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.
My mother, who is of Scottish heritage, passed this shortbread recipe, along with other favorite recipes, on to me. When I entered this treat at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
Take a look at our favorite chocolate desserts from around the world.
Our hometown has a rich Norweg/an 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
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
These doughnut recipes from around the world are the best part of getting up.
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
The compliments are well worth making these Sicilian cookies—they’re the best recipe I’ve found! —Carolyn Fafinski, Dunkirk, New York
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
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
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
On my first trip to Great Britain, I stumbled upon these cookies (or biscuits in the U.K.). These iconic treats, also spelled Jammie Dodgers, can be found everywhere over there. Since I couldn’t find them in the States, I had to make my own version. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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
Speaking of bread, check out these breads from around the world!
My great-grandmother’s Holland butter cookies have been passed down in my family from generation to generation. This recipe uses only five ingredients that are usually already in the house. For different holidays, I swap the almonds for cherries, walnuts or ginger. —Tineke De Rosa, Blairstown, New Jersey
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
Our version of the classic German cookie is nice to have on hand throughout the holiday season. They stay fresh—and become more intense in flavor—when stored in an airtight container for weeks. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
These buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds. —April Drasin, Van Nuys, California
Chocolate alfajores, also known as alfajores de chocolate, are a popular South American dessert made of slightly sweetened shortbread cookies filled with a rich and creamy milk caramel called dulce de leche. It’s best to chill the dough at least 2 hours so the cookies hold when baking. —Kimberly Scott, Kosciusko, Mississippi
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.
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
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
It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
It’s impossible to eat just one of these Swedish cookies. Naturally, they’re a favorite with my Swedish husband and children—but anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate this treat. My recipe is “well-traveled” among our friends and neighbors. —Sue Soderland, Elgin, Illinois
My mother and I make these elegant chocolate lace cookies. Baking together is a delightful way to spend an afternoon catching up.—Stacey B., Stillwater, Oklahoma