13 Holiday Cookie Recipes to Get in the Festive Spirit

Bust out the cooking sheets and celebrate the holiday season with these festive treats.

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Nuremburg Lebkuchen German Christmas Cookies

Nuremburg Lebkuchen: Soft and Chewy German Christmas Cookies

Lebkuchen (or honey cake) is a German cousin of North American gingerbread. In addition to being sweetened by honey—instead of molasses— it contains a few different spices than gingerbread, most strikingly, white pepper and anise seed. Both help to create a unique but warm spice blend.

Get the Recipe: Nuremburg Lebkuchen

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holiday cookie recipes

Peppermint Shortbread Meltaways & Pistachio Orange White Chocolate Macarons

Here, we have two treats, because they pair so beautifully together! Try our deliciously buttery shortbread cookies that boast a refreshing sprinkle of peppermint. And don’t forget our pistachio macarons (they’re basically a cookie, right!?) with a delightful orange filling.

Get the Recipes: Peppermint Shortbread Meltaways; Pistachio Orange White Chocolate Macarons

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holiday cookie recipes
Photo by: Ellis Parrinder

Shortbread Christmas Sweater Cookies

You could stick to your standard holiday baking. Or, you could amp up the fun with Great British Bakeoff star Kim-Joy’s cookbook, Christmas with Kim-Joy: A Festive Collection of Edible Cuteness—a riot of whimsical treats (with no-fail tips and vegan options) that bring big-time fun back into the kitchen.

Try these shortbread cookies flavoured however you like, such as with orange zest, ground cardamom, or mint extract, and decorate them with royal icing to create beautiful (or ugly) Christmas sweaters.

Recipe: Shortbread Christmas Sweater Cookies

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holiday cookie recipes | kim-joy christmas cookies | little hedgehog cookies arranged to look like they're marching through sprinkles
Photo by: Ellis Parrinder

Hedgehog Cookies

Festive little hedgehogs! These German-style cookies (also from Kim-Joy’s cookbook) are dunked in chocolate and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Recipe: Hedgehog Cookies

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holiday cookie recipes | Five Spice Ginger Molasses Cookies
Image: Maya Visnyei Photography

Five-Spice Ginger Molasses Cookies

These ginger cookies—spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and more—are the perfect combination of chewy and crisp. The rolling sugar adds sweetness and a slight crunch to the soft middles.

Recipe: Five-Spice Ginger Molasses Cookies

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holiday cookie recipes | gingerbread
photo credit: shutterstock

Gluten-Free Gingerbread

The smell of gingerbread baking is a welcome sign of the holidays. Here’s a gluten-free version that anyone can enjoy.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Gingerbread

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holiday cookie recipes | ginger cookies

Ginger Molasses

Packed with ginger and boasting an oh-so-chewy texture, the cookies are so good, we suggest baking more than just one batch.

Recipe: Ginger Molasses Cookies

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holiday cookie recipes | vegan gluten free sugar cookies
Courtesy Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD

Vegan and Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

For the dairy-free, gluten-free set, these sugar cookies with coconut maple frosting are sure to hit the spot.

Recipe: Vegan and Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

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holiday cookie recipes | cranberry walnut cookies
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Chewy Cranberry Walnut

The cranberries in these cookies offer a subtle fruity touch that feels just right this time of year, while the walnut delivers extra crunch.

Recipe: Chewy Cranberry Walnut

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holiday cookie recipes | hemp cookies
Photo Credit: Shannon J. Ross

The Great Canadian Hemp

Grown only in Canada, Hemp Hearts add a subtle nutty flavour to these must-try cookies.

Recipe: The Great Canadian Hemp Cookie

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holiday cookie recipes | chocolate chunk cookies
photo credit: shutterstock

Chocolate Chunk

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. This cookie is every healthy chocoholic’s dream (and Santa’s, too).

Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Dark Chocolate And Molasses Cookies recipe
Image: Suech and Beck

Dark Chocolate and Molasses Cookies

The molasses in these dark chocolate chip cookies is responsible for making them perfectly chewy and satisfying.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Molasses Cookies

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Oatmeal Date Shortbread

Oatmeal Date Shortbread

This recipe combines two standout types of cookies: classic tender, buttery, perfect-every-time shortbread cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies.

Recipe: Oatmeal Date Shortbread

Next: This Nutrition Expert Is Encouraging You to Eat the Cookie

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