Holiday Cookies Outside the Box

Think you've got your holiday cookie bases covered? Think again. These cookie recipes are surprising ways to keep you baking all season long.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Armando Rafael ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Kathryn Cooper

Photo By: Marcus Tullis

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Marcus Tullis

Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Photo By: Photographer:Marcus Tullis

Photo By: Marcus Tullis

Photo By: Stephen Murello ©Stephen Murello

Photo By: Tara Donne

Chocolate Diablo Cookies

Why such a devilish moniker? These chocolatey cookies contain cayenne pepper for a hint of heat.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Diablo Cookies

Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Giada De Laurentiis sandwiches a mixture of vanilla ice cream and amaretto liqueur between two crunchy chocolate-almond cookies for a more adult take on a childhood favorite.

Get the Recipe: Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Toasted Coconut and Orange Icebox Cookies

Shape this toasted-coconut and orange-zest dough into logs, pop them in the fridge weeks ahead of the holidays, and then slice them, bake them and dip them in melted chocolate right before Santa comes to town.

Get the Recipe: Toasted Coconut and Orange Icebox Cookies

K and C Thumbprint Cookies

These black pepper-and-Parmesan cookies have a slightly spicy flavor, which is complemented by the orange-cranberry-thyme marmalade filling each cookie’s thumbprint.

Get the Recipe: K and C Thumbprint Cookies

Pink Meringues with Raspberry Cream

These marbled meringues are almost too pretty to eat (but not quite). Swirl the light and fluffy sweets with red and green dyes for Christmas, or blue for your Hanukkah celebration.

Get the Recipe: Pink Meringues with Raspberry Cream

Oatmeal Cream'wich

Thin, caramelized and crispy oatmeal cookies are held together with a rich and tangy cream filling.

Get the Recipe: Oatmeal Cream'wich

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

Crushed candy canes add peppermint flavor to Alton Brown's traditional pinwheel cookies. Make the dough in advance and keep it in the freezer so you'll be prepared for last-minute holiday visitors.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

Whoopie Pies

Is it a cookie? Is it a pie? Is it a cake? It's Chuck Hughes' whoopie pie: a cookie-shaped cake filled with heavenly marshmallow cream.

Get the Recipe: Whoopie Pies

Apricot and Nut Cookies With Amaretto Icing

Giada's osteria-style cookies are great with a cup of tea or coffee.

Get the Recipe: Apricot and Nut Cookies with Amaretto Icing

Holiday Whoopie Pies

These whoopie pies have all the great holiday spice of your favorite gingerbread recipe, plus an irresistible bonus: cream cheese frosting.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Whoopie Pies

Lemon Nut Cookies

The amazing flavor of Giada's cookies comes from the addition of both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to the cookie batter.

Get the Recipe: Lemon Nut Cookies

Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

With a milk chocolate-and-peanut butter center and a dark chocolate icing on top, these crispy bars may not look especially festive, but their taste will definitely make you want to celebrate.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Chocolate Drop Cookies With White Chocolate Filling

Alex Guarnaschelli's drop cookies are intensely moist and chocolatey, like brownies. She pairs them with a caramelized white chocolate filling that adds a "toasted" flavor to complement the bittersweet chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Drop Cookies with Caramelized White Chocolate Filling

Cookie Confidential's Philly Cheesesteak Cookie

Really want to mix things up this holiday? Try making these surprisingly savory Philly cheesesteak-inspired cookies. Made with a cheddar cheese base and flecked with beef jerky and dehydrated onions, this is one cookie that's probably better enjoyed as an appetizer. 

Get the Recipe: Cookie Confidential's Philly Cheesesteak Cookie

Banana Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche Filling

Want to surprise your holiday guests? Whip up pillowy banana whoopie pie cookies with a caramelized dulce de leche center.

Get the Recipe: Banana Whoopie Pies with Dulce de Leche Filling

Hazelnut, Lemon and Fig Linzer-esque Cookies

This cross between a classic linzertorte and a hamentashen calls for the triangle-shaped hazelnut cookie to be filled with fig jam and toasted hazelnuts. Talk about unique.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut, Lemon and Fig Linzer-esque Cookies

Chocolate Toffee Meringue Cookies

What makes the perfect meringues even better? Toffee, of course. One note: For the best results, make these cookies on a dry day; humidity can make them a little sticky.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Toffee Meringue Cookies

Cinnamon Bun Cookies

With their hypnotic swirled design and sweet cinnamon flavor, these cookies look and taste just like those giant sticky buns you're always craving.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Bun Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies

Try making these carrot cake cookies in miniature bite-size form for a party, or make them larger and wrap them in cellophane for gifts to be shared.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Cake Cookies

Grown-up S'mores

Cinnamon graham cracker cookies are topped with milk chocolate ganache, candied pecans, sweet coconut and almond-scented toasted meringue. Shaped like little Christmas trees, they're the perfect whimsical treat for the holidays.

Get the Recipe: Grown-up S'mores

Candied Bacon and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The best way to update the ever-present chocolate chip cookie? Mix some smoky-sweet candied bacon into the dough per Nadia G’s direction, and choose quality dark chocolate to balance the strong meaty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Candied Bacon and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Peanut butter-and-jelly fans will go wild for perfectly crispy, classic peanut butter cookies sandwiching a jelly filling of your choice. Just make sure to have extra milk on hand.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Carrot Cookies With Orange Buttercream Icing

Kelsey Nixon surprises with her carrot cookies — like miniature carrot cakes — and opts for an orange-flavored icing instead of the traditional cream cheese pairing.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Cookies with Orange Buttercream Icing

Bourbon Street Balls With Pecans

Rachael Ray mixes up a truffle-like, no-bake cookie using crushed-up cookies, toasted pecans and just a nip of bourbon.

Get the Recipe: Bourbon Street Balls with Pecans

Chocolate Cloud Cookies

As the name suggests, these cookies are as light as air. Pair them with rich fudge frosting to combine lightness and density for a uniquely textured cookie.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cloud 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 the cookies additional heartiness, so they're great as an afternoon snack or breakfast on the go.

Get the Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Giant Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Forget the grasshopper dessert. Get your holiday mint fix from these oversized cookie sandwiches.

Get the Recipe: Giant Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

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 — eating it is just like sipping cocoa from a mug.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

French Macarons With Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream

Make a salted caramel buttercream to fill these light and airy macarons.

Get the Recipe: French Macarons with Salted Bourbon Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate Chip + Caramel Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Take a chocolate chip cookie flaked with sea salt, add rich dulce de leche and then top it off with cool, creamy caramel ice cream. In this case the photo literally says it all: YUM.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookies, Caramel Ice Cream, Dulce de Leche

Chocolate and Caramel Shortbreads

Go beyond basic shortbread: Chuck's recipe sandwiches two of the classic cookies with a homemade caramel-and-chocolate ganache filling.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate and Caramel Shortbreads

The Elvis Cookie

Elvis Presley had a knack for making people swoon, and so does the flavor combination in this odd but delicious cookie.

Get the Recipe: The Elvis: Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mint Thins

Girl Scout Cookie lovers will go crazy for these amazing copycats — thin, crispy mint wafers covered in chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Mint Thins

Cherry Almond Cobbler Sandwich Cookies

This recipe has all the texture and flavor that you'd expect from the perfect cherry cobbler, but you get to eat it with your hands.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Almond Cobbler Sandwich Cookies

Orange-Scented Almond Cookies

Cat Cora's orange-and-almond cookies use only four ingredients. They are an easy (and creative) way to impress your holiday guests.

Get the Recipe: Orange-Scented Almond Cookies: Amygdalota me Orange

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Chocolate and tart cherries get together for great results in these not-too-sweet holiday cookies.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Candied Violet Cookie Sandwich

Go all out and use candied violets in your shortbread batter. Sandwich the finished cookies around a cream cheese-and-orange filling.

Get the Recipe: Candied Violet Cookie Sandwich

Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

When you bite into these cookies, you get first a crisp and sweet edge, then a soft and cakey interior. The combination of Meyer lemon and cardamom makes them truly unique.

Get the Recipe: Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

Snappy Ginger Cookies

Crystallized ginger is Roger Mooking's obedient ingredient for these Everyday Exotic ginger cookies. A cream cheese-cranberry blend makes a great cookie sandwich filling.

Get the Recipe: Snappy Ginger Cookies

Chocolate Sesame Balls

Cookies go the deep-fried route in Ching-He Huang's gluten-free recipe for Chinese sesame balls. Top them with melted chocolate right before you eat.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Sesame Balls

Buttered Scotch Blondies

Scotch whiskey (and plenty of butter) gives these blondies great texture and just the right amount of sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Buttered Scotch Blondies

Gluten-Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

These thin, chewy cookies use almond flour as their base. They are gluten-free, but they're great in their own right because they stay nice and moist.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brutti Ma Buoni

David Rocco's Italian nut cookies can be baked until chewy or crispy.

Get the Recipe: Brutti Ma Buoni

Black Macarons

Though black may not be the first color associated with holiday cheer, you'll reconsider once you taste Chuck's creamy macarons.

Get the Recipe: Black Macarons

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies

Peanut butter and white chocolate pair beautifully in Rachel Allen's blondie recipe, giving the finished bars the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies

Snack Bar Madness Cookies

These chewy cookies are endlessly customizable to suit your mood. Choose any combination of nuts, candy or dried fruit.

Get the Recipe: Snack Bar Madness Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gorilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chuck's double-chocolate cookie sandwiches are filled with banana mascarpone ice cream.

Get the Recipe: Gorilla Ice Cream Sandwiches

Hot Cake Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

The cookie in this recipe has a comforting maple-and-molasses flavor, but the real showstopper is the mystery ingredient in the center of this sandwich. You've heard of sweet potato pie? Well, it's time we introduced you to sweet potato ice cream.

Get the Recipe: Hot Cake Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Breakfast Cookies

Who says cookies are just for dessert? Ellie Krieger's nutritional powerhouse of a cookie is loaded with whole grains, fruits and nuts, and makes for a great breakfast on the go during the busy holiday season.

Get the Recipe: Breakfast Cookies

"I Want to Marry You" Cookies

Looking for a proposal this holiday season? These double-chocolate chip cookies have been known to inspire undying devotion.

Get the Recipe: I Want to Marry You Cookies

Chocolate Chip + Candied Bacon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Think this cookie is a little too far outside the box for your tastes? The bacon actually gives the ice cream a subtle smokiness that works well with the chocolate chunks.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie and Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cat-Got-Your-Tongue Cookies

David Rocco's melt-in-your mouth, buttery cookies are shaped like strips and expand in the oven to look like a cat's tongue. And they're just the right size to dip into a cup of tea, making them a good cold-weather treat.

Get the Recipe: Lingue di Gatto: Cat Got Your Tongue Cookie

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

With a maple-marshmallow filling, these pumpkin-flavored whoopie pies taste just like a cozy fall day in New England.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Cacao Nib Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Shortbread cookies get a speckled look (and depth of flavor) with cacao nibs and cinnamon worked into the dough, but it's the rich chocolate ganache filling that sets these sandwich cookies apart.

Get the Recipe: Cacao Nib Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies

Momofuku's pastry chef, Christina Tosi, says this cookie is an ode to her favorite baked good of all time: the fudgy brownie. It's satisfyingly salty, with a chewy chocolatey-ness that's hard to resist.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Chocolate Cookies

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you're one of those people who think bacon makes everything better, this recipe is for you. Chunks of salty bacon fleck these cookies and highlight the bitter notes of the dark chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies