These are the best Christmas cookies recipes that are quick and easy to make and package. So many flavors to choose from. Great as a homemade gift too. Classics such as shortbread, cut out sugar cookies, butter cookies, gingerbread men and many more are all included.
Christmas is right around the corner and for most families, it's baking season. I thought I would make things easier for you and gathered the best and most popular cookie recipe ideas from my blog archives that would be perfect as a homemade gift. I make these homemade Christmas Cookie Boxes for my family, friends and neighbors every December. If you are still looking for more ideas, check out this post on Easy Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas (Food). I have also shared some some frosting recipes at the end of this post that pair very well with these treats. Furthermore, I went ahead and shared cool ideas on packaging them at the end of this post. Don't miss out on that!
Cookies are typically broken down into the following categories (at least, in my family):
- Cut out cookies
- Drop cookies
- Slice and bake cookies
- Decorated cookies
- Pressed cookies
Table of contents
- Candy cane
- Ginger/ gingerbread
- White chocolate
- Dried fruits
Storage of Homemade Holiday Cookies
This will depend on the recipe you are using. The general rule of thumb is that if there is a perishable filling or fresh fruit add-ins, they should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Cookies without any such fillings or add-ins can be left in a cookie jar at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Classic Traditional Christmas Cookies
These are some of the most common and popular cookies ever. You are sure to see them at bakeries and I bet these are some of the cookies your mom and grandma made during the holiday season. Among these, the most popular are cut out sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies, in my opinion.
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies (With Cake Mix)- This recipe is totally fool-proof.
- Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies- Pair these with buttercream icing and that will take them over the top.
- Easy Gingerbread Cookies (With Cake Mix)- This is a true holiday classic.
- Red Velvet Cookies (With Cake Mix)- Made with just 5 simple ingredients.
- Shortbread Cookies- Only 3 ingredients are required here: butter, sugar , flour.
- Danish Butter Cookies- Crispy on the outside with a melt in your mouth texture.
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies- They have the most beautiful crackled powdered sugar topping.
- Small Batch Sugar Cookies- Requires no chilling and holds their shape during baking.
- Gingersnap Cookies- Full of spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and covered in semisweet chocolate.
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies- So soft and chewy.
- Snowball Cookies- Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies.
- Christmas Pinwheel Cookies- These are so colorful with swirls of red and green.
- Gooey Butter Cookies- Starts off with a yellow cake mix.
- Snickerdoodle Cookies- Soft and chewy with crispy, sugary tops.
- Iced Oatmeal Cookies- Don't skip the icing because that's what really takes these over the top.
- Meringue Cookies- Delicate, light, airy and packed with vanilla flavor.
- No Bake Cookies- They are very old fashioned and have a chewy texture.
- Spritz Cookies- Made with a cookie press to create so many beautiful designs.
- Jam Thumbprint Cookies- Soft and tender sugar cookies are indented and filled with jams of your choice.
- Church Window Cookies- Very old fashioned and packed with chocolate, marshmallows, coconut and nuts.
- Peppermint Filled Cookies- Chocolate sugar cookies are filled with a peppermint patty for a hidden surprise.
- Linzer Cookies- Another classic recipe that's a sandwich style, filled with raspberry jam.
- Eggnog Cookies- Enjoy as is or add a glaze.
- Ricotta Cheese Cookies- I added some chocolate chips but you can omit them.
- Cream Cheese Cookies- Slightly tangy with vanilla and almond flavor.
- Madeleines- These are mini French butter cakes but enjoyed as a cookie too.
- Italian Rainbow Cookies- Also known as Venetians or Neapolitans with lots of red, white and green colored layers.
You can use a single spice or a spice blend. You can ground them fresh at home or buy them at the grocery store. The most popular spices that are used in baking are cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie spice blend, cardamom, saffron, star anise, ginger.
- Cinnamon Cookies- Loaded with ground cinnamon with the best soft texture.
- Ginger Cookies- Overflowing with so many aromatic spices.
- Molasses Cookies- These are crinkle style with cracked, crispy tops.
- Ginger Molasses Cookies- Made with no butter, no shortening, no oil, no egg yolks.
There are so many options these days. The most popular seem to be almonds, pistachios, pecans, macadamias, walnuts, cashews, peanuts.
- Almond Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)- So rich and buttery.
- Butter Pecan Cookies- Full of toasted pecans and toffee bit.
- Pistachio Cookies- These are cut out cookies with finely chopped pistachios.
- Italian Almond Cookies (Ricciarelli)- Full of almond meal, almond extract, sliced almond topping and a bit of lemon or orange zest.
- Chocolate Banana Almond Biscotti- Rich, buttery, crispy and crunchy and perfect for dunking in coffee.
The holiday season is incomplete without some form of cookie decorating. You can decorate with icing and piping tips, use sprinkles, candies, sanding sugar, food coloring and even drizzle melted chocolate. You can also use a cookie press and special cutters to make beautiful patterns and shapes.
- Jumbo Gingerbread Men Cookies- A jumbo cookie is always better than a regular sized one.
- Stained Glass Cookies- Filled with rock candy or Jolly Rancher windows.
- Easy Rose Cookies- These are piped into a shape of a rose.
- Snowman Cookies (Oreos)- Decorated with melted white chocolate and chocolate chips.
- Snowflake Cookies (Oreos)- No bake and decorated with fondant, white chocolate and sanding sugar.
- Christmas Tree Cookies- These can be decorated any way you like and kids can help too.
- Chocolate Spritz Cookies- A cookie press is used to create the most stunning designs. They can be further decorated with sprinkles.
- Cookie Bowls (Cookie Cups)- These are fully edible and can be filled with anything you like.
- Gingerbread House- Hard cookies are put together with royal icing to look like a cute house and decorated with lots of candies and sprinkles.
- Pizzelle Cookies- These use a special tool to create the most beautiful intricate design.
These cookies are for all the chocoholics out there. They are heavily focused on chocolate in the form of cocoa powder or chocolate chips or ganache or melted chocolate or even chopped up candy bars.
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies- These can be cut out and are perfect for cookie decorating.
- Smores Cookies- Loaded with graham crackers, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.
- Oatmeal Lace Cookies- Thin, crispy, delicate and buttery.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies- These are as big as the palm of my hands!
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies- Full of bold flavors that comes from cinnamon, cayenne, chili and cocoa powder.
- Triple Chocolate Cookies- Loaded with cocoa powder, chocolate chips and fudge candy.
- Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies- Many add-in options included.
- Nutella Cookies- These have a brownie-like texture.
- Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies- Filled with a super rich ganache.
- Cake Mix Chocolate M&M Cookies- The m&m candies can be replaced with so many other candy choices.
- Chocolate Chunk Cookies- Gets their special flavor from browned butter.
- Chocolate Covered Oreos- Can be dipped in white, dark or semisweet chocolate.
- Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers- Once dipped in chocolate, these can be decorated with sprinkles.
- Chocolate Rolo Cookies- Brownie-like chocolate cookies that are crispy on the outside but soft and fudgy on the inside
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies- Super soft and fudgy.
White Chocolate Cookies
White chocolate is so underrated. It's just as delicious as semisweet or dark chocolate in desserts, if paired with the correct flavors and ingredients. You can use white chocolate chips, white chocolate chunks, chopped up white chocolate candy bars or white almond bark/ candy melts.
- White Chocolate Chip Cookies- Starts off with a chocolate cake mix and is balanced by the sweet white chocolate flavors.
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies- Ready in just 20 minutes!
- White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies- These are so lovely and pink and sipped halfway in melted white chocolate and covered in crushed peppermint.
- Cranberry Cookies- Bursting with fresh cranberries and the tartness is balanced by lots of white chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut butter adds so much flavor and moisture to recipes. It can be used in the form of smooth or chunky peanut butter, chopped peanuts, Reese's pieces and even special peanut chocolate chips.
- Small Batch Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies- Makes only a small number of cookies for few people.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies- These thick soft and chewy cookies are sweet and salty.
- Peanut Butter Cookies- These are classic with the fork design.
- Peanut Butter Blossoms- Look like thumbprint cookies, filled with peanut butter and a Hershey's Kiss.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies- Soft, thick, and full of brown sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies- Taste just like our beloved sandwich but in cookie form.
- Reese's Cookies- Full of mini peanut butter cups and Reeses pieces.
Cranberry and orange are two of the most popular fruit flavors that are used in the baking during the holiday season. When it comes to orange, you can use the zest, freshly squeezed orange juice and/or orange extract. For cranberries, you can use fresh or dried. Typically, cut out cookies or slice and bake cookies use dried cranberries and drop cookies use fresh cranberries.
- Orange Cookies- A doctored cake mix recipe, loaded with orange zest, extract, juice.
- Dried Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies- Soft and crumbly and just melts in your mouth.
- Strawberry Cookies- Full of fresh berries, shredded coconut, walnuts and oats.
- Chocolate Cherry Cookies (Black Forest Cookies)- Thumbprint style, filled with vanilla buttercream icing, cherry pie filling and chocolate shreds.
- Lemon Cookies- Packed with citrus flavor, coming from lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies- A great way to use up those ripe bananas.
- Key Lime Cookies- These have a stunning pale green color and can be stopped with fresh strawberries.
Caramel can be stuffed inside dough balls and baked or drizzled on top of cookies after they are done baking. You can also use caramel chips instead of chocolate chips as an add-in for the dough.
- Caramel Snickerdoodles- That ooey gooey filling makes these so mouthwatering.
- Chocolate Caramel Cookies- Soft, moist, fudgy, bakery style, loaded with chocolate chips.
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies- The saltiness balances the chocolate sweetness and bitterness perfectly.
- Coconut Cookies- These crispy, chewy coconut cookies with caramel center are great for parties.
- Churro Cookies- No need to make a dough for these because they are made with a pie crust and filled with caramel.
- Royal Icing- Dries hard. It's great for cookie decorating. This one is also perfect for people with allergies since it's egg-free and dairy-free.
- Glace Icing- This also dries hard and is great for cookie decorating.
- Sugar Cookie Frosting- Does not harden and remains soft and fluffy but is still easy to spread on cookies, especially soft sugar cookies. Loaded with vanilla flavor.
- Chocolate Buttercream Icing- Rich, creamy and perfect for chocoholics!
Packaging for Xmas Cookies
There are so many quick and easy ways to package edible gifts such as cookies. Be sure to check out my post on Food and Cookie Packaging Ideas and feel free to share any other ideas you have in the comments below. All these ideas are affordable, creative and beautiful!
My Favorite Christmas Biscuits
For my family, nothing beats these triple chocolate cookies with peppermint chocolate chips. There are 3 sources of chocolate in them: cocoa powder in cake mix, chocolate chips in the dough and melted chocolate that's drizzled on top. Totally "choco-licious!" They are also ridiculously easy to make because start off with a cake mix and require simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry. That heavenly chocolate and peppermint flavor combination makes them the perfect holiday cookie, in my opinion.
Storage- Leftovers can be stored in a cookie jar at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be refrigerated in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Christmas Cookies (With Cake Mix)
- In a large mixing bowl, add chocolate cake mix, butter, eggs, peppermint extract and mix until combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Chill dough in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to make it easier to handle.
- Scoop out small portions of the dough and roll into balls. Oil your hands to make this step easier and to prevent stickiness, if necessary.
- Place them on a cookie tray, lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm and centers are slightly soft.
- Remove from oven and stick peppermint chocolate baking chips on top of each cookie. You will need to work quickly before cookies cool down.
- Let the cookies cool now.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over the cookies.
- Let it set and harden. Enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in a cookie jar at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be refrigerated in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.