Save on Pinterest

12 Contest-Winning Cookies for Your Holiday Cookie Tray

These contest-winning Christmas cookie recipes are perfect for a cookie swap, an open house or as a thoughtful gift for a friend. Or you could just eat them all yourself.

1 / 12
Grand Prize: Baklava Thumbprint CookiesTaste of Home

Grand Prize: Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

The topping on my sister-in-law's peach cobbler was so delicious that I asked for the recipe, then decided to use that to top a cookie I developed with the flavors of baklava. My adult son tried one and immediately ate two more—which is unusual for him! It's a good recipe to mix up the night before and bake fresh the next day for company. —Sharon Eshelman, Harrington, Delaware

2 / 12
1st Place: Carrot Spice Thumbprint CookiesTaste of Home

1st Place: Carrot Spice Thumbprint Cookies

Carrot cake is a family favorite, and these delicious cookies taste just like it with shredded carrots, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, cinnamon and cloves. And they're topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. Who could resist? Each cookie is like eating a piece of carrot cake, but with no fork needed! —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

3 / 12
2nd Place: Pineapple Coconut TassiesTaste of Home

2nd Place: Pineapple Coconut Tassies

These cookies may sound and look fancy, but they're rather easy to make Their simplicity makes them an ideal choice for baking with children. My granddaughter enjoys helping me measure the ingredients. Children also can help shape the dough into balls, and then you can finish them together. —Connie Shuff, York, Pennsylvania

4 / 12
3rd Place: Sea Salt Mint White Mocha CookiesTaste of Home

3rd Place: Sea Salt Mint White Mocha Cookies

This recipe came from my mom's Grandma Alice, who taught her how to bake. Grandma Alice always had a fresh plate of warm cookies on her counter. I learned some of her recipes by heart as a child, and I've been making these since high school. They taste like Christmas.—Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California

5 / 12
Runner Up: Cheesy Cajun Cornbread BiscottiTaste of Home

Runner Up: Cheesy Cajun Cornbread Biscotti

This cookie is our best seller at our Christmas cookie bazaar. Everyone requests this tasty biscotti every year. It's simple but very delicious. I will also serve it year-round alongside a meal as an appetizer. —Paula Marchesi, Auburn, Pennsylvania

6 / 12
Runner Up: Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry BallsTaste of Home

Runner Up: Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry Balls

Here's my twist on the traditional German holiday lebkuchen—with a surprise inside. Maraschino cherries add a sweet and unexpected punch to the holiday spice of gingersnaps. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

7 / 12
Runner Up: Cinnamon Roll MacaronsTaste of Home

Runner Up: 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 Christmas dessert or just a snack. Try custard, mousse, ganache, or any other buttercream as fillings, too. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California

8 / 12
Runner Up: Coconut, Lime & Pistachio CookiesTaste of Home

Runner Up: Coconut, Lime & Pistachio Cookies

Perfect for freezing, these cookies look like Christmas but taste like summer. —Barbara Crusan, Pass Christian, Mississippi

9 / 12
Runner Up: Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip CookiesTaste of Home

Runner Up: Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is the best of twp worlds—gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies. Since they're combined, you don't have to choose between them. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

10 / 12
Runner Up: Ginger S'moresTaste of Home

Runner Up: Ginger S'mores

I’ve spent a few years now perfecting this recipe to get a soft, flavorful cookie while balancing the marshmallow and chocolate so they don’t overpower the cookie. I think I finally got it! Recently I added orange zest—it really complements the other flavors. —Lynsay Benson, Minnetonka, Minnesota

11 / 12
Runner Up: Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel CreamTaste of Home

Runner Up: Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Cream

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

12 / 12
Runner Up: Spiced Eggnog Rum CookiesTaste of Home

Runner Up: Spiced Eggnog Rum Cookies

I created a new holiday cookie recipe when I had a lot of eggnog on hand. The flavor is subtle, but it transforms regular sugar cookies into something special for the holidays. —Mark Banick, Salem, Oregon
Originally Published in Taste of Home

Popular Videos