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Holiday Cookie Recipes

Need a quick holiday cookie recipe? Make one of these for your parties this season.


One of the most important holiday questions to ask yourself is: What kind of cookies will you be baking this season?

From sweet to savory, holiday cookies come in all shapes and sizes. And what’s better than to top off a tray of cookies than a glass of homemade eggnog?

You can also check out myrecipes.com to learn how to host a successful cookie swap and view more holiday cookie recipes.


  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup spiced rum (optional)

In a saucepan over low heat combine milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cinnamon stick and clove. Bring to a slow boil (this will take between 5-7 mins). Once the milk mixture starts to boil remove from heat and leave cinnamon stick in for a couple of minutes, then remove. Put egg yolks and sugar into a bowl. Using a hand held mixer, mix them until pale and fluffy. Pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and mix on low until well mixed. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy. (Make sure you don't let it boil or the eggnog will curdle.) Stir in the rum (optional), heavy cream and nutmeg and refrigerate overnight. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

White Chocolate Cherry Cookies 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 8 oz. white chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup roasted, salted macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries, quartered
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). On waxed paper, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, eat sugars, and butter together for 3 minutes, then add eggs and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl to make sure all is blended. Add milk, and then beat in flour mixture until well blended. Add chocolate, nuts and cherries and beat for just a few seconds more to make sure it is blended in. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet, 2 inches apart, and bake for 11 to 13 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Freezes well (up to 6 weeks).

    Coconut Macaroons

    This is an original recipe for coconut macaroons that is actually made without flour so it can be enjoyed by those with gluten intolerance problems.

    • 4 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/3 cups sugar
    • 1 (14-ounce) package flaked coconut 

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt with electric mixer on high speed soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold in coconut. Using an ice cream scoop drop coconut mixture in mounds on prepared cookie sheets. Place on separate racks in oven. Bake 20 minutes. Turn off oven; let cookies dry in oven 30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 28 cookies.

    Variation: For small cookies drop dough by teaspoons. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand and cool as above. They also can be drizzled with melted chocolate chips. Makes 60 cookies. Store in an airtight container in single layer at room temperature up to 3 days. Freeze on a sheet pan then store between sheets of waxed paper in a covered cookie tin or container up to 3 months.

    Gingerbread Cookies

     The foundation:

    • 1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
    • 1 2/3 cups sugar
    • 1 orange, zested

    The dry ingredients:

    • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    The wet ingredients:

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup dark molasses
    • 1 lemon, juiced

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it. 

    Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet. A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more "tough" because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.


    Do you have any cookie recipes to share? Please do!

    sarah ehlers December 13, 2012 at 01:10 PM
    I have made these every Christmas for 15 years. Always a hit! Chocolate Mint Squares yield 48 bars Crust: 1 (9 oz.) package dark chocolate wafer cookies, finely crushed ½ cup melted unsalted butter 1 egg yolk Filling: 2 ½ cups powdered sugar 1 ½ tsp. peppermint extract 1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract 1 to 2 Tb. milk, as needed 2 to 3 drops of green food coloring (optional) Topping: 9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into bits, or 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into bits Milk, as needed Make crust: Preheat oven to 350. Combine crumbs with butter and egg yolk, stirring and tossing with a fork until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Pat evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes, or until firm. Let cool completely. Make the filling: Beat all ingredients together to make a smooth easily spreadable buttercream. Spread evenly over cooled crust. Refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes, until buttercream is firm. Make the topping: Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-proof bowl or in top of a double boiler. Microwave on medium-high or heat over water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Chocolate should easily pour from a spoon; if necessary, thin with additional butter or milk. Spread evenly over chilled buttercream. Return cookies to refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until firm. Cut into bars; cutting is easier if you clean off the knife between cuts.
    Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    Wow. I think these are good cookies to give away. Thanks!
    ftbaker December 14, 2012 at 01:29 AM
    Hi Rebecca, This recipe is from my grandmother, Cora Baker, 1893-1971. It seems quite simple, but most people who taste them say they are the best Christmas cookies they have ever tasted. Todd Baker Christmas Cookies 1/2 pounds Butter 1 pounds brown sugar; (2 2/3 cups) 3 eggs; well beaten 3-3 1/2 cup flour; sifted with spices 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon allspice Cream together butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs. Mix well with flour and spices sifted together. Chill. Roll very thin, cut cookies, and bake until delicately brown. Colored sugar may be sprinkled on before cooking. Cookies may be decorated with sugar frosting after cooled.


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