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40 Unique Christmas Cookies from Around the World

Take inspiration from traditional Christmas desserts from around the world and bake up a batch of Italian, German, Swedish, French and more unique Christmas cookies

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Chocolate Almond PizzellesTaste of Home

Chocolate Almond Pizzelles

If you love fun baking gadgets, you'll enjoy making these crispy, almond-flavored cookies, which get their unique waffle design from a pizzelle maker. They bake up golden brown in only a few minutes. Feel free to double the chocolate drizzle if you'd like to cover the cookies more generously. —Hannah Riley, Norwalk, Ohio

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MelomakaronaTaste of Home

Melomakarona

Growing up in Cyprus, we would see this melomakarona cookie everywhere during the holidays. Every year my mother, Thelma, would make plate after plate of these all Christmas long. It's just not the holidays without them. —Paris Paraskeva, San Francisco, California

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Cinnamon Roll MacaronsTaste of Home

Cinnamon Roll Macarons

These macarons are a winter/fall staple for me—inspired by the classic cinnamon roll, they are a delicious treat for a cold or snowy day. These pair well with a mug of tea, and can be eaten as a dessert or just a snack. Try custard, mousse, ganache, or any other buttercream as fillings, too. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California

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Dutch SpeculaasTaste of Home

Dutch Speculaas

These Dutch spice cookies taste similar to the windmill cookies we enjoy in the United States. In Holland, it's tradition to mold the dough into the shape of St. Nicholas and serve the baked cookies on Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day). —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Snowy Mountain CookiesTaste of Home

Snowy Mountain Cookies

I was so excited to bake these with my mom after coming home from studying abroad in Germany. They remind me of the Swabian Alps I could see from my room there. Be careful not to overheat your white chocolate; it’ll lose that attractive shine. —Stephanie Bouley, North Smithfield, Rhode Island

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Mexican Chocolate Walnut-Cherry BiscottiTaste of Home

Mexican Chocolate Walnut-Cherry Biscotti

I love to combine flavors and spices from different cultures. These cookies have ground cinnamon in them, which is a classic flavor in Mexican chocolate. They are very crunchy and are loaded with maraschino cherries and toasted walnuts. —Nancy C. Evans, Phoenix, Arizona

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Holiday Kipferl CookieTaste of Home

Holiday Kipferl Cookie

My family has been making the classic kipferl cookie on December 1 every year since I can remember. During the last two weeks of December, we make them with the addition of dried cranberries and toasted pecans for Christmas time. —Brooke Maynard, Poughkeepsie, New York

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Italian Chocolate Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

I recently found this old family recipe in my mom’s kitchen. I made a few adjustments to streamline the process, and the cookies turned out wonderfully. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida

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Hawaiian Dream CookiesTaste of Home

Hawaiian Dream Cookies

These cookies are lovely as they are, but I'll sometimes use a light-colored sanding sugar for the top: First, lightly brush the top cookie with cream, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. This can be done before or after placing the cookie on top of the filling. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Pumpkin Sage Beurre Noisette CookiesTaste of Home

Pumpkin Sage Beurre Noisette Cookies

In a world of pumpkin spice flavor, these fluffy cookies are my top choice. The infusion of fresh sage gives them a surprising savory note. You can use mashed sweet potatoes or yams instead of the pumpkin if you prefer. —Jill LeMasters, Ravenna, Ohio

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Glazed PfeffernuesseTaste of Home

Glazed Pfeffernuesse

Our version of the classic German cookie is nice to have on hand throughout the holiday season. They stay fresh—and become more intense in flavor—when stored in an airtight container for weeks. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Finnish PinwheelsTaste of Home

Finnish Pinwheels

When my sister was hosting an exchange student from Finland, she served these cookies I'd made to her guest. The young lady instantly recognized what they were. So I know they're still being made in our ancestors' country. —Ilona Barron, Ontonagon, Michigan

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Italian Sprinkle CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian-American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York

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Chocolate Linzer Torte StarsTaste of Home

Chocolate Linzer Torte Stars

Wanting a treat that tastes like traditional linzer torte without the time commitment, I came up with these simple, sensational cookies. They have the nuts and chocolate with a filling of bright raspberry preserves—festive enough for any holiday gathering. —Edwina Gadsby, Hayden, Idaho

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Raspberry Linzer CookiesTaste of Home

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

These wonderful cookies, inspired by the Austrian torte, require a bit of extra effort to make and assemble, but the delight on the faces of family and friends when I serve them makes it all worthwhile. —Schelby Thompson, Camden Wyoming, Delaware

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Swedish Gingerbread CookiesTaste of Home

Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

Making Swedish pepparkakor—or gingerbread cookies—is a holiday tradition in our family. I entered these at the Iowa State Fair and took home a blue ribbon.—Kathleen Olesen, Des Moines, IA

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CuccidatiTaste of Home

Cuccidati

The compliments are well worth making these Sicilian cookies—they're the best recipe I've found! —Carolyn Fafinski, Dunkirk, New York

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Chocolate Mexican Wedding CakesTaste of Home

Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cakes

These spiced balls are a yummy twist on a traditional favorite. Sometimes I add mini chocolate chips to the dough and, after baking, dip the cooled cookies in melted almond bark. —Joanne Valkema, Freeport, Illinois

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Apricot Raisin RugelachTaste of Home

Apricot Raisin Rugelach

Rugelach is a classic addition to holiday trays. The flaky, buttery pastry slices encase a spiced fruit and walnut filling. —Laurie Klett, Hamilton, Michigan

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Spiced German CookiesTaste of Home

Spiced German Cookies

These buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds. —April Drasin, Van Nuys, California

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Finnish Christmas CookiesTaste of Home

Finnish Christmas Cookies

"My friend bakes these cookies at Christmas," says Judith Outlaw of Portland, Oregon. "They're popular at cookie exchanges, but my friend's husband urges her not to trade any of them!"

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ZimtsterneTaste of Home

Zimtsterne

During December, homes and bakeries in Switzerland are filled with the aroma of classic cookies like these "Zimtsterne." —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Italian Christmas CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Christmas Cookies

A single batch of these ricotta cheese cookies is never enough. I usually make one to give away and two more to keep at home. The ricotta cheese makes the morsels extra moist. —Doris Marshall, Strasburg, Pennsylvania

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Italian Holiday CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Holiday Cookies

Many of our holiday traditions center around the foods my mother made while I was growing up. These cookies, which we called "Strufoli", bring back wonderful memories. —Sue Seymour, Valatie, New York

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Austrian Nut CookiesTaste of Home

Austrian Nut Cookies

These are my family's favorite Christmas cookies. If you arrange the slivered almonds in pinwheel fashion, the cookie looks like a poinsettia. —Marianne Weber, South Beach, Oregon

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Italian Lemon CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Lemon Cookies

Christmas wouldn't be the same without my grandmother's cookies. A plate full of these light and zesty cookies is divine!—Elisabeth Miller, Broadview Heights, Ohio

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Chocolate LebkuchenTaste of Home

Chocolate Lebkuchen

Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary Christmas custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas

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Italian Horn CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Horn Cookies

My family has been making these delicate fruit-filled Christmas cookies for generations. Light and flaky, they have the look of elegant pastry. —Gloria Siddiqui, Houston, Texas

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Russian Tea CakesTaste of Home

Russian Tea Cakes

I like to present my favorite holiday cookies in a special way. I pile these fresh-baked tea cakes on pretty plates that I buy throughout the year, then wrap them with colored cellophane to give friends. —Valerie Hudson, Mason City, Iowa

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Mexican Wedding CakesTaste of Home

Mexican Wedding Cakes

As part of a Mexican tradition, I tucked these tender cookies into small gift boxes for the guests at my sister's wedding a few years ago. Most folks gobbled them up before they ever got home! —Sarita Johnston, San Antonio, Texas

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Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel CremeTaste of Home

Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Creme

I made these for an office party cookie contest—and not a crumb was left on the platter! Sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient. Canned sweet potatoes will work, too, if you're short on time. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Almond Ginger CookiesTaste of Home

Almond Ginger Cookies

Think outside the box this season and enjoy these traditional Chinese cookies, each one topped with an almond slice. —Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin

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Date-Filled RugelachTaste of Home

Date-Filled Rugelach

Taking old recipes and making them my own is how these cookies came about. They’re so special to my family. Sometimes I roll the dough in cinnamon sugar instead of flour. —Barb Estabrook, Appleton, WI

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Sweet Potato Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Spice Cookies

Shredded sweet potatoes, butterscotch chips, pecans, coconut and spices are creatively combined in a one-of-a-kind cookie that always brings rave reviews. These cookies are similar to Malawi’s sweet potato cookies. —Ruth Shaffer, Elizabethville, Pennsylvania

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Vanilla Meringue CookiesTaste of Home

Vanilla Meringue Cookies

This meringue cookie is light, airy morsels and the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. These cookies are similar to a traditional Bolivian cookie. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Chocolaty Double CrunchersTaste of Home

Chocolaty Double Crunchers

I first tried these fun crispy cookies at a family picnic when I was a child. Packed with oats, cornflakes and coconut, they quickly became a “regular” at our house. Years later, I still make them for my own family. You’d find something similar in South Africa. —Cheryl Johnson, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

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Oat & Coconut Icebox CookiesTaste of Home

Oat & Coconut Icebox Cookies

This recipe was passed down through the family from Grandma Irene and is a favorite of my dad and cousin Dennis. It’s a true cookie lover’s cookie: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and perfectly dunkable. They are similar to Australia’s anzac biscuits. —Lori Rowe, Tigerton, Wisconsin

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French Christmas CookiesTaste of Home

French Christmas Cookies

These moist treats will have everyone reaching for more. Folks tell me they enjoy these French Christmas cookies. In fact, the batches I make ahead for my family and store in the freezer until Christmas seem to mysteriously disappear each year—even though the chocolate topping I put on before serving hasn't been added yet! —Judy Wilder, Mankato, Minnesota

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Italian Cenci CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Cenci Cookies

My mother brought this special family recipe from Europe a century ago. Cenci can be "dressed up" for any holiday—at Easter, I sprinkle yellow, pink and lavender jelly beans over them, and for Christmas, red and green candy sprinkles give the cenci a festive look. Even without the garnish, they always disappear fast! —Anna Coduto, Fullerton, California

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Grandma's Polish CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma's Polish Cookies

This traditional khruchiki recipe has been handed down through my mother's side from my great-grandmother. As a child, it was my job to loop the end of each cookie through its hole. —Sherine Elise Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York

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