25 Christmas cookies, ranked with no further explanation


On every platter of Christmas cookies, there are winners and there are snowballs.

Christmas cookies are a hallmark of the holiday season, even if Christmas itself is not the centerpiece of your celebrations. There are cookie exchanges and cookie decorating parties. Cookies are a popular gift for guests to bring a host or children to make with their grandparents.

Like snowflakes and millennials, Christmas cookies come in near-infinite variations. There are the perennial classics — chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodle — but also the specifically seasonal: gingerbread, snowball cookies, sugar cookies in the shape of trees and candy canes and stars. Then there are the cookies that are not explicitly Christmas-themed and yet still only seem to appear on cookie platters in December, e.g., biscotti, jam thumbprint, chocolate kiss cookies.

And yet not all Christmas cookies are created equal. Regard:

  • Flavor: Does the cookie taste good?
  • Density: Does the density suit the cookie?
  • Crumbs: Can you easily grab-and-go or will you make a mess?
  • Desirability: Is it the first cookie you reach for?
  • Sustainability: On Hour 3 or Day 4, is it still the cookie you reach for?

All such things considered, here is a ranking of 25 popular Christmas cookies, without any further explanation:

25. Meringues

24. Snowballs

23. Whoopie pies

22. Coffee-cream sandwich cookies, or whatever these are

21. Macarons, not to be confused with macaroons

20. M&M cookies

19. Oatmeal cookies

18. Gingerbread cookies

17. Double-chocolate cookies

16. Peanut butter cookies

15. Some double-chocolate and peppermint inspired combination cookie

14. Pecan lace cookies, or those hard carmelized disks that might break your teeth but are actually pretty good

13. Biscotti, or those hard, nutty oblong cookies that might break your teeth and are best dipped in coffee or hot chocolate

12. Butterscotch cookies

11. Chocolate-dipped butter cookies

10. Fudge puddles

9. Coconut macaroons, preferably with chocolate

8. Jam kolaches, or any other biscuit-and-jam-sandwich type cookie

7. Snickerdoodles

6. Shortbread

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5. Chocolate chip cookies

4. Sugar cookies, decorated

3. Sugar cookies, not decorated

2. Thumbprint cookies

1. Blossom or Hershey’s kiss cookies