Looking for a treat that’s universally enjoyed, looks high-end, and is secretly not so hard to whip up? Look no further than these fancy cookies.
Everyone loves cookies. They are easy to make, delicious, and versatile enough for just about any occasion! Cookies are the perfect treat to bake for a party or even just because it’s Monday. And yes, while basic chocolate chip cookies are nice, there are times you’ll want to step it up a notch.
In this article, we will go over a few of my favorite fancy cookie recipes and share some tips for baking perfect cookies every time. Every sweet tooth is sure to be satisfied (and impressed!).
What is a Fancy Cookie?
These fancy cookies are ones that look like they took a lot of time and energy to make. They might be iced, decorated with sprinkles or other fun toppings, shaped into fancy shapes, filled with jam, nuts, cream cheese…the sky is the limit! If you can dream it up in your head for a fancy cookie, it probably exists.
While I love cookies of all kinds, (see dozens of cookie recipes here as evidence) there are times when I’ll step it up a bit. Whether that’s because I’m hosting a party, or just feel like getting some creative energy out, cookies that are a tiny bit “extra” will typically do the trick.
Top Tips for Making Fancy Cookies at Home
While I go into details on the instructions in each individual post linked below, I wanted to give you all some quick tips for how to have the best baking experience possible.
- Read the instructions fully before you begin. It’s best to be prepared ahead of time so you can pace yourself and be ready for what step comes next. I highly encourage any baker to read the entire recipe through at least once before getting started!
- Use the best ingredients possible. I really want everyone to be successful at making fancy cookies and desserts. That starts with the ingredients. Use the very best ingredients that you can get your hands on, especially when it comes to flavoring agents (such as vanilla extract ) and things like food dye and sprinkles. It really does make a difference!
- Measure your ingredients precisely. Baking is much more of a science than an art. If you start guestimating and tossing in random amounts of flour and sugar, you are probably going to be disappointed. Pull out your measuring cups and measuring spoons and be precise!
Tools You May Need to Make Fancy 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! I’m also a big fan of these piping bottles.
14 Must-Make Fancy Cookies
Okay, on to the good part…the recipes! I’ve included some fancy cookies for almost every occasion and taste. I hope you find a recipe (or three) to inspire your next fancy cookie creation.
A few of my favorite things come together in this classic sugar cookie spin. The base is a soft sugar cookie in ball form that has been dipped in glaze then topped with pretty sprinkles.
This is a great beginner’s fancy cookie. The steps aren’t complicated but they look (and taste) amazing.
This is an elevated take on a typical gingerbread cookie. Personally, I have way more fun “decorating” the tree than I do the little gingerbread man.
These fancy cookies are perfect for holiday parties, but I’d highly recommend making a practice run first. The cookie itself isn’t too hard, but the royal icing topping can be a bit tricky. I promise the effort is worth it though.
There is so much this cookie has going for it. First of all, it’s absolutely adorable, as you can see.
But, what I wish these photos could show you is just how incredible these cookies taste. Basic sugar cookie dough gets a major flavor boost with zested orange and almond extract. Believe me, these taste even better than they look, which is saying something.
Want more unique cookies like these? I’ve got them! Check out these fun cookie recipes!
Anyone else a huge lemon fan? I make these several times a year, particularly throughout the spring and summer seasons.
In this fancy cookie recipe, homemade lemon thins are filled with a DIY lemon cream. The combination of thin, crispy cookies and the creamy filling will make your tastebuds sing. Every single bite is bursting with bright, zesty lemon flavor!
Linzer cookies are a classic Christmas cookie that I grew up eating. The cookie itself is flakey and buttery, but what makes these next-level is the jam filling.
The bottom cookie is a solid circle, while the top has a festive cut-out shape where the jelly peeks through. Top the whole thing off with a healthy dusting of powdered sugar, and watch the compliments roll in!
If you are a PSL fan, give these cookies a try! But unlike the Starbucks version, these cookies actually taste like pumpkin. #sorrynotsorry
These soft, cakey cookies are made with canned pumpkin and a blend of fall spices. But don’t forget about the “latte” part—you’ve got to try the espresso icing on these fancy cookies. It’s to die for!
This dessert is perfect for any child or adult who loves to indulge in sweet treats on the holidays. They look awesome on your Easter dinner table, too!
8. Cream Horns
Also known as Lady Locks, creamed horn cookies are a Pittsburg staple around the holidays. More importantly, making these fancy cookies is a family tradition on my dad’s side of the family. I grew up eating these and am super excited to share the recipe with you all too!
These cookies look impressive (and they certainly are), but they aren’t super hard to make. I walk you through every single step in the post!
I also made these into a pumpkin spice creamed horn version if you’d like to give this a fall twist.
On the surface, these may seem like ordinary peanut butter cookies with a chocolate drizzle. But the magic happens once you sink your teeth in!
In the center of each cookie is a peanut butter cup that’s baked in. If you are a fan of chocolate and peanut butter, you’ve got to make this cookie ASAP. Just be warned, you’ll want to eat up the entire batch in one sitting!
Even though I named these “ugly sweater cookies”, there is nothing at all ugly about them. This is definitely a fun cookie to make but decorating them takes time and patience.
If you are looking for a fancy cookie recipe to bring to your holiday party that will get people talking, this one fits the bill!
These fancy cookies are near and dear to my heart! In fact, this is my favorite cookie recipe of all time, hands down. Two light, flaky cookies are sandwiched together with a generous dollop of sweet buttercream icing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
I also love the versatility of this recipe. While I originally developed it as a Christmas recipe, I’ve made it several times throughout the year for other holidays. All you have to do is swap out the icing color. You can even experiment with different cookie shapes too.
If you only make one cookie from this list…this is the winner!
I don’t make that many chocolate cookies, but these are absolutely fantastic. With a dash of cinnamon and cayenne pepper for added warmth (trust me on this one), this cookie is anything but basic.
My favorite part, though, has to be the dulce de leche filling. If you haven’t had dulce de leche before, just think of a richer, thicker version of caramel. It’s absolutely delicious, and oh-so-easy to make.
If you love the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly, you will be all about this cookie. It’s called a thumbprint cookie because you literally use your thumb to make a well in the cookie. Then, fill it up with the jelly of your choosing and bake.
To fancify this cookie even more, it gets a peanut butter icing drizzle once it’s done baking. Yum!
Typical shortbread cookie dough gets a major upgrade here with chopped pistachios. The dough itself is absolutely lovely, and the pistachios add delicious crunch and depth of flavor.
But we won’t stop there. This fancy cookie gets another upgrade with dark chocolate filling! Trust me, this salty-sweet cookie ticks all the boxes.
That’s a Wrap on Fancy Cookies!
So, there you have it! 15 decidedly fancy cookies that will wow your friends and make your gatherings extra special. Which one will you try first? Happy baking!