Top 36 Holiday Cookie Recipes

Try our top 36 highest-rated, most-viewed and taste test-approved cookies for your holiday cookie plate.

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G's Spicy Tequila Balls

Nadia G packs her usual punch into these boozy vanilla wafer, walnut and cocoa powder balls. The recipe contains a whopping 1/2 cup of tequila and is dusted with both chipotle and cayenne powders, so it's not for the faint of stomach. They're perfect for a carousing holiday celebration, for gifting or for bringing to a cookie swap (the recipe makes 42 balls).

Get the Recipe: G's Spicy Tequila Balls

S'Mores Cookies

Chuck Hughes suggests surprising Santa –– and your cookie benefactors –– with a wintry one-bite take on the s'more. The thin, crunchy graham rounds are topped with gooey chocolate ganache and a spiraling pillow of browned marshmallow.

Get the Recipe: S'Mores Cookies

Eggnog Shortbread

These thick cookie wedges employ all of eggnog's familiar flavors in a crumbly Scottish shortbread. Warm spices and dry milk powder give the shortbread richness while a bourbon glaze adds a festive spiked twist.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Shortbread

Thick and chewy peanut butter chocolate chip bars

A blondie lover's dream, these bars are moist, dense and chewy.

Get the Recipe: Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Easy Sugar Cookies

Alton Brown's favorite sugar cookies can be stored for up to one week, making them a great make-ahead option for your holiday party.

Get the Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Pecan Jewel Cookies with Spicy Jam Filling

Never one to take the mild route, Nadia G. kicks up these thumbprint-style cookies by spiking her jam with cayenne pepper. But the most prominent flavor in the Pecan Jewels is the pecans themselves — coarsely chopped, roasted and studding the dough.

Get the Recipe: Pecan Jewel Cookies with Spicy Jam Filling

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Chuck Hughes admits to loving shortbread cookies all holiday season long, but sometimes he wants to shake things up. Here he fuses shortbread cookies with lemon bars –– creating a gooey, lemony top half supported by a tender-but-solid shortbread cookie foundation –– and speckles them with bright, tart cranberries.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Shortbread Cookies

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

If you crushed up Christmastime and baked it into –– and sprinkled it on top of –– a cookie, this would be it. G. Garvin combines snow-white white chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candies in these uber-soft cookies, then decorates them with a flurry of extra candy for a festive red-and-white snow.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Holiday Biscotti

Giada gives her light-and-airy biscotti cookies a holiday makeover with the addition of red cranberries and green pistachios to the dough. Dipped halfway in white chocolate and covered with red and green sprinkles, they are extra indulgent (and celebratory).

Get the Recipe: Holiday Biscotti

Cocoa Brownies

Alton keeps it classic with his simple recipe for rich, chewy, moist chocolate brownies. Consider these your new staple.

Get the Recipe: Cocoa Brownies

Milk Chocolate Chip Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon Cookies

Bacon may be the not-so-secret ingredient in these smoky cookies, but its the maple syrup that adds a just-right amount of sweetness that really takes them to the next level. Sprinkle sea salt over each one to take these treats over the top.

Get the Recipe: Milk Chocolate Chip Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon Cookies

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Cocoa powder, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper make for an aromatic and comforting combination.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Peppermint Meltaways

These festive cookies are hiding a secret holiday surprise: Chocolate kisses are inserted into balls of peppermint dough before a quick bake. The finishing touch? A roll in peppermint candy-infused powdered sugar.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Meltaways

Rainbow Cookies

These colorful confections are believed to have originated in the early 1900s, created by Italian immigrant communities in the United States in homage to the Italian flag. Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos' chocolate-covered almond sponge cake cookies with cherry and apricot preserves nail the classic layered creations on their Old World-New York head.

Get the Recipe: Rainbow Cookies

The White House's Molasses Spice Cookies "Gingersnaps"

These snappy cookies are chockfull of ginger flavor. A roll in granulated sugar before baking helps balance the zippy spice.

Get the Recipe: The White House's Molasses Spice Cookies "Gingersnaps"

Lemon Ricotta Cookies With Lemon Glaze

Lemon lovers will appreciate Giada's light, bright ricotta cookies. The best part about these sweets? They travel well, making them a great holiday gift for friends and family.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Carmelitas

There's a reason Kelsey Nixon's Carmelitas have over 35 5-star reviews: The recipe, which incorporates her homemade caramel sauce, yields the chewy, salty, crumble-topped bars that dreams are made of.

Get the Recipe: Carmelitas

Spiced Ginger Rum Balls

These classic boozy holiday balls are a perennial favorite. They pair nicely with a warm rum cocktail, but after a few of these confections, you might not need the cocktail at all.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Ginger Rum Balls

Almond Shortbread Cookies

These cookies may not look like the most-exciting pick of the dessert spread, but ground almonds and lemon zest give surprising nutty and citrusy notes.

Get the Recipe: Almond Shortbread Cookies

S'mores Bars

It's hard to improve on the classically simple s'more, but Kelsey might have done just that with her thick and gooey cookie bar stacks.

Get the Recipe: S'mores Bars

Butter Cookies

Add a challenge to your next holiday party: Who can create the most fun and festively decorated holiday cookie out of Emeril's easy butter cookie recipe?

Get the Recipe: Emeril's Butter Cookies

Homemade Fudge Brownies

Kelsey suggests serving these brownies like tiny tiered cakes, using a range of biscuit cutter sizes to form each fudgy layer. Dusting them with powdered sugar and topping each with a cherry adds a fancy flourish.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Fudge Brownies

Salted Caramel Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Top this caramel-filled take on thumbprint cookies with flakes of sea salt. It's a sweet and salty combo that will have you craving another batch.

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel Almond Thumbprint Cookies

David Rocco's Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Don't miss a minute of holiday cheer: David Rocco's espresso-laced crackles are the perfect pick-me-up.

Get the Recipe: David Rocco's Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kelsey adds moisture and an extra layer of flavor by adding mashed banana to her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Oatmeal gives them additional heartiness so they're great as an afternoon snack or breakfast on the go.

Get the Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

John Legend adds some notes of texture to his addictively sweet oatmeal and peanut butter cookies with salty chopped roasted peanuts.

Get the Recipe: John Legend's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Cookie Monster's Famous Sugar Cookie Dough

This classic sugar cookie dough recipe is a favorite of the King of Cookies himself, Cookie Monster. With these buttery cookies, you'll have to remind yourself that "cookies are a sometimes food."

Get the Recipe: Cookie Monster's Famous Sugar Cookie Dough

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Embrace any nostalgic feelings that surround this chewy-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside recipe. 

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kourambiethes

These traditional Greek butter cookies, coated in powdered sugar, will literally melt in your mouth. A splash of brandy adds unique holiday flair.

Get the Recipe: Kourambiethes

Bal's Lentil Cookies

Every one of our recipe reviewers gave this cookie four or five stars, remarking on its great nutty flavor and healthy ingredients.

Get the Recipe: Bal's Lentil Cookies

Momofuku Compost Cookie

From New York City's cult-favorite bakery Momofuku Milk Bar, these sweet and salty cookies pack in chocolate, butterscotch, oats, potato chips, pretzels and ground coffee.

Get the Recipe: Momofuku Compost Cookies

Double Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Double Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. We have nothing else to add except click below for the (incredible) recipe.

Get the Recipe: Double Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Penuche

Kelsey frosts her fluffy, perfectly spiced pumpkin cookies with a butter and brown sugar caramel icing.

Get the Recipe: Old Fashioned Pumpkin Penuche

I Want to Marry You Cookies

These extremely popular cookies have a following for good reason. This thick and chewy spin on the classic chocolate chip cookie is as unique as it is delicious, so don't be surprised if it earns rave reviews, or even a marriage proposal.

Get the Recipe: I Want to Marry You Cookies

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Just a splash of buttermilk is the secret to this perfectly chewy sugar cookie recipe.

Get the Recipe: Chewy Sugar Cookies

Coconut Dream Cookies

These dense and chewy cookies are a coconut-lover's dream. Three types of chocolate — dark, semisweet and milk — make these cookies particularly irresistible.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Dream Cookies