15 Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes for the Best Cookie Swap Ever

Create a Santa-worthy arrangement of dazzling treats with this roundup of the best-ever Christmas cookie recipes. With this collection, you will be the hit of the holiday cookie swap circuit and the envy of all of your Christmas guests. From delicious gingerbread cookies and shortbread cookies to ugly Christmas sweater cookies and Snicker cookies, you can choose from the best traditional to more unique treats to fill your cookie platter and give as gifts.

1. Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party is a fun and cheeky modern holiday tradition that’s really caught on. Instead of bringing a scented candle or bottle of wine, show up with a batch of these adorable, creative cookies “dressed” in ugly Christmas sweaters made of icing. They will be the hit of the party. And, since the theme is “ugly,” you don’t need to be a master cookie decorator—colored icings, holiday sprinkles, and candies are all you need to create an ugly sweater cookie.

2. Gingerbread Cookies

What would a Christmas party be without traditional gingerbread cookies? These gingerbread Christmas cookies are as delicious to eat as they are fun to make. Get the kids involved in rolling out the dough, cutting the gingerbread people shapes, and decorating the cookies with icing and their favorite candies. It’s a wonderful holiday treat that can become a fun Christmas tradition for your family.

3. Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Everyone’s favorite flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter takes center stage in these scrumptious, easy-to-make cookies that require absolutely no baking at all. Your microwave is key when making these tender and creamy treats that are nice and chewy in the middle. Once the mixture of sugar, milk, cocoa, butter, and salt comes to a boil, then peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal are added. The dough is then rolled into balls and left to cool completely.

4. 6-Ingredient Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Whether unexpected holiday guests are soon to arrive or you need a last-minute treat to bring to a Christmas party, these super easy, cute, and delicious cookies are the perfect recipe. You probably even have the six ingredients in your fridge already. The best part is that buttery, jam-filled thumbprint cookies are a holiday classic and make a great Christmas Eve cookie for Santa’s plate.

5. Austrian Linzer Cookies

Austrian Linzer cookies are an absolutely beautiful, traditional Christmas cookie recipe that adds something quite special to Christmas party tables and holiday cookie swaps. In this classic Linzer cookie recipe, buttery, delectable shortbread cookies are sandwiched together with a bit of jam; the decorative cutout in the top half of the cookie allows for a peek at the fruit filling.

6. Snicker Cookies

Get ready for oohs and ahhs when you bring a batch of these unbelievable, decadent, and delicious Snicker Cookies with a candy bar surprise inside to your Christmas cookie swaps or office holiday party. A peanut butter cookie dough is wrapped around a miniature Snickers bar and baked; once golden, these incredible treats are drizzled with a bit of melted chocolate.

7. Dairy-Free Shortbread Cookies

Christmas shortbread cookies are a wonderful, traditional holiday treat. Just the smell of shortbread baking in the kitchen lets you know that Christmas is coming. This Christmas cookie recipe for shortbread is dairy-free, making these cookies vegan-friendly and suitable for lactose-free diets. Best of all, they deliver the classic flavor and texture of Christmas shortbread.

8. Butter Press Cookies

Buttery and crumbly, these traditional butter press cookies are flavored with almond or vanilla extract, filling your kitchen with deliciousness as they bake and making them irresistible to eat. They are so pretty they’re sure to be the star of the cookie platter. As long as you have a cookie press, this recipe is easy to put together, resulting in a simple cookie to enjoy decorating for your Christmas holiday table.

9. Mexican Tea Cakes

Mexican tea cakes (sometimes called Mexican wedding cakes) are actually tender little cookies with a texture and taste that’s similar to traditional holiday shortbread. With their buttery flavor and irresistible powdered sugar coating, these cookies are a must for any Christmas or holiday party. Feel free to slip a little secret sweet inside, like a chocolate kiss, candy bar, or Maraschino cherry. If you need a dairy-free cookie, try a vegan version of this recipe.

10. Coconut Macaroons

Traditional macaroon cookies are sweet coconut confections that are a welcome treat at any cookie exchange this festive season. This dairy-free macaroons recipe uses coconut for its sweet, hearty flavor and texture. Serve these elegant, fun little macaroons on your holiday table alongside a pot of tea or hot chocolate for a yummy treat that kids and adults alike will enjoy. The dough also freezes beautifully, making this a great last-minute cookie when guests drop in.

11. Chewy Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

If you love Nutella, you’ll go nuts for these chewy cookies that are loaded with chocolate hazelnut flavor. Brownie-like in texture, these chocolate-nut cookies are a great holiday recipe for pleasing the kids at your festive gatherings this year. They’re also absolutely delicious served alongside a cup of coffee, for the adults to enjoy after a holiday meal.

12. Mint Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Dress up your Christmas table or holiday cookie swap with these pretty, elegant little meringue cookies. Packed with mint chocolate flavor, and studded with chocolate chips for an extra dose of decadence, these melt-in-your-mouth meringue cookies are as fabulous to eat as they are impressive to look at. And you can add a little green food coloring to make them extra festive.

13. Oatmeal Butter Cookies

Homey and buttery, these oatmeal butter cookies make a comforting, yummy treat on a cold winter’s day. The good, old-fashioned cookie flavors of butter, oats, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar make these simple cookies a surprisingly wonderful treat—and may not last long in the Christmas cookie jar.

14. Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies

Cute little brown-eyed Susan cookies are an adorable and welcome Christmas cookie that not only looks pretty but also tastes great. Soft, sweet, traditional thumbprint butter cookies are topped with a chocolate candy kiss, making the treat look like a brown-eyed Susan flower. They’re a lovely addition to any holiday cookie platter.

15. Colossal Double Chocolate White Chip Cookies

These giant cookies with both dark and white chocolate have more to love. Kids and adults alike will delight in these huge double chocolate white chip cookies as their generous size and combination of milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and white chocolate chips transform a typical chocolate chip cookie into a fun and special treat.

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