Cookies are a must for Christmas festivities, although they’re mainly for jolly St. Nick. In light of the fact that we must appease this Santa of ours, why would we default to plain old sugar cookies when you can truly wow holiday revelers with more unusual choices? Don’t worry, making awesome cookies doesn’t mean it takes a lot of work.

  • 1

    Candy Cane Cookies

    What says “Christmas” more than a candy cane? These cute little cookies are tender crisp with a buttery sweet almond flavor. If you like, this recipe allows you to sub out the almond extract for peppermint to make the taste match the appearance.

  • 2

    Meringue Cookies

    Meringue Cookies are so light and airy that they just seem to melt in your mouth. The outside is nice and crisp, while the inside remains wonderfully soft and puffy, almost like mini-Pavlovas. This recipe calls for almond extract, but another uses peppermint and a few drops of red food coloring.

  • 3

    Butter Tarts

    Butter Tarts may be unique to Canada, but their pastry shells filled with a sweet mixture of butter, brown sugar and eggs should appeal to taste buds the world over.

  • 4

    Thumbprint Cookies

    Thumbprint Cookies are made with a shortbread-like dough that’s formed into balls and then rolled in either finely chopped nuts or dried coconut. The “thumbprint” part of the name comes from using your thumb to make an indentation in the dough and filling it with the jam of your choice.

  • 5

    Chocolate Crinkles

    Chocolate Crinkles are deliciously soft, fudge-like cookies covered in a generous coating of powdered sugar, which crinkles or cracks as they bake, revealing a little of the yummy chocolate cookie underneath.

  • 6

    Peppermint Bark

    This delicious holiday classic can be very expensive if bought commercially, but why do that when you can easily make it at home? Only three ingredients are required — dark chocolate, white chocolate and candy canes.

  • 7

    Whoopie Pies

    While Whoopie Pies aren’t necessarily Christmas treats, they’re very popular regardless. Essentially, the pies are cupcakes in sandwich cookie form, and who doesn’t like cupcakes? The recipe here is for red velvet, but if you want to add a dash of seasonal flavor, try out the pumpkin variety too.

  • 8

    Rocky Road Cookie Pizza

    Cookies and pizza rolled into one? What’s not to love? This easy recipe combines chocolate chip cookie dough, nuts and marshmallows all baked together in a pizza pan for a fun presentation.

  • 9

    Stained Glass Cookies

    As beautiful as these cookies are, you’d think they took all day to make. Not so! All you need is store-bought dough, some crushed hard candies and voila — you’ve got holiday treats that will add sparkle to any table.

  • 10

    Chocolate Snowballs

    Kids love Hershey’s Kisses, but they love Hershey’s Kisses wrapped in cookie even more. These simple goodies are exactly that — Hershey’s Kisses wrapped in dough and rolled in powdered sugar for a scrumptious treat sure to be both kid and adult-approved.