I love baking Christmas cookies, especially now that my kiddos like to join me in the kitchen. It’s a really fun way for us to spend time together and get in the Christmas spirit. That said, I don’t want to spend day after day baking. To combat that, each year I choose just a few recipes to make. I also spread the baking out over a few weeks and freeze the cookies so they last all season. When I need some for eating or gifting, I simply take them out and thaw. There is one recipe that I make every year no matter what, and then I let everyone in the family pick one of their favorites. I like to have variety – both in flavor and appearance. Below is my great Christmas cookie round up – the cookie recipes I keep in my Christmas baking arsenal.
Peanut butter blossoms are my all-time favorite Christmas cookie. I bake them every year – they are easy to make and who doesn’t love the world’s perfect pairing of peanut butter and chocolate? They also have a subtle saltiness to them that I crave. We love to mix things up by doing half with Hershey kisses and half with Hershey hugs. Plus, there are so many steps in this recipe that the kiddos can help with!
Magic bars are another easy recipe to make. They are much quicker than most cookies since everything gets dumped into a pan and cooked all at once. No rotating cookie sheets and watching the timer for multiple batches. Magic bars are also super versatile – you can easily sub out the nuts and type of chips for your favorites to change the flavor profile. They are crunchy yet soft, sweet and salty, and just total ooey, gooey goodness.
I am a sucker for all things lemon – lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, lemon cheesecake – if it has lemon in it, I’m sold. This recipe fits the bill for lemony goodness and it’s a nice, fresh balance to all the chocolate and peanut butter in the other cookies. It makes a beautiful addition to a cookie plate, adding a pop of color and a burst of flavor!
Every year Sophie requests “Num Num cookies.” Num Nums are M&Ms, and in the past, I’ve simply used the original Nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe and subbed red and green M&Ms for the chocolate chips. However, I stumbled upon this recipe not too long ago and this year I plan on making these instead. Sophie still gets her “num nums” and I get less time in the kitchen (score one for mom!) – plus these will add some nice color to the cookie plate!
These cookies live up to their name – they literally melt in your mouth! They are hands down the best shortbread cookies I have ever eaten. Buttery, slightly sweet and salty, and super soft – this isn’t the harder, crumbly shortbread you’re used to! I discovered this recipe a few years ago and it is climbing the “must make” ranks with the peanut butter blossoms. You can decorate them with sprinkles or a dried cranberry for garnish, or leave them plain (how I prefer them). You can also add different flavors to change things up – almond extract, vanilla, lemon zest, or even lavender!
Ginger molasses cookies are so perfectly soft and chewy. They have such an amazing spiciness that is balanced out well with the sugary sweetness. This specific recipe is festive and looks gorgeous on a cookie plate. If you want to add a nice spicy balance to your cookies, make sure you add these to your repertoire!
No Christmas cookie plate is complete without the classic sugar cookie. There are TONS of recipes out there, with various frosting recipes as well. I am a total sucker for thick gooey frosting, so we tend to make it easy and buy cake frosting in a can (I’m a fan of any cooking hack that makes my life easier!). Canned cake frosting is easily divvied up between a few ramekins. Then I just mix food coloring in with each one to create different colors for the kids to use in their decorating. Add in a few sprinkles and not only do you have some tasty cookies, but a way to keep the kids busy for a few hours!
This year will be the first year I’ve tried these. As such, I can’t report on the flavor (just yet), but they look absolutely delicious! Everyone in my family loves s’mores and especially marshmallows, so I can pretty much guarantee this will be a hit in our house. Plus, Hershey now makes a hot cocoa kiss (a chocolate kiss with a marshmallow stuffed inside!) which would pair so well with these cookies! I’m pretty sure there are very few sweets in this world that don’t taste better with the addition of a marshmallow!
Russian tea cake cookies (also called Mexican wedding cake cookies or snowballs) are rich, crumbly, and delightfully sugary. Made correctly, they will melt in your mouth, filling it with the taste of butter, toasted nuts, and powdered sugar. These are my dad’s favorites so I try to make them every few years.
Fudge is a wonderful addition to a cookie plate. It’s smooth, creamy, and fantastically chocolaty. Plus, you can have fun altering the flavor. Add some rum, peppermint, or almond extract, or nuts and marshmallows – the possibilities are endless!
There is both a freshness and coziness to the pairing of peppermint and chocolate that I love. Peppermint is such a wonderful holiday flavor that at least one peppermint-infused dessert deserves a spot on a traditional cookie plate. This recipe is full of gooey goodness. It’s sinfully rich, dense, and chewy. I’m not generally a big brownie fan, but this recipe is one of my favorites!
Check out my Pinterest Christmas Cookie board for even more ideas here!
What are some of your favorite Christmas cookie recipes? I’d love to hear in the comments below!