3 Festive & Delicious Holiday Cookie Recipes

Last modified on November 7th, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Gingerbread, Amaretti and Shortbread are our go-to holiday cookie recipes sure to impress fellow cookie exchanges, family, friends and even Santa. 

Last week I attended my first ever cookie exchange (crazy, I know). Growing up neither of my parents baked and as a family we never geared toward baked goods. Instead we had holiday toffee, chocolates and traditional cakes like fruit and rum cake. But what I loved most about the exchange wasn’t just taking home a tin filled with goodies; it was the communal sharing of good baking made from the heart and the holiday celebrations as we entered the season.

Snowflake shaped gingerbread cookies decorated with white icing laying on napkin and white marble

With the holidays just over a week away, Philip and I wanted to share our go-to holiday cookie recipes sure to impress fellow cookie exchanges, family, friends and even Santa.

Mary MacLeod’s Shortbread Holiday Cookie Recipes

The epitome of holiday luxury, Mary McLeod’s shortbread cookies are a true Toronto gem. Truly mastering the art of holiday baking, Mary began baking these signature chocolate crunch shortbread from a small shop under the marquee of the Capitol Theatre at 2492 Yonge St., just north of Eglinton Avenue. Philip was first introduced to these cookies as a child. Every year over the holidays, his dad would receive a tin of these special shortbread and when he brought them home they were the first and only cookie Philip went for. After finding a similar recipe from Scrumpdillyicious, it’s become a tradition of ours to bake these famous cookies, and while not as good as the original, it’s definitely one of our favourite holiday cookie recipes.

Holiday Cookie Recipes Mary MacLeod's Shortbread with glass bottle of milk and mini Christmas trees

Find Mary MacLeod’s Holiday Cookie Recipe here.

Crisp & Chewy Amaretti Holiday Cookie Recipes

The amaretti cookie is simplicity at its finest. Consisting of 5 ingredients (naturally GF and DF), the easy to follow method and of course the shot of Amaretto liqueur, I decided to try my luck at our holiday cookie exchange with this recipe and received nothing but warm remarks. Crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, these Amaretti Cookies are truly heartfelt and are the ultimate holiday cookie recipe and bonus? You can serve them year round at brunch, tea parties, or special occasions and make for the ultimate thinking of you, just because or token gift. Or if you’re feeling risky, we’re sure Santa wouldn’t mind a few boozy cookies in between the classic ginger and shortbreads of the night.

Get our Amaretti Holiday Cookie Recipe here.

Amaretti cookies spilling out of small paper bag on wooden board

Chatelaine’s Gingerbread Holiday Cookie Recipes

The scent of the holiday season is no other than the classic gingerbread cookie. Spiced with ginger, allspice and cinnamon and mixed with butter and molasses, gingerbread dough is a dream to work with, shaping and plying it into an array of shapes from people to circles to our favourite, snow flakes. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Philip and I found a Classic Gingerbread Cookie from Chatelaine Magazine that we’ve baked quite a few times now. Sweet and spicy, and drizzled with a sugar glaze, these gingerbread snowflakes are as much fun decorating them as they are delicious. It’s a holiday activity that’s top of our list and one of our favourite holiday cookie recipes.

Holiday Cookie Recipes Gingerbread Snowflakes on white marble and in white box with grey napkin

Get the Chatelaine Gingerbread Holiday Cookie Recipe here.

Bon appetit,

Chef Sous Chef


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  • Reply
    November 23, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Hi! Great post, I’ve always loved the Mary MacLeod shortbread cookies! I’m wondering what you used for the white fruit sugar and how you found it?



    • Reply
      Philip + Mystique
      November 26, 2020 at 10:26 am

      Thanks so much Jennifer! We love Mary MacLeod’s too. For the fruit sugar we use ultra-fine white sugar.

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