Christmas is a time for family gatherings and delicious treats. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a batch of freshly baked Christmas cookies?
The best thing about Christmas cookies is that they come in a wide variety of types and flavors to suit everyone’s taste, from all-time classics to festive innovations, and that’s what this guide is about!
In today’s article, I’ll walk you through the most popular types of Christmas cookies that you may find out there. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
If you’re looking for the most popular holiday cookies, whether traditional or relatively new, this section will have you covered!
Starting off with a Christmas staple and one of the most popular cookies to enjoy during the holidays. These spiced delights are soft and chewy on the inside, with a slightly crispy exterior.
As the name suggests, they’re traditionally shaped like human stick figures decorated with icing and sprinkles, but you can get creative and make them into the shape you like!
Snickerdoodles are American cookies of German origin. Their name is derived from “schneckennudeln”, which is a type of sweet cinnamon bun.
The cookies are known for their soft, puffy, and chewy texture with crisp edges that are typically coated with crunchy cinnamon sugar. They’re both easy to make and loved by everyone!
Peanut butter blossoms are soft, chewy peanut butter cookies topped with a milk chocolate kiss that gives it its iconic appearance.
They have a slightly crispy exterior and a soft, gooey interior. You can also make them in gluten-free varieties without changing their unique shape or flavor.
4 – Spritz Cookies
Like Snickerdoodles, spritz cookies also have German origins. These are unique cookies made by pushing the cookie dough through a special press, creating a variety of shapes, such as stars, flowers, and pines.
Besides their unique shapes and colors, spritz cookies are typically flavored with almond extract and are often decorated with sprinkles, icing, and melted chocolate.
If you don’t mind a recipe that takes a bit to prepare but is loved by everyone, you should consider the candy cane cookies.
These are shaped like candy canes and are typically made from common baking ingredients. The classic recipe uses peppermint extract for flavoring, but you can use other extracts to mix things up.
Chocolate thumbprint cookies are a decadent treat that combines the best of both worlds: rich, chewy chocolate cookies and smooth, velvety chocolate ganache.
Besides chocolate, you can mix things up and use other ingredients while preparing the cooking. They’re usually topped with a sprinkle of crunchy pistachios for added texture.
7 – Linzer cookies
Linzer cookies are a winter wonderland made of sweet, buttery shortbread and tart interior. The classic Austrian pastry is typically filled with jam and nuts to give the bite-sized cookie a melty texture as soon as it hits your mouth.
Gingersnaps are another holiday treat for everyone who prefers crispy cookies over chewy ones. The Christmas cookies are typically made with simple yet effective ingredients.
For example, it uses allspice for flavoring and molasses for sweetening, which is ideal if you don’t want an elaborate recipe that takes too long to prepare.
Even better, you don’t need to chill the dough before baking, which saves you a lot of time if you’re in a hurry!
If you’re into fudge texture and chocolate flavor, you should definitely consider making chocolate crinkle cookies for the holidays.
This all-time classic recipe has a remarkably rich texture and is coated in chocolate and cocoa powder for extra flavor and unique aesthetics.
The cookie is coated with a delicious crispy crust that perfectly complements the cookie’s soft interior texture.
White chocolate cranberry cookies are proof that you don’t need to spend half a day in your kitchen to make a tasty treat that everyone will enjoy on holidays.
These cookies are made with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. This gives them a sweet flavor balanced by the acidity of the cranberries. They’re also perfect if you specifically prefer white chocolate and a chewy texture.
11 – Snowball Cookies
Pecan Snowballs are classic Christmas cookies known for their incredibly sweet and nutty flavor.
The delectable treats are enjoyed in various parts of the world and go by many names, such as tea cakes, wedding cookies, butter balls, and more.
The best thing about these delicious treats is that they’re remarkably easy to prepare and you can store them for a long time. You can also substitute the pecans in the original recipe with other nuts to mix things up.
If you want to add a side of nostalgia to your Christmas cookies, you should consider these delicious traditional treats. In fact, some of them are still extremely popular to this day.
Classic sugar cookies are originally a German recipe, but they became popular in the US during the mid-20th century.
They’re simple and delicious cookies made with simple ingredients, such as flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. This gives the cookies a soft and chewy texture.
They are typically rolled out and cut into shapes before baking and can be decorated with icing, sprinkles, or other toppings.
13 – Shortbread Cookies
Although there are tons of variations to the classic shortbread cookie recipe, the original recipe remains one of the staples during the holiday season and the epitome of buttery goodness!
These cookies are made with just three main ingredients, which are butter, flour, and powdered sugar. But despite their simplicity, they’re remarkably delicious and you’ll always want to come back for more!
If you like the flavor of eggnog, you’re going to love this one. The eggnog cookies are quite soft and chewy with a sweet flavor of eggnog glaze balancing the sweetness of the sugar.
The cookies usually contain a variety of warm spices, which have a remarkable impact on their flavor, depending on the recipe you follow.
15 – Soft Ginger Cookies
Ginger Cookies are an all-time classic during the holiday season and are enjoyed in various locations around the world.
The cookie has a soft, chewy texture, accompanied by the iconic cracks on the top of the cookie.
Besides ginger, they’re usually spiced generously with a variety of ingredients, including cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more.
Vanilla-butter sugar cookies are a popular variation of the classic sugar cookies, which usually use extra butter and vanilla to make the cookies richer.
However, they’re also rolled out and cut into various shapes before baking, then decorated with several toppings.
The Italian cuisine is known for its variety. In fact, the Italians have perfected a wide range of delicious Christmas cookies over the years. Here are some of the most popular ones!
17 – Ricotta Cookies
Ricotta cookies, also known as “Italian Christmas cookies”, are a classic Italian treat, known for their remarkably moist and soft texture.
The delicious cookie is made from sugar, eggs, flour, and lemon juice. Contrary to what some people might think, they don’t have any ricotta cheese in them.
The cookies have a remarkable sweet and tangy flavor, thanks to the hint of acidity from the lemon glaze.
18 – Lemon Drop Cookies
Italian Lemon Drop Cookies, also known as “Anginetti”, are another delectable Italian dessert to enjoy during the holiday season.
This one shares a lot of similarities with the Ricotta cookie. However, it is lighter and has a characteristically tangier flavor, thanks to the higher citrus content in the cake’s dough and glaze.
The cake is also easy to bake and takes around 30 minutes to prepare, as you don’t need to chill the dough beforehand.
Another Italian delight to prepare during the holidays would be the remarkably delicious and easily prepared cranberry pistachio biscotti.
This one uses a variety of delicious ingredients to give the biscotti a unique flavor, including warm spices and nuts, which are perfectly complemented by the tanginess of cranberries.
Cranberry biscottis are the ideal side dessert if you like to enjoy some pastries while drinking your morning coffee, thanks to their crunchy texture!
20 – Pizzelle Cookies
Pizzelle are traditional Italian cookies that are typically enjoyed during Christmas, but you can also make them all year round.
They have a unique texture that is quite similar to waffles, and they’re molded into various shapes, but they’re usually small and bite-sized. Depending on the recipe you’re following, Pizzelles could be either crisp or chewy.
One of the most popular Christmas varieties of pizzelle is the one made with anise as the main flavoring agent.
This marks the end of today’s article which showcases some of the most popular types of Christmas cookies out there.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of delicious and hearty cookie recipes to enjoy during the holidays, and you can make batches of various types of cookies to match everyone’s preferences!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.