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The Best Cookies from Around the World

Bake your way around the globe! From Italy to Mexico, we found the most popular cookies in the world.

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Whipped Cream Krumkake


Our hometown has a rich Norweg/an culture. That heritage is evident during our annual Nordic Fest, where this classic krumkake recipe is king. Here’s your introduction to the timeless treat. —Imelda Nesteby, Decorah, Iowa

Up next: Our best Christmas cookies from around the world.

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Scottish Shortbread


Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and—as with most of my favorite recipes—she passed this shortbread recipe on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba

Take a look at our favorite chocolate desserts from around the world.

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Italian Sprinkle Cookies


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

These doughnut recipes from around the world are the best part of getting up.

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Global Flavors Recipe Contest 1200x1200sydney watson/taste of home

Global Flavors Recipe Contest

We’re looking for a one-way ticket to delicious! Take us on a trip with the Canadian favorite poutine. Your seafood pho and Venezuelan arepas will do the trick, too. And don’t worry—we’ll make sure to leave room for your homemade mochi ice cream. Whether the dish is inspired by your own homeland, a friend from overseas or your go-to neighborhood restaurant, we’re interested—so long as it has 12 ingredients or fewer. Enter for a chance to win $500.

Enter the Contest

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This recipe was adapted from one used by my Italian-born mother and grandmother. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. The cookies are so delectable and beautiful, they’re worth it! —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania
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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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Italian Sesame Cookies


These nontraditional European cookies aren’t overly sweet and have a wonderful crunch from sesame seeds. They’re the ideal accompaniment to a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea.—Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
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Our Sicilian grandmother often had my sister and me roll out the dough for these tasty torcetti. Their melt-in-your-mouth goodness is delicious without being overly sweet.—Joy Quici, Upland, California
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Italian Orange-Fig Cookies


This is one of the first cookies I made when I found out I could no longer eat gluten. In those eight years, six of my family members and friends have also had to give up gluten, so these delicious Italian cookies have now become a treasured holiday tradition for all of us. By the way, no one will know they’re gluten free unless you tell them! These cookies last for weeks if stored in a dry place. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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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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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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Jammy Dodgers


On my first trip to Great Britain, I stumbled upon these cookies (or biscuits in the U.K.). These iconic treats, also spelled Jammie Dodgers, can be found everywhere over there. Since I couldn’t find them in the States, I had to make my own version. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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This traditional Jewish mandel bread recipe has been passed down in my family for four generations. It tastes wonderful with a cup of coffee, hot cocoa or milk. —Monica Schnapp, Irvine, California

Speaking of bread, check out these breads from around the world!

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Holland Butter Cookies

My great-grandmother’s Holland butter cookies have been passed down in my family from generation to generation. This recipe uses only five ingredients that are usually already in the house. For different holidays, I swap the almonds for cherries, walnuts or ginger. —Tineke De Rosa, Blairstown, New Jersey
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Silvanas are popular in the Philippines for a reason. Cashew-based meringue cookies, rich buttercream and cookie crumbs come together to create this truly delicious treat!
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Chocolate Lebkuchen


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

Chocolate Alfajores


Chocolate alfajores, also known as alfajores de chocolate, are a popular South American dessert made of slightly sweetened shortbread cookies filled with a rich and creamy milk caramel called dulce de leche. It’s best to chill the dough at least 2 hours so the cookies hold when baking. —Kimberly Scott, Kosciusko, Mississippi
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Ma’amoul is a beloved Middle Eastern butter cookie, made aromatic with flower waters and filled with dates. You’ll need a ma’amoul mold to achieve the iconic ridged shape.
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Mexican Cinnamon Cookies


My extended family shares a meal every Sunday. The aunts and uncles take turns bringing everything from main dishes to desserts like this traditional Mexican cinnamon cookie called Reganadas. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Koulourakia are a traditional treat in Greece, where they are usually made for Easter and other celebrations. I enjoy making these buttery, golden Greek cookies to keep me in touch with my heritage. —Nicole Moskou, New York, New York
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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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My daughter-in-law gave me this recipe. Her grandmother was born in Greece and bakes these cookies for special occasions.—Carol Dale, Greenville, Texas
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Hazelnut Macarons


Julia Child had a love of life and French cooking, as she and and Alex Prud’homme described in the book My Life in France. The woman who introduced Americans to the delights of French cuisine would find these crisp, chewy French-style macarons cookies a delight, too! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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These buttery, shell-shaped treats are a cross between a cookie and cake. You’ll need a special molded pan to make this French delicacy, but they’re well worth the effort.
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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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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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Bohemian Kolaches

Czech Republic

This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois
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Calgary Nanaimo Bars


This version of Nanaimo bars may claim roots in Alberta, but the original was said to be dreamed up in a British Columbia kitchen. They’re three delicious layers of Canadian goodness. —Carol Hillier, Calgary, Alberta
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Chocolate Chip Cookies

United States of America

My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It’s big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Cowboy Cookies

United States of America

Laura Bush is famous for her cowboy cookies. Her entry into Family Circle’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off gave them national recognition. These hefty cookies are loaded with chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
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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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Swedish Butter Cookies


It’s impossible to eat just one of these Swedish cookies. Naturally, they’re a favorite with my Swedish husband and children—but anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate this treat. My recipe is “well-traveled” among our friends and neighbors. —Sue Soderland, Elgin, Illinois
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Chocolate Lace Cookies


My mother and I make these elegant chocolate lace cookies. Baking together is a delightful way to spend an afternoon catching up.—Stacey B., Stillwater, Oklahoma
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Matcha Green Tea Mochi Cookies japanese dessertsCourtesy Kirbie's Cravings

Matcha Green Tea Mochi Cookies


In my delicious recipe for Japanese green tea cookies, bite-size pieces of mochi are the perfect alternative to chocolate chips. —Jennifer Lee, Kirbie’s Cravings

Get More Japanese Desserts

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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