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Make Homemade Christmas Cookies for Giving

Christmas cookies for the neighbors

Christmas cookies for the neighbors

Christmas is the time to say I love you

What better way to show your friends and family that you appreciate them than by giving them homemade cookies this Christmas? Everyone appreciates a cookie plate during the holiday season, especially people with kids or guests over.

Cookie plates make a great gift for people who either can't or won't be baking this season, or those who do bake by get tired of their own cooking year after year. It just isn't Christmas without cookies, and sharing those cookies with friends and family.

I'm Sharing Easy Recipes

Most of the recipes included here are surprisingly easy. They look difficult and are super tasty though so everyone will think you've been slaving away for ages making them. But don't worry, I won't tell anyone how easy they are, it'll be our little secret ;-)

Christmas Cookies and Holiday Hearts

Dark Chocolate Apricot Christmas Cookies by Betty Crocker

Dark Chocolate Apricot Christmas Cookies by Betty Crocker

Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies

For those finicky adults

The flavors of this cookie are ones that will appeal to most adults.

The complexity of bits of apricot embedded in the perfect cookie is just fancy enough to tempt the palate. These cookies contain layers of flavor, topped with great chocolate, and that makes this cookie recipe one they'll ask for again and again.

For recipe click here

Double Chocolate and Gingerbread Cookie Bars by Betty Crocker

Double Chocolate and Gingerbread Cookie Bars by Betty Crocker

Double Chocolate and Gingerbread Cookie Bars

The aroma of gingerbread tells me it's Christmas

I like to have at least a couple bar recipes in my Christmas cookie baking bag. Bars are usually easier than cookies, there's no trying to get them perfectly even so they bake evenly and there's less wasted space so they cook up faster and you spend less time slaving over a hot oven.

These bars are ridiculously easy to make considering how complex they look at first glance. They use two prepackaged cookie mixes, dropped into a pan together, for luscious bars.

What are the holidays without that wonderful gingerbread aroma and taste?

For recipe click here

Gingerbread Cookie Mix

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix - Package of 12

I Sure Do Like Those Christmas Cookies, Sugar

Double-Chocolate Rocky Road Cookie Bar Recipe by Betty Crocker

Double-Chocolate Rocky Road Cookie Bar Recipe by Betty Crocker

Double-Chocolate Rocky Road Cookie Bars Recipe

Rocky Road bars are easy and yummy

Rocky Road recipes are a hit with most people, who doesn't love the mix of chocolate and marshmallows?

Add even more chocolate and suddenly you have something that will appeal to nearly everyone.

The extra chocolate burst in these Double-Chocolate Rocky Road Cookie Bars will especially make the kids happy. And because they're bars, the recipe is super easy!

For recipe click here

Even Santa Loves Christmas Cookies

Even Santa loves Christmas Cookies

Even Santa loves Christmas Cookies

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies for Christmas

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies for Christmas

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

These are the cookies I used to bake with my mom. We made them for school bake sales, Christmas plates, and just for munching.

They were a hit with everyone and oh, so simple. Quick and easy baking is my motto and these take the cake / cookie plate.

It just wouldn't be Christmas without some Classic Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour 10 min

1 hour 20 min

4 dozen


  • 1 cup unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/4 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup white Sugar
  • plus 2 Tbs
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and both white and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into wet batter. Depending on the brand of peanut butter you used, you may need to add another Tbs or two of flour to get a good thickness. The batter shouldn't be runny or unmanageable. Put the batter in refrigerator for 1 hour to chill.
  3. Preheat oven to 375*
  4. Sprinkle granulated sugar on a plate. Roll the cookie mix into 1 inch balls (I use a mini ice cream scoop) then roll in the granulated sugar. Put the balls on cookie sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.
  5. Do not over-bake the cookies. Remove cookies from the oven when golden, too brown and they'll get hard when they cool.

Not a Substitute

Before you start any of these recipes, check to see if you have both:

Baking Soda (yellow box)

Baking Powder (white can)

They are not interchangeable.

Use the one the recipe calls for to have your cookies turn out Christmas perfect.

How to Make Sugar Cookies - Great for decorating

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

7 min

8 min

15 min

4-5 dozen

Sugar Cookie Recipe - Sugar cookie recipe from the video above

  • 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. 2. In a large bowl combine softened butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg and blend together.
  3. 3. In a second medium bowl add flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and whisk.
  4. 4. Add dry ingredients mixture to creamed mixture.
  5. 5. Stir just to combine.
  6. 6. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. 7. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half to 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. 8. Cut the cookies into your desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  9. 9. Place them on lightly oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Separate them by about 1 inch.
  10. 10. Next, sprinkle the shapes with granulated or colored sugar if not frosting them.
  11. 11. Bake at 375 F for 7-8 minutes, until edges are light brown.
  12. 12. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

How to Decorate Christmas Tree Cookies

Get Christmas Cookie Cutters

Make a Cookie Christmas Tree

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

The Original

For some people it's not Christmas without Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I'll admit, I've strayed in the past. I've tried other chocolate chip cookie recipes, but I always seem to come back to the original chocolate chip cookie. The cookies are simply the best. They are quite literally why chocolate chips were invented.

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies are what chocolate chip cookies are supposed to be -- soft and slightly chewy, not flattened and not too poofy, full of perfect chocolate chips.

For recipe click here

For the Best Cookies

For best results, use real butter - do not microwave it to soften it, let it just sit out for a little while before starting - and use real vanilla extract. There is no comparison to using the real thing.

Milk and Cookies

Reindeer Cookies for Santa

Reindeer Cookies for Santa

Reindeer Cookies for Christmas

Especially fun for kids

Christmas cookie plates are always better when a few fun cookies are added.

Reindeer Cookies are adorable and easy to make. Feel free to change up the recipe a little as these cute little reindeer cookies would look best with chocolate m&m eyes and a red m&m nose.

For recipe click here

Baking persimmon cookies for Christmas

Baking persimmon cookies for Christmas

Persimmon Cookies

Fruity bits of awesomeness

These may be my favorite Christmas cookies and I don't even like persimmons.

Persimmon pulp added to cookies makes them moist and tender and delicious. The texture is a bit more cake-like than most cookies, but it's a nice change from crumbly.

Adding walnuts and raisins to these slightly fruity cookies makes them perfect.

For recipe click here

Don't Ruin Cookies - Keep Them from Sticking

The perfect recipe is no help if your cookies stick.

Prevent cookie mutilation by having plenty of cookie sheets. Don't use ones that are still hot and make sure they are well-coated with cooking spray.

The most successful bakers usually use either Silpat Baking Sheets or parchment paper to prevent sticky cookies. They also make cleanup a breeze.

Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats

Parchment Paper - Baker's Need

Homemade Fudge - So easy you won't believe it!

Okay, okay. First, a little confession -- in cooking terms, this isn't technically fudge.

Fudge requires going to a lot of hassle. This is easy fudge!

All you have to do for this version of fudge is to melt the ingredients together and pour them in a pan to cool. And best of all, it tastes just as good!

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

2 hours 45 min

3 hours

8x8 pans worth


  • 16 oz chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbs Butter
  • 14 oz can of Sweetned Condensed Milk


  1. Coat an 8x8 pan with a bit of butter, then lay one piece of plastic wrap across the pan, making sure it covers the inside and hangs off each end a few inches. Put another piece of plastic wrap across the pan the other direction, making sure again to have it fit down inside and have a couple inches hang over on either side. This will make your life so much easier when the fudge is cool and it's time to take it out of the pan. You can just lift the plastic wrap by the edges and pull it right out.
  2. Use a sturdy saucepan and make sure it absolutely clean and dry. Into the saucepan pour in the chocolate chips, butter, and condensed milk. Please, please, make sure it's condensed milk, not evaporated. Evaporated milk is completely different and will not work! Condensed milk is what you need.
  3. Set the saucepan on a burner and turn it on low. The chocolate will start to melt quickly. Stir the mixture in the saucepan constantly. The only real hard part with this recipe is preventing it from burning. Keeping the heat low and stirring constantly will let all the ingredients melt together, but not scorch.
  4. When the chocolate chips are all melted and glistening, the butter is all melted, and everything is well mixed, pour the very hot mixture into the prepared 8x8 pan. Scoop every last bit of chocolatey goodness into the prepared dish and make sure it's level and into each corner. Sprinkle with nuts then press them into the fudge if you want a nuttier fudge.
  5. Place the pan to cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until it has hardened. Pull the fudge out of the pan using the plastic wrap and turn it out onto a cutting board. Cut into cubes and munch away.

Homemade Fudge for Christmas Giving

Homemade Fudge for Christmas Giving

Homemade Fudge for Christmas Giving

Fudge Alternatives

Starting with the basic simple fudge recipe, there are lots of ways to mix it up. I've even made a bunch of varieties and put a small amount of each in a tin for Christmas gifts. Don't be afraid to stir it up and make something different, just don't add anything that will really alter the moisture level.

Fudge Alternatives:

  • Use dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Sprinkle with chopped dry fruit. Apricots bits are especially good.
  • Use peanut butter chips. Be cautious, many peanut butter chips don't harden well.
  • Make both chocolate and peanut butter, then drop spoonfuls together into prepared pan and swirl.
  • Add mint extract and some mint chocolate chips. Just stir some mint chocolate pieces in, going all mint will be a bit much.
  • Add chopped up maraschino cherries. Drain them well and make the pieces small and make a Cherry Chocolate Fudge that will have them clamoring for more.
  • After cooking fudge but before putting into cooling pan, mix in marshmallows and chopped nuts for Rocky Road Fudge.
  • Add lavender. Lavender-Flavored Chocolate is one of my favorites.
  • Add some spice. Mexican Chocolate is less sweet and more spicy, so invoke a hint of that by adding little cayenne pepper, chili powder and lots of cinnamon.
  • Add candied bacon bits for something fancy and different and surprising.
Peppermint Bark is holiday pretty

Peppermint Bark is holiday pretty

3-Ingredient Peppermint Bark

Quick, Easy, and Pretty

Peppermint Bark is one of those recipes that is so easy it surprises everyone, and so tasty you can't make enough to meet the demand.

Yep, I know it's candy, not cookies, but what Christmas Cookie Plate would be complete without some of this luscious sweet?

Click here for recipe

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Recipe for Christmas by Betty Crocker

Chocolate Cherry Cookie Recipe for Christmas by Betty Crocker

Chocolate-Cherry Glazed Cookie Bites

A sinful recipe, too good not to share

This recipe includes a couple of my favorite flavors, chocolate and cherries. These sweet little treats are gorgeous, almost too pretty to eat, not that that means your Christmas cookie plate recipient won't ;-)

Although the recipes says you can just grease the pan, my suggestion is that you use cupcake liners to prevent sticking. The first batch I made ended up sticking so much I had to dig them out with a spoon and turn them into cake pops. So use liners to make your life easier.

The flavor balance of these is perfect. Mmmm, chocolate and cherries.

For recipe click here

Get a Mini Muffin Pan

Christmas Snowball Cookies - Also called Mexican Wedding Cookies

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

40 min

35 min

1 hour 15 min

3-4 dozen cookies

Snowball Christmas Cookies Recipe - Christmas Snowball recipe from the video above

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (if dough seems too wet add an extra tablespoon or two)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat then add chopped pecans. Continue cooking and stirring until butter melts and starts to turn brown (around 3 minutes). Butter will get foamy as it cooks so gently stir to prevent the nuts from burning. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Refrigerate until mixture is cooled (approximately 20 - 30 minutes). Make sure butter-nut mixture is COOL before using or cookies will flatten out when they bake.
  2. Heat oven to 350*F.
  3. Combine cooled, browned butter pecan mixture and granulated sugar in large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until mixed well. Add vanilla, and cinnamon until combined. Reduce speed and gradually add flour and mix on low until dough forms. If dough seems too wet, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour.
  4. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch size balls. Note: Be sure to roll balls large enough or they may flatten out when they bake. Place balls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes or until cookies turn slightly golden brown but don't over cook.
  5. Remove cookies from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Cool for a minute or two. Place powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar. Set cookies aside to cool and then roll once more in powdered sugar.
Salted Caramels Picture

Salted Caramels Picture

Microwave Caramels

So easy!

This was a recipe I was leery about. My boyfriend loves homemade caramels, but there was no way I was going to that much trouble for something that disappears so fast. Then I found this recipe one day. It is very very very easy (did I mention very easy?).

Mix the ingredients, nuke it in the microwave, and pour into a greased dish to cool. The hardest part is stirring. And they turn out great! Luckily for me, since I think they go even faster than those old caramels recipes that took hours.

For a special treat, after the caramels are cooled and cubed, dip each one in chocolate. Or before they cool, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Yum!

For recipe click here

Rosettes ready to be topped with powdered sugar

Rosettes ready to be topped with powdered sugar

How to Make Delicious Holiday Rosettes - Scandinavian Christmas Cookies

This is my boyfriend's traditional holiday cookie. Every Christmas he gets out the irons he inherited from his grandmother and gets to work making these lovely and delicate fried cookies.

My favorite topping is powdered sugar, his is cinnamon sugar. We're going to try the rosettes sprinkled with finely chopped walnuts and drizzled with maple syrup this year.

How to Make Rosettes

Get a Rosette Iron - You can't make rosettes without a rosette iron

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

40 min

45 min

40 cookies

Rosette Cookie Recipe - Rosette Cookie recipe from the video above

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs cooking oil
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • beaten slightly
  • 1 c water (some people use whole milk)
  • Oil to fry in


  1. Heat frying oil to 400*.
  2. Blend all other ingredients thoroughly. Make sure there are no lumps. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Set rosette iron into oil to get the iron hot. Then, while not letting it cool off, pull out and quickly wipe some of the oil off the iron and dip it into the batter. Push the iron into the batter only enough for it to go about halfway up the iron. Make sure not to cover the top of the iron with any batter.
  4. Moving quickly, dip the batter-coated iron into oil and let rosette cook until golden, about 1 minute. Sometimes the rosettes fall off in the oil, don't worry about it, just cook until done anyway.
  5. When rosette is cooked through and golden, remove from oil. Knock the rosette onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain. It may be necessary to use a fork to carefully pry rosette off the iron.
  6. Dip iron again and cook another. Continue until out of batter.
  7. Sprinkle rosettes with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
Faux Turtle Cookies

Faux Turtle Cookies

Faux Turtle Cookies

The easiest Christmas cookies on the plate

Don't tell anyone, but these little cookies are my secret weapon. Whenever I need to bring something at the last minute and am in the biggest rush, I toss them together.

No one needs know that they are really easy and can be made in minutes because these little cookies are great. I've been making them for years, and they're always great for that last minute cookie need.

These Faux Turtle Cookies only use 3 ingredients - Rolo candies, pretzels, and pecan halves and take like 10 minutes to make (and about 3 minutes to eat ;-)

For recipe click here

Chocolate Hazelnut-Peanut Butter Cookie Cups for Christmas Plate

Chocolate Hazelnut-Peanut Butter Cookie Cups for Christmas Plate

Chocolate Hazelnut-Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

Delectable cookie cups

Nutella is a bit of an addiction for some people, me included. So when I saw this cookie recipe I had to bake up a batch right away.

These are such fancy looking and delicious looking little tidbits that you'd think they'd be difficult, but they're really fairly easy.

And that Nutella flavor makes everything taste great.

For recipe click here

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe for Christmas Plates by Simply Recipes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe for Christmas Plates by Simply Recipes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Good and chewy!

There's something about oatmeal raisin cookies that remind me of my grandmother's house on Christmas. The smell, the texture, the taste of biting into that slightly chewy and all together good oatmeal raisin cookie.

Using wholesome oats and nutritious raisins, you could almost call these cookies good for you, at least better for you than most Christmas treats.

For those more experienced bakers, add a small amount of grated carrots or zucchini to make these cookies a bit healthier.

You can also mix these up a bit by using craisins in place of the raisins, adding chocolate or white chocolate chips, or even chopped up pieces of dried apple. My suggestion...soak the raisins in a little water for 15 minutes before incorporating them into the batter. It'll make them a bit plumper.

For recipe click here

A plate full of spritz cookies

A plate full of spritz cookies

Spritz Cookies

Press out a bunch of cookies in no time

Using a cookie press to make Spritz Cookies means there's no time wasted rolling out mounds of sticky cookie dough. You simply add this basic dough and squeeze out cookie after cookie.

A little lemon zest or almond extract would make this cookie recipe even better. Or even some other extract. And don't forget the colored sugar to top them for that holiday flair.

Click here for recipe

Make Homemade Spritz Cookies - with a cookie press

Chocolate Coal Lump Treat

Chocolate Coal Lump Treat

Chocolate Coal Lumps

Know someone who has been naughty?

For a little treat to poke a bit of fun, make up a batch of these Chocolate Coal Lumps.

These are like chocolatey rice krispie treats, and would be great given in a bag all by themselves for those who've been "bad".

For recipe click here

The Christmas Cookie Plate

The Christmas Cookie Plate: 50 Years of Award-Winning Cookie Recipes from the Russell Kitchen is a fantastic resource for some wonderful cookie recipes to put on your Christmas cookie plate.

This is a wonderful cookbook full of recipes for Christmas cookies. If you're looking for some super special cookie recipes to share each year, check it out.

Baking Up a Batch or Two?

Are you going to make a cookie plate this Christmas?

Who are you giving them too?

What cookies do you like?

Leave a comment down below and let us know, or even just let us know you stopped by :-)

Christmas Cookie Guestbook

gemjane on December 17, 2012:

Love the idea of the chocolate coal!!

Auriel on December 11, 2012:

Yummy.. i love it.

seosmm on December 10, 2012:

Yumm! These look great. Can't wait to try some of them!

LiliLove on December 06, 2012:

Great ideas! Thanks for the recipes!

anonymous on December 06, 2012:

How deliciously done and beautifully presented...I think I just gained 3 pounds on my way through! I love how you have Santa right on site for taste testing and what a great idea to help folks be sure to be ready to bake by having both baking powder and baking soda on hand.

rattie lm on December 05, 2012:

Some lovvely ideas for Christmas Thankyou.

Bob from Kansas City on December 05, 2012:

Awesome recipes.... two tentacles way up!

maryseena on December 05, 2012:

Christmas is cookie time. Especially to give to vegetarian friends who stay away from cakes! I'll definitely try some of your recipes.