best christmas cookies

15 easier-than-they-look recipes for your Christmas cookie exchange

Bethany RamosFamily Fun, Food, Holiday, Lifestyle

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’re not making cookies, you might not feel like it’s Christmastime yet. For most of us, there’s only one problem: The holidays are often one of the most stressful times of the year, where we find ourselves stretched to our limits. Who has time to bake?

Pour the ‘nog: 15 creative, but simple, Christmas cookies

These simplified recipes are ideal for those days when your child’s class party totally slips your mind, or you forget to pick up something for the office cookie exchange. Or maybe you don’t fancy yourself a baker, but you want to try your hand at mixing up a few tasty ingredients.

With no more than half a dozen ingredients per recipe, one of these treats will fit the bill for any last-minute Christmas cookie needs:

1. Almond Joy cookies

best Christmas cookies


Sweetened coconut milk, chocolate chips, and salted almonds, oh my! These salty-sweet cookies will be gone in seconds.

2. Cake mix gingerbread cookies

best Christmas cookies

The Typical Mom/Facebook

Talk about simple. It’s a holiday staple, made way less complicated by using spice cake mix to replace a handful of ingredients.

3. Caramel-stuffed snickerdoodles

best christmas cookies


Cleverly cutting corners — again — with a cookie mix to save time, this recipe brings the beloved snickerdoodle to the next level by hiding a melted caramel square inside.

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4. Cinnamon and sugar palmiers

best Christmas cookies

Stickers and Stilettos/Facebook

Prepare yourself for the compliments: These fancy-looking cookies are deceptively simple, using puff pastry and cooking in 16 minutes flat.

5. Cranberry white chocolate cake mix cookies

best christmas cookies

Lovin’ from the Oven

As we’ve learned, using a prepared mix isn’t cheating if you’re using it to improve upon a favorite holiday cookie. This tasty treat can also be made “deconstructed” and gifted as a mason jar cookie kit.

6. Easy reindeer sugar cookies

best christmas cookies

One Little Project

Enlist your kids to help decorate these cute goodies — and consider using pre-made refrigerated sugar cookie dough in a pinch.

7. Fudgy peppermint bark

best Christmas cookies

Two types of chocolate + peppermint extract + butter, milk, and sugar = A sweet seasonal treat that many find irresistible. Don’t forget the crushed candy topping and holiday sprinkles.

8. Funfetti shortbread bites

best Christmas cookies


Funfetti wins all, even amidst the fanfare of Christmas foods. Try these funfetti shortbread bites, cut into squares, when you don’t feel like rolling out dough and cutting Christmas cookies.

9. Grinch cookies

best Christmas cookies

In Katrina’s Kitchen/Facebook

Green, grinchly cookies are always a hit with the kids. And these treats take only 10 minutes to bake.

10. Hot cocoa truffles

best christmas cookies

Living Well Spending Less

Hot cocoa in the cookie form? Yes, please! This genius recipe, made with addicting Hot Cocoa-flavored Chips Ahoy cookies, requires only four ingredients.

11. Lemon fudge

best christmas cookies

Little Dairy on the Prairie

Knowing that this elegant lemon fudge takes just five minutes may be enough to fill you with cheer. Serve this goodie to tantalize guests looking for a little zest among the many Christmas chocolates.

12. No-bake peanut butter truffles

best Christmas cookies


The only thing better than baking is not baking. Especially when this delectable dessert is made with five ingredients.

13. Nutella cookies

best Christmas cookies


Like hot cocoa truffles, Nutella as a cookie is truly tempting. A word of warning: These four-ingredient treats won’t last long on Christmas morning.

14. Protein peanut butter cups

best Christmas cookies


These high-protein peanut butter cups taste as good as the real thing, but they’re made with a few healthy swaps, like coconut oil and protein powder.

15. Vegan German marzipan balls

best christmas cookies

Elephantastic Vegan

Vegans, we didn’t forget about you. Described as the “easiest Christmas cookies ever,” these two-ingredient German marzipan balls are yummy, gluten-free, and vegan.

Baking doesn’t have to be hard. Neither does getting a mortgage.

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For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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