‘Tis the season for holiday baking. I’m sharing recipes for my best Christmas cookies! Whether you’re baking holiday cookies for the first time or looking for something different to add to your usual assortment, these are five of my personal favorites.
Christmas Cookie Recipes:
One of the things I love to do in the weeks leading to Christmas is bake cookies. For the past couple years, my mom and I would each make our best Christmas cookies and then swap some with each other.
Given that we now live a few hours apart, I’m not sure if we’ll do that. However, you can bet I’ll still be baking my favorite cookies (and probably be setting aside a few for her). In thinking about which cookies to make this year, I decided to compile a short list of my favorites and share them with you.
Looking for more holiday and Christmas ideas and inspiration? Be sure to check out the list below!
Tools You May Need to Make Christmas Cookies:
The exact tools you will want to reach for will vary depending on the exact recipe you are making. But these are the go-to staples that I recommend every aspiring baker keep on hand. After all, you never know when you need to whip up a batch of fancy cookies.
- Cookie Sheet with silicone baking mats or parchment paper sheets
- Stand mixer – I love my Kitchen Aid and use it for almost everything! It’s worth the investment.
- Cookie scoop
- Cooling rack – please don’t leave your cookies on the hot baking sheet…they will overbake!
- Piping bag & decorating tip – it makes icing cookies so much easier!
THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS IDEA AND RECIPE RESOURCE LIST:
I know that you’re here for cookies, but if you happen be looking for more Christmas inspiration, let Inspired by Charm be your go-to holiday resources! I have hundreds of ideas and recipes to add the happy to your holidays. Check out some of my favorite ideas below.
- How I Plan My Christmas Decor
- 16+ Stunning Christmas Tree Design Ideas
- 115+ Creative Christmas Ideas – my favorite resource!
- The Best Christmas Cocktail Recipes
- My Favorite Christmas Cookies
- Christmas Q&A – answering YOUR Christmas questions
- Christmas Appetizer Recipes
- The Ultimate Christmas Music Playlist
- 2018 Christmas at Bayberry House – latest Holiday Home Tour
- 2018 Evening at Bayberry House
- How to add Ribbon to your Christmas Tree – highly popular post!
Okay, now onto my favorite Christmas Cookie recipes!
My Best Christmas Cookies:
Peanut Butter Lover’s Peanut Butter Cookies
This is actually a recipe I created this year for Fall Cookie Week, but it’s one I had to include because it became an instant favorite with IBC readers. To me, a peanut butter cookie is a must on a holiday cookie tray. So why not make the cookie extra special by stuffing it with even more peanut butter?
Sweater Weather Sugar Cookies
These cookies, which I shared on the blog last year, recently gained acclaim in BHG’s Christmas Ideas Magazine. I had to include them on my faves list because they are super cute, plus they are made from my mom’s go-to sugar cookie recipe. She has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. I just used a sweater cookie cutter and added fancy piping. I assume most families have their own go-to sugar cookie recipe, but if you don’t or want to experiment this year, give this recipe a try.
Adorable, delicious, and downright festive, these Shortbread Wreath Cookies are destined to be the start of your holiday cookie tray. They are as tasty as they are eye-catching.
Salted Caramel Thumbprints
Who doesn’t love salted caramel? This recipe updates a classic cookie recipes with the flavors of today. Sweet caramel and a pinch of salt make these hard to resist. Time and time again, this christmas cookie recipe proves to be one of the most popular here on Inspired by Charm and it’s easy to see why.
Cutout Christmas Sugar Cookies:
It doesn’t get any cuter than these cookies. I’ve taken my classic gingerbread cookie recipe and turned it into these festive, colorful, and wonderfully delicious Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cookies. You’re in for a TREEat. (See what I did there? Ha!)
Sugar cookies get a festive upgrade with peppermint baking chips and adorable colorful designs piped in royal icing. These Peppermint Sugar Cookies are as cute as they are delicious!
Inspired by vintage plaid thermoses, I’ve baked and decorated these jolly Thermos Gingerbread Cookies. Their unique decorative pattern and delicious gingerbread flavor will make them a star on your holiday cookie platter.
Orange-Almond Mushroom Sugar Cookies
I’m showing you how to make these Orange-Almond Mushroom Sugar Cookies! They are a flavorful sugar cookie cut out into a mushroom shape and decorated with red and white royal icing. They are almost too cute to eat.
I you’re probably thinking, “Michael, mushrooms aren’t very Christmassy.” Well my friends, I’m here to tell you otherwise. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I decorated a Christmas tree in my family room in the colors of red and white. I also filled it with dozens of whimsical mushroom ornaments. They are pretty special. So in my world, mushroom cookies are totally Christmas.
White Chocolate Cherry “Crack” Cookies
Without question, these are my family’s favorite cookie. Everyone on my dad’s side goes crazy for them, and they have become my aunt’s favorite Christmas cookie. They are technically White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread cookies, but my family has dubbed them “crack” cookies. In the recipe I shared for these, I dyed them purple for a bake sale benefit for my aunt. However, they are the perfect holiday cookie when left white and red. I’m certain your family will love them as much as mine does. Get the recipe here.
Christmas Sprinkle Cookie Cups
Fun, delicious, and colorful these Christmas Sprinkle Cookie Cups are a tasty and easy-to-make Christmas cookie recipe. Plus, you can change up the color of the sprinkles to create a really colorful display.
Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies
You all LOVED these Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies during the fall, so I had to include them on this list. I think they would make a lovely addition to a Christmas Cookie tray. Try them with with a white chocolate drizzle and some festive sprinkles for a holiday look!
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes baking cookies can be a bit tedious, especially when you have a million other things to do. That’s why it’s nice to have a few easy cookie recipes, such as this one, to use along with the fancier, time-intensive ones. Not only are these crazy simple to make, but they are super tasty. In fact, you can use store-bought cookie dough, and no one will be the wiser. That’s what I did.
My mom made this Crock-Pot Candy a couple years ago, and I turned my nose up at it when saw it. I’m not a big chocolate person, so initially, it didn’t spark my interest. However, that was before I had a bite . . . then I couldn’t stop eating it. The combination of ingredients creates a wonderful flavor, and the saltiness from the nuts works well with the sweetness of the chocolate. This recipe also makes a ton, which is perfect for gifting. And yes, technically they aren’t a cookie, but they serve the same purpose and go nicely with the cookies on your tray.
More of my Best Christmas Cookies Recipes:
Cream Wafer Sandwich Cookies
Okay. Here’s the deal. If I could only have one Christmas cookie, these would be it. Hands down these are my best Christmas cookies AND possibly my all-time favorite cookie. While they are a bit more time consuming to make because they are a sandwich-style cookie, they are definitely worth it. (I made these for fall once in a round shape with different colors. You can see them here.) If you only make one new-to-you cookie, these should be it. They will not let you down.
These soft and chewy Gingerbread Cookie Bars topped with cream cheese frosting are so easy to make and just might become your new favorite holiday treat.
These Salted Caramel Crumb Bars are a slice of heaven! With rich and creamy salted caramel layered between a buttery cookie crust and crumb topping, what’s not to love? Everyone will be asking for this recipe.
These Italian Sprinkle Christmas Cookies are a festive take on the classic Italian Sprinkle Cookies (also known as Italian Wedding Cookies). The recipe is the same, but with a change of sprinkles, it feels like a whole new cookie designed just for Christmas.
This recipe for cream horns (also know as lady locks) has been in my family for as long as I can remember. Flaky pastry filled with sweet cream for the ultimate holiday treat! These are a favorite in my family and I’m certain they’ll quickly become a favorite in yours! I also made these with a fall twist: Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns. You can find that recipe here.
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
If you’re looking for a light, shortbread cookie that almost melts in your mouth, these Whipped Shortbread Cookies are the winner! I’ve made them for the holidays, but they are delicious any time of the year.
Sweet, rich, creamy, and loaded with bourbon flavor, these Bourbon Balls make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray.
Peppermint Kiss Cookies
These Peppermint Kiss Cookies are a new must-make for my Christmas Cookie tray. They have a sugar cookie base that’s topped with a peppermint kiss. In essence, they’re a peppermint-twist on peanut butter blossoms.
Want more peppermint? Festive, fun, and kissed with peppermint flavor, these Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies are a delightful nibble to add to your Christmas cookie platter. They may even become a new holiday favorite!
Holiday Linzer Cookies
You’re going to love this classic Christmas Cookie recipe! Grab your baking supplies, because you’re going to want to make these Holiday Linzer Cookies. Filled with raspberry jam, these classic butter cookies make a beautiful and delicious holiday treat.
Milk and Cookie Shots
And finally, if you’re looking for something fun and unique, try my Homemade Milk and Cookies Shots. Serve them up with milk or get creative and whip up a shot with a cream based alcohol to make your festivities extra special. They are a festive and special way to celebrate with friends and family for the holidays. Cheers!
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
Your Christmas cookie trays are about to get a striking, colorful, and delicious addition thanks to these Christmas Pinwheel Cookies. You’re going to love this recipe as they are eye-catching and relativity easy to make.
This Gingerbread Cookie recipe makes a delicious holiday treat that can double as festive Christmas decor. First, they are so delicious and full of seasonal spice and flavor. Second, if you let them dry out you can use them to decorate your tree, mantel, and packages. The options are almost endless. Either way, you’re going to love this recipe!
Bonus Idea for Christmas Cookies:
DIY Christmas Cookie Bags
Looking for a creative, fun, and unique way to share your Christmas Cookies? You should make these DIY Christmas Cookies Bags. I’ve provided the graphics, all you need to do is iron. Get all the details here.
Want another? Learn how to make these festive Vintage-Inspired Christmas Gift Bags. As with the cookie bags above, I’ve provided the vintage holiday graphics as a free download!
That’s a Wrap on Christmas Cookies!
And that’s it … for now. I hope you set aside time this Christmas season to do a little holiday baking yourself. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite Christmas cookie is or which one of my best Christmas cookies you’d most like to try.