Our quick and easy Christmas cookies and biscuit ideas feature upside down gingerbread men turned into reindeers (who knew?!) and cookies with a stained glass window effect thanks to crushed boiled sweets.
“Making biscuits over Christmas is a great way to get into the festive spirit, get your children involved and get their imaginations running with some Christmas decorations,” says Ruth Chubb, who teaches children to bake at Three Bears Cookery Club“Homemade biscuits with lower sugar content are best for decorating with icing because they are sturdier than the high sugar recipes and shortbread style biscuits. Gingerbread is great for decorating or making a Christmas Nativity Scene, you just need to chill in the fridge for an hour before rolling out and if you roll out between two sheets of baking paper you will find they are less likely to break apart or stick to the rolling pin with little hands! Plus these are great for gifts – just pop them in a cellophane bag with some ribbon and you can either hang on your tree or give them out to friends & family.”
All of our delicious Christmas biscuits can be made in bulk and wrapped as homemade food giftsfor your friends and family and they're ideal for bake sales too.
Once decorated your cookies will keep for one week when stored in an airtight container. Make sure the icing decorations have had plenty of time to dry and set before attempting to stack your biscuits.
Easy Christmas cookies and Christmas biscuit recipes
1. Hummingbird Bakery gingerbread men recipe
Makes/serves: 24 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 45 min
There’s not much more festive than gingerbread and, while building a whole house takes quite some effort, baking gingerbread people (not just men, right?) is a lot more low key, and the kids will love decorating them – it’s perfectly acceptable for them to look a little, um, rustic, too.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread men
2. Spicy orange tree cookies
Makes/serves: 18 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 5 min
These clever cookies have a stained glass window effect, all created by bashing boiled sweets and baking them in the centre of the biscuits. They look super effective hanging on the tree, too. One for the more accomplished bakers among us.
Get the recipe: Spicy orange tree cookies
3. Spiced chocolate covered stars
Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 45 min
Dunked in chocolate and sprinkled with festive sugar decorations, these star biscuits taste just as authentically as the ones you find in Christmas markets. There is no need to be neat, so they are perfect for the more novice cook or to make with your little chefs.
Get the recipe: Spiced chocolate covered stars
4. Almond Christmas tree biscuits
Makes/serves: 14 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 40 min
By using a few simple ingredients, this nifty little recipe turns plain sugar biscuits into twinkly trees. Made a couple of days before, they will keep well in an airtight tin and can be eaten across the festive period. You could pop them in the garden of your gingerbread house, as well.
Get the recipe: Almond Christmas tree biscuits
5. Christmas cookies on sticks
Makes/serves: 8 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr
Simple but brilliant, get the kids to make these as teacher presents, or to give their pals. Wrap them in a cellophane bag tied with a festive ribbon. Adorable, even if a bit messy on the icing.
Get the recipe: Christmas cookies on sticks
6. Brilliant baubles
Makes/serves: 30 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 10 min
These colourful little royal-iced baubles look very professional and are delightful hung from the tree. The recipe is three different cookie types – vanilla, spicy ginger, and orange and cinnamon – so it’s quite the pick n mix, though if you wanted to keep things simple, you could just pick your favourite of the bunch.
Get the recipe: Brilliant baubles
7. Slimming World Christmas biscuits
Makes/serves: 50 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 40 min
Good ol’ Slimming World, always there to make sure those who are trying to shift the pounds don’t miss out on the sweet stuff. Lower in fat and sugar than your average cookie, these star-shaped biscuits are flavoured with festive spices and make pretty additions to any Christmas tree.
Get the recipe: Slimming World Christmas biscuits
8. Gingerbread house
Makes/serves: 1 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 30 min
Why not have a go at making your own gingerbread house this year? Our simple video makes the whole thing a doddle, and the kids will love decorating it, Hansel and Gretel style, with icing and their fave sweet selection. Super colourful types, from Skittles to Smarties and Dolly Mixture to Haribo, make for the most effectively decorated house. You could bring out the sprinkles and the edible glitter, too.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread house
9. Sugar and spice cookies
Makes/serves: 20 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hr 20 min
Classic Christmas cookies, packed with warming spices and sweet honey. These little biscuits will fill your home with the glorious smell of winter baking. By using festively-themed biscuit cutters, you can easily whip them up as special but cost-effective gifts for family and friends.
Get the recipe: Sugar and spice cookies
10. Reindeer brownies and gingerbread
Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 20 min
Did you know that the classic gingerbread man shape can be flipped upside down and turned into a reindeer? How have we gone our whole lives without knowing this ingenious fact? You can also turn chocolate brownies into reindeer, too – just cut them into triangles and add pretzels for antlers. Absolutely perfect for Christmas parties or as quirky food gifts.
Get the recipe: Reindeer brownies and gingerbread
11. Iced gingerbread tree
Makes/serves: 8 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 40 min
Who wants to eat a biscuit from a boring old plate, eh? It’s all in the display sometimes. Pile your star cookies into a towering tree and make them your tabletop centrepiece if you’re having a festive buffet, or any other sort of Christmas gathering for that matter. A good one to sell at the school fair, too.
Get the recipe: Iced gingerbread tree
12. White chocolate and cranberry cookies
Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 35 min
Don't confine cranberries to the sauce you serve with turkey this season – we reckon putting them in a cookie is a far better use for them. With sweet and creamy white chocolate, these biscuits have a lovely sweet/sour balance because the tartness of the cranberries contrasts wonderfully with the choc. They are easily turned into a gift with a little bit of ribbon and a handmade gift tag – the grandparents will adore them, for a start.
Get the recipe: White chocolate and cranberry cookies
13. No bake marshmallow snowmen
Makes/serves: 4 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 25 min
Supercute and oh-so-simple, one to do with the kids because there’s no baking involved. Softened marshmallow bodies on ginger biscuits, topped with marshmallow heads with Rolo or peanut butter cup hats and Matchmaker arms. There will be more of a scramble for these than anything else on your festive buffet table. You know it.
Get the recipe: No Bake Marshmallow Snowmen
14. Gingerbread Christmas tree decorations
Makes/serves: 40 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 30 min
Nothing beats a homemade touch at Christmas and these edible decorations are simple, effective and utterly delicious – just punch a hole through with a skewer before baking and thread through some festive string. The gingerbread decorations are also perfect for decorating your Christmas cake or your gingerbread house and for giving as gifts to family and friends.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Christmas tree decorations
Makes/serves: 16 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 min
Sometimes you need a more grown up version of the cookie – and these are just that. Chocolate florentines with dried fruit and nuts make the perfect sweet pairing for a cup of coffee and look ever so pretty when presented simply in tissue paper. Why not make a batch for all those aunties and uncles? You could switch out the milk chocolate for plain or dark, or prepare a mix of all three. A class treat.
Get the recipe: Florentines
16. Shortbread star biscuits
Makes/serves: 20 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hr
A classic buttery shortbread recipe that can be easily adapted – add some clementine zest or throw in some winter spices – and made into festive shapes. Dust it with icing sugar and/or edible glitter, thread some silver ribbon through the holes in the top, and hang from the tree. That’s one smart cookie.
Get the recipe: Shortbread star biscuits
17. Striking stockings
Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 min
Santa will be even happier to stop at your house this year with all these little stockings hanging around. Use any cookie recipe of your choice, shape them into stockings and use this easy guide on how to decorate. The perfect thing to get the kids to help with in the holidays.
Get the recipe: Striking stockings
18. Melted snowman biscuits
Makes/serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 min
These melted snowmen look hilarious and are super easy to make with digestive biscuits or Rich Teas, topped with melted marshmallow. Use Rolos or halved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for hats, and draw on faces or use Smarties, M&Ms or Skittles. You could even draw sunglasses on them to fit in with the sunny-yet-snowy scene.
Get the recipe: Melted snowman biscuits
19. No bake vegan biscuits with fruit and nut
Makes/serves: 8 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 30 min
Because why should vegans miss out on the sweet treats? These plant-based biscuits use vegan cream cheese, maple syrup and cashew nuts to make them rich and creamy without using any animal products.
Get the recipe: No bake vegan biscuits with fruit and nut
20. Glitzy Christmas cookies
Makes/serves: 15 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 50 min
This is a brilliant recipe for a classic cookie that can be adapted to any flavour – add lemon or orange zest, throw in some raisins or choc chips, anything goes. Top with icing and decorate any which way you fancy – silver balls look elegant, but you could go for red and green sprinkles or whatever else floats your boat.
Get the recipe: Glitzy Christmas cookies
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Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.
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