27 Tempting Cookies & Bars

From snowballs to gingerbread mermaids, we've got every recipe you'll need for a sweet and memorable holiday baking season.

Jam Stars

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Jam Stars

Festive star-shaped cookies are filled with gooey raspberry jam and topped with powdered sugar. Use any dough scraps to make small cookies, and ice them with our Decorating Icing.

Sugar Sand Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Sugar Sand Cookies

This dough requires refrigeration, so plan accordingly. To prevent the "flat bottom" look of slice-and-bake cookies, rotate dough occasionally while chilling. When cutting, rotate log a quarter turn after each slice.

Coastal Cutout Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Coastal Cutout Cookies

This simple dough is perfect for baking unique cutouts for any occasion. We used palm trees and sea life, but cut them into any shape you like.

Oatmeal Cookies with Orange-Soaked Cranberries

Photo: Luca Trovato

Oatmeal Cookies with Orange-Soaked Cranberries

Easy-bake cookies that blend flavors of oranges and cranberries with white chocolate? Simply sublime.

Ginger Sand Dollar Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Ginger Sand Dollar Cookies

Finely chopped crystallized candied ginger and a sprinkling of sugar give a basic sugar cookie something extra. Slivered almonds mimic the look of sand dollars.

Lifesaver Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Lifesaver Cookies

For an extra-nautical treat, take our basic Cutout Cookies recipe, cut out lifesaver-shapes, then sandwich two together with fruit preserves or frosting.

Oregon Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

An indulgent treat for any chocolate lover, these feature a chocolate dough, chocolate morsels, and a chocolate drizzle.

Graham Cracker Shortbread S’mores

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Graham Cracker Shortbread S’mores

Preparing these simple, tasty treats is a fun activity for the kids.

Gingerbread Sailors and Mermaids

Photo: Jim Franco

Gingerbread Sailors and Mermaids

Update your cookie repertoire with a few new gingerbread shapes. You can find mermaid cutters at cookiecutter.com, and gingerbread boys from annclark.com. Decorate with icing, sprinkles, and dragées for a sweet and spicy coastal treat!

Coconut Snowballs

Photo: Alan Richardson

Coconut Snowballs

Serve these bite-sized treats in festive mini cupcake liners.

Sea Star Butter Cookies

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sea Star Butter Cookies

This basic, but delicious, recipe is an ideal accompaniment to another dessert, such as our Lemon Verbena Crème Brûlée.

Cranberry and Pistachio Brownie Bites

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Cranberry and Pistachio Brownie Bites

These fudgy treats—which you can make ahead and freeze in an airtight container, unsliced, for up to three weeks—are an ideal addition to a cocktail party menu.

Nantucket Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Nantucket Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

Take the basic dough from our Sugar Sand Cookies, and add 1 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup white chocolate morsels. Slice and bake as directed. Drizzle 6 ounces white chocolate, melted, over cooled cookies.

Coconut-Pineapple Bars

Photo: Alan Richardson

Coconut-Pineapple Bars

Garnish with toasted coconut so your guests won't be in for a surprise when they bite into these gooey, tropical-inspired bars.

Caribbean Coffee Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Caribbean Coffee Cookies

Instant expresso powder, chocolate morsels, and chopped hazelnuts make these the ideal treat for the coffee lover. Go ahead, have one for breakfast. We won't tell!

Chocolate-Caramel Shortbread Bars

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Chocolate-Caramel Shortbread Bars

This grown-up version of a Twix bar features decadent chocolate ganache topped with flaky sea salt.

Bourbon Balls

Photo: Jean Allsopp

Bourbon Balls

With hints of vanilla and pecan, all rolled in powdered sugar, these bite-sized delights are just right for a cocktail party. Prepare them a few days in advance so that the bold bourbon flavor has time to mellow.

Key Lime Bars

Photo: Alan Richardson

Key Lime Bars

Bring a taste of the islands to your holiday gathering. Don't skip the fresh lime juice, it makes all the difference in flavoring.

Spice Island Drop Cookies

Photo: Alan Richardson

Spice Island Drop Cookies

Use a small scoop for drop cookies, so that they will all be the same size and bake evenly. A 1½-inch-diameter scoop is ideal.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Photo: Jim Franco

Gingerbread Biscotti

Dip this sweet and spicy biscotti into your morning coffee for a flavorful, festive cup of joe.

Fish-and-Chips Cookies

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Fish-and-Chips Cookies

Delicious and oh-so cute, these sweet treats can be made using your favorite fishy cookie cutter (We used Tropical Fish, $14; coppergifts.com.).

Eggnog-Scented Springerle Cookies

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Eggnog-Scented Springerle Cookies

These intricate cookies are created using a special springerle mold. Originally carved from wood, new molds are made from easy-to-clean, food-safe resin. (We used House on the Hill Sloop Cookie Mold, $24; houseonthehill.net.)

Cut-Out Butter Cookies

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Cut-Out Butter Cookies

As pretty as they are yummy, these cookies were made using fun cookie cutters from coppergifts.com.

Almond-Lime Zesties

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Almond-Lime Zesties

With only five ingredients, these cookies are straightforward and make a delectable afternoon (or anytime!) snack.

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Monster Cookies

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Monster Cookies

For a classic cookie that can't be beat (and that's ready in 30 minutes!), this recipe is tops.

Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti

Perhaps the most decadent and delicious biscotti you'll ever taste, one dozen of these make an amazing gift ... if you can stand to part with them.

Spritz Cookies

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Prop Styling: Linda Hirst; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Spritz Cookies

To make Spritz Cookies, you'll need a cookie press, and the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press ($30; oxo.com) is a breeze to use. The set includes 12 cookie disks for making an assortment of adorable treats.

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