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Christmas Cookies
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The Best Christmas Cookie Recipe Books: Easy Cookies to Gingerbread Mansions

Jane Howarth itcherChristmas cookies are some of my favourite things to bake – fortunately, these books cover all the classics and add some new biscuits to the repertoire. Start preheating those ovens, we’ve got a lot of cookies to get through! ~ Jane Howarth

Whether you’re revisiting a family tradition or just looking for some sweet snacks to see you through the winter, the best Christmas cookie recipe books will take care of your cookie cravings.And if you’re not quite in the holiday spirit yet? My Disney Christmas music playlist might do the trick.

What Are the Best Christmas Cookie Books?

With so many cookie recipes on offer, my only problem is deciding which to make first!

`Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies´ (Dede Wilson, 2003)
Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies
Image source: theknot

German, Scandinavian, Austrian and other international Christmas classics all feature, making this one of the widest Christmas cookie selections I’ve found so far.
Expect linzer stars, chocolate snowballs and every sugar cookie imaginable, all accompanied by cheerful decoration ideas.

Pets aren’t left out either, thanks to a dog biscuit recipe (well, there’s nothing here for my cat, but I guess I can’t have everything).

All the recipes include details on storage and freezing. Sending cookies as an edible gift? Bon Appetit contributing editor and very talented baker Dede Wilson lets you know which cookies travel best and how to pack them.

`Primrose Bakery Christmas´ (Martha Swift, 2014)
Primrose Bakery Christmas
Image source: sainsburysebooks

This is one of those books that’s really nicely presented, full of gorgeous photos from Primrose Bakery and styling to match.

Martha Swift, co-founder of the celebrated London bakery, brings her contemporary touch to our kitchens with these festive recipes.

Cookies share space with other bakes like walnut streusel cake and brandy snaps. Linzer and speculoos cookies sit alongside Primrose creations like mince pie cookies, ginger sparkle cookies and fresh mint shortbread.

Oh, and if you dream of a gingerbread house? There’s a recipe for that too!

`Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable´ (Anita Chu, 2008)
Field Guide to Cookies: How to Identify and Bake Virtually Every Cookie Imaginable´ (Anita Chu
Image source: goodreads

Want to carry on baking into January and beyond? Field Guide to Cookies does just that.

Snickerdoodles, speculaas, gingerbread, sugar cookies (both drop and cutter), pinwheels, stained glass… this book covers pretty much every seasonal cookie you could wish for, and more besides.

There’s a photo of each one, along with expiry and freezing recommendations. Recipes use American measures, but there’s a good conversion chart at the back.

Some of the recipes are a little longer or more complex, and of course, there are a few you need to refrigerate before the final stages. Luckily, there are so many recipes you’ll easily find one to suit your time frame and patience.

Author Anita Chu put a lot of research into the book, uncovering all kinds of cookie history, making this book an interesting read. Don’t forget to do the actual baking too!


No Cookie Left Behind – Vegan and Gluten Free Cookies

There are so many delicious vegan and gluten free Christmas cookie recipes out there, you don’t have to leave any would-be cookie monsters without a yummy treat.

`Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats´ (Isa Chandra Moscowitz, Terry Hope Romero, 2009)


Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
Image source: myvegancookies

For classic animal free snacks, Very Vegan Christmas Cookies (Ellen Brown, 2012) has a really wide choice, but the chatty style of Vegan Cookies has won me over.

Vegan Cookies comes from the creators of the first vegan cookery show in the US, Portland-based Isa Chandra Moscowitz and New Yorker Terry Hope Romero.

The writing is helpful and conversational, from handy hints on choosing your dairy free milk to talking you through the recipes. It’s like baking with a friend or a fun aunt.

Creative christmas cookie recipe ideas include cranberry white chocolate biscotti, gingerbread cut-out cookies, sugar cookies and Mexican chocolate snickerdoodles. Yes, they are all present, correct and dairy free.

Hurray, treats for all!

`Gluten Free Christmas Cookies Paperback´ (Elle Brown, 2012)


Gluten Free Christmas Cookies Paperback
Image source: barnesandnoble

If you’re used to gluten free baking, you probably have a few recipes already, but I think you’ll like this cheery, informative recipe book.

New to gluten free baking? Don’t worry. Elle Brown walks you through the requirements, ingredients, and ways to keep gluten well and truly out of your bakes. Again, US measurements, so get your cups ready.

But on to the fun stuff – let’s look at the cookies!

You can make tray bakes like cranberry nut bars or lemon bars, while classic Christmas options include chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread, so nobody will miss out on their favourite holiday treat.


Gingerbread House, Village, Kingdom – the Choice is Yours

Here it is, the grandest cookie of them all.

As you’ll have noticed, some other books include a gingerbread house recipe, but if you want to go the extra mile for your cookie abode, these authors talk you through every step.

`Gingerbread Houses: A Complete Guide to Baking, Building and Decorating´ (Christa Currie, 1998)

A really sweet book with a traditional feel. There aren’t too many photos, but this book is written warmly and it guides you through every detail.

Though I’m usually the first person looking for photos in a recipe book, gingerbread houses are so unique that the illustrations and walk-through actually work really well.

Because the basic recipe’s nice and easy, you don’t have to worry too much about the essentials – but if you do want to be a little adventurous (and hey, why not?) author Christa Currie includes some cute ideas.

`The Gingerbread Book´ (Allen D. Bragdon, 2011)

While The Gingerbread Architect: Recipes and Blueprints for Twelve Classic American Homes (Susan Matheson, Lauren Chattman, 2009) is a winner for ambitious bakers, the directions require a lot of specialist preparation.

The ambitious but approachable version? The Gingerbread Book.

Reissued after its original 1984 publication, it starts by leading us on a gingerbread journey through time – the history of the spices, how it was prepared around the world, and finally the way it developed for our own modern kitchens.

The houses themselves range from straightforward cottages for gingerbread villagers to ambitious homes for stately gingerbread men.


So Many Cookies – I’d Better Start Baking!

Imagine all those people who have shared the same edible traditions for decades, sometimes centuries, across the continents. Isn’t that kind of magical?Christmas cookies instantly give me that sparkly holiday feeling. Nice to give as presents or with a card, perfect for guests and honestly? They’re just yummy to eat.

Oh, and if you’re planning to make cookies as a handmade gift, how about some knitted Christmas inspiration too?

What’s the Best Christmas Cookie Recipe Book?

Is there a Christmas cookie classic in your kitchen?

Let us know which book you get out every year, we want in on the baking secret!


Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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