Favorite Holiday Cookies From Bloggers

We asked some food bloggers we love to share their most-inspired twists on classic holiday cookies.

Photo By: Samantha Linsell

Photo By: Irvin Lin ©Irvin Lin 2012

Christmas "Circus" Cookies

Why do these adorable little miniature Christmas-shaped cookies have "Circus" in their moniker? Because they were modeled after those pink-and-white icing-and-sprinkle-covered cookies you might remember from your childhood — Dixie Caviar's Nealey Dozier did, and her cookies taste just like them.

Get the Recipe: Christmas "Circus" Cookies

Butter Cookies With Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing

Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple magically transform everyone's favorite holiday guilty pleasure — eggnog — into cookie form. With a perfect butter cookie base, they are topped with a sweet, custardy eggnog cream cheese icing and sprinkled with cinnamon. Note: The icing is quite tacky, so if you are bringing the cookies to a party, be sure to spread the icing once you get there, or tote them only in single layers.

Get the Recipe: Butter Cookies with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate Butter Cookie Sandwiches with Peppermint Cream Filling

There are fewer flavor pairings more perfect for the holiday season than chocolate and peppermint. These rich cocoa cookies are filled with a smooth, creamy mint center –– ideal for any party or Santa's plate, claim White on Rice Couple's Todd Porter and Diane Cu.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Butter Cookie Sandwiches with Peppermint Cream Filling

Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs

Pastry Affair's Kristin Rosenau peps up these traditional butter-sugar-and-nut cookie balls (also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes) with more-fragrant hazelnuts and a shot of espresso.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Espresso Snowballs

Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

This edible version of the Irish coffee drink might just keep you buzzing throughout the evening. Nealey Dozier of Dixie Caviar incorporates both ground coffee and coffee extract into her sugar cookie dough to infuse the treats with flavor and color. Additional coffee extract and Irish cream liqueur spike the delicate buttercream frosting, which pipes perfectly into a frothy topping –– like its mugged moniker.

Get the Recipe: Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

Oat Bars with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts

Sam Linsell of Drizzle & Dip shares her adaptation of traditional South African cookies called crunchies. The bars are a bit chewier than their name would imply, though if you'd prefer that crisp texture, bake them in a wider pan for a thinner cookie.

Get the Recipe: Oat Bars with Cranberries and Macadamia Nuts

Lemon Meringue Thumbprint Cookies

What do you have when you combine sweet sugar thumbprint cookies with tart lemon meringue and a swirl of toasty meringue? Samantha Seneviratne of Love, Cake's clever cookies that make use of the wintry fruit and easily impress at any holiday gathering.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Meringue Thumbprint Cookies

Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Oat and Pistachio Cookies

These chunky treats from Stephanie Le of i am a food blog are like kitchen sink cookies for the holidays, filled with colorful pistachios and cranberries, and they are delightfully crunchy thanks to rolled oats and a healthy dose of baking soda.

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Oat and Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies with Black Currant Jam

Thumbprints are always a welcome addition to the holiday cookie table with their jewel-like jammy centers and festive sugar powder coating. Blogging Over Thyme's Laura Davidson fills pistachio-studded shortbread cookies with black currant jam, but any berry jam will produce the seasonal and visually pleasing red-and-green effect.

Get the Recipe: Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies with Black Currant Jam

Gingerbread Latte Sandwich Cookies

Fans of flavored winter coffee drinks will love these over-the-top soft, spicy gingerbread cookies from Sweet Style CA's Tessa Huff, filled with a sweet, buttery coffee cream.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Latte Sandwich Cookies

Hazelnut Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen incorporates hazelnut meal into a traditional buttery shortbread cookie to add texture and nutty holiday flavor. The rich chocolate ganache and a sprinkling of sea salt make them feel both indulgent and festive.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Gingerbread Checkerboard Cookies

Irvin Lin of Eat the Love updates the classic German checkerboard cookie (Schwarz-weiss Gebäck) with the holiday flavors of lemon and gingerbread. Intimidated by this complex-looking confection? Irvin shows how assembling these beautiful-to-behold treats is something that any baker can tackle — whether novice or master.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Gingerbread Checkerboard Cookies

Cuban Sugar Cookies With Guava and Lime (Torticas de Moron)

Inspired by her youth in South Florida, Hungry Sofia's Ana Pelaez re-created these Torticas de Morón, named after the town in central Cuba where they come from. Spiked with rum and flavored with lime and guava preserves, they taste just like a warm-weather vacation.

Get the Recipe: Cuban Sugar Cookies with Guava and Lime (Torticas de Moron)

Broken Pretzel and Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heather Baird of Sprinkle Bakes proves that the chocolate chip cookie can be improved by adding dark chocolate chunks, salty pretzels and gobs of caramel to her dough (and much to our salty-sweet satisfaction).

Get the Recipe: Broken Pretzel and Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini White Chocolate, Cranberry + Pumpkin Cookies

Can't decide which of your favorite holiday flavors should be represented in your cookie swap contribution? Why not bake this cookie from the Spoon Fork Bacon girls which combines three flavors in one conveniently popable bite-sized cookie?

Get the Recipe: Bite-Size White Chocolate, Cranberry and Pumpkin Cookies

Rugelach

Zoe Bakes' Zoe Francois shares her rugelach, a traditional Jewish cookie. The dough is soft and tender, with just a slight zip from the cream cheese and zest. You can make them with traditional fillings, like prunes or poppy seeds, but she likes hers packed with bright preserves, chopped-up nuts and even shaved chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Rugelach

Elvis-Inspired Cookie Cups

Cooking Channel fan Lisa Huff shares her super-indulgent Elvis-Inspired Cookie Cups recipe for our holiday cookie swap. And it's not for the faint of heart: Much like Elvis's eponymous sandwich, it is filled with pure honey and a peanut butter-banana-bacon mixture and then garnished with a little sliver of bacon, to boot.

Get the Recipe: Elvis-Inspired Cookie Cups

Salted Caramel Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites fills buttery, crumbly, almond-flavored shortbread with a dollop of salted caramel sauce. What more do you need to know?

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Polvorones

Traditionally little more than flour, ground almonds, powdered sugar and just enough butter to hold it all together, polvorones are built to crumble. Laced with cinnamon, allspice, cloves and orange zest, this version of the pleasingly sandy cookies from Ana Palaez possess more flavor and texture than the original — perfect for an extra-indulgent holiday treat.

Get the Recipe: Polvorones

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Like the beverage they're modeled after, these chocolate cookies from Nealey Dozier are made with unsweetened cocoa and studded with cinnamon and cayenne pepper spice. When you bite into the cookie, you'll find a gooey center — just like sipping cocoa from a mug.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Snowball Cookies

Cooking Channel fan Sarah Jorgenson shares her fun and seasonal recipe for Snowball Cookies that can be transformed into snowmen when stacked three high.

Get the Recipe: Snowballs

Sleeping Almond Meringues

To bake meringues that are crisp on the outside and creamy in the center, Hungry Sofia's Ana Pelaez pipes the cookies onto a baking sheet and places them in a scorching-hot oven, which she immediately turns off. Left on their own overnight, they take on a pearly sheen that hides the taffy-like center (but don't peek!). Here, toasted almonds add a bit of crunch to the lime juice- and lemon-flavored delicacies. 

Get the Recipe: Sleeping Almond Meringues

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Matt Armendariz strikes sweet gold again with his rich chocolate cookies, chock-full of sweet dried cherries.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Cookies