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8 Christmas Cookie Recipes You Have to Try This Holiday Season

Iced Christmas cookies next to ornaments and pine sprigs.
Ildiko Szanto/Shutterstock

Cookies and desserts are a big part of holiday traditions around the world, and on Christmas, there’s an abundance of recipes to choose from. Here are eight Christmas cookie recipes you absolutely have to try this holiday season!

Orange-Cardamom Shortbread Cookies

The smell coming out of the oven as these delicious cookies are baking is hard to describe. The combination of juicy oranges with powerful cardamom is intoxicating. It’ll keep you on your toes for the full 20 minutes until they’re ready.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter (or vegan butter) at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of orange syrup reduced from the juice of 1 orange
  • 10-3/4 cup of all-purpose (or rice) flour
  • 1/4 cup of rice (or almond) flour

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well combined, and then add the orange zest.
  2. Cook the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reduces by 3/4.
  3. Remove from heat and add one tablespoon of the reduced syrup to the butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Mix in the salt and cardamom, and then start adding the flours, gently mixing them all the way through.
  5. Shape the dough into a disk, and then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set for about one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
  7. Take out refrigerated dough and roll it out to about 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface so it doesn’t stick.
  8. Cut your cookies into any Christmas shape you like.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or so, checking often to make sure they don’t burn. You want golden, not brown, edges. When they’re done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  10. Enjoy them as is or add any type of frosting or decoration on top.

Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

Fresh cranberry chocolate chip cookies.
LightStrokePhotography/Shutterstock

Chocolate goes well with almost anything. Combine it with tangy cranberries, and it’s a match made in heaven! All you chocolate lovers can’t skip this one!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of butter (or vegan butter), melted
  • 1 cup of coconut (or brown) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, unsweetened, if possible
  • 1 large piece of dark chocolate, crushed into chunks (or chocolate chips, if you prefer)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and then add the chocolate chunks and dried cranberries.
  5. Drop the dough into 32 mounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Bake for around 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Take out and let cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

Chocolate Peppermint Thins

Peppermint-flavored desserts are always popular around the holidays. Mixing them with chocolate creates a special richness that brings back childhood memories.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of unsalted (or vegan) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
  • 1-1/2 cups of all-purpose (or oat) flour
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter for one minute with an electric mixer on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and light in color. Add the egg, and vanilla and peppermint extract, and then continue mixing on high speed.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder, and then whisk in the baking powder and salt.
  4. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined.
  5. Divide the dough into two equal parts, and then roll out each on a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
  7. Remove one of the dough halves from the refrigerator, roll it out to your preferred thickness, and then start cutting. Traditionally, peppermint thins are either round or square, but you can choose any shape you like. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through. Once the edges appear set, they’re done. Take them out and let them cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Then, transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
  9. Dip them in chocolate or add any other decorations before serving.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Iced vanilla sugar cookies on a white plate.
Yobab/Shutterstock

Sugar cookies are every child’s dream on Christmas, especially if they lend a hand in decorating them. Here’s a healthier version your kids will absolutely adore. It will supply them with a bunch of amazing nutrients, but still taste wonderful.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups of oat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of mesquite powder
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut oil, coconut sugar, mesquite powder, and egg white. Add in the vanilla bean paste and stir in the honey.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until just incorporated—no need to overmix.
  4. Shape the dough into a 1-inch-tall rectangle, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
  6. Take out the cookie dough, unwrap and roll it out until it’s between 1/8- to 1/16-inch thick.
  7. Cut your cookies into any shape you want, and then bake for 8-10 minutes, making sure they don’t burn. The edges should be golden, not brown.
  8. Take out and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Decorate to your liking (or let the kids do it).

Gingerbread Maca Cookies

Adding a touch of the powerful superfood, maca, to your usual gingerbread cookies will give them a slight caramel-nutty flavor. It’ll make them extra special this holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Ground Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of Maca Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of Coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Add all cookie ingredients to a large bowl and stir well. Roll them into bite-size balls, and then press down with a fork in the middle
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them for the last five. Taking them out when they turn golden (not brown).
  4. Dip them in the icing or sauce you prefer, or leave them as-is.

Enjoy these bite-sized gingerbread cookies whenever you need that healthy kick!

Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

Homemade chocolate chip cookies with pistachios.
Kati Finell/Shutterstock

This sweet and nutty combination will curb your every after-meal sweet craving. Plus, since they’re so easy to make, you’ll undoubtedly be baking batch after batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (or plant-based milk)
  • 2-1/2 cups of all-purpose or oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 cups of coarsely chopped pistachios, raw and unsalted
  • 1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on high speed for about three minutes, or until nice and smooth.
  3. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract, and then beat for another three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often to ensure even mixing.
  4. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats. Transfer the dry ingredients to the wet slowly. Make sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary to ensure everything is properly mixed.
  5. Fold in the pistachios and chocolate chips, and drop heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking trays. You can also add extra pistachios on top of each bit of dough for decoration if you want.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Take out and let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy munching!

Star-Shaped Snickerdoodle-Vanilla Cookies

Even though we said you can shape your cookies into any form you like, these snickerdoodle-vanilla stars be the perfect addition to your holiday platter. Let them shine next to your little Christmas trees and gingerbread men.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk (or plant-based milk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose (or oat) flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger

For sprinkling:

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Beat in the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract for about two minutes until smooth.
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in thirds, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Divide the dough into fourths, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Take out the dough and roll it out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick. Use a 4-inch, five-pointed star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out your cookies, and then place them 2 inches apart on the baking tray.
  6. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the cookies before baking.
  7. Bake until the cookies spring back slightly when pressed in the center—about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Take them out and let cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Try not to eat them all in one go!

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog-flavored cookies paired with actual eggnog.
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Last, but not least, this delicious cookie list wouldn’t be complete without an eggnog recipe. These amazing little bites are so easy to make, you’ll be whipping them up to enjoy with your morning coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups of all-purpose (or oat) flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup eggnog
  • 3-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar (and some additional for rolling)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light in color and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and then beat for another two minutes until smooth. Lastly, add the eggnog and beat until well combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix (but don’t overmix) until the dough is well combined.
  5. Gently roll the dough into balls (about two-tablespoons in size), and then roll each in the additional sugar to coat before placing them on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges turn golden (note that the cookies will spread and the centers will look soft).
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are perfect to savor after a busy day of holiday prep!


With these delicious Christmas cookie recipes, you’ll be completely set for the holiday season. And your friends and family will beg you to share your cookie secrets!

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »

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