15 Best-Dressed Cookies for Owning Your Holiday Cookie Party

Is smiling your favorite? You’re in the right place. Take a front row seat for this parade of dazzlingly festive, grin-inducing holiday cookies that will have you winning awards for best party host. We’re talking gooey fudge crinkles, sparkling sugar plums and a gaggle of gingerbread fit for the red carpet. Gang’s all here!

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Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies

Hot tip: One batch of these buttery treats won’t subdue your swarm of holiday cookie hoovers, so make two… or five. Who’s counting? Plus, these beauties ice like a dream, so don’t be stingy with the frosting and sprinkles. Get the recipe >>


Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies

Dang, gingerbread man, you’re looking fine today. What’s that cologne you’re wearing? Must be your signature blend of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. And those royal icing buttons are positively slimming on you. Let’s blow this cookie stand and grab a glass of milk together. Get the recipe >>

4-Ingredient Fudge Crinkles

Give it up for the breakout babe of any cookie swap. Other cookies see these cake-mix crinkles coming and tremble in their boots. With good reason – they’re chewy, gooey and downright bodacious in a wintry coat of powdered sugar, with their fudgy centers peeking out for all to see. They’ll have your neighbors in a tizzy, and no one will believe they only took 15 minutes to make. Get the recipe >>

Raspberry Swirl Cookies

If ever a rap is written about these hypnotic swirls, it’ll start with “Let me see that jelly roll…” Why? Because raspberry jam, coconut, and walnuts get up close and cozy wrapped inside a sweet, golden-brown dough. Slice ’em up and wait for the Christmas compliments to start rolling in. Get the recipe >>


Buttery Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Icing addicts: Behold your holy grail. These cut-outs are chill as it gets and go easy on the sugar, providing a crisp canvas for you to go all Picasso on the frosting. Tint the dough, flavor it with almond extract and get to creating your noshable masterpiece. Get the recipe >>

Peppermint Candy Cane Bark

Got three-ingredient fever? The only cure is more seductively simple recipes. Your holiday dream team consists of white chocolate (the brains of the operation), crushed candy canes (the good-looking one), and peppermint extract (the lovable nerd). Get the recipe >>

Christmas Cornflake Wreath Cookies

Don’t question the “cookieness” of these mini wreaths. Just trust that the crunch-to-goo ratio is on point, thanks to crisp cornflakes and melted marshmallows. Elf on the Shelf ain’t got nothin’ on these cinnamon candy–studded stunners. Get the recipe >>


Peanut Butter Cookies

You can’t leave your MVP out of the holiday cookie lineup. But, you can glam up plain Jane peanut butter cookies with a gentle stamp of your cookie cutter. Press jazzy shapes into the cookie faces as they cool or nod at the good old days by plunking a chocolate kiss in the center. Get the recipe >>

Very Easy Candy Cane Cookies

Take a left at the sea of swirly twirly gum drops and head straight for the candy cane forest to round out your cookie plate. Don’t have time for that kind of road trip? Hit the refrigerator aisle and pick up a magical spool of sugar cookie dough. Spike it with peppermint extract and food coloring, twist, and salute your next-level shortcutting skills. Get the recipe >>

Almond Spritz Press Cookies

Time to lock and load—Grandma’s vintage cookie press, that is. Your ammo? Nutty, buttery dough that churns out the crisp-edged cookies of your youth. Shower those spritzes with sprinkles and then phone Nana to let her know you’ve completed your mission. Get the recipe >>


Frosted Reindeer Cookies

Go ahead and pretend you’re making these for “the kids.” We all know you’re just trying to win top honors in your office cookie competition (Phyllis from accounting totally cheated her way to the win last year). No shame in going for gold, especially when Rudolph represents with pretzel antlers and a gumdrop nose. Watch your back, Phyllis. Get the recipe >>

Stained Glass Window Lollipop Cookies

Look out world, these stained glass–inspired rounds belong in a Gothic cathedral somewhere. Laced with lemon and orange juices, these scalloped cookies let leftover lollipops do the dirty work, melting into bright window panes that make you look like a bonafide master artist. Get the recipe >>

Santa Cookies

Code word: Santa’s got a brand new bag. If you can’t make space in the oven this season, these no-bake Kris Kringles will still elicit plenty of envious oohs and aahs from the crowd. You had them at chocolate-dipped Nutter Butters. Get the recipe >>


Sugar Plums

Strap on your ballet shoes, these sugar plum fairies are ready to move. Forget the fruitcake-style sugar plums and their extra helping of sad dried fruit. This is the next generation — millennial sugar plums, if you will. These glittery gems tangle with graham crackers, coconut and sweetened condensed milk before a tumble through strawberry Jello dust. Major upgrade. Get the recipe >>

Mint Meringues

When you walk into a room, heads turn to gawk at your fluffy plume. Crunchy, chewy and bejeweled with sparkling emerald sugar, you’re the complete Christmas cookie package. Go on with your bad self, Ms. Meringue. Get the recipe >>

Bonus Round: Chocolate Christmas Log Cookie Cake

The genius hack for devouring more cookies per serving? Serve a cookie cake hybrid that combines the ease of an icebox cake with the come-hither appeal of a yule log. Hands down the classiest no-bake cookie confection out there—all you need are chocolate wafer cookies, whipped cream and marshmallow mushroom dreams. Get the recipe >>

Hungry for even more holiday cheer? Don’t miss:
21 Shortcut Holiday Appetizers >>
18 Classic Christmas Main Dishes >>
Easy Christmas Desserts >>

About Amanda Marsteller at Food.com

My motto is "eat it to believe it." If I'm not faceplanting into a food or beverage, I'm writing about said food or beverage for various digital publications. Need to find me? Try the nearest old-timey soda fountain.