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20 Homemade Holiday Treats

Look no further for cookie inspiration this holiday season. We’ve rounded up our 20 favorite recipes for baking up batches of shareable sweets, from classic cutouts and bars to easy no-bake treats that kids can help make. We’ve even got gluten-free and vegan variations so everyone can have a taste.
Holiday homemade gifts

Make one, make a few, or even make all 20 recipes. Any way you slice it, you’re going to make cookie magic happen.

1. Christmas Cutout Cookies

Always a classic! Made with buttery homemade sugar cookie dough, the sky’s the limit with the way you can frost and decorate. Refrigerating dough before rolling makes it easier to cut out crisp-edged shapes.

2. Cocoa Cookies

Espresso powder and cocoa powder make these rolled cookies incredibly rich and indulgent, but the bite-size form means you don’t have to feel guilty about eating more than one. Don’t forget the chocolate drizzle!

3. Gift Box Cookies

What better time than the holidays to go all out with your decorating skills? Make these impressive cookies with simple colored dough, then stack and fill with sprinkles or candies for a sweet surprise.

4. Italian Rainbow Cookies

These tri-color layers look complicated, but they’re way easier to make than you think—thanks to cake mix! Now that you know the secret, you’ll want to make this holiday staple again and again.

5. No-Bake Peanut Butter-Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Bring the little elves into the kitchen to help with this one. Parents can melt ingredients on the stove, then kids can help spoon cookies on a baking sheet. Waiting for these bites to chill is the hardest part.

6. No-Bake White Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Creamy white chocolate truffles covered in coconut “snow” add that extra touch of seasonal flair to your holiday cookie platter. And with a quick no-oven recipe, they’re ideal for family baking or novice bakers.

7. Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Sugar Cookies

Almond flour is the secret to these gluten-free treats with a sparkling cinnamon sugar coating. Make them even more holiday-ready by swapping out granulated sugar for colored sanding sugar.

8. Gluten-Free Gingerbread Shortbread Cookies

All the familiar flavors of your favorite gingerbread cookie—like molasses, ginger, and clove—now come in a gluten-free package. A sweet molasses glaze gives these easy slice-and-bakes the perfect finishing touch.

9. Almond-Cranberry Biscotti

These vegan treats are just as fantastic with Christmas morning coffee as they are with after-dinner drinks on Christmas Eve. Ground flaxseed replaces the dairy in this Italian classic for the perfect flavor and crunch.

10. Chocolate Peppermint Bars

You’d never guess these rich chocolate-covered shortbread bars are dairy-free and egg-free. A generous sprinkling of crushed candy canes brings a blast of cool peppermint flavor and holiday-happy color.

11. Raspberry Linzer Cookies

This traditional Austrian Christmas cookie is frequently made with a circle or heart cutter to let festive ruby-red raspberry jam peek through the center—but using a star shape adds to the holiday spirit.

12. Red and Green Pinwheel Cookies

Planning ahead for the holidays? Make this colorful swirled dough up to 1 month in advance and freeze the logs until you’re ready for a fresh batch. Thaw the logs in the refrigerator the day before you plan to bake.

13. Snickerdoodles

Sugar and spice and everything nice—isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Adding a little cinnamon to the dough boosts the warm and festive flavor of these favorites.

14. Thumbprint Cookies

With a classic sugar cookie dough base, these colorful cookies are simple enough to get the kids involved. Let them help roll, press, and fill with jam, then enjoy a sweet snack together.

15. Classic Gingerbread Cookies

You can’t go wrong with a happy gingerbread man on your holiday cookie tray. This dough is super easy to roll out and stamp into a crowd of ginger-people. Dip cookie cutters in flour between batches to prevent sticking.

16. Spiced Cream Cheese Spritz

Cream cheese gives this dough tangy richness, while a dash of pumpkin pie spice adds warm, seasonal flavor. Use chilled cookie sheets to help these delicate cookies keep their shape while in the oven.

17. Gluten-Free Snowballs

The irresistible melt-in-your-mouth texture of these cookies makes them a favorite around the world. Whether you know them as snowballs, Mexican wedding cookies, or Russian tea cakes, this gluten-free version is beloved by all.

18. Cake Mix Cookies

Use your favorite store-bought cake mix—confetti, red velvet, or spice cake—and transform it into soft and chewy bite-sized cookies in just a few steps. Fill a whole cookie platter with this one easy recipe template!

19. Slice-and-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

This quicker version of everyone’s favorite cookie gives you all the buttery, chocolatey flavor you crave. Make a double batch and save a few logs in the fridge, then slice off as needed.

20. Chocolate Crinkles

Melted chocolate chips give these cookies a tender, fudgy center that’s perfect served with a glass of milk (or hot chocolate). Roll in confectioners’ sugar before baking to get the signature crinkle effect on each round.

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