9 easy Christmas cookie recipe ideas to make for the holidays

Go beyond the sugar cookie for your next holiday party or cookie swap.
Christmas cookie ideas
Linzer cookies are incredibly festive around the holidays.Brian Kennedy

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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's because it's cookie-making season, of course.

Is there anything better than a house filled with the warm smell of cookies baking in the oven? It's pretty hard to beat. But, let's face it, not everybody is Betty Crocker, nor do busy schedules — especially during the holidays — provide enough leisure time to spend baking all day.

Sometimes, setting aside just 30 minutes to enjoy some family-time (or stress-free solo time) in the kitchen is totally worth it. And when it comes to cookies, there are so many delicious recipes that one is bound to have a prep and bake time that will fit in perfectly between work, gift shopping and that Christmas brunch party that needs to be planned.

White Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies

These cookies are filled with white chocolate chips and cool peppermint bits. They are just as simple to make as your typical chocolate chip cookies but these have a festive and flavorful spin for the Christmas season.

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Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Colorado knows how to do winter well and these giant cookies from Cake Crumbs in Denver are the perfect treat for a snowy day (or morning). They're packed with nutty oats and dried cranberries. Yum!

Duff Goldman's Perfect Sugar Cookies

When there's a need to bake a few big batches of cookies, this recipe by celebrity chef Duff Goldman, whose been known to do things in a very sweet way, is super easy. The dough is buttery and topped with homemade frosting.

Siri Daly's festive truffles aren't exactly cookies, but they're filled with cookie butter and that's good enough for any holiday party guest who knows what's good for them.

For anyone who wept when the Girl Scouts stopped selling Ginger Snaps, this cookie will be a saving grace. These glorious and simple cookies are chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside and covered in a splendid lemon-scented sugar. And all you need is your hands, a bowl or two, and a few minutes to make them.

Any holiday dessert platter without a Linzer cookie is a travesty. It's like Easter without a bunny, Halloween without a jack-o-lantern, or Valentine's Day without chocolate. In short, Linzer cookies are necessary come December. Not only are they quite beautiful (the jam windowpane feature is pure elegance), but they always taste delicious.

These timeless sugar cookies by baker extraordinaire Christina Tosi are adopted from her grandmother, Nonna Trudy. The best part about these cookies? You only need four ingredients!

Aside from simply serving up a giant slab of Hershey's, this is the best a chef can do in terms of a full chocolate profile. The name is even reminiscent of "Kris Kringle." This cookie is slightly firm on the outside, but melts in your mouth on the inside.

German Chocolate Cookies

These chewy treats from Sherry's Sweets in Tooele, Utah, are topped with a decadent coconut and pecan-studded frosting. They're a delightful change of pace from a crunchy cookie.