22 Christmas Cookies Just Like Grandma Used to Make

snowball cookies on a white plate
Photo: TummyYummy

No one (we mean no one) bakes cookies like a grandmother. Perhaps Grandma gleaned enough baking experience over time to just know what works. Perhaps it's her no-fuss, old-fashioned approach to baking. Or it could be thanks to some secret ingredient like ~love~ or cream of tartar. Just guessing. Whatever the reason, these recipes from actual grandmothers are just the taste of Christmas nostalgia everyone craves.

01 of 22

Melissa's Grandma's Ginger Lace Cookies

ginger cookies on a baking rack
Vista Verde Ranch

Molasses, cinnamon, and ground ginger flavor these soft lace cookies. Sprinkle sugar on top for a little holiday shimmer.

02 of 22

Gramma's Date Squares

stack of three date squares
Danielle Gwilliam

"This is my grandmother's recipe which my whole family loves. You can use almond extract instead of lemon, if you wish," Mai Forrester says of these date-filled bars with chewy oatmeal crusts.

03 of 22

My Grandma's Fruitcake Cookies

fruitcake cookies with dried fruit inside
Rachel Ruther

Reviewers report that these fruitcake cookies — filled with chopped mixed nuts, raisins, dates, candied pineapple, and candied cherries — taste just like their own grandmothers' recipes.

04 of 22

Oma Kiener's Hazelnut Christmas Cookies

cookies with colorful sprinkles on the edges

"These were one of the two Christmas cookie recipes my German grandmother made every year until her death at age 92. While they may not be fancy like other Christmas cookie recipes, they are easy to make and taste very nutty," KitchenGeisha says of these icebox cookies.

05 of 22

Grandma's Drop Sugar Cookies

sugar cookies on a white plate

"My family's favorite Christmas cookie. Buttery and crispy. The slight coconut flavor makes this cookie the best," writes recipe creator NCHIANCONE. This simple recipe takes just 20 minutes.

06 of 22

Grandma Minecci's Snowball Cookies

snowball cookies on a turquoise plate

Dusted with confectioners' sugar and shaped like snowballs, these cookies would be perfect for a cold Christmas.

07 of 22

Old German Honey Cookies

honey cookies piled up

"I got this recipe from my grandmother, who got it from her grandmother. She had to translate it and then figure out measurements. The original recipe called for 'enough flour to make a dough.' Thankfully Grandma knew what kind of dough." — Darlene

08 of 22

Grandma's Gingersnap Cookies

gingersnap cookies in a white dish
Kristina Florez

"This melt-in-your-mouth ginger cookie recipe that I received from my grandmother has been enjoyed in my family since 1899." — Marie Ayers

09 of 22

Grandma Ruth's Snickerdoodle Cookies

snickerdoodles on baking rack

With almost 200 reviews averaging five stars, this crowd-pleasing snickerdoodle recipe would be great for large gatherings.

10 of 22

Russian Tea Cakes I

Russian Tea Cakes I sprinkled with powdered sugar
Philly Ry

"Bubba brought it with her when she came from Lithuania. I pass it on in the true spirit of this season," says recipe creator THEAUNT708, who adds that five generations have now made these cookies during the Christmas season.

11 of 22

Grandma's Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

tea cakes on a red snowman plate
Nana The Cook

Make these tea cakes a day or two before Christmas to enjoy with your Christmas morning coffee.

12 of 22

Granny's Filled Cookies

filled cookies on baking rack
Pam Ziegler Lutz

"My granny always made these around Christmas. They are the easiest, best-tasting cookies around. Be warned, they are addictive," Kim Borris says. Fill them the fruit-flavored jam of your choice.

13 of 22

Granny's Strawberry Preserves-Filled Cookies

strawberry cookies broken in half
Julie Holden

Strawberry preserves make an ideal cookie filling, especially when the berries are not in season. Recipe creator Julie Holden calls these soft, spiced cookies a favorite for Christmas.

14 of 22

Granny Mabel's Best Bar Cookies

bar cookie on a white plate

Oatmeal, chocolate chips, and caramel ice cream topping create a gooey, buttery bar.

15 of 22

Snowballs II

snowball cookies on a white plate

This recipe from home cook Lori Dehn's grandmother includes finely crushed peppermint candy canes for a holiday twist on Russian tea cakes.

16 of 22

Grandma's Lace Cookies

stack of lace cookies
Dustin Poh

These thin, crispy cookies would pair well with a glass of milk and a Christmas movie.

17 of 22

Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies on tin foil
Teri Elledge

Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, these oatmeal cookies would taste extra comforting during the holidays.

18 of 22

My Nana's Lace Cookies

lace cookies on a baking rack

"These are delicate lace cookies with an amazing taste! A tradition in our family for Christmas since I was a little girl. These cookies spread to make a very thin wafer, almost transparent. Super easy to make, but be careful, as they can be quick to burn or cool too much on your cookie sheet — and then you'll be chipping the cookies off of your cookie sheet!" — Bluetiger

19 of 22

Grama's Corn Flake Peanut Butter Cookies

cornflake peanut butter cookies on wax paper

These five-ingredient cookies taste like peanut butter fudge with a nice crunch from cornflakes.

20 of 22

Gram Opal's Sugar Cookies

iced sugar cookies with pecans
mona reese

"My grandma Opal June Carlson, "Gram C," made these cookies whenever my dad and I came to her cottage on Lake Okoboji for a visit. Although at the time I picked off the pecan halves that my seven-year-old self didn't yet appreciate, these simply delicious cookies were amazing and will live forever in my heart along with my Gram C!" — Cucina di papa

21 of 22

Granny's Shortbread Cookies

shortbread cookies with snowflake and snowman shapes and sprinkles

"Light, buttery shortbread cookies! Cut them into Christmas shapes and decorate with colored sugar and maraschino cherries." — Lori G

22 of 22

Grandma M's Raisin Cookies

raisin cookies in a yellow bowl

These tart raisin cookies contain a few drops of lemon extract, setting them apart from the chocolaty offerings at the dessert table.

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