12 Christmas Cookies With the Decorations Baked Right In
These cookies don't need frosting or icing to look their holiday best — visual appeal is baked right in. Get recipes and tips on how to give your Christmas cookies a serious wow factor. Using tinted doughs and colorful mix-ins — and sometimes just festive shapes — these treats look holiday-ready with minimal effort. Take a look and find a few to try this season.
Chocolate-Mint Marble Cookies
Beautifully bold Christmas cheer! Peppermint green and chocolate brown doughs are molded together and rolled into these easy, colorful cookies. Rich, chewy, and Santa-approved sweetness in under an hour.
This tri-colored cookie gets its name from the old-fashioned ice cream it resembles. They make colorful homemade food gifts for the holidays.
Citrus Shortbread Cookies
Chopped dried cranberries and orange zest are mixed right into the dough to make these sliced refrigerator cookies bright and pretty without any added decoration. Home cook mauigirl raves, "This cookie is wonderful. I did not change a thing. These will be on my Christmas cookie trays during the holidays because they are such a beautiful and simple cookie."
Butter and chocolate cookie doughs are sliced, stacked, and chilled to make an eye-catching cookie that'll win you rave reviews in any cookie competition. Reviewers say the dough is easier to work with if kept cold.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
A classic recipe elevated with a bit of pumpkin and spice. Use snowflake shaped cookie cutters to give subtly flavored treats a wintry appeal. Simple but beautiful—the way a Christmas cookie should be.
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Green pistachios and bright red dried cranberries color these cookies naturally. Home cook MWalton says, "Excellent recipe that won me a baking contest! Soft enough that they can be eaten without being dipped in a drink. Make sure to let the logs cool before slicing them, otherwise they will crumble."
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
The recipe calls for a combo of well-chilled green and red doughs, and you can change up the colors as you see fit for these swirly cookies. Make this a family affair by inviting little ones to make their own unique spinwheel cookies.
You probably know these beauties as "thumbprint" cookies. Baking the jam into the little indentations is all the decoration these Swedish cookies need. "Proof positive that the simplest recipes are almost always the best," says Baricat. "How can four ingredients come together to taste so darned lovely?"
The beautiful crinkled effect comes from rolling chocolate cookie dough in confectioners' sugar before you bake it. It's that simple. Home cook elttaes offers this tip: "I've made these so many times and they always turn out! Make sure to coat them with enough powdered sugar to get them to properly crinkle."'
Cranberry and pistachio makes another appearance to give these cookies a naturally Christmas-y feel. Home cook Karen E Crespo raves, "Amazing taste, and loved by everyone I took them to. Getting ready to make for the third time—this has definitely become a Christmas favorite!"
Pushing the dough through a cookie press gives these spritz cookies their shapes before you bake them. You can change the shapes right on the cookie press, and you can add food coloring to the dough, too. Home cook DISCOBUNNY says, "This was my first time using a cookie press, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was easy as pie, and so very delicious."
Candy Cane Cookies
Once you get the hang of working with the dough, you'll be turning out perfect candy cane cookies. Keep the dough chilled and work with only a small portion at a time. Kristi W raves, "Great! My peppermint-loving 3-year-old son couldn't get enough of these during the holidays."