90 Contest-Winning Cookie Recipes

Only the best cookie recipes take the top spots in our contests. Take a bite out of these Runner-Ups, 2nd Place, 1st Place and Grand Prize Winners.

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Mole New Mexican Wedding Cookies

Heat and sweet is such an amazing combination. I added chili powder and chocolate chips to give a new twist to traditional Mexican cookies. They melt in your mouth, and then the spice hits you. I just love them. — Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Cupid put down that arrow! We know that Valentine’s Day cookies are the way to your sweetie’s heart.

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Contest-Winning Chocolate Mint Cookies

My dad sandwiches mint patties between two tender chocolate cookies to create these chewy treats. The blend of chocolate and mint is a big hit at our house. Best of all, these cookies are easy and fun to make. —Christina Burbage, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Take a look at our favorite classic cookie recipes.

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Chewy Good Oatmeal Cookies

These are the best oatmeal cookies with all my favorite extras: dried cherries, white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. —Sandy Harz, Spring Lake, Michigan

You’ll win hearts—and maybe a ring—with this recipe for Marry Me cookies. It’s loaded with two kinds of chocolate!

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Carrot Spice Thumbprint Cookies

Carrot cake is a family favorite, and these delicious cookies with shredded carrots, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, cinnamon and cloves taste very similar. They’re even topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. With each cookie it feels as if you’re eating a piece of carrot cake, but no fork is needed! —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
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Mimosa Butter Cookies

You can add many different flavors to butter cookies to make them your own. Try an alternate type of citrus zest, or add an alternate liquid to change things up. —Sara Lark, Raton, New Mexico
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Coconut Key Lime Thumbprints

This is the cookie recipe I created for the Las Vegas World Food Championships in 2013. It's similar to a shortbread thumbprint cookie, but with lots more personality. —Amy Freeze, Avon Park, Florida
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Cinnamon Chip Chai-Spiced Snickerdoodles

I love cinnamon chips, and this is an intriguing way to use them. Make sure to stock up on them during the holiday season. —Marietta Slater, Justin, Texas
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Browned Butter Spice Cookies

If you like spice cake, you’ll love this recipe! Browned butter, dark chocolate and a splash of rum produce an unconventional spice cookie that’s guaranteed to please. —Kristin Kenney, Newport Beach, California
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Berry-Cream Cookie Snaps

My mom and I made up this recipe by combining two others. These cute cookies are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. You could also bake the cookies flat and serve the filling as a cookie dip if you like. —Crystal Briddick, Colfax, Illinois
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Hazelnut-Espresso Sandwich Cookies

The inspiration for this cute cookie came from my sister's description of a hazelnut cookie she tried in Italy. She declared my version to be a wonderful approximation. My family likes to help fill and trim them. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
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Coconut Clouds

Coconut lovers will have extra reason to celebrate when they taste these cakelike drop cookies. The generous frosting and coconut topping make them a hit at holiday cookie swaps. —Donna Scofield, Yakima, Washington
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Lemon Butter Cookies

These tender cutout cookies have a slight lemon flavor that makes them stand out from the rest. They're very easy to roll out compared to other sugar cookies I've worked with. I know you'll enjoy them as much as we do. —Judy McCreight, Springfield, Illinois
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Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

I'm a busy mother of two young children. I work in our school office and help my husband on our hog and cattle farm. When I find time to bake a treat, I like it to be special. The creamy filling gives traditional peanut butter cookies a new twist. —Debbie Kokes, Tabor, South Dakota
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Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

My group of friends had a weekly "movie night" during winters on Martha's Vineyard, and we'd take turns making a chocolate treat to share. These terrific chocolate thumbprint cookies were an instant success. Once they debuted, I had to make them many more times. —Laura Bryant German, W. Warren, Massachusetts
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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. —Cheryl Johnson, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
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Scottish Shortbread

My mother, who is of Scottish heritage, passed this shortbread recipe, along with other favorite recipes, on to me. When I entered this treat at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
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Powered-Up Molasses Cookies

These tender cookies are so soft and flavorful. You'd never guess they're also lower in fat! —Jean Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
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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
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Cinnamon Roll Macarons

These macarons are a fall and winter 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. Other fillings would work well with this—including custard, mousse, ganache or other buttercream. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California
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Baklava Thumbprint Cookies

The topping on my sister-in-law's peach cobbler was so delicious that I asked for the recipe; then I 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
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Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Creme

I made these for an office party cookie contest—not a crumb was left on the platter! —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Date-Filled Rugelach

I like to take old recipes and make them my own. They’re so special to my family. Sometimes I roll the dough in cinnamon sugar instead of flour. —Barbara Estabrook, Appleton, WI
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Frosted Butter Rum Brickle Bites

The rum, real butter and toffee bits made these cookies my husband’s new favorite. If you’d like them less sweet, skip the frosting and sprinkle the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while still warm. —Cindy Nerat, Menominee, Michigan
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Mocha Meringue Sandwich Cookies

These crisp, chewy cookies can be made any size you choose. They're also great with a variety of fillings—try making them with fruit preserves. —Marie Valdes, Brandon, FL
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Coconut Banana Cookies

This is a springtime variation on my grandma's banana drop cookies and, with tons of coconut flavor, it's perfect for Easter. —Elyse Benner, Solon, Ohio
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Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

Cookie butter and ground ginger add a new layer of flavor. The recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, and they go fast. You may want to make a double batch. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Cranberry Cookies with Browned Butter Glaze

I won a baking contest with these chunky glazed cookies that are so easy, even novice bakers can pull them off. What makes them special? Fresh cranberries. —Laurie Cornett, Charlevoix, Michigan
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Orange-Cranberry Nut Tarts

My friend gave me a recipe for orange cookies. I just had to embellish it. Now my friends and family crave these tarts. —Nancy Bruce, Big Timber, Montana
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Fig & Almond Cookies

In our family, holiday cookies—like these nutty fig ones—are a big deal. I'm so proud to be passing on this Italian tradition to my two boys. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Salted Cashew & Caramel Chews

Nothing says "welcome home" like warm, gooey, chewy cookies right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk—mmm, heaven. You don't need a plate. Just grab and go. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Pecan Pie Thumbprints

A good buttery dough and nutty filling take time to make, but the results are so worth it. After munching on a few, I think you'll agree.— Peggy Key, Grant, Alabama
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Bite-Sized Cinnamon Roll Cookies

If you love cinnamon rolls and spiced cookies as much as I do, make this bite-sized version that combines the best of both worlds. — Jasmine Sheth, New York, New York
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Lime & Gin Coconut Macaroons

I took these lime and coconut macaroons to our annual cookie exchange, where we name a queen. I won the crown! —Milissa Kirkpatrick, Angel Fire, New Mexico
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Cardamom-Blackberry Linzer Cookies

Deeply spiced cardamom is the perfect match for the jam of your choice in this family-favorite sweet treat. — Christianna Gozzi, Astoria, New York
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Autumn Leaf Cutouts

Turn classic cookies into a platter of autumn leaves. Make them in solid colors, or combine pieces of tinted dough for a multicolored effect. — Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies

At my annual holiday party, these cookies are a big hit with everyone, especially when I mix festive food coloring or crushed candy canes into the filling. —Amy Martin, Vancouver, Washington
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Caramel-Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are more cake-like; a nice change from the more common chewier chocolate chip cookie. I've been known to add a little peanut butter to the filling too. —Lauren Reiff, East Earl, Pennsylvania
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Cardamom Sugar Cookies

The warm flavor of cardamom spices up these classic sugar cookies. They’re the ideal treat for your homemade goody basket. Tint the glaze to fit the season.—Darina Jurasek, Salmon Arm, British Columbia
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Chipotle Crackle Cookies

I usually bake these special cookies for the holidays, but my family loves them so I bake them for their birthdays. The addition of ground chipotle chile pepper gives these cookies a little zing. The dough may be sticky, so I dip my hands in confectioners' sugar for easier handling. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Thick Sugar Cookies

This thick and cakelike sugar cookie is similar to those sold at bakeries. My children often request these for their birthdays and are always happy to help decorate them. —Heather Biedler, Martinsburg, West Virginia
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Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

These peppermint hot chocolate cookies are a variation of the cookies my mother made when I was growing up. Now my 13-year-old daughter and I bake them together. They’re always a huge hit! The taste is like rich hot chocolate baked into a scrumptious cookie. —Larry Piklor, Johnsburg, Illinois
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Gluten-Free Snowballs

I took a classic holiday cookie and made it gluten-free. It’s now my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie. They’re so buttery, nutty and sweet—and everyone loves how they crumble in your mouth. —Joan Sarge, Asheville, North Carolina
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Almond Macaroons

These almond macaroons have a wonderful texture, chewy inside and crisp outside. The milk chocolate drizzle dresses them up—everyone loves them! And they’re so easy: With only six ingredients, you can whip them up at the last minute. —Deena Dillion, Ossian, Indiana
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Gooey Butter Cookies

As a native of St. Louis, I wanted to make a cookie version of the famous gooey butter cake. And although many gooey butter cake recipes use a cake mix, these cookies are made from scratch. —Julia TenHoeve, Richmond, Virginia
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Italian Pignoli Cookies

Cookies are the crown jewels of Italian confections. I can’t let a holiday go by without baking these traditional almond cookies rolled in mild pine nuts. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
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Slice 'n' Bake Lemon Gems

Rolled in colorful sprinkles, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are pretty enough for a party. I make a lot of them for holiday cookie trays. (Complete your cookie tray with Chocolate Pretzel Rings.) —Delores Edgecomb, Atlanta, New York
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Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

Covered in chopped nuts and drizzled with chocolate, these cookies are delicious and pretty. Everybody looks forward to munching on them during the holidays. —Elizabeth Marino, San Juan Capistrano, California
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Butterscotch Eggnog Stars

These yellow star-shaped cookies with a "stained-glass" center are almost too pretty to eat! But they have a rich eggnog flavor that is irresistible. Although they take a little time and patience to prepare, they're worth every minute! —Cheryl Hemmer, Swansea, Illinois
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Jeweled Coconut Drops

Red raspberry preserves add a festive flair to these tender coconut drops. Perfect for potlucks and cookie exchanges, the shaped cookies never last long when I make them for my husband and two sons. —Ellen Marie Byler, Munfordville, Kentucky
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Chocolate Mint Dreams

Since chocolate and mint is my favorite flavor combination, these dainty frosted treats are hard to resist. But I manage to save some for guests, because they make my cookie trays look so elegant. —Anne Revers, Omaha, Nebraska
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Winning Cranberry Chip Cookies

Chock-full of cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts, these cookies are fun to eat. They offer a change of pace from traditional Christmas cookies...but don't wait until December to make them. My family requests them all year-round.
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Rhubarb-Filled Cookies

I won a blue ribbon at our local fair for these tender cookies. They're so pretty with the ruby-red filling peeking through the dough. Try making these special cookies and watch the smiles appear. —Pauline Bondy, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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S'more Sandwich Cookies

Capture the taste of campfire s'mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies' marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa
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Fruit-Filled Spritz Cookies

From the first time I baked these cookies, they've been a big success. Old-fashioned and attractive, they make a perfect holiday pastry. —Ingeborg Keith, Newark, Delaware
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Scandinavian Pecan Cookies

We enjoyed these rich, buttery cookies at a bed-and-breakfast in Galena, Illinois, and the hostess was kind enough to share her simple recipe. The pretty nut-topped treats are so special you could give a home-baked batch as a gift. —Laurie Knoke DeKalb, Illinois
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Contest-Winning Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Here's a snack for serious chocolate lovers. These enticing cookies are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, somewhat bittersweet and very chocolaty. I usually make them to share at get-togethers. Otherwise, I'd eat them all myself! I'm always asked for the recipe. —Delaine Fortenberry, McComb, Mississippi
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Chocolate Orange Cookies

My three sisters like the combination of chocolate and orange as much as I do, so we all really savor these beautiful cookies. The candied orange peel on top is a special twist. —Ruth Rumple, Rockford, Ohio
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Mountain Cookies

I've been making these deliciously different cookies for about 11 years. My kids especially like the creamy coconut filling. Whenever I take these cookies, people ask for the recipe. You'll be hard-pressed to eat just one! —Jeanne Adams, Richmond, Vermont
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Chocolate Mint Wafers

These festive cookies remind my family of after dinner mints. With my husband and our two children munching on these chocolaty treats with cool mint filling, a batch never stays around long. —Annette Esau, Durham, Ontario
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Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these dipped gingersnaps. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah
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Pinwheel Cookies

These pretty pinwheel cookies have tempting swirly layers of orange and chocolate. I really mess up my kitchen whenever I bake a batch, but the smiles on the faces of family and friends enjoying them make it all worthwhile. — Paulette Morgan, Moorhead, Minnesota
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White Velvet Cutouts

We make and decorate these cutouts for different holidays and give lots of them as gifts. Last year, we baked a batch a week before Christmas to be sure we'd have plenty to give and plenty for ourselves, too. These rich cookies melt in your mouth. —Kim Hinkle, Wauseon, Ohio
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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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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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Whipped Shortbread

These whipped shortbread cookies melt in your mouth. Mostly I make them for the holidays, but I'll also prepare them year-round for wedding showers and afternoon teas. —Jane Ficiur, Bow Island, Alberta
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Frosted Cashew Cookies

We savor these cookies at Christmas, but they're special year-round with coffee or tucked into a lunchbox. I won a ribbon with these cookies at my county fair. —Sheila Wyum, Rutland, North Dakota
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Coconut Washboards

This simple yet satisfying coconut cookie recipe has been around for generations. Pressing a fork into the top gives the look of an old-fashioned washboard. —Tommie Sue Shaw, McAlester, Oklahoma
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Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry Balls

Here’s my twist on the traditional German holiday lebkuchen—with a surprise inside. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Coconut, Lime and Pistachio Cookies

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

One year, when I had a lot of eggnog on hand, I created a new holiday cookie recipe. The flavor is subtle, but somehow the eggnog transforms regular sugar cookies into something exceptional for the holidays. —Mark Banick, Turner, Oregon
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Ginger S'mores

I’ve spent a few years perfecting this recipe to get the cookie soft and full of flavor and to balance the marshmallow and chocolate without overpowering the cookie. I think I finally got it where I want it! —Lynsay Benson, Minnetonka, Minnesota
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Shortcut Coconut-Pecan Chocolate Tassies

You can garnish these cookies with pecan halves or a couple of chocolate chips before baking, or drizzle with a little melted chocolate after taking them out of the oven. —Deb Villenauve, Krakow, Wisconsin
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Fruitcake Cookies with Rum Glaze

Like fruitcake—only better! If you make these cookies nonalcoholic, you may wish to increase the rum extract for richer flavor. —Sheila Joan Suhan, Scottdale, PA
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Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies

My grandmother always made a holiday fruitcake. I turned her recipe into cookies that are perfect anytime, especially with a cup of tea. —Amanda Digges, South Windsor, Connecticut
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Callahan Christmas Wreaths

When my family asked for good old Norwegian wreath cookies, I studied several recipes for ideas, then added my own special touches. — Cassidy Callahan, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
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Coffeehouse Caramel-Dark Chocolate-Latte Cookie

These taste like my favorite coffee house drink in cookie form. They're crispy outside, but soft in the middle. —Angela Spengler, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
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Turtle Cookie Cups

For a twist, use white chocolate chips in the cups and drizzle with white chocolate. — Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
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Salted Caramel Fudge Drops

These cookies, which start with a mix, are unbelievably decadent! I like to use caramel-filled Dove chocolates. It’s nice dough to make ahead, roll into balls and freeze for up to 3 months. Then just bake the cookies as you need them. —Carole Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Triple-Ginger Gingersnaps

These crunchy treats feature fresh, ground and crystallized ginger, making them a bit more special than the traditional cookie. They are always a hit around the holidays. —Jessica Follen, Waunakee, Wisconsin
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Cuccidati

The compliments from family and friends make these Sicilian cookies worth the effort. It’s the best recipe I’ve found! —Carolyn Fafinski, Dunkirk, New York
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Touch-of-Gold Christmas Trees

You can decorate these pretty Christmas trees with other types of sprinkles if you don't have the gold dust. The filling alone makes the cookies special and so delicious! —Linda Sweet, Cornwall, New York
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Pinwheels and Checkerboards

My mom used to make these cookies every Christmas, and I still love them. They are so colorful...and you can get two kinds of cookies from one dough! They're perfect for including in gift boxes.—Jill Heatwole, Pittsville, Maryland
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Lemon Tea Cookies

These sandwich cookies taste rich and buttery and have a lovely lemon filling. The recipe has been in our family since the 1950s, when my mother got it from a French friend in her club. —Phyllis Dietz, Westland, Michigan
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Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

These butter sugar cookies are one of my favorite cookies to bake for Christmas. The dough recipe is versatile, so you can use it for other holidays, too. Children like to help with the cookie decorating. —Cynthia Ettel, Glencoe, Minnesota
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Almond Raspberry Stars

The first Christmas that I baked these, I ended up quickly making a second batch! The whole family enjoyed them. —Darlene Weaver, Lebanon, Pennsylvania
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Rainbow Cookies

I always bake these cookies two weeks ahead. That allows enough time for mellowing, leaving them moist and full of almond flavor. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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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
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Eggnog Biscotti

You may substitute additional eggnog if rum isn't your thing. For a variation, try using one of the flavored eggnogs available around the holidays. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I needed a new holiday cookie, so I tweaked an old 4-H recipe. This updated oatmeal cookie with cranberries and nuts is my family’s all-time favorite. —Tammy Hoggatt, Omaha, Nebraska

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily has spent the last decade writing and editing food and lifestyle content. As a senior editor at Taste of Home, she leads the newsletter team sharing delicious recipes and helpful cooking tips to more than 2 million loyal email subscribers. Since joining TMB seven years ago as an associate editor, she has worked on special interest publications, launched TMB’s first cross-branded newsletter, supported the launch of the brand's affiliate strategy, orchestrated holiday countdowns, participated in taste tests and was selected for a task force to enhance the Taste of Home community. Emily was first mentioned by name in Taste of Home magazine in 1994, when her mother won a contest. When she’s not editing, Emily can be found in her kitchen baking something sweet, taking a wine class with her husband, or making lasagnas for neighbors through Lasagna Love.