Desserts

21 International Cookie Recipes for Christmas

If you’ve been looking for some good international cookie recipes to add to your regular cookie list. Look no further. Here is a list of 21 International Christmas cookies.

The recipes range here from German, to French, to Argentinian, to Russian cookies (and more). So many different cookies and unique ideas. The great part is most of the ingredients for these cookies are staple ingredients or can be gotten on Amazon.

Since I’ve been living abroad for a decade now (wow! when did that happen?), I’ve been exposed to recipes that I wouldn’t have heard of before. That’s why I wanted to share some international cookie recipes in this post. There are so many awesome and yummy cookie options out there!

21 International Cookie Recipes Collage

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Anyway, if you’re looking for some special cookies to make this season, check these out. Each land has its own special foods and these look absolutely delicious! I sorted these by lands for easier search.

Hope you love scrolling through these and looking at the pictures as much as I did!

German Cookies

1. GERMAN VANILLA CRESCENT COOKIES

German vanilla cookies in a tin.

Of course one of the first recipes for International cookies I want to share is one of my own. These vanilla cookies are the best thing to happen to cookies. They are soft and crumbly and full of vanilla flavor. They are also so easy to make. The only special ingredient needed here is Vanilla Sugar to dip the cookies into at the end. GET THE RECIPE

2. GERMAN PFEFFERNÜSSE COOKIES

German Pfeffernüsse on parchment paper with a cup of coffee on the side.

These Pfeffernüsse Cookies are traditional German cookies that are usually made around Christmastime. They’re chewy, made with spices and are covered in powdered sugar. My husband always wishes for these around Christmastime:) GET THE RECIPE

French Cookies

3. TUILES COOKIES (Tuiles aux sesame et amandes)

French Tuiles cookies on a cooling rack.

These French Tuiles cookies are traditional thin, crispy cookies made with egg whites, butter, sugar, almond flakes and some butter. The literal translation from French is “roof tile” because they resemble the said tiles. No special form is needed to make these cookies. They are shaped around a rolling pin, a jar, or anything round while they are still hot. The cookies cool quickly and retain their shape. GET THE RECIPE

Italian Cookies

4. ITALIAN AMARETTI COOKIES

Stacked Italian Amaretti Cookies on the counter.

These Italian Amaretti Cookies are little airy cookies made of almond flour, sugar, egg whites, and almond extract. These are easy to make and don’t even require a mixer (using a whisk to make these is enough). These can be eaten with coffee (or espresso) in the morning or served as a sweet snack during the day or after dinner. GET THE RECIPE

5. ITALIAN ANISETTE COOKIES (ANISE COOKIES)

Italian Anisette Cookies or Anise Cookies on a platter.

These little, Italian anise flavored cookies are a hit and this recipe gives you a big batch. The only unique ingredient here is anise extract. Everything else you should probably have on hand. These are great to bring along to a party or a family gathering or to use in a cookie exchange. GET THE RECIPE

6. EASY ITALIAN PIGNOLI COOKIES

Italian Pignoli Cookis on parchment paper and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

These Italian Pignoli cookies are made with pine nuts, are light and airy need just four ingredients to make. You will need to get almond paste to make these, but the resulting cookies are worth it. GET THE RECIPE

British Cookies

7. BRITISH BRANDY SNAPS

British Brandy Snaps cookies filled with cream and arranged on a plate.
Photo courtesy: artofnaturalliving.com

If you like creamy desserts, you will love these British Brandy Snaps. They are lacy, crispy, little rolls filled with a creamy filling, though the filling is not a requirement. These look absolutely stunning and impressive. Despite the name, the cookies do not have any alcohol in them. GET THE RECIPE

Austrian Cookies

8. AUSTRIAN LINZER COOKIES

Austrian Linzer cookies on a plate sprinkled with powdered sugar and surrounded by berries.

These Austrian Linzer cookies are buttery and soft and are filled with a tangy cranberry jam in the middle. Made with almond flour, these Linzer cookies are absolutely delicious. They also look very festive and can be made for any holiday or special occasion. GET THE RECIPE

Scottish Cookies

9. SCOTTISH SHORTBREAD BUTTER BISCUITS

Scottish shortbread cookies served on a white plate with a red background.

This version of the traditional Scottish shortbread cookies is gluten-free and sugar-free. Still, even with those modifications this recipe gives you a perfect buttery cookie with a soft crumble. Goes well with a cup of tea or your drink of choice. GET THE RECIPE

Dutch Cookies

10. EASY DUTCH SPECULAAS COOKIES

Dutch Speculaas Cookies stacked on each other with a Christmas Ornament in the foreground.

These Dutch Speculaas cookies are thin, spiced, hard cookies. Made with butter, sugar and a whole bunch of spices these little cookies have a nice satisfying crunch to them. These are great with a cup of tea or a cup of cold milk. These remind me of German Spekulatius cookies always sold around Christmas time here in Germany. I think this is a great homemade version. GET THE RECIPE

Swiss Cookies

11. SWISS BRUNSLI COOKIES

Swiss brunli cookies in a bucket.

These Swiss Cookies are little chocolate cookies made with almond flour and are naturally gluten-free. The recipe comes together fast and has only five main ingredients. A sprinkling of powdered sugar at the end is optional, but makes these look so nice! GET THE RECIPE

Greek Cookies

12. GREEK CHRISTMAS HONEY COOKIES (Melomakarona)

Melomakarona Greek honey cookies on a plate.

This recipe gives you the traditional Greek cookies that are always made around Christmas. Made with walnuts, cinnamon, honey, and olive oil (instead of butter), nothing says Greek cookies as this recipe. The honey is the sweetener of choice here, giving you perfect cookies that are not overly sweet. GET THE RECIPE

Norwegian Cookies

13. BRUNNE PINNER

Norwegian Brunne Pinner cookies on a platter.

These traditional Norwegian cookies are made with cinnamon and almonds and come out perfectly chewy. The name translated means “brown sticks” and these sweet sticks are easy to make (no rolling pin or cookie cutter required). GET THE RECIPE

Swedish Cookies

14. SWEDISH OATMEAL LACE COOKIES (HAVREFLARN)

Havreflarn Swedish Oatmeal lace cookies stacked on parchment paper.

These Swedish Oatmeal Lace cookies (Aka Havreflarn) are thin, delicate cookies that are both crispy and chewy. The oatmeal in the center makes these chewy, while the outside is baked to a perfect crispiness with a taste of caramel. These look complicated to make, but are actually very very easy. And the ingredient list is so simple, you probably have all the items needed on hand. GET THE RECIPE

Danish Cookies

15. DANISH BUTTER COOKIES

Danish butter cookies served on a plate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

This recipe for Danish Butter cookies gives you the most authentic version of them. The recipe has only six staple ingredients and is easy to put together. The only difficult part to this cookie is that you have to pipe it (You’ll need a Wilton M1 Piping Tip for this one), but the advantage is you don’t have to roll or cut anything out. GET THE RECIPE

Spanish Cookies

16. WHITE WINE COOKIES

Spanish white wine cookies on a plate with a cup of coffee in the background.

These Spanish White wine cookies look like little powdered donuts. They are hard cookies that people often use to dunk into tea or coffee. The dough has only 7 ingredients and these cookies are easy to make even if you are a beginning baker. GET THE RECIPE

Russian Cookies

17. PRYANIKI – RUSSIAN HONEY SPICE COOKIES

Pryaniki - Russian Honey Spice Cookies on a black cooling rack.

Pryaniki are cookies I grew up eating and I definitely crave them from time to time. This version looks really good, too! The cookies are flavored with honey and have different spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. This recipe gives you cookies that are crunchy from the outside, but still soft on the inside. GET THE RECIPE

Japanese Cookies

18. MATCHA MACADAMIA ALMOND FLOUR COOKIES

Matcha Macadamia cookies in a black bowl.

These Japanese matcha cookies are soft and chewy and these are gluten-free (made with almond flour) and dairy-free! And these come together in only 20 minutes. If you like matcha, these look absolutely yummy. GET THE RECIPE

Mexican Cookies

19. HOJARASCAS – MEXICAN SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Mexican Hojarascas cookies served on a golden plate.

These Mexican Shortbread cookies (or Hojarascas) are made with a sweet cinnamon and sugar coating. These are delicate and soft and are not overly sweet (yay!). If you use Lard, this is one cookie where you can use it. Otherwise, use butter or shortening (for a vegan version). GET THE RECIPE

Argentinian Cookies

20. ARGENTINIAN ALFAJORES COOKIES

Argentinian Alfajores cookies on a rack.

These Alfajores are soft, round sandwich cookies made with cornstarch and filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut flakes. The cookies are delicate, but also full of flavor. The cookies are popular in South America and look absolutely tempting. GET THE RECIPE

Israeli Cookies

21. CHOCOLATE HAMANTASCHEN COOKIES

Israelian Hamantaschen cookies on parchment paper.

These Hamantaschen cookies are traditional Jewish shortbread cookies in this case filled with chocolate. You can also fill them with jam, poppyseed, dulce de leche and other fillings. These are buttery and melty. Often made for Purim, these would be a great additional to any holiday table. GET THE RECIPE

21 International Cookie Recipes Collage

After scrolling through this list of International Cookie Recipes, is there a cookie that jumps out at you? Have you heard of any of these before or tried making them? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! Aside from my own recipe here, I am already looking forward to making a few of these in the future!

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