25 Christmas Cookies for Beginner Bakers

Just starting to bake? We've got plenty of Christmas cookies for beginners. These easy recipes don't require a lot of fuss, and they make delicious cookies every time.

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Pecan Meltaways

This sweet, nutty pecan meltaways recipe is a tradition in our house at Christmastime, but the treats are delightful any time of the year. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

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Stained Glass Cherry Macaroons

Coconut macaroons are very easy to make at home. You can mix up the batter for these cookies with just a wooden spoon or spatula—no need to break out the mixer. We love this recipe because the red and green candies make them look super festive. You can try this recipe if you prefer your macaroons plain.
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Raspberry Almond Strips

If you’re just getting your bearings in the kitchen, there’s no shame in using shortcuts. This five-star recipe starts with a package of refrigerated cookie dough and turns out so delicious.
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Easy Mint Thins

This is a very simple Christmas treat that tastes a lot like a classic Girl Scout Cookie. The secret is that it’s not a cookie at all! Dip Ritz crackers into melted chocolate and mint extract and you’ve got an amazing and simple copycat. To make this an even easier task, invest in a chocolate melting pot like this one.
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Peanut Butter Penguins

You can use that same dipping technique with Nutter Butter cookies (plus a few decorations) to make penguin cookies. So cute! This is a good recipe to have on hand if the kids want to help in the kitchen.
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Cranberry Pecan Cookies

Sometimes all you need to do to create a homemade-feeling treat is to upgrade a packaged item. In the case of these cookies, you stir in dried cranberries, white chocolate chips and chopped pecans to refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Give them extra flavor by toasting the pecans first. Here’s how.
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Cherry Christmas Slices

We love this Christmas cookie recipe because it’s essentially a homemade slice-n-bake cookie. You can make a batch of this cookie dough and stash it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake. Here are more of our favorite slice-and-bake favorites.
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No-Bake Cookie Butter Blossoms

No-bake cookies are a great place to start for less experienced bakers (or just bakers on a timeline). You can have a batch of these crispy cookies done in less than 30 minutes. Check out these other no-bake cookie recipes, too.
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Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks

Packaged puff pastry serves as the foundation for these festive cookies. It’s a great shortcut ingredient—even baking queen Mary Berry relies on it.
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Hot Chocolate Cookies

Drop cookies are some of the easiest cookies you can make. Just mix the dough together and then it’s as simple as scooping it onto a cookie sheet.
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Jeweled Thumbprints

Thumbprints are a Christmas cookie tray classic and are actually easy to master. Plus, they’re easy to customize with your favorite jams and preferred extracts (vanilla would work great here instead of the almond).
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Nuts-About-You Cookie Sticks

Another cookie tray classic: Taking a favorite storebought cookie (in this case Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes and upgrading them. To make these cookies stand out, dip them in chocolate and chopped nuts.
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These crinkle-topped cookies are a good next step for beginners in the kitchen. The dough comes together in a snap. After you make the dough, all that’s left is to chill, coat in confectioners’ sugar and bake—so simple!
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Holiday Cornflake Cookies

Love crispy rice treats? These cornflake cookies are made very similarly with melted butter and marshmallows. The only tricky part about these is shaping the wreaths, but if you give your hands a quick spritz with cooking spray the marshmallow won’t stick to your hands.
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Cherry Kiss Cookies

These cherry kiss cookies are a fun twist on the classic peanut butter kiss cookie. This recipe is a step up but just as simple. Just add in a bit of cherry juice and chopped maraschinos.
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Fudgy Mint Cookies

Love kiss cookies? These minty cookies use the same technique with another candy.
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Snow Day Cookies

These cookies are a fun experiment for any baker. This recipe calls for everything but the kitchen sink: oats, chocolate chips, candy, pretzels and even potato chips. Experiment with your own mix-ins—just keep the proportions the same.
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Peppermint Meltaways

If you feel like you’re ready to tackle a cookie and a frosting, give these peppermint meltaways a try. The round cookies are simple to make and can be topped with a dab of frosting—no piping bag required.
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Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Any chewy cookie-lovers out there? These soft ginger cookies are great for beginners but tasty enough to keep making long after you’ve advanced your skills.
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Basic Cookie Dough

Need a basic cookie dough? This is the perfect recipe. The dough is simple to mix together and you can use it as-is for cutout cookies or step it up for other cookie varieties, like these chocolate mallow cookies or jelly sandwich cookies.
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Cherry Surprise Cookies

The easiest variation on that basic cookie dough is this recipe for cherry surprise cookies. The dough stays the same—just wrap it around a chocolate candy, top with a candied cherry, bake and you’re done!
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Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Drop cookies are incredibly popular (and easy). We love this recipe which relies on the classic combination of cherry and chocolate—perfect for Christmas.
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Colorful Candy Bar Cookies

Who doesn’t love surprises? These cookies have two. First, they’re stuffed with mini candy bars (yum!). The other surprise: this recipe starts with pre-made dough.
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Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies always seem to be a hit. This recipe is one of our favorites for beginners because it uses just three ingredients and you can press all of the dough into one pan. You can have these mixed up and in the oven in 15 minutes flat.
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Chocolate Toffee Peppermint Cookies

Sometimes all you need during the holidays is to spiff up a classic recipe. This drop cookie starts with a chocolate chip cookie-style base but uses toffee and peppermint instead of chips. It’s an easy swap that makes them so much more seasonal.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.