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Holiday Cookie Countdown

Holiday Cookie Countdown

We're serving up 31 days of our best-ever cookie recipes.

Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

We love these thick, satisfying cookies as humble as peanut butter cookies, complete with the criss-cross markings of a fork before going into the oven. Dried cranberries provide a slightly tart counterpoint to the macadamia nuts' richness. Swap in dried cherries, strawberries, or blueberries for the cranberries to suit your taste.

View Recipe: Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

Almond-Apricot Macaroons

Prepare these traditional treats in honor of the Festival of Lights. Matzo cake meal, freshly ground blanched almonds, and matzo cake meal make a fitting based for sweet apricots, orange rind, and almond extract.

View Recipe: Almond-Apricot Macaroons

Sweet and Salty Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Go beyond average holiday cookies with our play on sweet-and-salty in these gift-worthy treats. Coarse-grained sea salt does not melt into the batter, so you experience a crunchy burst with every bite. Use any other nut you like in place of peanuts. Package simply in glass jars for gifts or stash for an afternoon dose of yin-and-yang.

Butterscotch Bars

A small square of these rich bars is enough to satisfy a dessert craving. A flour and oats mixture serves as a solid base for the soft butterscotch chip layer and a crumbly, streusel-like topping.

View Recipe: Butterscotch Bars

Cream Cheese Meltaways with Lemon Glaze

When shaping these buttery cookies, do not try to form perfectly smooth balls. If the dough is handled too much, the cookies will become heavy and dense. Let them be free-form and show off that they’re homemade. Imperfect usually means that they’re perfectly delicious.

Coconut Meringues

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

They've got just 25 calories apiece, so you can get more kick out of your calorie count with these light-as-air treats. Not your average meringues, these get a kick of flavor from flaked sweetened coconut, coconut extract, and unsweetened cocoa. Plus, they're easy and fun to make.

View Recipe: Coconut Meringues

Pecan Bar Cookies

Crisp on the outside, and soft inside, these cookies combine pecans, chocolate, and maple flavoring for the ultimate decadent treat.

View Recipe: Pecan Bar Cookies

Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

It may be the holidays, but sneak in some good stuff with these coffee-dunking biscotti. Your little secret: whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, dark chocolate chips, and almonds add fiber and antioxidants without sacrificing one ounce of pleasure.

Cinnamon-Sugar Cookies

Buttery and sweet with a hint of spice, these cookie jar favorites are right for any occasion. If you prefer a slightly chewier cookie, reduce baking time to 10 minutes. A sprinkling of large-grained turbinado sugar makes a pretty presentation.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Cups

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

If you like peanut butter cups, you'll love this charming twist. Perfect for parties (and kid-friendly, too), these fun treats have a crunchy peanut butter crusts and chocolaty centers that appeal to all ages. They're an eye-catching addition to any dessert tray.

Black and White Striped Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

These may take a little more time, but it’s the weekend! Dive into some holiday baking with these gift-worthy cookies. Cutting and stacking the dough creates alternating stripes of vanilla and chocolate pieces. For pinwheel variation, stack the two (12 x 8-inch) dough rectangles on top of each other, and roll up into a 12-inch-long cylinder as if you're making cinnamon rolls.

View Recipe: Black and White Striped Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Marshmallow Cream Filling

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

Classic holiday ingredients like cranberries, orange, and cinnamon strike a nice flavor balance: not too sweet and not too tart. This is homey holiday food at its best.

View Recipe: Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies get a kick from a bit of Kahlúa; if you don't have this coffee-flavored liqueur, substitute an equal amount of strong freshly brewed coffee. You can freeze completely cooled cookies for up to a month in a zip-top plastic bag.

View Recipe: Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

These rich, chewy cookies contrasts the tartness of the cherries with the cocoa and semisweet chocolate chips for an elegant, and delicious, addition to your holiday table.

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies

Simple, classic drop cookies belong on any holiday dessert table. Oatmeal adds wholesome whole grains to these chocolate chip cookies, while mini-chips ensure a bit of chocolate in every bite. If you're a smart cookie, you might double the recipe and freeze some of the dough for a quick batch later.

View Recipe: Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies

Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Trust us. Our twist on the classic cinnamon-sugar cookie, lovingly called the Snickerdoodle, won’t disappoint. Using almond butter, egg yolks, and cream cheese in the cookie dough adds richness, and the crunchy coating of cinnamon sugar brings back all the memories from this all-time favorite cookie.

Gingerbread Cookies

Get the kids involved with a Saturday morning bake-a-thon. They can help decorate these adorable ginger people. Get a head start by baking cookies up to four days ahead and storing in an airtight container. Frost one day before serving; after frosting is set, pack cookies in airtight containers between layers of wax paper. This dough also makes fine slice-and-bake cookies if you want something a little easier.

View Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

Brown Sugar Shortbread

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Rich shortbread is easy to prepare and keeps for several days in an airtight container, making it ideal for gifts. Wrap simply in clear cellophane bags with festive ribbon for delicious treats for teachers, co-workers, and last-minute guests.

Giant Chocolate Chunk Cookies

How do you improve the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Make it bigger! These ample treats bring out the little kid in everyone when paired with a glass of milk and a mug for dunking. Each batch makes only 6 cookies, so you might want to double the recipe for a crowd.


Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Package these crunchy cookies in a gift box with a pound of your favorite coffee beans. Look for almond paste on your supermarket's baking aisle, and for best results, don't substitute marzipan, which is sweeter and more finely textured, in place of the paste.

Mexican Spiced Shortbread Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

What would happen if pecans and dulce de leche met buttery shortbread? Heaven on a holiday plate. These aren’t just cookies. They’re full-on dessert in a bite-size treat.

Classic Iced Sugar Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

A good starting point for decorated cookies, this basic recipe uses ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Feeling creative? Tint the icing with food coloring and have fun adding your own designs. If you plan on piping the icing, decrease the milk to two tablespoons.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Dear Santa: You won’t want to skip our house. We have warm Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies and a glass of cold milk waiting for you. We all helped make them. They’re going fast, so don’t be late.

Iced Browned Butter Sugar Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

These classic sugar cookies are infused with nutty, caramel notes from browned butter and a fair bit of salt to balance the flavors. You can roll out the dough right after combining all the ingredients—no chilling required.

Hello Dolly Bars

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

These bar cookies are also known as seven-layer bars. They take less than 30 minutes to prepare and call for just eight ingredients, many of which you may have leftover from holiday baking.

View Recipe: Hello Dolly Bars

Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints

With a double shot of chocolate and hazelnut flavors, kids and adults will rave over these filled cookies. An addition of espresso powder is optional, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor. Serve these pretty gems at your holiday gathering with coffee or hot tea.

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Dulce de Leche-Filled Cookies

Alfajores, these crisp wafer cookies, are filled with caramelized sweetened condensed milk. Although you often can find a full-fat version of this product at Hispanic markets, we've made our own lower-fat version.

Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

The New Year (and all those resolutions) are just about here. Get a head start with heart-healthier treats. Oats, whole-wheat flour, bittersweet chocolate, and dried cherries give these cookies their “heart-smart” appeal.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

Watch the video: Made in America: Holiday cookies