The Best Cookies from Around the World
Bake your way around the globe! From Italy to Mexico, we found the most popular cookies in the world.
Whipped Cream Krumkake
Our hometown has a rich Norwegian culture. That heritage is evident during our annual Nordic Fest, where this classic krumkake recipe is king. Here’s your introduction to the timeless treat. —Imelda Nesteby, Decorah, Iowa
Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and—as with most of my favorite recipes—she passed this shortbread recipe on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
Take a look at our favorite chocolate desserts from around the world.
Italian Sprinkle Cookies
These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian-American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York
This recipe was adapted from one used by my Italian-born mother and grandmother. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. The cookies are so delectable and beautiful, they’re worth it! —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania
Italian Sesame Cookies
These nontraditional European cookies aren’t overly sweet and have a wonderful crunch from sesame seeds. They’re the ideal accompaniment to a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea.—Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
Our Sicilian grandmother often had my sister and me roll out the dough for these tasty torcetti. Their melt-in-your-mouth goodness is delicious without being overly sweet.—Joy Quici, Upland, California
Italian Orange-Fig Cookies
This is one of the first cookies I made when I found out I could no longer eat gluten. In those eight years, six of my family members and friends have also had to give up gluten, so these delicious Italian cookies have now become a treasured holiday tradition for all of us. By the way, no one will know they’re gluten free unless you tell them! These cookies last for weeks if stored in a dry place. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Almond Ginger Cookies
Think outside the box this season and enjoy these traditional Chinese cookies, each one topped with an almond slice. —Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin
When my sister was hosting an exchange student from Finland, she served these cookies I’d made to her guest. The young lady instantly recognized what they were. So I know they’re still being made in our ancestors’ country! —Ilona Barron, Ontonagon, Michigan
This traditional Jewish mandel bread recipe has been passed down in my family for four generations. It tastes wonderful with a cup of coffee, hot cocoa or milk. —Monica Schnapp, Irvine, California
Silvanas are popular in the Philippines for a reason. Cashew-based meringue cookies, rich buttercream and cookie crumbs come together to create this truly delicious treat!
Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary holiday custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas
Spiced German Cookies
These buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds. —April Drasin, Van Nuys, California
Ma’amoul is a beloved Middle Eastern butter cookie, made aromatic with flower waters and filled with dates. You’ll need a ma’amoul mold to achieve the iconic ridged shape.
Mexican Cinnamon Cookies
My extended family shares a meal every Sunday. The aunts and uncles take turns bringing everything from main dishes to desserts like this traditional Mexican cinnamon cookie called Reganadas. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mexican Wedding Cakes
As part of a Mexican tradition, I tucked these tender cookies into small gift boxes for the guests at my sister’s wedding a few years ago. Most folks gobbled them up before they ever got home! —Sarita Johnston, San Antonio, Texas
Koulourakia are a traditional treat in Greece, where they are usually made for Easter and other celebrations. I enjoy making these buttery, golden Greek cookies to keep me in touch with my heritage. —Nicole Moskou, New York, New York
Growing up in Cyprus, we would see this melomakarona cookie everywhere during the holidays. Every year my mother, Thelma, would make plate after plate of these all Christmas long. It’s just not the holidays without them. —Paris Paraskeva, San Francisco, California
My daughter-in-law gave me this recipe. Her grandmother was born in Greece and bakes these cookies for special occasions.—Carol Dale, Greenville, Texas
Julia Child had a love of life and French cooking, as she and and Alex Prud’homme described in the book My Life in France. The woman who introduced Americans to the delights of French cuisine would find these crisp, chewy French-style macarons cookies a delight, too! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
These buttery, shell-shaped treats are a cross between a cookie and cake. You’ll need a special molded pan to make this French delicacy, but they’re well worth the effort.
Raspberry Linzer Cookies
These wonderful cookies, inspired by the Austrian torte, require a bit of extra effort to make and assemble, but the delight on the faces of family and friends when I serve them makes it all worthwhile. —Schelby Thompson, Camden Wyoming, Delaware
Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Creme
I made these for an office party cookie contest—and not a crumb was left on the platter! Sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient. Canned sweet potatoes will work, too, if you’re short on time. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois
Calgary Nanaimo Bars
This version of Nanaimo bars may claim roots in Alberta, but the original was said to be dreamed up in a British Columbia kitchen. They’re three delicious layers of Canadian goodness. —Carol Hillier, Calgary, Alberta
Chocolate Chip Cookies
My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It’s big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
Laura Bush is famous for her cowboy cookies. Her entry into Family Circle’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off gave them national recognition. These hefty cookies are loaded with chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
Grandma’s Polish Cookies
This traditional khruchiki recipe has been handed down through my mother’s side from my great-grandmother. As a child, it was my job to loop the end of each cookie through its hole. —Sherine Elise Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York