40 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.
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
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 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.
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
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, Babbitt, Minnesota
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
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
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
Gloria tucks a rich chocolate surprise into each of these cute bites. Candied cherries add a colorful finishing touch.
Sandwiching jelly between two layers of the basic dough creates these stained glass-like creations. "Your favorite raisin filling is excellent in these cookies, too," Gloria suggests.
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, Oneonta, New York
When my children were younger, we'd make dozens of different cookies and candies. Then we'd pack up an assortment of each and deliver them to friends. These mouthwatering wafers were always a favorite.—Phyl Broich-Wessling, Garner, Iowa
Tinting flaky white coconut reminds me of snowflakes falling under holiday lights. The reds and greens add colorful Christmas wonder. — Lee Roberts, Racine, Wisconsin
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
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
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 ladies' teas. —Jane Ficiur, Bow Island, Alberta
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
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
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
My Rugelach makes a classic addition to holiday trays. The flaky, buttery pastry slices encase a spiced fruit and walnut filling. —Laurie Klett, Hamilton, Michigan
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"These mild spice cookies, perfect for dunking, come from an old family recipe," shares Betty Hawkshaw of Alexandria, Virginia.
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