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10 Christmas Cookies Recipes from Around the World

10 Christmas Cookies Recipes from Around the World

By Dana DeMercurio

Show Santa how much your really care by spending a little extra time in the kitchen baking fresh batches of cookies inspired by different cultures and traditions. Quick, grab the kids and throw on an apron – things might get messy. Just try not to eat them all before Old Saint Nick gets his fill!  (click on images for recipes)


Fondly called “Polish angel wings,” Chrusciki are bowtie-shaped cookies deep-fried and mixed with lip-licking liquor like rum or brandy. These heavenly confections are sure to have your holiday guests asking for more and more.



These Yuletide delicacies include fig-date-nut filling wrapped inside a thin cookie shell topped with icing and colorful sprinkles. They’re like Fig Newton cookies but on steroids, and made even more delicious with their added candy coating!  These Sicilian treats are definitely on our recipe radar this Christmas.



Sound Greek to you? That’s because it is! These scrumptious mini honey-dipped cookies, -also known as Filikia- are not only easy to make, but are dairy free.  Have a nut allergy? These treats taste just as great without the called-for walnuts sprinkled on top. We dare you to eat just one!



These tiny peppernut cookies are a staple in Denmark, but don’t let the name fool you.  These eaten-by-the-handful shortbread cookies are nut free, but they remain chalk full of delicious goodness like cardamom, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, just to name a few ingredients.



This South American Christmastide treat includes one of our favorite ingredients: dulce de leche.  This creamy confection goodness is the center that holds together the outer crumbly cookies that are generously dusted with powered sugar. Imagine an Oreo (or similar American sandwich cookie), just yummier and much more decadent.


Baba B’Tamar

Prepared mainly during the holidays, this Persian treat – also known as date disks – are sure to become an instant favorite in your home! We recommend making enough for your friends and colleagues as well to give them a little taste of Middle Eastern delights.

Photo by Vered Guttman

Photo by Vered Guttman


Christmas cookies from Iceland, who would have thought?! This easy-to-make Nordic nosh contains only four simple ingredients that your kitchen most likely already has stocked.  Be sure to make the dough the night before and enjoy with a cold glass of milk.  We’re positive Santa will approve.



Hungarians have mastered the art of cookies with this mini morsel. Kifli, an Italian cannoli look-a-like, is a delicate crescent-shaped pastry that lends to flaky crusts oozing with your favorite jams, preserves, nuts and/or seeds. The ingredients may be simple, but the flavors abound!


Kue Nastar

A common Christmas and New Years Eve treat in exotic Indonesia, these fragrant pineapple tarts are quite simple to make, but be prepared to spend some serious time in the kitchen! Recruit some helpers for this baking project and savor the delicious results.



Fill your home with the aromas of cinnamon and vanilla during the holidays!  A customary Christmas offering in both Germany and Switzerland, these star-shaped Zimtsterne cookies are a Bavarian delight that are a must try.