Traditional Cookies to Make for the Holidays

Cooking And Homemaking - Traditional Cookies to Make for the Holidays

Create festive and delicious holiday cookies this holiday season with unique add-ins! Create cookies ranging from classic crinkles to delicious snickerdoodles, starting with one versatile dough.

These festive cookies are great for cookie exchanges, gifting, and leaving out for Santa! Many can be prepared in advance and frozen until needed.

Fruitcake Cookies

These festive holiday cookies combine all of the popular components of traditional fruit cake in an easier and less daunting form. Both kids and adults will delight in these colorfully flavored treats made with candied cherries, pecans, and dried pineapple for a truly irresistible holiday treat!

Pour this festive cookie with Cherry Brandy, Bourbon, Dark Rum or Cognac for an exquisite and special treat. The sweet yet tart flavors will bring out all the candy and nuts in these delightful drop cookies!

These Fruitcake Cookies make an excellent addition to cookie swaps and Christmas parties and can even be frozen – just ensure they’re stored in airtight containers as they tend to get even tastier over time! They’re even great to leave out for Santa! Plus, they’re super simple to make.

Gingerbread Cookies

These sweet, soft cookies taste just like Christmas! Make them even more festive by decorating with green and red sprinkles or candy candies from your holiday celebration. Make the dough ahead of time, then store in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Butter and brown sugar combine, then unsulphured molasses is added for rich flavor. I highly recommend choosing unsulphured over its more commonly used counterpart because it doesn’t contain toxic chemical sulphur dioxide that could affect your health.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and mix until no streaks of flour remain. If baking cookies of different sizes in batches on separate baking sheets for even cooking. Cool before icing them. These cookies store well in an airtight container and may even be frozen up to one month ahead of time for gift giving! Stack them neatly in a brown lunch bag tied with ribbon or tulle as an attractive presentation method for giving.

Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are an all-time classic that can be made extra festive with frosting and candy embellishments or left plain for a subtler flavor. Cooks can shape their dough using cookie cutters, add decorative icing on top or even shape shapes to give their cookies a festive touch!

For the softest and fluffiest sugar cookies, it is ideal to use room temperature ingredients so the butter creams evenly with sugar. A stand mixer works best, although any hand mixer may work.

At first, make sure not to overbeat the butter and sugar combination; overdoing this will lead to dense textures that require chilling for handling. Chilling also prevents too much spreading when baking the cookies; sprinkle nonpareils for an added sweet touch! Frost your treats with royal icing for extra elegance, or drizzle a powdered sugar icing drizzle instead for extra smooth results.


Snickerdoodles are delicious cinnamon-y treats with just the right hint of tart from cream of tartar. Before baking, these treats are coated with cinnamon sugar for even greater flavor!

These soft and chewy cookies are loved by children and adults alike, making them a crowd pleaser! Their dough is easy to work with and can be created quickly in under an hour.

This cookie gets its name from its combination of spices – ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon are included as key elements – as well as its distinctive texture and flavor thanks to molasses.

To enhance the flavor of these cookies, we advise using unsalted butter. Also, room temperature eggs will ensure lighter textures as colder eggs tend to trap air inside of them and can trap air inside their shells. If cream of tartar can’t be found locally, baking powder is a suitable alternative.

Peppermint Bark Cookies

These irresistible peppermint bark cookies are sure to impress both visually and taste-wise! Perfect for gifting or serving next to a warm fire with hot cocoa.

This recipe creates an extraordinary cookie base with almost brownie-like textures, finished off with white chocolate drizzles and crushed candy canes for an irresistibly delicious treat! Make the base in advance, freeze until baking time rolls around.

To make these cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat. Next, using an electric mixer beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). On low speed add dry ingredients gradually while gradually mixing in egg and vanilla extract; stir in chocolate chips and chopped candy canes after each addition of egg/vanilla extract/dry ingredient mixtures before spreading evenly onto baking sheet and baking 12-16 minutes until set.

Linzer Cookies

These buttery, nutty cookies are filled with jam and dusted with powdered sugar – an adapted version of Austria’s traditional Linzer torte!

These cookies are simple to make and can be customized according to any holiday you are celebrating – such as using a star cutter at Christmas or Valentine’s Day!

As this dough can be quite sticky, it is best to work in small batches and sprinkle additional flour as necessary when rolling out cookies. Also, be sure to refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours prior to baking as this helps relax any gluten that formed while mixing and prevent the cookies from becoming dry and hard when baking. Alternatively, this dough may also be frozen airtight for up to one month.

Thumbprint Cookies

These elegant cookies will delight with their crunchy peanut butter dough and sweet fruity jam filling – plus they’re easy to make.

For the best thumbprint cookie results, be sure to use real jam or preserves instead of sugary fruit spread as your filling. This will ensure the jam remains thick throughout baking.

Swapping out raspberry jam for another flavor to suit your preference can make these cookies even more appealing; lemon curd, marmalade and even chocolate make delightful additions! You could also roll your dough balls in some granulated sugar or finely chopped nuts before pressing them into wells – these unbaked thumbprint cookies can also be frozen up to two months without being baked off as long as you make sure to thaw before baking!


Rugelach may look complex, but making one is actually quite easy. Starting off like any pastry or pie crust recipe, using a food processor makes the task effortless.

Once your dough has been prepared, making the filling is simple: Just combine sugar, walnuts, dried cranberries, and cinnamon in a food processor (or use a hand blender) until very finely chopped.

Rugelach cookies are traditionally filled with a nut and fruit mixture, but you can customize yours as desired. Rugelach are an ideal addition to brunches, bridal or baby showers, and whenever you want something fancier than cookies! Traditionally egg wash is applied as an extravagant topping; plain milk or cream works equally well to add a less-sweet version. Other filling possibilities may include chocolate, apricot raspberry, garlic horseradish, or paprika for an even greater array of flavors!

Italian Pizzelle Biscotti

Pizzelle are one of the oldest cookies in existence, dating back to Ancient Rome. Made of waffle-shaped confections that resemble lacy snowflakes dusted with sugar, pizzelle are easy to make and the batter can be customized in many ways; some prefer adding anise seeds while others opt for vanilla instead.

Fresh from the iron, the cookies are thin and crisp; as they cool they soften into chewy perfection. Perfectly suitable as toppings for cannoli fillings or sandwiched between jam or ricotta cream layers for cannoli sandwiches!

Employing a pizzelle iron may not be difficult, but practice is required to master it. The key is spraying your iron thoroughly prior to dropping spoonfuls of batter on it, then carefully moving finished cookies from it onto a rack once finished cooking.


Kourabiedes are traditional Greek butter cookies often baked at Christmas and other special events, such as weddings and christenings. Their soft texture, complemented by almonds, makes for an irresistibly indulgent bite, while their rose water scent adds a delightful hint.

To create the soft and chewy texture required for delicious buttery cookies, the butter must be beaten for 20 minutes before beginning any recipe. Although this might take longer than most cookie recipes call for, this long beating time ensures a fluffy texture for these incredible buttery bites!

Once the dough has been formed into small rounds, dust it with powdered sugar or drizzle it with rose or orange blossom water for extra flavor and fragrance. Ensure they have completely cooled before presenting as gifts or serving yourself!

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