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What are the Different Types of Christmas Cookies?

Christmas cookies come in a delightful array of flavors and shapes, from the spicy snap of gingerbread to the buttery melt of shortbread. There are frosted sugar cookies, rich thumbprints with jam, and chocolatey crinkles dusted with powdered sugar. Each type holds a story of tradition and celebration. Curious about which cookie might become your holiday favorite? Let's explore together.
B. Miller
B. Miller

There are many different types of Christmas cookies made around the holiday season, and there are certainly no rules as to what should or should not be made. Some of the most popular Christmas cookies are a type of simple sugar cookie, cut into holiday shapes with a cookie cutter, and sometimes decorated with frosting or sprinkles. Gingerbread cookies, mint cookies, meringues, and Russian tea cakes are some other popular holiday cookies, though many families prefer cookies that are everyday favorites too, such as chocolate chip, peanut butter, or shortbread thumbprint cookies that are often filled with jam or chocolate.

Cut-out cookies are a Christmas tradition in many families. There are many recipes to be found online for these sugar cookies, which may also be made with oatmeal. In these types of cookies, the dough is rolled flat, and then cookie cutters in different shapes are pressed into the dough to make the individual cookies. Stars, wreaths, snowmen, or Santas are all popular shapes for these Christmas cookies. They take just a few minutes to bake, and then may be decorated. Along with gingerbread cookies, these are a great project for the whole family to make.

Oatmeal raisin cookie.
Oatmeal raisin cookie.

Decorating Christmas cookies together can be fun, and it requires only a few ingredients such as different colors of icing and sprinkles. Kids can help to make and cut out the cookies, then decorate them as they see fit after they are baked. Russian tea cakes are also popular Christmas cookies because these are rolled in powdered sugar when they are complete and look like small snowballs; some people even call them "snowball cookies." Mint cookies are also popular holiday choices. Mint meringues, made with crushed peppermint, are common, as well as chocolate chip cookies that are made with mint chocolate chips.

Peanut butter cookies.
Peanut butter cookies.

Any types of cookies can be made during the holiday season, however. Peanut butter cookies can be made more festive with the addition of chocolate, for example, or some people choose to make peanut butter and chocolate bars rather than cookies. Christmas cookies made with jam, such as thumbprint cookies or "stained glass" cookies are also very popular as well, and fun to give as gifts. Sandwich cookies, in which two cookies are pressed together using a type of flavored cream or frosting, are another type that are simple to make, but which are enjoyed by many. Have fun trying different Christmas cookie recipes, since it will never be hard to find people to enjoy them if you have some extras!

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Discussion Comments


I have three kids in elementary school so every year when Christmas break rolls around it becomes a big challenge to keep them occupied. One of our favorite activities for killing time and getting into the holiday spirit is to make Christmas cookies. I have an easy Christmas cookie recipe that even the kids can follow and then we decorate them.

A lot of the cookies get eaten but we try to save as many as possible for the big family Christmas get together. It is like the kid's contribution to the festivities.


I got a set of Christmas cookie cutters last year for making frosted sugar cookies. There is a Christmas tree, a snowman, a crude looking snowflake and a few other designs that escape my mind right now.

I like to make really elaborate decorated cookies with icing, sprinkles, little candy bits and everything else that I think will be delicious. But I don't just smear them on. I try to compose each cookie so that it is just as beautiful to look at as delicious to eat.


Just about any cookie can be a Christmas cookie. Every year my aunt turns into a super baker and puts together these amazing cookie boxes for all of her friends and family. She fills up shirt boxes with 10, 15, sometimes even twenty different types of cookies, all of them delicious. The boxes end up weighing about 10 pounds they are so filled with goodies.

I helped her make them once and it was a crazy process. She does all the baking in about three days and it is a whirlwind of chocolate chips, butter, flour and nuts. Cookies cover every available surface in her house. It is quite a production, but she loves it and everyone looks forward to getting that yearly cookie box.

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    • Oatmeal raisin cookie.
      Oatmeal raisin cookie.
    • Peanut butter cookies.
      By: S.White
      Peanut butter cookies.
    • Sugar cookies are a great holiday favorite as they can be shaped into almost anything.
      By: cobraphoto
      Sugar cookies are a great holiday favorite as they can be shaped into almost anything.
    • Christmas cookies are often cut-out figurines.
      By: Brent Hofacker
      Christmas cookies are often cut-out figurines.
    • Cookie cutters can be used to shape the cookie dough into festive shapes before baking.
      By: 0635925410
      Cookie cutters can be used to shape the cookie dough into festive shapes before baking.