Merry Christmas Cookies Recipe


Merry Christmas Cookies originally came from an older 1960’s Betty Crocker Cookbook.  Christmas would hardly seem like Christmas without fancifully shaped and decorated cookies.  Decorated cookies are thought to have originated in pre-Christian times as offerings to various gods.  You and your children will love these Merry Christmas Cookies.  The honey in this recipe makes these cookies melt in your mouth.  This has always been a favorite cookie of my children.  They are now adults, but we still make these Christmas Cookies every year.

Every Christmas, my daughters and I carry on the family tradition by spending a day cooking baking.  New traditions include, Bing Crosby’s Christmas songs, lunch, and pre-made cookie dough that we make at home so we’re not lugging all the ingredients around.  We each take a few recipes and during the week mix up the love, and store the dough in ziploc bags.  That way the only task is baking and decorating when we get together.  Much easier this way!


Merry Christmas Cookies


More favorite Cookie Recipes and Secrets To Making Perfect Cookies.   Also learn How To Have A Successful Holiday Cookie Exchange or Cookie Swap.




Cookie decoration ingredients


Getting our ingredients ready for our family’s Christmas Cooking Making Day.  We made these Merry Christmas Cookies, plus Spritz CookiesChocolate Chip CookiesThumbprint Cookies, and Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies.



Merry Christmas Cookies Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Merry Christmas Cookies Recipe
Servings: 5 dozen cookies
Merry Christmas Cookies:
Milk Frosting:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • Food coloring of your choice (optional)
Merry Christmas Cookies Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, cream vegetable shortening, sugar, egg, honey, and lemon extract until light and fluffy.  Sift in flour, baking soda, and salt; stir until well blended.  Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour or overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Lightly grease Cookie Sheets or line with Silicone Baking Mats.

  3. On a lightly floured board, roll dough 1/4-inch thick with your Rolling Pin; cut into desired shapes with your favorite Cookie Cutters.  Place 1-inch apart onto prepared cookie sheets.  Always leave room between cookies on the cookie sheets.  If the cookies are extremely large cookies, adjust the space.

    Cookie cutters in dough
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire cooling racks.

    Merry Christmas Cookies cooling on rack
  5. Prepare Milk Frosting.  When cookies have cooled, frost with the prepared Milk Frosting and decorate as desired.

Milk Frosting Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon extract, and enough milk to make frosting easy to spread.

  2. Tint, if desired, with a few drops of food coloring.

  3. We like to thin the frosting with additional milk so we can just dip the tops of the cookies in the frosting. We then decorate as we wish.

    Merry Christmas Teddy Bear Cookies
  4. Merry Christmas Cookies
  5. As you can see, my family and I have lots of fun decorating our Merry Christmas cookies – we get really creative!


Additional Family Favorite Christmas Cookies:

Russian Teacakes – Mexican Wedding Cakes
This favorite holiday cookie is known by many different names around the world, such as Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Teacakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, Snowdrop, Viennese Sugar Ball, Sand Tarts, and Snowballs.

Spritz Cookies
Crisp, fragile, and buttery tasting.  Great for Christmas goodies.  What Christmas holiday cookie plate would be complete without Spritz Cookies?  My mother made these every Christmas season since I was little, and I make them now.

Bon Bon Cookies
Some people will call these candy – but candy or cookie they are a wonderful!  These cookies have always been a holiday favorite of mine.

German Lebkuchen Squares
A wonderful German Christmas tradition that is consumed and enjoyed around the world.  It is thought that the Lebkuchen was probably the first cookie traditionally associated with Christmas and oldest form of cookie known to humankind.

Nanaimo Bar – Original Nanaimo Bar Recipe
There have been many versions of Nanaimo Bars made over the years, but the Original Nanaimo Bar recipe still stands as a favorite.  These bars are very rich!

Comments from readers:

Thank you so much for publishing this cookie recipe.  My mom always made these from a cookie book from the 1930’s.  The original had depression-era substitutes of Karo light syrup for honey.  They also had a dark version with molasses (or karo dark).  I have moved several times and somewhere along the line the books with these were lost. – Rosemary (12/10/06)




Baking    Christmas    Cookies    Dessert Recipes    Rolled Cookies & Cut Out Cookies   

Comments and Reviews

7 Responses to “Merry Christmas Cookies Recipe”

  1. Karen

    Thank you for posting this recipe I’ve lost my copy and it isn’t Christmas without these family favorites

  2. janet

    I would like to thank you I didn’t know what that frosting was called or how my mom made it but that is the one I have been looking for it seems like forever. I am also looking for a cookie recipe that is chocolate and has a meringue top and the bottom part of the cookie is chewy but when you bite into it the meringue top breaks apart so light and delicious my aunt made these every time I can remember and had them in a coffee can in her freezer. She has passed and I can’t find the recipe and would love to make it for my grandsons and sons so if anyone has one that sounds like it please send it to me.

  3. Michael Rodgers

    Mom made these for us from the time she acquired the “Betty Crocker Cooky Book” in 1963.

    The original recipe (I still have that book, and several copies of the facsimile edition) calls for 1/3 cup sugar, not 1/2 cup. Is this intentional?

    Just curious.

    • Whats Cooking America

      The recipe portions vary depending on the year of the Betty Crocker cookbook printing. My Mom had a special Betty Crocker paperback style cookie edition in the 70’s that called for 1/2 cup sugar and we have been making this recipe version for years. I just checked a 1950’s Betty Crocker printing of the Merry Christmas cookie recipe that called for 1/3 cup brown sugar.

  4. Kim

    I love, love this recipe. We made this cookies growing up. This is the exact recipe. My mom has the 1956 cook book. I’m not aloud to have it until she passes away. She is 83 and going strong so thank you for having this available…I make cut out cookies through out the year during different holidays…I’m giving it to a girlfriends daughter that is getting married….spreading the goodness….

    • Nancy

      These are a family favorite here as well.


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