32 Make-Ahead Christmas Cookies to Bake Now and Enjoy Later

Updated: May 09, 2024

Start holiday baking early with dozens of make-ahead Christmas cookies.

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Looking to start your holiday baking early? Get a jump with these make-ahead Christmas cookies. Each of these recipes can be frozen—either as cookie dough or baked cookies before. Some, like biscotti, have long shelf lives so you can enjoy them without taking up precious freezer space.

So grab your apron, check out these recipes and refresh your memory with these tips on how to store Christmas cookies and how long different kinds of cookies last.

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Cranberry Swirl Biscotti

A friend of mine, who is known for her excellent cookies, shared this recipe with me. The mix of cranberries and cherry preserves is so refreshing. Another bonus: Biscotti keep well for weeks without freezing. —Lisa Kilcup, Gig Harbor, Washington

Also, if you are looking for some quick and easy recipes; check these Christmas cookies for stress free holidays.

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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

These are our 150 best Christmas cookie recipes.

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Cranberry Shortbread Stars

My family loves shortbread and I love cranberries, so I decided to put the two together to make cranberry shortbread cookies. The star shape is a festive addition to my holiday cookie tray. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Holiday Mocha Spritz

When I began to use my spritz press, this was the first flavor combination I tried. It took a few attempts to get the hang of it, but now I’m playing with a new dough and disk every time I make them. I plan on making several batches throughout the year. —Shelly L. Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon

A cookie press is a must-have for our editors at Christmastime. Check out more of our staffers’ holiday essentials.

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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

Learn more about prepping and freezing cookies in advance of the holidays.

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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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Fruitcake Cookies

These old-fashioned goodies are fun, colorful and chewy without being sticky. —Dorcas Wright, Guelph, Ontario

These 31 traditional Christmas cookies spread all the holiday cheer.

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Gingerbread Amaretti Cookies

The classic Italian cookie gets a new gingerbread twist! Don’t overbake—they should be slightly chewy. —Tina Zaccardi, Eastchester, New York

Also, learn how to make these chewy Italian amaretti cookies.

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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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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 Gingersnaps

When my daughter, Jennifer, was 15 years old, she created this recipe as a way to combine two of her favorite flavors. They’re perfect with a glass of milk. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah
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White Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti

The original version of this recipe was handed down from my great-aunt. Through the years, my mother and I have tried different flavor combinations…this is a favorite for all. —Brenda Keith, Talent, Oregon
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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 powder makes these taste like red velvet cake. Add peppermint flavoring for a little extra kick. —Crystal Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota

These 28 vintage Christmas cookie recipes make the holidays so much sweeter. For another red velvet dessert option, these Ree Drummond red velvet cake cookies are a tasty holiday treat.

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Cathedral Cookies

Children love the colorful marshmallows in these festive confections, which look like stained glass when they're sliced. They practically light up the room from the serving platter at our holiday parties. —Carol Shaffer, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
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Pecan Roll-Ups

This recipe is so delicious and is sure to become a favorite of your family. The pecans make them so rich.—Lee B. Roberts, Racine, Wisconsin
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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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Chunky Drop Cookies

The night before I make these drop cookies, I measure out the pretzels, peanuts, raisins and chocolate. Assembly goes quickly the next day. —Kelly Ward-Hartman, Cape Coral, Florida
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Cranberry Spritz Cookies

Here’s a sure standout on your treat tray. The cheery cookies get their bright-pink color from cranberry-flavored gelatin.
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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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Christmas M&M’s Cookies

These M&M Christmas cookies make any cookie platter feel festive. Swap in pastel M&M’s for Easter and orange and brown for Halloween. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Holiday Biscotti

A twice-baked Italian cookie, biscotti makes a wonderful “dunker.” A pretty way to present a batch is on a seasonal plate arranged in a wagon-wheel fashion. —Libia Foglesong, San Bruno, California
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Citrus Gingerbread Cookies

Orange and lemon zest give gingerbread cutouts a refreshing twist. Brushing a honey glaze over the top adds a subtle shine and an extra touch of sweetness. —Monique Hooker, DeSoto, Wisconsin
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Norwegian Cookies

This recipe was passed down to me from my mother-in-law. The soft sugar cookies are a favorite
with our four children. —Karen Skowronek, Minot, North Dakota
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Almond Chocolate Biscotti

These white chocolate-drizzled cookies are a cinch to make, so I’m always happy to whip up a batch. This is good because my neighbors always look forward to them! —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa
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Cherry Icebox Cookies

As a home economics teacher, I often supplied treats for school functions. These delectable cookies were always popular.
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Triple-Ginger Gingersnaps

Ginger cookies are holiday hits. Tuck them into clean, recycled coffee cans wrapped in decorative paper. With a glue gun, add ribbon or trim. —Jessica Follen, Waunakee, Wisconsin
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Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

A chocolate drizzle lends a little extra sweetness to biscotti.—Joan Duckworth, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
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Swirled Mint Cookies

No one will believe that these rich and buttery cookies are light, but they are! With their colorful swirls, each one of these minty, sugary bites has its own look. —Lois Hill, Thomasville, North Carolina
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Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
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Zimtsterne

During December, homes and bakeries in Switzerland are filled with the aroma of classic cookies like these “Zimtsterne.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Date-Nut Pinwheels

Pinwheel cookies with dates and walnuts are a family treasure. There are a few steps when prepping, so I sometimes freeze the dough and bake the cookies later. —Frieda Whiteley, Lisbon, Connecticut
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Swedish Spice Cutouts

My sister, Judith, brought this recipe with her when she came to the United States from Sweden in 1928.—Lilly Decker, Clancy, MT