The Best Christmas Cookie from Every State
Which cookies are baking up in your neck of the woods this holiday? Find out with our state-by-state most popular Christmas cookie recipes.
Alabama: Crackle Cookies
Because these cookies crack on top, my granddaughter thinks I make a mistake when I bake them—until she takes a bite! They’re very close to my Mama’s wonderful chocolate cookie recipe. —Ruth Cain, Hartselle, Alabama.
Alaska: Chocolate Linzer Cookies
Living in the town of North Pole, it’s no surprise that I enjoy Christmas baking! My mom and I used to make these cookies together. Now that I am married and living in Alaska, I love to bake them for my own family. They remind me of home. —Heather Peters, North Pole, Alaska. You’ll want to try out these heartwarming Christmas traditions from around the world.
Arizona: Holly Berry Cookies
What would Christmas be without overflowing tins of cookies? These festive filled cookies are the all time favorites of my family. Back when our children were small, we began baking them the day after Halloween and put them away in the freezer. —Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, Arizona
Arkansas: Peanut Butter Christmas Mice
With their black licorice tails, candy noses, and peanut ears, these chewy “mice” were always a hit at classroom parties. My children are in their teens now, but they still ask me to make these cookies for the holidays. —Nancy Rowse, Bella Vista, Arkansas
California: Holiday Biscotti
A twice-baked Italian cookie, biscotti makes a wonderful “dunker.” A pretty way to present a batch is on a seasonal plate arranged in a wagon-wheel fashion. —Libia Foglesong, San Bruno, California. While you bake, get into the spirit by listening to the best Christmas songs of all time.
Colorado: Candied Fruit Cookies
These no-fuss candied fruit cookies are both nutty and fruity, so they’re always a hit at holiday time. —Florence Monson, Denver, Colorado
Connecticut: Nanny’s Fruitcake Cookies
My grandmother always made a holiday fruitcake. I turned her recipe into cookies that are perfect any time, especially with a cup of tea. —Amanda Digges, South Windsor, Connecticut.
Florida: Grandma Krauses’ Coconut Cookies
When my two daughters were young, their great-grandma made them coconut cookies with oats. Thankfully, she shared the recipe. —Debra Dorn, Homosassa, Florida
Georgia: Snow Day Cookies
Clear your pantry to make these chocolate chip cookies loaded with goodies. We add oats, M&M’s, pretzels and even potato chips. —Brittney Musgrove, Dallas, Georgia.
Idaho: Peppermint S’more Tassies
Graham cracker cookie cups brim with a luscious peppermint-milk chocolate filling, sweet marshmallow creme and crushed peppermint candies. Santa (and his elves) will look forward to these! —Edwina Gadsby, Hayden, Idaho. Don’t miss these true stories about meeting Santa that will fill you with Christmas spirit.
Illinois: Holiday Cornflake Cookies
I can’t seem to make enough of these cornflake wreaths around the holidays. The cookies firm up quickly, so you’ll need to place the Red Hots right away. —Kathleen Hedger, Fairview Heights, Illinois. Learn the history behind why we celebrate Christmas on December 25.
Iowa: Gumdrop Cookies
These fun cookies are chock-full of chewy gumdrops. I use red and green ones at Christmas, black and orange for Halloween, and pastel shades for Easter. I’ve made this recipe for years and find that kids really get a kick out of the cookies with a candy surprise inside! —Carolyn Stromberg, Wever, Iowa.
Kansas: Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
These soft, chewy cookies make a super snack any time of year. Their light cinnamon-sugar flavor is the perfect complement to a cold glass of milk. —Jana Horsfall, Garden City, Kansas
Louisiana: Drizzled Peppermint Cookies
My daughters made these super-simple cookies for their teachers and friends, and they were a big hit. —Carla Salard, Robeline, Louisiana.
Maine: Ginger Cranberry Pinwheels
Here’s a nice Christmas cookie with a cheery shape. They’re so much fun to make and even more fun to eat. —Laurel Doughty, Fryeburg, Maine
Massachusetts: Italian Pignoli Cookies
Cookies are the crown jewels of Italian confections. I can’t let a holiday go by without baking these traditional almond cookies rolled in mild pine nuts. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
Michigan: Frosted Butter Rum Brickle Bites
The rum, real butter, and toffee bits made these cookies my husband’s new favorite. If you’d like them less sweet, skip the frosting and sprinkle the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while still warm. —Cindy Nerat, Menominee, Michigan
Minnesota: Holiday Sugar Cookies
Katie Koziolek of Hartland, Minnesota, adds a hint of lemon to these delightful sugar cookies. For make-ahead convenience, freeze the dough up to three months, then thaw in the fridge before baking and decorating them. —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota. Feel the nostalgia with these 18 photos that show what Christmas was like 100 years ago.
Mississippi: Raspberry Pistachio Thumbprints
Thumbprint cookies are a Christmas classic, and I especially like my updated version with pistachios. The rich, buttery bites are not only delicious, but they are also pretty enough to give for gifts—if you manage to share them! —Laura Murphy, Columbus, Mississippi
Missouri: Gingerbread Sandwich Trees
Fun and festive, these cookie sandwich trees will be a huge hit with kids of all ages. They’re a super-cute holiday treat! —Steve Foy, Kirkwood, Missouri.
Nebraska: Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
I needed a new holiday cookie, so I tweaked an old 4-H recipe. This updated oatmeal cookie with cranberries and nuts is my family’s all-time favorite. —Tammy Hoggatt, Omaha, Nebraska. Besides baking, you’ll want to try these other Christmas traditions from around the world.
Nevada: Holiday Cutout Cookies
The only limit to these fun cutouts is your cookie cutter collection and your imagination! If you prefer crisp cookies, sprinkle with colored sugar before baking and skip the frosting. —Anne Grisham, Henderson, Nevada
New Jersey: Ginger & Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies
This spiced cookie has a real kick of ginger, similar to traditional German lebkuchen. If you don’t have crystallized ginger, use colored sprinkles. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey. Feeling festive and crafty? Try making one of these DIY Christmas decorations anyone can handle.
New Mexico: Lime & Gin Coconut Macaroons
I took these lime and coconut macaroons to our annual cookie exchange, where we name a queen. I won the crown! —Milissa Kirkpatrick, Angel Fire, New Mexico
North Carolina: Mint Twist Meringues
Light and airy, these delicate meringues give you a refreshing burst of peppermint. I sprinkle them with crushed mint candies and baking cocoa. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina.
North Dakota: Frosted Cashew Cookies
We savor these cookies every Christmas, but they’re special year-round with coffee or tucked into a lunch box. I won a ribbon with these cookies at my county fair. —Sheila Wyum, Rutland, North Dakota
Ohio: Christmas Lights Cookies
What better way to brighten chilly winter days than with light-shaped cookies? My classic dough recipe has been a holiday tradition in our family for years. —Carolyn Moseley, Dayton, Ohio. Get a look at America’s most incredible towns for Christmas lights.
Oklahoma: Cherry-Pecan Icebox Cookies
During the holiday season, I keep a roll of dough for these crisp cookies in the freezer. It’s nice to offer unexpected company a home-baked treat. —Betye Dalton, Tupelo, Oklahoma
Oregon: Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks
I wanted to impress my husband’s family with something you’d expect to find in a European bakery, and these chocolaty treats are what I came up with. The flaky pastry melts in your mouth. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
Rhode Island: Snowy Mountain Cookies
I was so excited to bake these with my mom after coming home from studying abroad in Germany. They remind me of the Swabian Alps I could see from my room there. Be careful not to overheat your white chocolate; it’ll lose that attractive shine. —Stephanie Bouley, North Smithfield, Rhode Island. If you want to live like royalty, eat what the royal family eats at Christmas.
South Carolina: Lara’s Tender Gingersnaps
Soft gingersnaps embody the tastes and smells of the Christmas season, but they are perfect for any fall or winter gathering. I enjoy the blend of cloves, ginger, and cinnamon in this delicious cookie. —Lara Pennell, Mauldin, South Carolina
Tennessee: 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.
Texas: Cranberry Pecan Cookies
These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
Utah: Christmas Eve Mice
Assembling these merry mice is so much fun that the kids will definitely want to help. My daughter gave me the recipe, along with a warning…your guests just might think these treats are too cute to eat! —Margene Pons, West Valley City, Utah. Ever wonder why we bake Christmas cookies in the first place? Find out the surprising history behind your favorite holiday traditions.
Vermont: Gingerbread Peppermint Pinwheels
Two holiday flavors—gingerbread and peppermint—come together in these impressive pinwheel cookies. I made this especially for my husband, who loves the combination. —Joanna Quelch, Burlington, Vermont
Virginia: Nice ‘n’ Soft Sugar Cookies
My family’s all-time favorite Christmas cookie has had a million shapes over the years. Little ones have fun making their own icing designs. —Cathy Hall, Lyndhurst, Virginia.
West Virginia: Snowman Treats
My daughter, Hannah, and I came up with this recipe on Christmas Eve when she wanted to make treats for Santa. Building a real snowman is fun, but we think coating one in candy is even cooler! —Lori Daniels, Beverly, West Virginia.
Wisconsin: Gingerbread Snowflakes
Cutting my favorite gingerbread cookie dough into snowflake shapes and decorating them with white icing was ideal for my theme get-together. I save these crunchy treats to enjoy on the way home from our Christmas tree outing. —Shelly Rynearson, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Wyoming: Blackberry-Filled Chocolate Thumbprints
Pretty blackberry jam peeks out from behind a thin layer of white chocolate in these soft milk chocolate cookies. The flavors just taste amazing together. —Abby Bullington, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Next, don’t miss these 21 Christmas appetizers that everyone at your party will love.