ultimate guide to Christmas cookies: recipes, tools, tips, and tricks

Holiday baking season means lots of cookies, and we have plenty of great Christmas cookie recipes, tips, and tricks to share. Consider this guide your Christmas cookie HQ, where you’ll find everything you need to pull off perfect sweets Santa himself would no doubt endorse (and immediately devour).

Click the links below to jump to the information you need the most, or keep scrolling to see it all.

Cookie Recipes

Everything that’s worthy of a spot on your cookie plate.

Must-Make Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies


We love all our children Christmas cookie recipes equally…but here are some of our most festive, from classic sugar cookies to a new twist on chocolate chips. See our must-make Christmas cookie recipes.

Crazy Easy Christmas Cookies

easy Christmas cookie recipes


No time for complicated cookies (or no confidence in your baking skills)? We developed these no-fail, no-fuss Christmas cookie recipes for just such scenarios. Get our easy Christmas cookie recipes.

The 15 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes to Bake (and Eat)

best chocolate chip cookie recipe


There’s one for everyone on this list, but if you love all cookies, we’re sorry; you’ll have a hard time choosing. See the best chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Keto Christmas Cookies Are a Holiday Miracle

snickerdoodle recipe


A very merry keto Christmas can still include cookies, as long as you have the right recipes and ingredients (since flour and sugar are both out). Check out the best keto Christmas cookie recipes to bake.

Great Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies Everyone Will Love

gluten free holiday cookie recipe


If sugar’s not an issue for you but gluten would wreck your halls, bake these gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes and rejoice.

These Pistachio Raspberry Cookies Look Like Little Wreaths

pistachio christmas cookies

Frauke Antholz

Cornflake wreath cookies dyed green with food coloring are cute and all, but these pistachio-raspberry cookies are much more refined and just as festive.

Eat the Rainbow: Make Italian Christmas Cookies

Italian rainbow cookie recipe

Anna Gass

These multilayered confections are much easier to make than you might think, and too delicious (and jolly) not to bake. See how to make Italian rainbow cookies.

Mexican Wedding Cookies Melt in Your Mouth

Mexican wedding cookie recipe

Anna Gass

They look like little snowballs, and they melt away almost as quickly, whether you make them with almonds or pecans. Get the Mexican wedding cookie recipe for your holiday dessert spread.

And see all of our holiday cookie recipes if you’re still hungry for more.

Cookie Tips & Tricks

Expert advice on making your cookies the best they can be (and how to avoid disasters).

9 Holiday Baking Mistakes You Should Stop Making

cookie sheets vs sheet pans

Denis Tevekov / GettyImages

These pitfalls are easy to make but even easier to avoid when you know what they are (and why they’re bad). See our guide on how to avoid holiday baking disaster.

11 Ingredients to Upgrade Your Baking

best baking ingredients

GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

Ready to level up? Take your cookies (and cakes, and anything else you bake) into a whole new world with these best baking ingredients.

How to Make Perfectly Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

chewy chocolate chip cookies


Some people crave thin, crisp chocolate chip cookies. If you’re not one of them, see how to make chewy chocolate chip cookies (and stock up on milk, stat).

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better

sugar cookies


So simple, yet so easy to screw up. If your last batches have been blah, see how to make sugar cookies better.

How to Pipe Icing Like a Pro

how to decorate sugar cookies


One way to jazz up cookies is to ice them with adorable designs. With tips from an expert, you too can wield a piping bag like you’re a contestant on a holiday baking show. See how to ice Christmas cookies like a pro.

How to Decorate Cookies So Cute They Could Be From a Bakery

how to decorat cookies

YinYang / E+ / Getty Images

Even if you’re not into royal icing, there are lots of other ways to make your cookies look as amazing as they taste. See our tips on how to decorate Christmas cookies no matter what your skill level.

How to Ship Christmas Cookies

how to mail cookies for holiday and shipping cut off dates

ingwervanille / Moment / Getty Images

Sending some love to far-away friends and fam? Don’t ruin all your hard work by packing your cookies the wrong way or shipping them too late. See how to mail Christmas cookies (and when you need to send them).

How to Make Edible Cookie Dough That’s Safe to Eat

edible cookie dough vegan gluten free

Evan Sung

We all sneak bites of raw dough, but it’s actually pretty risky (as recent flour recalls remind us). If you just love the unbaked goods, though, see how to make raw cookie dough that’s safe to eat.

Cookie Equipment

A poor baker really might be able to blame their tools—so here are the ones you’ll need to perfect your game.

The Essential Baking Tools You Should Have in Your Kitchen

Chowhound guide to essential baking tools


If you’re even semi-serious about baking, you’ll need these pieces of equipment in your arsenal. See our guide to the best baking tools.

What Is the Difference Between Cookie Sheets and Sheet Pans?

parchment paper


This is not a trick question, and using the right one can make a difference in your cookies. Learn about the difference between cookie sheets and sheet pans.

The Most Festive Cookie Cutters You Can Find Online

best Christmas cookie cutters

Sur La Table

From intricate snowflakes and retro cookie stamps to 3D trees and leg lamps, these are the best Christmas cookie cutters to buy online.

The Unexpected Tool That Stands Between You and Perfectly Round Cookies

Dorie Greenspan sable recipe


Baking maven Dorie Greenspan shared a neat trick with us! See what kitchen tool she uses to get perfectly round cookies.

How to Use a Cookie Press for the Cutest Spritz Cookie Shapes

OXO cookie press for spritz cookies

Sur La Table

Want to try your hand at spritz cookies? See our guide on how to use a cookie press (plus some spritz cookie recipes to put your new skills to work).

Cookie Questions

Clarifying the finer points to ensure your baking is a success.

Are Brown and White Sugar Interchangeable?

are brown and white sugar interchangeable in baking?

Michelle Patrick / EyeEm / Getty Images

Sometimes, but the key is knowing how each kind affects your baked goods. Read more about swapping brown sugar and white sugar, with some bonus info on powdered sugar and turbinado sugar too.

How Do You Soften Brown Sugar?

Karl Tapales / Moment / Getty Images

If it’s turned into one rock-hard lump, don’t panic—or throw it in the trash. See how to soften brown sugar.

What Is the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?

baking soda vs baking powder


This is important, so read up on baking powder vs baking soda (and see how to tell when it’s time to toss them).

Which Is Better for Baking, Parchment Paper or Silpat Mats?

how to clean Silpat silicone baking mats


You’ll want to line your cookie sheets with something, but which one of these is better? Find out who wins in the battle of parchment paper vs silicone baking mats.

What Is the Difference Between Types of Vanilla?

vanilla orchid

Diana Miller / Cultura / Getty Images

Have you noticed more kinds of vanilla extract in the baking aisle and wondered how exactly they stack up? Read about the most common types of vanilla to bake with.

For more tips, tricks, hacks, and recipes, see our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Dinner, and visit our Holiday Headquarters.

Related Video: How to Make Your Own Colored Sugar

Header image courtesy of Marija Laca / EyeEm / Getty Images

Jen is an editor at Chowhound. Raised on scrapple and blue crabs, she hails from Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Portland (Oregon) for so long it feels like home. She enjoys the rain, reads, writes, eats, and cooks voraciously, and stops to pet every stray cat she sees. Continually working on building her Gourmet magazine collection, she will never get over its cancellation. Read more of her work.
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