When we think of the holiday season, many of us have warm memories of listening to Christmas carols, decorating our Christmas trees with family, and curling up on the couch under a warm blanket with our favourite hot drink and a plate of delicious Christmas cookies. With so many delicious treats to choose from during the holidays, you are guaranteed to always see at least one of your favourite classic Christmas cookies make an appearance. Read on to see our list of the top 5 Christmas cookie favourites, and find out how you can make them too!

1. Gingerbread People: 

It really doesn’t seem like Christmas without the classic Gingerbread Man (or People to be politically correct). This deliciously spiced little cookie can be decorated ‘til your heart’s content and is super fun for the whole family. What you need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger, Ground
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, Ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Mix your dry ingredients (except brown sugar) in a large bowl and set aside. Beat your butter and brown sugar in a separate large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add your molasses, egg and vanilla, mixing well. Slowly add your dry ingredients, mixing at a low speed until fully incorporated. Press your dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Later, preheat oven to 350F, and roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Using your cookie cutters cut out your gingerbread men and other shapes and place them 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Decorate your Gingerbread men and enjoy with the family!

Not only are Gingerbread cookies delicious for the belly, but when placed in a decorative Christmas dish they are also a beautiful Christmas decoration for your kitchen.

2. Holiday Shortbread Cookies:

Shortbread cookies are another Christmas favourite that take little time to make and go perfectly with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate. You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a larger bowl, combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Using a mixer, mix the ingredients on a low speed until fully combined. Add the vanilla, and mix until the dough becomes smooth and comes together. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. While waiting, preheat your oven to 275F.

When ready, roll out your dough onto a lightly floured surface to ¼ thickness. Using Christmas shaped cookie cutters or even a round glass, cut out your shapes. Place your cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden on the edges, which is about 25 minutes. When finished allow the cookies to cool for 15-20 minutes, and finish them off by dusting with extra icing sugar. Now they are ready to enjoy!

3. Sugar Cookies: 

These particular classic cookies are similar to the beloved shortbread cookie but slightly different and a little crunchier. These cookies are perfect for decorating with festive icing. You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks butter is 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small bowl, whisk together your flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on med-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the mixer to a low speed and slowly add your flour mixture until just combined.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Roll out your dough (keeping extra dough chilled in the fridge) on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness. Using your cookie cutters cut out as many cookies as possible and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet placing them about 1 inch apart. If your dough becomes too soft through this process, simply re-chill in the fridge until it is solid enough to work with. Bake your cookies for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Let them cool when finished, and then decorate with icing in your favourite festive colours!

4. Thumbprint and Jam Cookies:

Between all the wonderful Christmas treats, these classic cookies often go overlooked during the holidays, but you can bet your Grandmother knows how to make them by heart. Chewy and delicious, these cookies can be filled with whatever kind of jam you like, whether strawberry or grape, peach or apricot. You will need:
• 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup seedless jam in your preferred flavour
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At a low speed, slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined. Form your dough into a 6-inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the fridge for about an hour until firm. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350F.

Once chilled, roll a teaspoon of dough into a ball and slightly flatten the ball (about ½ inch thick). Using your thumb or a wooden spoon handle, make a deep indentation in the middle of the cookie. Do this with all of your cookies and place them 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Once arranged, fill each indentation with about 1/8 tsp of jam. Bake cookies until edges are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool and then enjoy with your afternoon tea or cider!

For another desert that isn’t quite cookies, but still delicious – check out the recipe for Fantastic Fudge!

5. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies:

Last but not least, we cannot forget about the amazingly chewy and soft ginger molasses cookies. For those of you who love the taste of gingerbread, but like your cookies soft, this is a classic Christmas cookie for you. You will need:

  • 2 1/4 cups all
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350F. In a bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then stir in the water and molasses. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape your dough into walnut sized balls and roll them in the remaining 2 tbsp of white sugar. Place the balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and slightly flatten them.

Bake your cookies for about 8-10 minutes in the oven. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then cool on a wire rack completely. Now your cookies are ready to enjoy in all their chewy soft goodness!

However, if you are the type of person that enjoys a classic chocolate chip cookie, try out this recipe that has a unique twist!