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40 Classic Christmas Cookies to Spread Holiday Cheer

Cookie season is in full swing, and we can't wait to get baking! Fill your treat trays with these classics, from crispy gingerbread to melt-in-your-mouth spritz—and stash some away for yourself, too.

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Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

With only a few ingredients, these butter shortbread cookies are so simple to prepare. —Pattie Prescott, Manchester, New Hampshire

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Almond Spritz Cookies

This almond spritz cookies recipe can be left plain or decorated with colored sugar and frosting. In our house, it just wouldn't be Christmas without some cookie press recipes.—Tanya Hart, Muncie, Indiana
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Gingerbread Men Cookies

No holiday treat platter would be complete without a gingerbread men cookie recipe! This is a tried-and-true recipe I’m happy to share with you. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland

They’re also one of the most popular Christmas cookies of all time.

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Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

These butter sugar cookies are one of my favorite cookies to bake for Christmas. The dough recipe is versatile, so you can use it for other holidays, too. Children like to help with the cookie decorating. —Cynthia Ettel, Glencoe, Minnesota

If you’re a fan of snowmen and sugar cookies, these TikTok melted snowman sugar cookies offer the perfect cookie combination.

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Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

My group of friends had a weekly "movie night" during winters on Martha's Vineyard, and we'd take turns making a chocolate treat to share. These terrific chocolate thumbprint cookies were an instant success. Once they debuted, I had to make them many more times. —Laura Bryant German, W. Warren, Massachusetts
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Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

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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Peppermint Biscotti

Dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint candy, these flavorful biscotti are a favorite. They are among the many sweets I make for Christmas. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Italian Rainbow Cookies

My family has made these classic Italian rainbow cookies for generations, and this homemade version is so much better than the bakery version. They are always a special treat during the holidays or any time of year! —Cindy Casazza, Hopewell, New Jersey
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Peanut Butter Christmas Mice

With their black licorice tails, candy noses and peanut ears, these chewy "mice" were always a hit at classroom parties. My children are in their teens now, but they still ask me to make these cookies for the holidays. —Nancy Rowse, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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Christmas Sandwich Cremes

These melt-in-your-mouth sandwich cookies have a scrumptious filling. I helped my sister make these in high school when she needed a project in her home economics class. My guess is that these were some of the best Christmas cookies in her class. She got an A+! —Janice Poechman, Walkerton, Ontario
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Triple-Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Santa is sure to stop by your house if you leave these minty triple-chocolate peppermint cookies waiting for him. They’re quick and easy for the whole family to make together. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio
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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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Pizzelle

This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania
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Coconut Clouds

Coconut lovers will have extra reason to celebrate when they taste these cakelike drop cookies. The generous frosting and coconut topping make them a hit at holiday cookie swaps. —Donna Scofield, Yakima, Washington
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Snickerdoodles

The history of these whimsically named treats has been widely disputed, but their popularity is undeniable. Help yourself to one of our soft cinnamon-sugared cookies and see for yourself. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Peppermint Meltaways

This recipe for peppermint meltaways is very pretty and festive-looking on a cookie platter. I often cover a plate of these peppermint cookies with red or green plastic wrap and a bright holiday bow in one corner. And yes, they really do melt in your mouth! —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan
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Frosted Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog stars in both the cookie and frosting in this new-found recipe, imparting a subtle holiday flavor.—Amanda Taylor, Glen Ewen, Saskatchewan
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Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

Cookie butter and ground ginger add a new layer of flavor. The recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, and they go fast. You may want to make a double batch. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Jeweled Coconut Drops

Red raspberry preserves add a festive flair to these tender coconut drops. Perfect for potlucks and cookie exchanges, these shaped cookies never last long when I make them for my husband and two sons. —Ellen Marie Byler, Munfordville, Kentucky
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Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these dipped gingersnaps. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah
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Pistachio-Cranberry Rugelach

Traditional rugelach gets dressed up for the holiday with pistachios, cranberries, and snow-white icing. Rich but not too sweet! — Deborah Hinojosa, Saratoga, California
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Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

Although these cookies require a little extra effort, they’re worth it. I make them for every family gathering—and they never last long! —Marie Kinyon, Mason, Michigan
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Scottish Shortbread

My mother, who is of Scottish heritage, passed this shortbread recipe, along with other favorite recipes, on to me. When I entered this treat at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
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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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Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four ingredients to make these delightful lemon snowflake cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas
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Jolly Ginger Reindeer Cookies

I made gingerbread cookies for years before realizing my gingerbread-man cutter becomes a reindeer when turned upside down. They’re super crispy and fun! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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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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Fig & Almond Cookies

In our family, holiday cookies—like these nutty fig ones—are a big deal. I'm so proud to be passing on this Italian tradition to my two boys. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Whipped Shortbread

These whipped shortbread 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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Italian Christmas Cookies

A single batch of these ricotta cheese cookies is never enough. I usually make one to give away and two more to keep at home. The ricotta cheese makes the morsels extra moist. —Doris Marshall, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
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Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Here’s proof that peanut butter and chocolate just belong together. These peanut butter blossom cookies are an easy family favorite and never fails to make my children smile. —Tammie Merrill, Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Brandy Snaps

These cream-filled brandy snaps are the perfect sweet treat. Include them on a holiday cookie platter or serve them at the end of a meal with coffee or tea. —Natalie Bremson, Plantation, Florida
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Touch-of-Gold Christmas Trees

You can decorate these pretty Christmas trees with other types of sprinkles if you don't have the gold dust. The filling alone makes the cookies special and so delicious! —Linda Sweet, Cornwall, New York
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Fruitcake Christmas Cookies

As holiday gifts, these rich fruit-and nut-filled cookies are pretty and practical. These are great make ahead Christmas cookies —the taste actually gets better over time! —Julia Funkhouser, Carson, Iowa
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Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

“These simple saucepan cookies are a snap to make,” assures Marg Mitro of Grafton, Ontario. “In fact, I can whip them up in 10 minutes for school lunches. The little treats are a big hit with any crowd—young or old,” she adds.
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Rum Balls

I make these rum balls for special occasions with my wonderful family and friends. The treats are so easy to make and pack a festive punch. — Diane Duschanek, Council Bluffs, Iowa
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Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

I add a hint of lemon to these delightful sugar cookies. For make-ahead convenience, freeze the dough up to three months, then thaw in the fridge before baking and decorating them. —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota
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Haystacks Recipe

My grandmother used to make this haystacks recipe to give to my cousin Vonnie and me when our parents didn’t want us to have any more sweets. —Christine Schwester, Divide, Colorado
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Shortbread Cut Out Cookies

I found this recipe in a magazine over 30 years ago and have made these shortbread cutout cookies for Christmas ever since. They’re an oh-so-simple recipe to whip up during the hectic holidays. —Jean Henderson, Montgomery, Texas

Angela LeMoine
Food blogger, wife to my high school sweet heart, momma to our two beautiful and energetic boys and lover of life. I hope to spread my love of cooking, share some of my favorite products and restaurants and maybe inspire others to get in the kitchen and try some recipes out! Happy Eats!!!