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34 Old World Cookies

Expand your cookie arsenal with generational cookies that have come over from the Old Country.

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Baki's Old-World Cookies

My uncles have always called these "cupcake cookies" because of the unique and pretty way they're baked. My maternal grandmother mixed up many a batch. —Marilyn Louise Riggenbach, Ravenna, Ohio
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Dutch Speculaas

These Dutch spice cookies taste similar to the windmill cookies we enjoy in the United States. In Holland, it's tradition to mold the dough into the shape of St. Nicholas and serve the baked cookies on Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day). —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate Almond Pizzelles

If you love fun baking gadgets, you'll enjoy making these crispy, almond-flavored cookies, which get their unique waffle design from a pizzelle maker. They bake up golden brown in only a few minutes. Feel free to double the chocolate drizzle if you'd like to cover the cookies more generously. —Hannah Riley, Norwalk, Ohio
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Holiday Kipferl Cookie

My family has been making the classic kipferl cookie on December 1 every year since I can remember. During the last two weeks of December, we make them with the addition of dried cranberries and toasted pecans for Christmas time. —Brooke Maynard, Poughkeepsie, New York
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Italian Orange-Fig Cookies

This is one of the first holiday 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! The cookies last for weeks if stored in a dry place. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Austrian Nut Cookies

These are my family's favorite Christmas cookies. If you arrange the slivered almonds in pinwheel fashion, the cookie looks like a poinsettia. —Marianne Weber, South Beach, Oregon
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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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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
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Folded Hazelnut Cookies

We first made these cookies when my boys were small, and they would always end up covered in flour and with Nutella on their faces. Such good memories! —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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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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Norwegian Chocolate Chip Cookies

My best friend, Amber, taught me how to make these cookies. They are a great mash-up of a sugar and chocolate chip cookie. A pizza cutter is the best tool for cutting into slices after baking. —Bonnie Brien, Surprise, Arizona
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Date-Filled Rugelach

Taking old recipes and making them my own is how these cookies came about. They’re so special to my family. Sometimes I roll the dough in cinnamon sugar instead of flour. —Barb Estabrook, Appleton, WI
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Chocolate Linzer Torte Stars

Wanting a treat that tastes like traditional linzer torte without the time commitment, I came up with these simple, sensational cookies. They have the nuts and chocolate with a filling of bright raspberry preserves—festive enough for any holiday gathering. —Edwina Gadsby, Hayden, Idaho
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Italian Lemon Cookies

Christmas wouldn't be the same without my grandmother's cookies. A plate full of these light and zesty cookies is divine!—Elisabeth Miller, Broadview Heights, Ohio
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Finnish Christmas Cookies

"My friend bakes these cookies at Christmas," says Judith Outlaw of Portland, Oregon. "They're popular at cookie exchanges, but my friend's husband urges her not to trade any of them!"
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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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Italian Horn Cookies

My family has been making these delicate fruit-filled cookies for generations. They’re light and flaky, with the look of an elegant old-world pastry. —Gloria Siddiqui, Houston, Texas
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Dutch Treats

I was born and raised in Holland, where we used almond paste quite often in our baking. I created this recipe to capture the outstanding flavors of home.
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Crispy Norwegian Bows

I've been fixing these cookies for so long, I don't recall where the recipe came from. They're a "must" at our house.—Janie Norwood, Albany, Georgia
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Almond Chocolate Biscotti

My neighbors look forward to getting my gifts of these chocolate-covered cookies. I love that this chocolate biscotti recipe is such a cinch to make. —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa
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Orange Spritz Cookies

Brown sugar gives these spritz cookies a lovely light caramel tint. This variation has a rich buttery shortbread taste and texture with a hint of orange flavor. They are a delightful addition to my holiday cookie tray. -Sean Fleming, St. Charles, Illinois
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Palmiers

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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Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Living in the town of North Pole, it's no surprise that I enjoy Christmas baking! My mom and I used to make these cookies together. Now that I am married and living in Alaska, I love to bake them for my own family. They remind me of home. —Heather Peters, North Pole, Alaska
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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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Holiday Almond Tassies

I make so many of these fancy tassies, I use up a 7-pound container of almond paste every year! They’re one of my family’s holiday favorites. —Donna Westhouse, Dorr, Michigan
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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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Chocolate Cannoli

Our version of a famous Italian dessert features a creamy filling dotted with chocolate chunks. The chopped pistachios are an attractive touch.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate Amaretti

These classic almond paste cookies are like ones you'd find in an Italian bakery. My husband and children are always excited when I include these goodies in my holiday baking lineup. —Kathy Long, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
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Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies

These soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that's distinct but not overpowering. I add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, but you could decorate them to suit any occasion.—Janice Eanni, Willowick, Ohio
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Cuccidati

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 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, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Rainbow Layered Cookies

Balanced beautifully in the sweet spot between cake and cookie, these sensational slices will be the centerpiece of your cookie tray.—Sherry Thompson, Seneca, South Carolina
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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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Anise & Wine Cookies

My grandmother did not speak English very well, but she knew the language of great food. These wine cookies are crisp and best eaten after being dunked in even more wine.—Julia Meyers, Scottsdale, Arizona

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.
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