16 Holiday and Christmas Cookies to Make for Friends, Bosses, and Lovers


You may have already caught our collection of easy holiday food gifts you can make in one Saturday. You may have even gotten your first batch of homemade amaretto underway. But if bacon jam or compound butter aren't exactly to your friends’ tastes, you can either 1) find new friends, or 2) go old school, and gift them with a big plate of home-baked holiday cookies. We suggest the second option. Because cookies. And because cookie sampling. Here's a list that includes something for everyone — candy cane biscotti, malted Nutella chocolate chip cookies, and, yes, even gluten-free bourbon caramel Samoas (!) Go ahead and preheat your oven, and then keep reading for 16 sweet gift ideas for everybody on your nice list. Oh, and your boss.

Image: Pastry Affair

Maraschino and White Chocolate Cookies

Let’s not let peppermint and gingerbread have all the fun this year. These maraschino cherry and white chocolate chip cookies from Averie Cooks are just as sweet and just as festive.

Image: Averie Cooks

Candy Cane Biscotti

Biscotti and a pound of good quality coffee beans make a great gift. This candy cane rendition from Savory Bites is sure to please even the scroogiest of scrooges.

Image: Savory Bites

No Bake Elvis Bars

If you’re looking for something new to add to your cookie wheelhouse, these no-bake chocolate, almond, and banana bars from Oh She Glows are healthy and well worth checking out. You can give these treats to your friends without also giving them the Santa Claus body type.

Image: Angela Liddon

White Chocolate and Peppermint Christmas Wreath Cookies

Prefer your cookies to be tasty and cute? Look no further. These white chocolate and peppermint Christmas wreath cookies from Foodie Crush have you covered.

Image: Foodie Crush

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

In Dessert Land, cheesecake is fair game all year round — and these cherry cheesecake cookies from Mel’s Kitchen are no exception. Gift these little guys to everybody you know.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen

Snowball Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

Snowball cookies are a Christmas classic, and we would be remiss in not including them in this round-up. Give your friends and loved ones what they want this year — these chocolate chip treats from Cookie Monster Cooking.

Image: Cookie Monster Cooking

Christmas Sugar Cookies

If you want to get very fancy this holiday season (and if you also happen to have a very steady hand), make up a few batches of these beautifully decorated sugar cookies from Pastry Affair. Almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Image: Pastry Affair

Malted Hazelnut Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you ever dream about cookies? Be sure to gift these malted hazelnut Nutella chocolate chip cookies from Adventures in Cooking with a dream journal. Kidding/not kidding.

Image: Adventures in Cooking

Peanut Butter Spelt Cookies

These peanut butter cookies from Green Kitchen Stories are a kinder way to give and receive. Free of butter, oils, eggs, and refined sugars, the vegan treats will please more than just taste buds.

Image: Green Kitchen Stories

Cream Cheese-Filled Snickerdoodles

There is something about a snickerdoodle, isn’t there? Soft, buttery cookie interior meets crunchy cinnamon-sugar exterior to produce texture magic. Try stuffing them with cream cheese, a lá this recipe from Cookies and Cups, and say hello to snickerdoodle 2.0.

Image: Cookies and Cups

Gluten-Free Bourbon Caramel Samoas

It’s tough being gluten free, especially around the holidays. Show your cookie-deprived friends just how much you really care about them with a big plate of these bourbon caramel Samoas. They will make any Celiac’s heart sing songs of joy and peace. (via Minimalist Baker)

Image: Minimalist Baker

Gluten-Free Spiced Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Here. Have a cookie. No wait… have two cookies. These spiced orange and chocolate chunk cookies from My Darling Lemon Thyme are another great gluten-free option to add to your Cookie Factory To-Do List.

Image: My Darling Lemon Thyme

Marzipan Dark Chocolate Orange Rugelach

Go ahead — give the gift of rugelach this year! Even though these sweet little guys are traditionally served at Hanukkah, this marzipan/dark chocolate/orange variety from My Name is Yeh is good enough for any holiday your calendar happens to stumble upon. When is Flag Day again?

Image: My Name is Yeh

Salted Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies

These treats from How Sweet It Is bring together two of life’s greatest gifts — cookies and truffles. Dip them in melted chocolate, lacquer them in chocolate sprinkles, and give them to everybody you love.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Gingerbread Kiss Cookies

Upgrade your peanut butter kiss cookies from last year with this gingerbread version from Baked By Rachel. Give these kisses to everybody on your nice list.

Image: Baked By Rachel

Honey Shortbread Cookies

Peppermint and peanut butter can be so polarizing — but the shortbread cookie is the great dessert equalizer. Add this extra-special honey shortbread recipe to your To-Bake List and you’ll have something for absolutely everybody. (via Crepes of Wrath)

Images: Crepes of Wrath