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In this ultimate guide to Christmas cookies, I’m sharing my best cookie success tips, recommended tools, a free shopping list printable, and top-rated cookie recipes from my website. If you need cookie help or inspiration, this page is for you!

assortment of Christmas cookies including sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, thumbprints, oatmeal cookies, coconut macaroons, and spritz cookies

Welcome to my complete Christmas cookie guide. There’s enough sugar to last us an entire year!

After years of baking cookies– and writing a cookie cookbook— I know what works and what doesn’t. Let me help you avoid a failed batch of cookies with my highest rated recipes and no-fail success tips. I recommend starting with my beloved Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies— also a reader favorite. 🙂

cake batter christmas chocolate chip cookies

My Cookie Success Guides

Room Temperature Butter

Most cookie recipes call for room temperature butter. There’s legitimate science behind this, so don’t overlook it. Room temperature butter is cooler than you think, so review my Room Temperature Butter page. And here’s my trick to soften butter quickly.

Let’s talk recipes. Here are 75+ Christmas cookies including classic Christmas cookies, decorated Christmas cookies, allergy-friendly cookies, chocolate, white chocolate, Christmas shortbread cookies, and a category for QUICK cookies!

I’m confident you’ll find a cookie to love this holiday season. 🙂

Classic Christmas Cookies

1) Spritz Cookies and Butter Cookies
2) Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
3) Peanut Butter Blossoms and Peanut Butter Cookies
4) Soft Molasses Cookies
5) Crisp Molasses Cookies
6) Iced Oatmeal Cookies
7) Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies
8) Snowball Cookies
9) Gingerbread Cookies or try Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies
10) Christmas Sugar Cookies
11) Snickerdoodles (no dough chilling)
12) Jam Thumbprints from Sally’s Cookie Addiction
13) Cinnamon Spice Palmiers

Super Festive Christmas Cookies

14) Homemade Gingerbread House
15) Drop Style Christmas Cookies
16) Christmas Cookie Sparkles
17) Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
18) Easy Cookie Icing for decorating your cookies
19) Red Velvet Kiss Cookies
20) Snowmen Sugar Cookies
21) Chocolate Swirled Meringue Cookies
22) Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
23) Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
24) Stained Glass Window Cookies

No Chill/Quick Christmas Cookies

25) Christmas Cookies in a Jar
26) Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
27) Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches (like Nutter Butters!)
28) Mini M&M Cookies
29) Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
30) Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies (use festive sprinkles!)
31) Peanut Butter Cup Surprise Monster Cookies
32) Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
33) Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
34) Vanilla Bean Biscotti and Dark Chocolate Orange Biscotti
35) Magic Cookie Bars

Allergy-Friendly Christmas Cookies

36) Lace Cookies (GF and no dough chilling)
37) No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs (nut free + GF, but make sure oats are certified GF)
38) Coconut Macaroons (nut free + GF)
39) Almond Butter Coconut Macaroons (GF)
40) No-Bake Cookies (make sure oats are certified GF)
41) Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (make sure oats are certified GF)
42) French Macarons (GF)
43) Rice Krispie Treats (GF)
44) Chocolate Truffles (GF)

*Here are all of my egg free baking recipes.

Chocolate Lovers Christmas Cookies

45) Peppermint Mocha Cookies
46) Chocolate Turtle Cookies
47) Brownie Cookies (quick dough chilling)
48) Chocolate Dipped Almond Biscotti (no dough chilling)
49) Butter Cookies with Orange & Chocolate Ganache
50) Mint Chocolate Checkerboard Cookies
51) Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Cookies
52) Caramel Stuffed Nutella Cookies
53) Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies
54) Chocolate Sugar Cookies
55) Homemade Thin Mint Cookies
56) Chocolate Chip Cookies
57) Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (could use red & green M&Ms instead of chocolate chips)

White Chocolate Lovers Christmas Cookies

58) Peppermint Bark Cookies
59) Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies
60) Holiday Magic 5 Cookies
61) Maple Cinnamon Star Cookies (dipped in white chocolate!)
62) White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
63) White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti (no dough chilling)
64) Coconut Macadamia Nut Cookies (with white chocolate drizzle!)
65) Soft-Baked White Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies
66) White Chocolate Chip Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
67) Ginger Molasses Cookies from I Heart Naptime (dipped in white chocolate!)

Shortbread/Slice & Bake

68) Santa’s Whiskers Cookies
69) Pecan Shortbread
70) Salted Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread (no dough chilling)
71) Toasted Hazelnut Slice & Bake Cookies
72) Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
73) Neapolitan Cookies
74) Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Slice & Bake Cookies
75) Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
76) Pistachio Cookies
77) Wedge Shortbread Cookies (no dough chilling)

Need Several Batches? How to Maximize Your Time

If you’re anything like me, you want to bake at least 5 different kinds of Christmas cookies at once. In fact, I have a dedicated Christmas Cookie Baking Day every single year. After a few stressful experiences trying to cram a bunch of inconvenient recipes into 1 day, I found the perfect combination of cookies that maximizes my time.

So happy to share my schedule and recipe suggestions with you:

  1. Make 1 type of decorated cookie. I prefer my gingerbread cookies or Christmas sugar cookies. Make the dough the night before, then bake the cookies first thing in the morning so they are ready to decorate.
  2. Make a super festive cookie. I suggest my peppermint mocha cookies or Santa’s whiskers cookies. Either dough must chill, so make the dough the night before.
  3. Make a bar cookie and bake them as you prepare the next cookie. I suggest my ultimate magic cookie bars or peanut butter blondies. (Use festive colored M&Ms instead of Reese’s Pieces if desired.)
  4. Make a no-bake recipe as the bar cookies bake. I suggest my chocolate coconut snowballs, scotcheroos, or no bake cookies.
  5. Bake the cookies from #2. Decorate the cookies from #1 as #2 bakes.
  6. Finally, make a no-chill cookie recipe such as spritz cookies (pictured below) or mini M&M cookies. Continue decorating cookies from #1 as these cookies bake, if needed.
Butter spritz cookies made with a cookie press

Free Printable – Ingredients & Shopping Chart

To make shopping easier, my team and I knew readers would find an ingredient chart helpful when shopping for ingredients. This chart fits 6 recipes– you can list the recipes at the top, then write in the amounts so you can see how many cups, bottles, teaspoons, etc that you need to purchase for each ingredient. You can add extras at the bottom too like candy canes, Hershey Kisses, molasses, etc. (This chart doesn’t include basics like salt, baking soda, and baking powder.)

**Free Baking Ingredients Chart PDF: Sally’s Baking Recipes Ingredients Chart

Here is a photo preview:

shopping ingredients chart displaying columns for recipe names and rows for ingredients.

Final Cookie Baking Success Tips

  1. Chill the cookie dough. If the cookie dough is particularly sticky, wet, or greasy– chilling is in its best interest. Chilling cookie dough helps prevent spreading.
  2. Ditch the specified baking time. I never look at recipe times when I bake cookies. I look at the cookies themselves. The cookies are done when the edges are set and lightly browned.
  3. One batch at a time. You get the best possible results when the oven only concentrates on that 1 batch. If you need to bake more than one batch at a time, rotate the baking sheets from the top rack to bottom rack a couple times through the baking process to encourage even browning.

Q: Which Christmas cookies are you making this year? You might also enjoy making a masterpiece yule log, too!

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Great list, Sally! Everything on it looks delicious. And good job to Hilari on the chart. So far this season, I have made your homemade thin mint cookies (with a minty filling), your Holiday Edition Magic 5 Cookies (by far a new favorite!!!), and your peppermint chocolate thumbprints. I’m planning to make at least some of these cookie recipes during the holidays:

    -butter cookies
    -sugar cookie sparkles
    -chocolate swirled meringue cookies
    -Christmasy funfetti slice and bakes
    -gingerbread house

    Honestly, it’s impossible to really choose just a few recipes, because there are so many amazing ones I just want to make them all! But we already have three varieties of cookies in our house, as well as a plate of Spritz cookies from our neighbours, and I’m baking again today for a little get together with friends. I guess I’ll have plenty to share with friends at church tomorrow 🙂

  2. Love the chart! I had planned to make something similar, but it never happened, maybe because I’m still working on my list of what I’m going to make. For 20+ years I put all of my time and energy into chocolates at Christmas, but last year I cut that back and made some cookies as well. I loved your favorite gingerbread men so they are definitely happening this year. Hopefully I’ll get a few more done, maybe the cherry shortbread and the chocolate swirl meringues (love that this gluten free recipe uses regular ingredients I have on hand).

  3. Hello Sally,
    This post is so wonderful. It contains all aspects for Christmas baking and so much more. The efforts you put in to explain the details, the tips and everything else relating to baking is so very helpful to us.
    Very grateful.

    Wishing you & your family Wonderful Christmas.


  4. Hi Sally !!
    Thanks so much for this great round up! I’ve already made so many of your cookie recipes. Neapolitan, chocolate peppermint thumbprints, pistachio drop cookies, Linzer style gingerbread cookies, butter cookies, black & white cookies, & my newest obsession your lace cookies. I also have the dough logs of your pecan shortbread cookies ready to go but haven’t baked those up yet. So many cookies!!! I love this time of year!

  5. If you chill dough overnight, how long should it sit out before baking?

    We do our own big cookie bake, but with everyone’s schedule it’s hard to do it all in one day!

  6. Sally you have been sooooo helpful for a newbie baker such as I. Unfortunately due to lack of time, I will only be doing five different recipes. I plan to start way earlier next year since the majority of your recipes can be frozen up to 3 months. Have a Merry Christmas!

  7. Hello from a very COLD Alberta, Canada (4*C @ 12:10am MST) I ended up coming to your site yesterday afternoon via a link from another page. Better late than never, right?
    And that was SIX hours ago!
    I ‘ve been absolutely drooling over all the scrumptious recipes & surely would have gone thru a large portion of a ream of paper printing them off – except the printer is down. So – I’ve been emailing them to myself.
    Along the way I found a few long lost faves – so can’t wait to get into the kitchen. And the flour bin. After some sleep. And a LOT of coffee!
    Thanks so much for these great recipes! Stay safe.

  8. Hi Sally! If I need to double a cookie recipe, do I just double all the ingredients and mix it all together? Or do I need to make two separate batches? I’m thinking ahead to Christmas and I have a lot of neighbors I’d like to bake for this year! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Heather, While we caution against doubling most cake and cupcake recipes, usually cookie recipes are ok to double! Just check the recipe notes for each recipe before you begin and see if it says not to double. If you have a question about a specific recipe you can always comment on that recipe or email us at 🙂

  9. Hi Sally, I just tried your Gingerbread cookies, Christmas sparkle cookies and the Nutella chocolate chip cookies for Christmas….everyone loved it at home n especially my kids….Thanks a ton for sharing such amazing recipes…..Love from Bangalore, India

  10. I have tried twice to make the almond raspberry thumbprint cookies. I followed the recipe exactly and made sure the dough. Both time the cookies spread and turned out flat. I thought maybe they weren’t cold enough the first time since it took me a bit to assemble, so I made sure they were still cold (even put in the fridge after assembled) the second time. Same result. They taste amazing, but are too ugly to share in this state. Can you help me?

    1. Hi Stacy, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies for the delay responding to you. I wonder if your butter is simply too warm during that creaming step. This sounds crazy, but may work– try using cold butter right from the refrigerator. Cut it into smaller pieces, then cream that with the sugar (may take a little longer than the recipe states since the butter is so cold). Having cold cookie dough even before chilling should help. Adding another 1-2 Tablespoons of flour should be helpful too.

  11. Hi there, not sure if I missed this somewhere but when you add the sprinkles to the top of the chocolate chip cookies- at what point do you sprinkle them on? So they don’t melt and mush in. Thanks!

    1. Hi Meg! Those extra sprinkles on top of the cookies are just for looks for the photo, but you can dip the cookie dough balls in sprinkles before baking if you’d like. (There’s also sprinkles in the cookie dough, too.)

  12. Many thanks for sharing your great cookie recipes. The gingerbread cookies are great and the snowballs are melt aways! Love them!

  13. Sally,
    Can you provide a “map” for the photo with your Christmas cookies? I’d like to add some from the photo to my cookie boxes for next year.

    Your blog is wonderfully helpful; keep up the good work.

  14. The coolest recipe ever. Which surprised our whole family. How do you guys make such a recipe? Every recipe is wonderful for you. The taste of every recipe is real. The biggest thing is easy to make.

  15. I’m going in on this list today! Snow day, stay at home orders in place, I already have 4 of your recipes frozen ready to bake… I’m going to see how many others from this list I can make today! CHRISTMAS COOKIE CHALLENGE! This is the best post ever, I love to reference it at this time of year. Happy Holidays!

  16. Sally, is there a way that I can make one dough and use it for all the five types of cookies(with some changes to the dough for each type)? It would greatly shorten the time I spend on making the dough.

    1. Hi Yanni, we’re not aware of a “master dough” of sorts that would allow you to make five different kinds of cookies, but let us know if you give anything a try. Happy baking!

  17. This is the first year ever that I baked more than one recipe in one day. I wanted to bake 4 different types of cookies, but I ended at 3. It was a blast. I baked the gingerbread men cookies, the peanut butter blondies, and the shortbread wedges. All of the cookies were amazing. I boxed them up nicely (working on my baking design skills) and we passed them out to neighbors and friends. I am going to do some more baking after Christmas – maybe cupcakes and madeleines. I’m feeling pretty confident 🙂

    1. Hi Dana, Thanks for giving all of these recipes a try! We can’t wait to see what you bake after the holidays.

  18. Love all of these recipes! I’m trying to find the recipe of the chocolate chip with sprinkles at the beginning of the list. Can you please point me in the right direction?
    Thank you!

  19. My strategy for the past few years has been to make all of the recipes I want in the weeks leading up to Christmas and just freeze most of the dough in cookie balls as I go. Right now I have seven…eight? different kinds of dough in my freezer! (Browned butter sugar cookies, chocolate brownie cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, molasses cookies, peanut butter cookies…) I love this strategy because it makes the cookie-ing for actual Christmas a breeze.

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