Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes (That Are Absolutely Delish)
Nothing gets us into the holiday spirit more than the smell of sugary cookies baking in the oven. Our grandparents may have spent hours in the kitchen perfecting their recipes, but thankfully, we have plenty of shortcuts available today, from premade dough to flavored frostings and candy toppings. Still, it's fun to get the whole family involved when it comes to baking and decorating cookies for pretty holiday plates to give to friends (or to simply keep for yourself).
Traditional treats such as gingerbread men, frosted sugar cookies and spritz cookies are delicious but more time-consuming than other recipes you can find. If you’re like us and prefer to bake from (mostly) scratch while also keeping things simple, here are 30 easy holiday cookie recipes that don't require a rolling pin or cookie cutter (some don't even require an oven!) and are just as tasty.
If you're a fan of sipping eggnog while trimming the Christmas tree, this yummy cookie has all the flavors of your favorite holiday drink with the addition of white and milk chocolate. The striped Hershey Hugs in the center of each cookie add a nice touch to the festiveness of this special treat.
Try the Eggnog Blossoms here.
Toffee White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
These delicious cookies have sweet and salty components that make them irresistibly good. The buttery dough with toffee bits, chocolate chips and the crunch of the macadamia nuts baked into the warm, chewy cookie is unbeatable. We bet you can't eat just one!
Try the Toffee White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies here.
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Love gingerbread cookies but don't have time to roll out the dough or use cookie cutters? These cookies give you the molasses flavor of gingerbread men but without all the work. Simple and quick to make, this recipe scores high points at holiday gatherings.
Try the Soft Gingerbread Cookies here.
It doesn't get much easier than this five -ingredient cookie that is incredibly gooey and delicious. We promise you'll want to make more than one batch.This is the perfect recipe to get the kids involved, too — they can unwrap the candies while you prep the dough. Once you bite into the rich chocolate and soft caramel center, you'll be hooked!
Try the Rolo Cookies here.
White Chocolate Covered Oreos
These cookies are a perfect combo of store-bought and homemade treats. There are very few ingredients, but they're festive-looking and can be made an hour before heading out to a holiday party. Although the recipe calls for vanilla almond bark, you can switch it up by making some with milk chocolate almond bark and adding colorful sprinkles on top.
Try the White Chocolate Covered Oreos here.
Soft Batch No-Roll Cookies
If you don't have time to decorate Christmas cookies, these quick and easy holiday sweets are perfect for gift giving. Although the dough is similar to sugar cookies, it doesn't require a rolling pin or cookie cutters. Instead, the decorations (colorful sprinkles) are baked right in. However, it's important to chill the dough for several hours before baking them so that they flatten out nicely in the oven.
Try Soft Batch No-Roll Cookies here.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
It just wouldn't be Christmas without these popular holiday cookies on the dessert tray. There are only four ingredients (no flour!), but they pack a lot of flavors. Also, they’re super easy to whip up for last-minute guests. If you love Reese's candy, you'll find these peanut butter cookies with chocolate centers addictive!
Try Peanut Butter Blossoms here.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
We love a fudgy cookie, and these certainly fit the bill. The dough gets a bit sticky while rolling it into balls, but they fluff up nice and pretty in the oven and look so tempting when they come out. Pure chocolatey goodness with a dusting of "snow" on top, these sweets make an attractive addition to any Christmas cookie platter.
Try Chocolate Crinkle Cookies here.
Pecan Snowball Cookies
Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cookies, these classic holiday treats are one of the most popular cookies made during Christmastime. They're a perfect balance of buttery shortbread and crunchy pecans rolled in confectioner's sugar. It's also a fun recipe to make with the entire family if everyone helps coat the cookies in sugar when the treats are still warm out of the oven.
Try Pecan Snowballs here.
White Chocolate Bark With Pistachios and Dried Cranberries
This candy makes a lovely addition to any cookie basket since it has Christmas' red (cranberry) and green (pistachio) colors in the bark. The sweetness of the white chocolate with the tart cranberry and salty nuts will have your guests begging for more. If you buy shelled nuts, this ridiculously easy three-ingredient recipe is a holiday winner.
Try White Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries here.
Macaroons are the ideal dessert for Passover since they don't include any forbidden ingredients and can be made according to the rules of Kosher cooking. The cookie has a chewy coconut center and a nice crispness around the edges. The combined textures are unbeatable. What we especially love about this recipe, though, is that you can add melted chocolate to the batter or dip the cookies in chocolate after they've been baked. Delicious!
Try Passover Macaroons here.
Easy Sugar Cookies
This easy recipe will give you all the same flavors of a more traditional sugar cookie recipe without requiring you to spend hours in the kitchen. Mix, roll and bake — it's that simple. Of course, you can always add a pop of holiday color by sprinkling the tops with colored sugar before baking them in the oven. But if you're feeling ambitious, you can always roll out the dough on a floured surface, cut out Christmas shapes and frost them with the perfect icing recipe (also included).
Try Easy Sugar Cookies here and here or the icing.
Looking for an easy fudge recipe that can be made in five minutes? Who isn’t, right? We turned to the expert for this one. Paula Deen has quite the collection of fudge recipes, and this classic is one of our favorites. It calls for chopped pecans, but you can skip the nuts if you prefer fudge that is soft, melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey goodness.
Try 5-Minute Fudge here.
The smell of snickerdoodle cookies baking will immediately take you back to your childhood kitchen. What's nice about the batter is that it thins out when it cooks, creating a soft center with crunchy, cinnamon edges. But the unusual flavor of cream of tartar in the recipe makes this treat the star of the show. We also love dipping these snickerdoodles in a warm cup of coffee on Christmas morning — even better, they freeze well, so you can have these yummy cookies all year-round!
Try Snickerdoodles here.
Christmas Rice Krispie Treats
Who doesn't love Rice Krispie Treats? And you couldn't ask for an easier dessert. The simple ingredients can be stored for weeks in the house and are perfect for last-minute holiday gatherings with friends. Although we normally use this recipe in the summer for cookouts, it makes a great Christmas-y dessert with the addition of green and red M&Ms.
Try Christmas Rice Krispie Treats here.
This classic Jewish fruit-and-nut pastry is perfect for Hanukkah and so easy to make. The dough is rolled into a log, baked and then sliced. But it's the cream cheese in the recipe that gives this pastry its delicious flaky crust. Although it calls for apricot preserves and currants, you can substitute whatever fruit combinations you prefer.
Try Easy Rugelah here.
Christmas Funfetti White Chocolate Truffles
It's amazing what you can do with boxed cake mixes these days. These scrumptious, no-bake delights look super fancy on any cookie plate and taste even better — like little frosted cakes. But, of course, your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen making them (shhh — they only take 20-30 minutes!). Use red and green sprinkles over the top after dipping the balls in melted white chocolate, and you will have a beautiful, festive treat to serve during the holidays.
Try Christmas Funfetti White Chocolate Truffles here.
Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Brookies
Peanut Butter Cups, brownies and chocolate chip cookies together in one dessert? Yes, please! This irresistible treat is a cinch to make because all you need is a roll of premade cookie dough, a pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a box of brownie mix (plus a little egg and oil for the batter). It's the perfect combination of everyone's favorite sweets baked together in a bite-sized treat. If you want to make it even more decadent, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of warm, fudgy syrup on top.
Try Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Brookies here.
Orange Cranberry Biscotti
If you love a crunchy cookie, biscotti should be on your holiday dessert list. This recipe is chock-full of cinnamon, cloves, orange zest and cranberries that bring to mind a cozy Christmas morning around the tree. Since it's a dry cookie, it lasts longer and makes a delicious gift for friends and family. Biscotti is also quite tasty when dunked into a cup of warm coffee while you sit back and enjoy the holiday festivities.
Try Orange Cranberry Biscotti here.
This sweet snack is one of the most effortless holiday treats you can put together at the last minute. In fact, it's so easy, kids of all ages can help assemble these adorable "Reindeer Noses." All you need for the recipe are three ingredients — pretzels, Hershey Chocolate Kisses and a bag of red and green M&Ms. It's a yummy combination of sweet and salty that looks super festive on any cookie plate.
Try Reindeer Noses here.
What would Christmas be without classic shortbread cookies? Shortbread usually calls for rolling out the dough and cutting it into holiday cookie shapes, but this recipe skips all that hard work. Just press the dough into a square pan and then cut it into squares after it has been baked.If you want a sweeter cookie or one that looks fancy for gifting, dip half of each buttery square in melted dark chocolate, and you'll surely impress everyone at your next holiday cookie exchange party.
Try Shortbread Squares here.
Easy Rum Balls
Everyone loves a good rum ball, especially one that doesn't skimp on the booze! These rum balls are ridiculously easy to make and look so pretty after they've been dusted with confectioner's sugar. Even better — they can be made ahead of time and frozen for several weeks. So if you want to get an early start to your holiday baking, this is the perfect recipe for you.
Try Easy Rum Balls here.
We love these cookies for their crunchy, buttery crust and sweet jam centers. You can use any flavor fruit preserves you prefer, and they look adorable nestled on a plate of assorted Christmas cookies. Pro tip: The secret to perfecting this cookie is to press your thumb in the center gently to not crack the dough.
Try Thumbprint Cookies here.
Saltine Toffee Cookies
Got a craving for Christmas toffee but don't have time to spend hours in the kitchen? For good reason, this recipe has been around for a long time — it's delicious and easy to make! Once you complete the toffee, let it chill in the fridge for a bit to get that chewy, sweet and salty texture that is oh so addictive.
Try Saltine Toffee Cookies here.
Peppermint Meltaway Cookies
When most people think of Christmas sweets, they think of peppermint candy canes. It's one of the most popular flavors used in holiday baking. We like this recipe because it's not overly minty, and we can gauge the amount of peppermint extract and crushed peppermint sprinkled over the top. There's a reason why this dessert is called a “meltaway cookie,” as the rich butter in the recipe and creamy frosting melt on your tongue when you take that first bite.
Try Peppermint Meltaway Cookies here.
3-Ingredient Nutella Truffles
There's no need for an oven to make these super easy, decadent truffle balls. They can be whipped up in a matter of minutes with a food processor, then rolled into balls and chilled for a bit before dunking them in dipping chocolate. To make them even fancier for holiday gift-giving, use red and green sprinkles over the top. It's the ideal recipe that's perfect for the chocolate connoisseur in your family!
Try 3-Ingredient Nutella Truffles here.
Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
What happens when you blend oatmeal and butterscotch into a cookie? You get an outstanding treat with a crunchy edge, chewy center and an explosion of creamy sweetness from the butterscotch chips. While these are great during the holidays, you really don't need a special occasion to make them — just bake a batch, and you'll see what we mean.
Try Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies here.
Gelt refers to a gold- or silver-wrapped chocolate "coin" given as a present during Hanukkah. The texture is not as creamy as regular chocolate, but it has the same rich flavor. It also balances nicely with the buttery cookie dough that it's nestled in. Roll the dough balls in colored sugar before baking them to add a festive pop of color to the cookie tray.
Try Gelt Cookies here.
Almond Crescent Cookies
This crescent cookie originates from Austria, but variations have been adopted over the years by many cultures that serve them as a traditional Christmas treat. Although the recipe and baking process is similar to the popular snowball cookies, these treats have their own unique almond extract and almond flour ingredients to punch up the nutty flavor.
Try Almond Crescent Cookies here.
No-Bake Christmas Wreath Cookies
Not only are these no-bake Christmas wreaths one of the cutest cookies you'll ever make, but they're also fun and easy for your kids to assemble without help. In addition, the green food coloring mixed with the corn flakes and marshmallows gives this treat a festive look, making it the perfect dessert to share at a holiday cookie swap.
Try No-Bake Christmas Wreath Cookies here.