The Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

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31+ of the best Christmas cookie recipes for cookie exchanges, cookie platters, and Christmas parties.

Variety of Christmas cookies: Christmas cookie bars, snowball cookies, gingerbread men, and frosted pudding sugar cookies.

It’s my favorite time of year… Christmas cookie season!

I like to spend the days leading up to Christmas in the kitchen getting all my favorite Christmas cookies baked and ready for sharing with family on the big day. Because who doesn’t love Christmas cookies?!

Read on for a collection of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Christmas Cookie Bars
Christmas Cookie Bars
Packed with red and green M&M's, chocolate chips, and sprinkles, these buttery cookie bars make for a fun and festive Christmas dessert.
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homemade gingerbread men cookies decorated with eyes, mouth, scarf, and buttons using icing
Gingerbread Men Cookies
This gingerbread recipe makes the tastiest classic Christmas Gingerbread Men cookies! Made with molasses and brown sugar you can’t go wrong!
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Decorated Christmas sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles on serving plate with additional cookies scattered around table
Classic Sugar Cookies
The only Christmas sugar cookie recipe you will ever need. These classic cut-out cookies are easy to make, fun to decorate, and perfect your holiday party or Christmas cookie exchange.
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Christmas Snowball Cookies with red and green M&Ms
Christmas Snowball Cookies
Unlike traditional snowballs, these Christmas cookies are made without nuts. Instead, they have a little surprise inside–red and green M&Ms! Yum!
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Platter of round frosted sugar cookies decorated with red, green, and white frosting and christmas sprinkles
Soft Frosted Christmas Cookies
These soft frosted Christmas cookies are topped with a generous layer of frosting and loads of holiday sprinkles, making them perfect for Christmas parties and cookie exchanges.
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Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Soft and chewy gingerbread cookies rolled in festive sprinkles are a must-have for Christmas day.
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Kitchen sink cookies with Christmas M&Ms, mini marshmallows, pretzel pieces, and chocolate chunks.
Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies
These soft and chewy vanilla pudding cookies are packed with marshmallows, M&Ms, pretzels, and chunks of chocolate for the ultimate loaded Christmas cookie. I hear that they are Santa’s favorite!
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Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Melt-in-your-mouth peppermint pinwheels are swirled red and white cookies that are loaded with sweet minty flavor.
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Hidden kiss cookie cut in half to show hershey kiss in center. Two whole cookies and 2 wrapped hershey kisses are next to the cookie on the plate.
Secret Kiss Pudding Cookies
Secret Kiss Cookies (aka Hidden Kiss Cookies) are soft and chewy pudding cookies with a sweet surprise hidden in the center– a chocolate Hershey’s Kiss!
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sugar cookies with sprinkles on red dish
Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
Make festive sugar cookies the easy way with this sprinkle sugar cookie recipe–no rolling, cookie cutters, icing, or fancy decorating required. You are sure to fall in love with these soft sugar cookies.
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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies with a mini reese's cup in the center. One had bite taken out of it to show inside of reese's peanut butter cup.
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Peanut butter cup cookies take chewy, homemade peanut butter cookies and stuff them with a mini Reese's peanut butter cup. They are always a huge hit and one of my favorite cookies!
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Soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies piled on top of one another with a bite taken out of top cookies.
Jumbo Snickerdoodle Cookies
The ultimate snickerdoodles! These bakery-style snickerdoodles are super soft on the inside with a slight crisp and crunch on the outside from the cinnamon sugar, they are absolutely amazing. Even though they are shareable size, you will want one all to yourself!
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Double chocolate snowball cookies stacked on a white plate with one cookie cut in half to show chocolate interior packed with mini chocolate chips.
Double Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Made with cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips, double chocolate snowball cookies are a rich chocolate twist on the classic Christmas cookies. The perfect holiday cookie for chocolate lovers!
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Red velvet cookies with white chocolate chips piled on white serving platter with bowl of white chocolate chips in the background
Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies
Soft and chewy red velvet cake mix cookies with white chocolate chips are easy to make in only 15 minutes with 5 simple ingredients!
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Thumbprint cookies with jam centers piled on a white plate
Thumbprint Jam Cookies
My thumbprint cookies recipe takes classic Christmas cookies up a notch with a secret ingredient in the cookie dough–vanilla pudding! The result is the most flavorful and soft thumbprint jam cookies ever. They literally melt in your mouth!
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7 Layer bars with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, and chopped walnuts over a graham cracker crust. Three of the cookie bars are stacked on top of each other with additional bars in the background.
7 Layer Bars
These thick and chunky cookie bars layered with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and walnuts on top of a buttery graham cracker crust. Sweetened condensed milk is poured overtop to hold the bars together. My mom has been making these incredible cookie bars every Christmas for as long as I can remember. It just wouldn't feel like Christmas without them!
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Not only do these Candy Cane Hershey Kiss Cookies look festive, but these holiday cookies have a festive peppermint flavor as well.
Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
Not only do these easy-to-make Candy Cane Hershey Kiss Cookies look festive, but these holiday cookies have a festive peppermint flavor as well! Yum!
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Grinch Cake Mix Cookies decorated with red heart candy in center
Grinch Heart Cake Mix Cookies
These grinch themed cake mix cookies are perfect for little kids. Plus, they are super simple to make thanks to starting with a box of vanilla cake mix!
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Three stacked mint chocolate brownie cookies with white chocolate chips, chunks of andes mints, and white chocolate drizzle.
Mint Brownie Cookies
Everyone will love you if you add these rich and fudgy mint chocolate brownie cookies with white chocolate chips and Andes mints to your Christmas cookie tray this year.
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Chocolate oatmeal cookies piled on a white plate with a white napkin with grey stripe under it on a light wood table
Classic No Bake Cookies
These classic chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies are soft, chewy, and filled with rich chocolate peanut butter flavor. The tried and true recipe is just like the one that grandma used to make!
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Christmas Shortbread Cookies cut in snowflake and circle shapes, and decorated with holiday sprinkles.
Christmas Shortbread Cookies
These easy Christmas shortbread cookies have the heavenly melt in your mouth buttery flavor you crave in a shortbread cookie with a subtle vanilla flavor. They are perfect for rolling out and cutting with your favorite cookie cutters.
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White chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies.
White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
A delightful combination of chewy oats, tart cranberries, and sweet white chocolate chips, no one would ever guess that these oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies start with a packaged cookie mix!
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Christmas Tree Meringues - Green meringue cookies topped with gold star and gold sprinkles
Christmas Tree Meringues
Christmas tree meringues are light, airy, and festive cookies that the whole family will love. Give the recipe a try and I am sure that the beautiful, easy cookies, will be the star of your Christmas dessert spread.
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Peppermint meltaway cookies; pale, round cookies topped with icing and crushed peppermint candies.
Peppermint Meltaways
These sweet, lightly flavored peppermint cookies will literally melt in your mouth. Perfect for the holidays!
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Soft Amaretti Cookies piled on a white plate surrounded by more cookies
Amaretti Cookies
These classic Italian cookies are melt in your mouth delicious. Nutty almond flour comes together with eggs, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract to produce a decadent sandy cookie full of flavor. Rolled in powder sugar and topped with sliced almonds, you can’t go wrong!
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Sprinkle pudding cookies stacked 3 cookies on top of one another, with one cookie leaning on its side.
Pudding Cookies with Sprinkles
Christmas sprinkle pudding cookies are soft, chewy, and easy to make in under 30 minutes with no chill time. A tasty and easy Christmas sprinkle cookie recipe for your Christmas party.
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Thick chocolate cookie with buttercream frosting and shards of homemade peppermint bark.
Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies
Thick, rich chocolate cookies topped with a sweet peppermint buttercream and pieces of homemade peppermint bark.
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Thick Christmas sugar cookie bars with sprinkles in the dough and topped with vanilla frosting and more sprinkles. A glass of milk and bowl of holiday chips can be seen around them.
Christmas Sugar Cookie Bars
These frosted Christmas sugar cookie bars with sprinkles are all the tasty fun of classic sugar cookies without the mess. The thick and chewy bars are packed with sprinkles and/or holiday chips and topped with a generous layer of buttercream frosting; perfect for your Christmas cookie exchange or holiday party.
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cranberry cookies tied with twine
Cranberry Cookies
Moist and delicious cranberry cookies are packed with holiday flavor and are always a hit at holiday cookies exchanges!
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Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies stacked on top of one another.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
You can't go wrong with classic chocolate chip cookies. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is easy to make and always a crowd favorite.
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Pecan snowball cookies piled on white serving plate.
Buttery Pecan Snowball Cookies
Pecan snowballs aka Mexican wedding cakes, are the perfect make-ahead treat for your holiday tins. The classic Christmas cookies are easy, quick to make, and packed with buttery, nutty flavor. Plus, they look like cute little snowballs!
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Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies
Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies
These rich chocolate cookies are packed with sweet white chocolate chips and salty pecans. The easy drop cookies will make a perfect addition to your Christmas cookie platter.
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Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies on white plate
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies are a fun twist on classic thumbprints, pairing chocolate cookies with a rich chocolate ganache and a sweet maraschino cherry. The easy Christmas cookies will look great in your holiday cookie tin!
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Old-fashioned peanut butter cookies with criss cross pattern on the top and bite taken out of one cookie.
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
These classic peanut butter cookies have a crispy, golden brown outside and a soft center, just like the ones that grandma used to make.
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Peanut butter reindeer cookie with pretzel antlers, red M&M nose, and candy eyeballs.
Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies
Thick peanut butter cookies decorated to look like Santa's reindeer using mini pretzels, candy eyes, and M&M noses.
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Andes Mint Grasshopper Cookies Recipe
Grasshopper Cookies Recipe
Who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate and mint?! Made with rich and refreshing Andes Mints, this grasshopper cookies recipe puts all other grasshopper cookies to shame! Plus, their green color makes them a perfect addition to your holiday cookie platter this year.
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Also known as Italian Christmas cookies, Italian anise cookies have a unique liquorice flavor and are topped with a sweet glaze and sprinkles. 
Italian Anise Cookies
No list of the best Christmas cookie recipes would be complete without a recipe for classic Italian Christmas Cookies! These Italian cookies are topped with a sweet 3-ingredient icing and rainbow or holiday sprinkles.
(Another great option is A Grande’s Life anise cookie recipe!)
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Peppermint Candy Cane Snowball Cookies on serving plate with red and green candy canes and Christmas ornaments around it
Candy Cane Snowball Cookies
These peppermint snowballs are packed with crushed candy canes for a surprise pop of holiday flavor with each bite.
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Crockpot avalanche cookies with red and green sprinkles on Christmas linen.
Crockpot Avalanche Cookies
If no-bake cookies and rice krispie treats had a baby, it would be these rich and chewy crockpot avalanche cookies! Gooey marshmallows and crispy rice cereal are coated in luscious peanut butter and white chocolate to make these easy slow cooker cookies.
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Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies
Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies
Sweet and crunchy peanut butter cornflake cookies are fun and easy to make with just 5 ingredients! No baking required!
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Rolo stuffed chocolate cookies piled on wooded cutting board with one cookie sliced in half to show rolo inside.
Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Another cookie that is perfect for your Christmas cookie exchange are these delicious incredible Rolo stuffed cookies. These soft and chewy chocolate cookies have an irresistible ooey gooey Rolo center. Yum!
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peanut butter blossom cookies plated horizontally
Peanut Butter Blossoms
No holiday cookie exchange is complete without peanut butter kiss cookies! They are classic Christmas cookies that are full of delicious peanut butter flavor.
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Snow Capped Gingersnaps
Made with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, these gingersnaps pack a whole lot of holiday flavor. To finish them off, the chewy gingerbread cookies are dipped in white chocolate and topped with crystallized ginger.
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Salty-sweet Christmas pretzel hugs treats are quick and easy to make with just 3 ingredients: square pretzels, M&Ms, and Hershey's Hugs.
Christmas Pretzel Hugs
Although not technically a cookie, these salty-sweet treats are really perfect for Christmas celebrations and cookie exchanges. And you will love how quick and easy they are to make with just 3 ingredients!
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Snickerdoodle cake mix cookies stacked in a pile on a white plate with a cooling rack with additional snickerdoodles behind them.
Snickerdoodle Cake Mix Cookies
These delicious snickerdoodles are easy to make with a box of white cake mix and 6 other simple ingredients. The perfect shortcut for quick and easy holiday cookies.
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Peppermint Patty Cookies
Peppermint Patty Stuffed Cookies
These York peppermint patty cookies are soft, chewy, and full of delicious mint chocolate flavor. Plus, they are super easy to make with just 4 ingredients!
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Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chips meet Funfetti in these delicious cookies. These cookies are thick and have a cake batter as their base.
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Sugar Cookie Pudding Cups
Why not try something a bit different this year? Shape your sugar cookies into little cups, bake, and then fill with pudding. The combination of sugar cookies and creamy pudding is absolutely delicious! Plus, the kids just love these!
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Ritz Thin Mints
Ritz Cracker Thin Mints
If you are looking for a quick and easy Christmas cookie recipe, these tasty Ritz cracker thin mints for you. The no-bake mint chocolate treats couldn't be easier to make with just 2-ingredients.
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3-Ingredient Buttery Shortbread Cookies
These melt in your mouth Christmas shortbread cookies are easy to make with only three ingredients!
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Funfetti cake mix cookies topped with rainbow sprinkles and placed on a white plate for serving.
3-Ingredeint Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies
These soft and chewy Funfetti cake mix cookies are easy to make using just 3 ingredients! You can add red and green sprinkles on top for more of a holiday look.
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Crispy, golden brown oatmeal cookies made with the original quaker oatmeal cookie recipe for the 1950s.
Quaker Oatmeal Cookies
The perfectly crispy and amazing original oatmeal cookie recipe from the back of the Quaker oats container in the 1950s! They have changed their recipe since then but in my opinion this vintage recipe made the BEST oatmeal cookies ever!
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Christmas M&M Mini Cookies
These fun cookies are miniature in size and are filled richly with chocolate chips and M&M! They’re irresistible for everyone and they make great gifts!
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Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Fresh cranberries give these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies a twist that makes them perfect for Christmas parties. This recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free so it can be enjoyed by even those with special diets.
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mexican crinkle cookies
Mexican Crinkle Cookies with a Kick
A little twist on an old favorite adds a bit of spice to these chocolate crinkle cookies. These bad boys have become my new favorite cookie – they are incredible!
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I hope that this list left you with some ideas for the perfect holiday cookie recipe for your holiday cookie trays.

For even more cookie ideas, see all 90+ of my easy cookie recipes.

Enjoy & Happy Holiday Baking!

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  1. Nom noms! Thanks for sharing the recipes. I cant wait to try out a few, myself šŸ˜‰

  2. Thank you for sharing. They all look delicious. Just getting ready to start making my cookies.

  3. I am starting my Christmas baking and was looking to try something new. All these recipes sound fantastic and I am going to try them. I know my family and friends will devour them.

  4. Amazing cookie recipes! These I must add to my Pinterest board and FB recipe page. I especially like the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal one..YUM!

  5. I love cookies. I want to give the chocolate chip – m&m cookies a try. Cookies with chocolate. Yum.

  6. I am embarassed to say I have yet to bake one Christmas cookie and my family is not happy. Thank for the post. I better get busy!

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