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60 Christmas Cookies from Grandma’s Recipe Box

These old-fashioned Christmas cookies from Grandma are the definition of comfort and joy!

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Grandma's Scottish ShortbreadTaste of Home

Grandma's Scottish Shortbread

My Scottish grandmother was renowned for her baking, and one of the highlights whenever we visited my grandparents was her bringing out the baking tin. Her shortbread cookies were my favorite, and now, whenever I make them, I remember her. This is not a thin, crispy dessert shortbread; it’s a deep bar that is best served with a cup of tea. —Jane Kelly, Wayland, Massachusetts

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Sea Salt Mint White Mocha CookiesTaste of Home

Sea Salt Mint White Mocha Cookies

This recipe came from my mom’s Grandma Alice, who taught her how to bake. Grandma Alice always had a fresh plate of warm cookies on her counter. I learned some of her recipes by heart as a child, and I’ve been making these since high school. They taste like Christmas.—Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California

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Grandma Brubaker’s Orange Cookies

Grandma Brubaker’s Orange Cookies

At least two generations of my family have enjoyed the recipe for these delicate orange-flavored cookies. —Sheri DeBolt, Huntington, Indiana

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Contests-grandmas holiday favoritessydney watson/taste of home

Grandma’s Holiday Favorites Recipe Contest

Your favorite lady ruled the holiday season, so chances are, all your classics come from her recipe box. Does her retro ham salad actually make the kids come running? Plus, that layered-up jam cake sounds legendary. And we can hardly wait to load up crackers with a scoop of that decked-out cheese ball. Send over your old-school recipes with 12 ingredients or less for a chance to see it here.

Enter the Contest

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Cardamom SpritzTaste of Home

Cardamom Spritz

As far back as I remember, I have loved cardamom. My grandmother often added the spice to her baked goods. I usually make these cookies in a camel design with a camel spritz press I found at a thrift shop—it reminds me of a time when I rode a camel in the desert while deployed with the Navy. Of course, any design will do! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies

Our two boys linger around the kitchen when these homemade gingerbread cookies are baking. I make this gingerbread cookie recipe throughout the year using a variety of cookie cutters. —Christy Thelan, Kellogg, Iowa

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Cookie Jar GingersnapsTaste of Home

Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookie recipe. My daughter, Becky, used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas

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Classic Candy Cane Butter CookiesTaste of Home

Classic Candy Cane Butter Cookies

To make cookies that look like candy canes, we color half the dough in classic red and twist away. They’re fun to hang on the side of a coffee mug, or you can devour them on their own. —Shannon Roum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Baki's Old-World CookiesTaste of Home

Baki's Old-World Cookies

My uncles have always called these "cupcake cookies" because of the unique and pretty way they're baked. My maternal grandmother mixed up many a batch. —Marilyn Louise Riggenbach, Ravenna, Ohio

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Chocolate Chip & Cookie Butter ThumbprintsTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip & Cookie Butter Thumbprints

I wanted to make a more festive version of chocolate chip cookies for the holidays. Since my mom's thumbprints are what I look forward to most, I decided to combine the two. —Crystal Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota

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Rosemary Shortbread CookiesTaste of Home

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

With the perfect hint of rosemary and a classic buttery texture, these delicate cookies look and taste elegant. The fact that they’re very easy to prepare can be our little secret.

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Jam-Filled Wreaths & HeartsTaste of Home

Jam-Filled Wreaths & Hearts

I make these beautiful wreath-shaped cookies with jewel-red centers every Christmas. The dusting of powdered sugar gives them a snowy look. My mother cut the recipe out of a newspaper some 30 years ago. —Monica Wilson, Pomona, New York

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Grandma's Star Cookies

Grandma's Star Cookies

My husband's grandma would only make these butter cutouts with a star cookie cutter. I use various shapes for celebrations throughout the year. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana

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Grandma Krause's Coconut CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma Krause's Coconut Cookies

When my two daughters were young, their great-grandma made them coconut cookies with oats. Thankfully, she shared the recipe. —Debra Dorn, Dunnellon, Florida

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Great-Grandma's Oatmeal CookiesTaste of Home

Great-Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Not only is this recipe a favorite of my husband's, it's extra special to me because it goes back to my great-grandmother. For holidays, we like to sprinkle on colored sugar for a festive touch. —Mary Ann Konechne, Kimball, South Dakota

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Cream WafersTaste of Home

Cream Wafers

My sons used to help me make these cookies, and now my oldest granddaughter helps. When the smaller grandchildren are home, they help, too. The cute little sandwich cookies are tender, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth good! —Linda Clinkenbeard, Vincennes, Indiana

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Semisweet Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Semisweet Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Chocolate and vanilla provide a delightful contrast in their flavor and appearance. —Nancy Arevalo, Brookfield, Wisconsin

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Crisp Sugar Cookies

Crisp Sugar Cookies

My grandmother always had sugar cookies in her pantry, and we grandchildren would empty that big jar quickly because they were the best! I now regularly bake these wonderful cookies to share with friends. —Evelyn Poteet, Hancock, Maryland

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Date Swirl CookiesTaste of Home

Date Swirl Cookies

My granddaughter nicknamed my mother Cookie Grandma because she made wonderful cookies—including these crisp and chewy treats. —Donna Grace, Clancy, Montana

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Mom's Buttermilk CookiesTaste of Home

Mom's Buttermilk Cookies

I treasure my mother’s recipe for these comforting cookie pillows. The tender treats are topped with thick frosting and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. —Jane Darling, Simi Valley, California

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Butterscotch Gingerbread CookiesTaste of Home

Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

Every time I make these wonderful cookies, the spicy aroma takes me back to my childhood. I helped Mom make them and delivered them to neighbors. —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah

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Pinwheels and Checkerboards

Pinwheels and Checkerboards

My mom used to make these cookies every Christmas, and I still love them. They are so colorful...and you can get two kinds of cookies from one dough! They're perfect for including in gift boxes.—Jill Heatwole, Pittsville, Maryland

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Scottish ShortbreadTaste of Home

Scottish Shortbread

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 on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas to enjoy and to give as gifts.

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Grandma's Raspberry RugelachTaste of Home

Grandma's Raspberry Rugelach

I remember sitting on my great-grandmother's couch with a pad and pen in hand as she told me each ingredient and measurement for her special rugelach. Her recipe stands apart because it's a fun twist from typical versions. —Dalya Rubin, Boca Raton, Florida

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Double-Dipped Shortbread CookiesTaste of Home

Double-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

My mom and her friend did a lot of cookie swaps together. They were always finding new recipes to share, including this one. There's something about a dipped cookie that makes it seem so special, so we usually save these for the holidays. —Ginger King, Big Bear Lake, California

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Oat & Coconut Icebox CookiesTaste of Home

Oat & Coconut Icebox Cookies

This recipe was passed down through my family from Grandma Irene and is a favorite of my dad and cousin Dennis. It's a true cookie lover's cookie: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and perfectly dunkable. —Lori Rowe, Tigerton, Wisconsin

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Roro's Pineapple CookiesTaste of Home

Roro's Pineapple Cookies

My memories of Christmas always include my mom's pineapple cookies. The kids called her Roro, and we still make them every year to keep her memory alive. You can substitute your favorite flavor of preserves for the pineapple. —Donna Scarano, East Hanover, New Jersey

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Blackberry Peekaboo CookiesTaste of Home

Blackberry Peekaboo Cookies

My grandmother bakes this recipe every year for the holidays. She uses homemade blackberry jam that she makes fresh every summer. These cookies are so delicious! —Jacquie Franklin, Hot Springs, Montana

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Star Anise-Honey CookiesTaste of Home

Star Anise-Honey Cookies

When I was growing up, my mother made many desserts and pastries with anise. Today, I continue the tradition with these cookies, which are flavorful and great for decorating in a variety of ways.—Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Silver BellsTaste of Home

Silver Bells

My mom and grandma are known for their signature Christmas cookies. I decided to create my own, inspired by one of my favorite Christmas songs. Edible shimmer dust gives them their iconic shine. Look for the dust in the cake decorating section of craft or grocery stores. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Dutch Waffle CookiesTaste of Home

Dutch Waffle Cookies

My mom taught me how to make these waffle iron cookies. Now I have my friends bring their waffle irons to the house, and we make big batches.—Rachel Setala, Surrey, British Columbia

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Holiday Butter Mint CookiesTaste of Home

Holiday Butter Mint Cookies

My mom gave me this recipe in a special recipe collection when I got married. I make goodie boxes of them for holiday gifts for friends and neighbors—and everyone loves them! —Sherry Flaquel, Cutler Bay, Florida

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Butter Pecan Icebox CookiesTaste of Home

Butter Pecan Icebox Cookies

As a little girl, I was fascinated by the way Grandmother prepared these cookies. They came from logs that she took out of the "icebox"! Now when I make these simple but delicious old-fashioned cookies, I'm reminded of those memories. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas

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Creme de Menthe CookiesTaste of Home

Creme de Menthe Cookies

This is my mother's Christmas recipe. She made these every year and whenever I smell them baking, I think of her. —Beth Cates, Hampton, Tennessee

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Dipped Chocolate Logs

Dipped Chocolate Logs

When my sister and I were little, we used to beg my mother and grandmother to make these buttery chocolate cookies during the holidays. Now, as moms ourselves, we get together every year to make Christmas cookies, and the chocolate logs are always on the top of our list. —Deanna Markkos, Western Springs, Illinois

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Walnut Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Walnut Sugar Cookies

When we were growing up, my mother made sugar cookies dotted with ground walnuts as a special treat to welcome us home from school. —Debbie Miller, La Verne, California

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Hot Chocolate Peppermint CookiesTaste of Home

Hot Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

This is a variation of the cookies my mother made when I was growing up. Now my 13-year-old daughter and I bake them together. They’re always a huge hit! The taste is like rich hot chocolate baked into a scrumptious cookie. —Larry Piklor, Johnsburg, Illinois

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PizzelleTaste of Home

Pizzelle

This recipe was adapted from one that my Italian-born mother and grandmother followed. They used old irons on a gas stove, but now we have the convenience of electric pizzelle irons. These delectable cookies are still a traditional treat in our family. —Elizabeth Schwartz, Trevorton, Pennsylvania

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Nanny's Fruitcake CookiesTaste of Home

Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies

My grandmother always made a holiday fruitcake. I turned her recipe into cookies that are perfect anytime, especially with a cup of tea. —Amanda Digges, South Windsor, Connecticut

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Holiday NuggetsTaste of Home

Holiday Nuggets

Mom made these family favorites every year for the holidays. I still remember how much I enjoyed “helping” with the mixing bowl. Now my son helps me! —Anna Minegar, Wauchula, Florida

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Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps

Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps

My grandma loved these so much, she would hide them from my grandpa! I think of her every time I make a batch. Like Mexican spice? Try stirring in a little chili powder. —Michele Lovio, Thousand Oaks, California

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Gingerbread Cookies with Buttercream Icing

Gingerbread Cookies with Buttercream Icing

When it’s time to start the cookie-baking season, this recipe always kicks off the festivities. My mother-in-law first shared it with me, but it’s too good to keep to myself! You can tint the buttery gingerbread cookie icing a cheery pink or green and pipe it on with a decorating tip. —Ann Scherzer, Anacortes, Washington

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Frosted Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Spice Cookies

This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my husband's family. The cookies were always in his grandmother's cookie jar when he'd visit. Today, he enjoys them more than ever—and so do I. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio

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Pecan Cutout CookiesTaste of Home

Pecan Cutout Cookies

My husband's grandmother made these buttery cookies using a star cutter. I've never tasted a cookie quite like it, so nutty and flavorful. —Louise Reisler, Bonduel, Wisconsin

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Berry-Cream Cookie Snaps

Berry-Cream Cookie Snaps

My mom and I made up this recipe by combining two others. These cute cookies are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. You could also bake the cookies flat and serve the filling as a cookie dip if you like. —Crystal Briddick, Colfax, Illinois

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Mint Chocolate WafersTaste of Home

Mint Chocolate Wafers

My grandmother gave me a cookbook stuffed with recipes. This is a slight twist on one of the first—and best—recipes I made from the book. It's best to store these in the refrigerator. —Mary Murphy, Evansville, Indiana

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Christmas Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Christmas Sandwich Cookies

My mother-in-law gave me the recipe for these lovely melt-in-your-mouth cookies. They're a Christmas tradition at our house. —Elizabeth Klager, St. Catharines, Ontario

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TorcettiTaste of Home

Torcetti

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

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Glazed Strawberry Cookies

Glazed Strawberry Cookies

I learned to bake with my grandmother and mother. I knew I was giving them a sweet new family tradition when I shared this recipe with them. —Andrea Zulauf, Livonia, New York

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Fruit-Filled Spritz CookiesTaste of Home

Fruit-Filled Spritz Cookies

From the first time I baked these cookies, they've been a divine success. Old-fashioned and attractive, they make a perfect holiday pastry. —Ingeborg Keith, Newark, Delaware

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Santa Claus Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Santa Claus Sugar Cookies

I've used this recipe for almost 40 years and love it because it's a little different than most. My mom always made Santa cookies, and we'd put them into little clear bags tied with ribbon to hang on the tree.—Ann Bush, Colorado City, Colorado

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Lemon ShortbreadsTaste of Home

Lemon Shortbreads

Every year my mom and I collect cookie recipes we want to try and then get together in early December for an afternoon of baking. These no-fail lemon cookies have become an annual tradition. They're a wonderful homemade holiday gift. —Kristen Stecklein, Glendale, Wisconsin

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Grandma's Polish CookiesTaste of Home

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

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Raspberry SwirlsTaste of Home

Raspberry Swirls

My mother-in-law shared the recipe for these old-fashioned cookies. Swirls of raspberry jam give them a yummy Yuletide twist. —Marcia Hostetter, Canton, New York

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Tiny Tim Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Tiny Tim Sandwich Cookies

When I was growing up, my mother and I created special Christmas memories in the kitchen preparing these cute, bite-sized cookies. Vary the food coloring for holidays throughout the year. —Eudora Delezenne, Port Huron, Michigan

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Caramel Pecan Shortbread

Caramel Pecan Shortbread

My grandchildren look for Grandma's "candy bar cookies" every Christmas. I recommend doubling the recipe for these sweet treats because they go so fast. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois

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Cinnamon Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

My mom always had these cookies on hand. They're so good with a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or milk. —Leah Costigan, Otto, North Carolina

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Molasses Cookies with a KickTaste of Home

Molasses Cookies with a Kick

Here’s my go-to combination of ingredients for the best spice cookies. They’re a natural for fall, but I make them all year long. My mom says they’re her favorite! —Tamara Rau, Medina, North Dakota

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Cherry Snowballs

Cherry Snowballs

A juicy maraschino cherry is the secret center tucked inside these special cookies. My mom was inspired to create this by a recipe she clipped out of a newspaper more than 30 years ago. —Evy Adams, West Seneca, New York

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Italian Holiday Cookies

Italian Holiday Cookies

Many of our holiday traditions center around the foods my mother made while I was growing up. These cookies, which we called "Strufoli", bring back wonderful memories. —Sue Seymour, Valatie, New York

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Lemon Tea CookiesTaste of Home

Lemon Tea Cookies

These sandwich cookies taste rich and buttery and have a lovely lemon filling. The recipe has been in our family since the 1950s, when my mother got it from a French friend in her club. —Phyllis Dietz, Westland, Michigan

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.

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