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Tired of sugar cookies? Try these ridiculously creative Christmas cookie ideas

The holidays are a very busy time of year. With the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and cooking, it seems like the month of December is a blur of parties, eating, and spending far too much money. But, one of the sweetest of all holiday traditions is baking. Particularly the cookies. From gingerbread houses, to Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, Christmas is a time for indulging your sweet tooth and eating more cookies than you do at any other time of the year. 

But if you’ve had your fill of the typical holiday cookies, and you want to branch out from your fallbacks of peanut butter, shortbread, and chocolate chip, we have some great ideas that are a little outside of the expected — and worth every single calorie. So, if you want to shake things up at your cookie swap or holiday gathering, we’ve got you covered, with an array of flavors, shapes, and textures that are sure to please everyone on your guest list. 

Christmas cookie ideas to put the jolly into your holidays

Sea salt caramel chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a cookie staple, but the basic recipe has been done way too often. This innovative recipe takes the classic chocolate chip cookie to another level, with bits of caramel added to the dough and a pinch of sea salt for the perfect finish. 

Hidden mint morsels

Part cookie, part candy, pure deliciousness. A mouth-watering blend of dark chocolate and a creamy peppermint filling, the recipe yields a large number of cookies, so it’s perfect for cookie swaps or gifting. 

Poinsettia Pinwheel Cookies

These festive pinwheels look complicated, but they are surprisingly easy to make. The addition of cream cheese in the dough gives them the right consistency for cutting, folding, and shaping with ease. Decorate with white, red, and green sugar sprinkles, or plain confectioners’ sugar, they’ll be stunning — and delicious — either way. 

No-bake chocolate snowball cookies

No time to bake? No problem. This yummy, chocolate confection doesn’t require any oven time at all! Rich with flaked coconut, crushed graham crackers, marshmallows, and more, these yummy no-bake cookies are easy to make and are always a hit. As a bonus, you can make them up to one week before serving (when stored in the fridge). For longer storage, freeze the cookies in an airtight container for up to one month. Thaw them in the fridge before serving.

Lemon wreath cookies

These wreath-shaped cookies have a lemony icing that adds extra brightness and flavor to your holiday dessert table. They get their flavor from lemon Jell-O instant pudding and lemonade-flavored drink mix, adding a bright taste to the festive wreath decoration.

Hidden Kisses cookies

There’s a secret hidden inside each powdered sugar cookie ball: a chocolate Kiss enrobed inside the sweet, buttery cookie. Destined to be one of your family’s holiday baking favorites, these cookies are extra yummy served warm with a glass of milk. 

Christmas magic cookie bars

If you haven’t made magic cookie bars before, you don’t know what you’re missing. This recipe takes the classic and dresses it up for the holidays with layers of gooey, sweet deliciousness that you bake, slice, and serve to your family and friends. The red and green holiday M&M’s give them that extra Christmas appeal. 

Ina’s fruitcake cookies

Don’t think of the dreaded and much-maligned fruitcake, think cookies, with a sophisticated flavor that appeals to more than just kids. Make rolls of the dough before the holidays, refrigerate, and simply slice and bake as needed whenever guests pop over for a visit.  

A few tips on cookie gifting…

Whether you’re hosting a full-blown cookie swap or you’re just planning to send visitors home with some sweet parting gifts, be sure to have some takeaway options on hand. 

  • Before the holidays, stock up on some basic food storage containers that are value-priced, so you won’t mind sending them home with your guests.
  • Pick up some cute cookie boxes, and pack your home-baked goods with a festive air.
  • Purchase a few holiday cookie tins. They’re not only good for gifting, but are also a great way to store your cookies and keep them airtight and fresh.
  • If you plan on giving out cookies to a lot of friends, these cellophane treat bags may be exactly what you need. 
  • DIY an adorable, airtight vessel for gifting cookies using nothing more than an empty Pringle’s Potato Chip canister, some holiday wrapping paper, a little tape, and some ribbon. 

Cookies are a big part of the holidays. We hope our recipe and gifting ideas have helped to inspire you to add a few new ideas to your traditional baking repertoire. After all, nothing can be sweeter than baking — and sharing — holiday cookies with the ones you love.

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