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50 Make-Ahead Christmas Cookies That Can Chill Overnight

Make your holiday baking easier by prepping these make-ahead cookie recipes. All of these Christmastime classics can be made in advance, stashed in the refrigerator overnight and then baked up the next day.

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Ice Cream Kolachkes

These sweet pastries have Polish and Czech roots and can also be spelled “kolaches.” They are usually filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture. The ice cream is a unique twist on traditional kolachkes, and it’s simplest to use a square cookie cutter to cut the dough. —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio

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Scottish Shortbread Exps Diyd20 1889 B09 17 3b 2

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

Shortbread actually benefits from an overnight stay in the fridge. Here’s why.

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Buttery Spritz Cookies Exps Bw20 16651 B09 17 2b 5

Buttery Spritz Cookies

This tender spritz cookie recipe is very eye-catching on my Christmas cookie tray. The dough is easy to work with, so it’s fun to make these spritz cookies into a variety of festive shapes. This is hands down the best spritz cookie recipe ever. —Beverly Launius, Sandwich, Illinois
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Chocolate Snowball Cookies

These dainty cookies just melt in your mouth. I enjoy making them for get-togethers when there are lots of people around to enjoy them. —Mary Lou Welsh, Hinsdale, Illinois
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Red Velvet Spritz Cookies

I had never come across a red velvet spritz recipe, so I decided to create one. The hint of cocoa makes these taste like red velvet cake. Add peppermint flavoring for a little extra kick. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Mexican Tea Cookies

Mexican Tea Cookies

Mexican tea cookies are a holiday favorite in our family. I updated the recipe by frosting them with a buttercream made with dulce de leche. They are tender, crumbly cookies that everyone enjoys. —David Ross, Spokane Valley, Washington
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Crescent Chip Cookies

With their cute curved shape, crescents always make charming additions to a Christmas platter. I dip the cooled cookies in chocolate and sprinkle on walnuts. —Ann Eastman, Sacramento, California
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Ginger Creme Sandwich Cookies Exps Ucsbz17 39389 D05 26 1b 4

Ginger Creme Sandwich Cookies

With a lemony filling, these spiced cookies go over big because they have old-fashioned, comfort-food appeal. Your party guests will snatch them up! - Carol Walston, Granbury, Texas
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Cherry Christmas Slices Exps Hbmz19 4759 B06 27 13b

Cherry Christmas Slices

Brilliant red and green candied cherries add extra sparkle to these delicious holiday delights. What I really like best is that this recipe's easy to mix up ahead of time. In fact, I've often made the dough in November and kept it in the freezer until I needed it in December! —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota
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Peanut Butter Spritz Fingers Exps Ucsbz17 28438 C05 05 2b 1

Peanut Butter Spritz Fingers

My family loves this peanut butter fingers recipe because they satisfy the need for chocolate and for something crunchy, sweet and nutty, all in just one bite! —Irma Lowery, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
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Christmas Candy Cane Cookies

These cookies were a holiday tradition in my family since I was a young child. Now my own family requests them before any others at Christmas. —Pat Schmeling, Germantown, Wisconsin
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Gingerbread Men Cookies Exps Thnd16 36941 C07 27 4b 5

Gingerbread Men Cookies

No holiday treat platter would be complete without gingerbread man cookies! This is a tried-and-true recipe I'm happy to share with you. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
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Rugelach Exps Bw20 29516 B10 07 10b 8

Rugelach

The crisp texture of these crescent-shaped cookies makes them a terrific treat to serve alongside a steaming mug of hot chocolate or coffee.
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Cherry Surprise Cookies Exps Hccbz19 19253 E05 23 10b 3

Cherry Surprise Cookies

I tuck a rich chocolate surprise into each of these cute bites. Candied cherries add a colorful finishing touch.
—Gloria McBride, Payson, Utah
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Cardamom Sugar Cookies Exps Hccbz18 160184 B04 12  2b

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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Cherry Pinwheel Cookies

A crisp, light textured cookie with a mild cherry flavor will add great color to your holiday cookie tray.—Jenn Reagan, Maple Valley, Washington
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Chocolate Mallow Cookies

Cocoa, marshmallows and ready-made frosting transform the basic dough into these delightful treats. Sometimes, I’ll top each with a pecan half. —Gloria McBride, Payson, Utah
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JoJo’s Ginger Cookies

It’s so much fun to decorate cookies with children’s help. We created gingery moose-shaped cookies to go with a book made especially for my niece’s third-grade class. The crispy golden brown cookies stole the show.—Jenet Cattar, Neptune Beach, Florida
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Jelly Sandwich Cookies

To create the stained glass effect of these cookies, I sandwich jelly between two layers of basic dough. Your favorite raisin filling is excellent here, too. —Gloria McBride, Payson, Utah
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Chocolate Cutout Cookies

I love gingerbread cookies, but my grandchildren don't like the ginger flavor. Now I use chocolate and watch them smile as they take that first bite. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida
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Tender Pecan Logs Exps Lsbz18 19573 C01 19 3b 1

Tender Pecan Logs

Folks always ask me to make these tender nutty logs. Not overly sweet, they're just right with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. —Joyce Beck, Gadsden, Alabama
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Chocolate Almond Wafers Exps Hca19 45570 D02 21 5b 2

Chocolate Almond Wafers

When my children were younger, we’d make dozens of cookies and candies each season. Then we’d pack up assortments and deliver them to our friends and family. These wafers were always a favorite. —Phyl Broich-Wessling, Garner, Iowa
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Chocolate-Tipped Butter Cookies

These wonderfully moist morsels are too tempting to resist. They melt right in your mouth. Rather than sprinkling the chocolate tips with nuts, you can roll them in red and green jimmies or leave them plain. —Charolette Westfall, Houston, Texas
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Peppermint Cream Sandwich Cookies

My mother and I made these crisp chocolate peppermint sandwich cookies together. They are a perfect addition to any party. —Donna Williamson, Round Rock, Texas
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Coconut Slice Bake Cookies Exps Hbmz19 46128 E06 21 9b 3

Coconut Slice & Bake Cookies

Tinting flaky white coconut reminds me of snowflakes falling under holiday lights. The reds and greens add colorful Christmas wonder. — Lee Roberts, Racine, Wisconsin
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Homemade Chocolate Shortbread Exps Ucsbz17 8378 C05 05 3b 2

Homemade Chocolate Shortbread

This recipe has been in my files for a long time...probably from when I first learned to bake. Any chocolate lover will like these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. I make them year-round with variations. They're even richer with a thin coat of icing or as a sandwich cookie with frosting in the middle. —Sarah Bueckert, Austin, Manitoba
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Exps122340 Hc153382b03 11 2b 5

Holiday Cutout Cookies

The only limit to these fun cutouts is your cookie cutter collection and your imagination! If you prefer crisp cookies, sprinkle with colored sugar before baking and skip the frosting. My family loves these easy holiday cookies! —Anne Grisham, Henderson, Nevada
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Whipped Shortbread Exps Hccbz19 2523 E05 23 3b 5

Whipped Shortbread

These whipped shortbread Christmas 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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Coconut Chocolate Slices

These crispy cookies with a chewy coconut center travel really well. When my son was in the Army, I often sent boxes to him, and he told me they always arrived in perfect condition. —Cheri Booth, Gering, Nebraska
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Cranberry Slices

The holidays wouldn't be complete without a plateful of homemade cookies to give family and friends. Try these for gifts.—American Dairy Assoc, Stacy Duffy, Chicago, Illinois
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Linzer Tarts Exps Ucsbz17 79824 C05 31 2b

Linzer Tarts

With a creamy chocolate and hazelnut filling, these decadent Christmas cookies look and taste amazing. Guests will never guess how relatively easy they are to make. —Mary Maddox, Bellmore, New York
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Chocolate-Dipped Cranberry Cookies

These pretty pink cookies always turn out so tender. They are the hit of my holiday! —Barbara Nowakowski, North Tonawanda, New York
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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 the white chocolate; it’ll lose that attractive shine. —Stephanie Bouley, North Smithfield, Rhode Island
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Shortbread Sandwich Cookies Exps Hccbz18 7798 B04 23 4b 2

Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

I layer a creamy, coffee-flavored filling between buttery shortbread, then dip the sandwiches in chocolate. Guests always love them.—Bertha Seyer, Oak Ridge, Missouri
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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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Ugly Sweater Cookies Exps Hca18 206655 D05 19 4b 1

Ugly Sweater Cookies

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Ugly Sweater Cookies is how cute they are. Try these classic gingerbreads on for size. —Christy Thelen, Kellogg, Iowa
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Basic Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

This recipe evolved from several different recipes that I combined into one. I've never received so many compliments on my baking!—Denise Hufford, Midland, Michigan
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Cherry Chocolate Nut Cookies

Each Christmas, I make about 600 cookies to share with family and friends. The holidays wouldn't be the same without several batches of these colorful goodies. —Sybil Brown, Highland, California
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Walnut-Filled Pillows

These tender cookie pillows, filled with a delicious walnut mixture, are my husband's favorite. He says it wouldn't be Christmas without them. —Nancy Kostrej, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
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Swedish Spritz Exps Thca19 30099 C09 13 5b 4

Swedish Spritz

A touch of almond extract gives these spritz wonderful flavor. For Christmas, you could tint half of the dough with red food coloring and the other half with green. —Irmgard Sinn, Sherwood Park, Alberta
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Chocolate Walnut Crescents Exps Ucsbz17 35809 B05 26 4b 1

Chocolate Walnut Crescents

I use a round cookie cutter to form the crescent shapes for these nutty favorites. They're so pretty sprinkled with sugar and drizzled with chocolate. —TerryAnn Moore, Vineland, New Jersey
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Pecan Meltaways Exps Cbz16 537 C05 12 5b 20

Pecan Meltaways

This sweet, nutty pecan balls 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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Hidden Mint Morsels Exps Cbz16 10002 D04 26 6b 4

Hidden Mint Morsels

Is it a cookie or a candy? No matter which answer folks choose, they find these minty morsels yummy. The recipe makes so much that you can whip up tons of gifts at once. —Adina Skilbred, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
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Exps194805 Thca173831b02 26 4b 3

Grandma's Raspberry Rugelach

I remember sitting on my great-grandmother's couch with a pad and pen in hand as she told me each ingredient and measurement for her special rugelach. Her recipe stands apart because it's a fun twist from typical versions. —Dalya Rubin, Boca Raton, Florida
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Baklava Thumbprint Cookie Exps Thd18 225441 C07 26 4b 17

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
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Grandma S Christmas Spice Cutouts Exps Thca18 33825 B06 22 5b 1

Grandma's Christmas Spice Cutouts

My great-grandmother made these, and the tradition was passed down in the family—without a written recipe! My mother would always start them the day after Thanksgiving, which was exciting for us kids, as we knew Christmas wasn’t far off. They are easy to decorate with family; my grandchildren always look forward to them.—Elaine Phelps, Cornell, Wisconsin
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Snowman Christmas Cookies Exps45228 Sd142780c08 08 7bc Rms

Snowman Christmas Cookies

Get the kids in on the action when you make these cheesecakey cookies—just roll away. The snowmen look adorable on a cookie tray. —Cathy Medley, Clyde, Ohio
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Cranberry Nut Swirls Exps Thca18 2498 D06 22 5b 2

Cranberry Nut Swirls

This recipe originated with my sister-in-law. It gets used a lot over the holidays when we want to pull a fast one on the guys in our family. They claim they don't like cranberries in any shape or form, but everyone enjoys these. —Carla Hodenfield, Ray, North Dakota
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Pfeffernuesse Exps Thca19 14069 C09 13 1b

Pfeffernuesse

These mild spice cookies, perfect for dunking, come from an old family recipe. The dough sits overnight to let the spices blend. The extraordinary flavors make these a holiday classic. —Betty Hawkshaw, Alexandria, Virginia
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Mango Fudge Refrigerator Ribbon Cookies Exps Hccbz18 205958 C04 30 4b 7

Mango Fudge Refrigerator Ribbon Cookies

I’ve always thought that a ribbon cookie is especially nice. Although it’s a single cookie, it really seems like two or three different cookies because of its lovely layers of flavor. These refrigerated ribbon cookies have a rich chocolate layer balanced by a bright orange-mango layer—a very special combination. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.
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