It’s cookie exchange time! Holiday parties typically fill my December calendar, including a cookie exchange or two. I’m sharing my BEST cookie exchange recipes today! But they’re also great for hostess and holiday gifts. 

These are tried and true and some of the Best Christmas Cookies you’ll ever make. Each recipe will guide you through how to make some of my favorite Holiday Cookies Recipes.

Best Christmas Cookie Recipes photo collage with 3 photos and a text box

Packaging loads of sweet treats is part of our holiday tradition. Bill and Katie deliver all the goodies to our neighbor friends and even a few who have moved out of the hood. Along with an array of cookies, I make fudge, toffee, and peppermint bark. I’d be in deep trouble if I skipped any of the regulars! Many of these were brought to holiday cookie exchanges!

I’ve linked my best cookie exchange recipes for you. I’m down to only one cookie-swap party per year, but I never like to make the same selection twice. I’ve included many of the sweets I make for the holidays plus some winners from past parties. I hope you find some inspiration for your next cookie exchange or for hostess or holiday gifts!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Ahead and Freeze these Cookies?

Yes, these cookies will freeze well for up to 3 months if kept airtight. I like to use freezer-grade Ziploc bags and remove all the excess air. If freezing cookies with sticky components like caramel, chill them in the refrigerator before freezing so the caramel solidifies.
You can also freeze dough balls to bake later.

How Do You Display Cookies for a Cookie Exchange?

Find a festive platter (look for sales after Christmas) and arrange them artfully. Garnish with something from the recipe if possible like fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks, or pecans. If you have evergreens in your yard that aren’t sprayed with pesticides, a few small sprigs with a red ribbon looks Christmasy.

What Are the Top Tips for Making Holiday Cookies?

Here are some basic cookie-making tips:
Have all your ingredients at room temperature unless otherwise noted. This is especially important for eggs, butter, and cream cheese to help them incorporate into the dough more easily.
Use a cookie disher for even-sized cookies.
Line your baking sheet with parchment for easy cleanup and no sticking!
Cool your baking sheets before reusing them.
Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is where it should be.
Cool cookies completely before packing them up to store.

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Best Cookie Exchange Recipes

The best cookie recipe for your next holiday cookie exchange, holiday gifting or to eat while celebrating with family.

Stay in touch with me through social media @ InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes! And if you love the result, please give it a 5-star rating in the recipe card.

 Christmas Cookies collage with 3 photos and a text box

This post was first shared in November 2015. Photos and content were updated in 2020.