies are fun to make, delightful to eat and wonderful to share! If you want to make something different this year, try one of these fun, festive Holiday cookies!

fruitcake cookies iced sliced in half.

These simple fruitcake cookies have all the flavors of fruit cake in cookie form! They are easily customizable based on your dried fruit and nut preferences. I iced them with an easy brandy cream cheese frosting but a simple donut glaze would also work and lock in the moisture for longer.

fruitcake cookies iced sliced in half.
5 from 2 ratings

Simple Fruitcake Cookies

Fruitcake Cookies are chewy sugar cookies stuffed full of candied fruits, raisins and toasted pecans for a unique twist on the classic Christmas fruitcake! Topped with a brandy cream cheese frosting, these little cookies are irresistible!
Bake Fruitcake Cookies
two cranberry thumbprint cookies on wooden board.

These cranberry thumbprint cookies have a buttery shortbread cookie filled with a cranberry jam. I like to bake these thumbprint cookies so they are soft and chewy but they can also be baked more like traditional shortbread to be crumbly.

Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies Wood Slate
5 from 1 ratings

Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

These Holiday Thumbprint Cookies are a buttery shortbread cookie dough filled with a Moscato cranberry jam and baked to soft, tender perfection.
Make Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies
Festive Almond Crinkle Cookies stacked interior texture.

Make these easy Christmas crinkle cookies in under 20 minutes with a box of cake mix and a few other pantry staples. I’ve flavored them with almond extract and colored them with red and green food coloring for an extra festive appearance.

Festive Almond Crinkle Cookies red and green cookies on wood
5 from 3 ratings

Christmas Crinkle Cookies

These Christmas Crinkle Cookies are incredibly soft and chewy. A easy almond crinkle cookie made with cake mix! Whip up a batch of these 5 ingredient cookies in under 20 minutes!
Bake Easy Christmas Crinkle Cookies
Holiday Spritz cookie Christmas tree in hand.

These delicate spritz cookies are flavored with vanilla extract and lemon zest. They can be piped like I did here or pressed through a cookie press! You can also mold the dough and shape into snowmen or candy canes.

Holiday Spritz Cookies in cookie jar
5 from 1 ratings

Holiday Spritz Cookies

These festive Holiday Spritz Cookies are a light, delicate butter cookie flavored with vanilla and lemon.
Bake Spritz Cookies

The Best Bar Cookies

Bar cookies are a great way to make a lot of Christmas cookies quickly! Simple bake, cool and slice! Plus there are so many wonderful varieties to choose from. If these don’t satiate your craving, then check out all of our brownies and bar recipes!

three pecan pie bars stacked.

These pecan pie bars have a cult-like following! They have an easy pecan shortbread crust and a gooey pecan pie filling. It is essentially a bar version of the best pecan pie!

pecan pie bars stacked on wooden surface with brown background.
4.99 from 52 ratings

Pecan Pie Bars

These easy pecan pie bars have a gooey brown sugar pecan pie filling on a buttery pecan shortbread crust! All of the flavors of the best pecan pie with a little bit of maple syrup.
Bake Pecan Pie Bars
chewy ginger bars with fork.

Gather your ingredients and preheat your ovens because you are going to want to make these chewy ginger bars right now! They have a gingerbread base with a candied ginger crumble topping. It is like these soft gingerbread cookies and cranberry jam bars combined into one delicious holiday bar.

These Chewy Ginger Bars have a gingerbread base with a sweet candied ginger crumble topping!! There is candied ginger folded into the base for a perfect burst of ginger!
5 from 3 ratings

Chewy Ginger Bars

These Chewy Ginger Bars have a gingerbread base with a sweet candied ginger crumble topping!! There is candied ginger folded into the base for a perfect burst of ginger!
Bake Chewy Ginger Bars
Cashew Caramel Pretzel Blondies on teal wood.

My favorite browned butter blondies, salted caramel sauce, salty pretzels and cashews come together in these caramel pretzel blondies. They truly are one of the best blondies you’ll ever have.

Cashew Caramel Pretzel Blondies on teal wood.
5 from 1 ratings

Cashew Caramel Pretzel Blondies

These Cashew Caramel Pretzel Blondies have a browned butter blondie base that is topped with a mountain of caramel, roasted cashews and pretzels!
Bake Caramel Pretzel Blondies
stacked 7 layer bars close up.

Classic 7 layer bars are a staple in my house for Christmas. They are easy, flavorful and fun to make! Layers of graham cracker crust, butterscotch and chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut make for the perfect bite.

Featured Image
4.99 from 52 ratings

7 Layer Bars (Magic Bars)

7 Layer Bars aka Magic Bars are a simple yet decadent combination of graham cracker crust, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk, & nuts. The sweetened condensed milk caramelizes on the top and melds the flavors and pulls all the layers together!
Bake 7 Layer Bars Tonight!
sliced peppermint brownies on parchment.

These easy chocolate peppermint brownies have peppermint extract in the batter and crushed peppermint candies over top an easy chocolate drizzle. They have all the peppermint flavor you want in chewy, rich chocolate brownies.

chewy peppermint brownies.

thick + fudgy dark chocolate peppermint mocha brownies

Extra-thick, extra-fudgy, extra-rich peppermint mocha brownies topped with a dark chocolate drizzle.
View Recipe

Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed our Best Christmas cookie recipes. You might also enjoy these easy Christmas cookies, chocolate Christmas cookies or peruse all our Christmas cookie recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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