On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a plate full of festive cookies!

It's the perfect time of year to bake big batches of cookies to give out to friends and family, teachers, or co-workers. And sure, you could just go out and buy a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough, but what would be the fun in that? We've chosen the 12 most festive cookie recipes we could find to bring extra cheer to your holiday season. Some are easy to make, while others require some artistry, but the results are always delicious, so treat yourself!

Spicy Gingerbread Men

Not only are these cookies fun to decorate, but they're also packed with seasonally-appropriate spices, like nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. See the full recipe at AllRecipes

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms

Courtesy of I Am Baker

We love this holiday twist on the classic Hershey kiss cookie. These have the same peanut butter and chocolate flavors you've been craving, but are made with red gel food coloring and red sanding sugar. See the full recipe at I Am Baker

Santa's Trash Cookies

Give Santa a plate of cookies loaded with trash this year! Okay, not literally. But these cookies have tons of sweet odds and ends to make them look like a trash bag full of holiday wrapping paper. Ingredients include crushed potato chips, pretzels, chocolate chips, and red and green sprinkles. See the full recipe at Delish

Gluten-Free Stained Glass Cookies

Courtesy of Noshtastic

Not only are these cookies gorgeous to look at, they're also easy to make and free of gluten. You'll use jolly ranchers for the stained glass effect. See the full recipe at Noshtastic.


Eggnog Meltaways

These cookies won't get you drunk, but they do have flavors of rum and bourbon to get you into the spirit of things. There's no eggs, either, and you can use a butter substitute to make these vegan. See the full recipe at Food Network

Peppermint Pattie-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Surprise! These aren't your grandma's chocolate chip cookies -- unless your grandma also stuffed hers with actual candy. These are also topped with red and green sprinkles for a festive look. See the full recipe at Delish

Neapolitan Holiday Cookies

We love the holiday colors in these cookies, and flavors of raspberry and apricot jam. They're even topped with dark chocolate. See the full recipe at Food Network

Snowflake Macarons 

Courtesy of Duhlicious

If you need a break from red-and-green, try making these winter-themed cookies. They're filled with a homemade white chocolate ganache filling (YUM!), and they're gluten-free. See the full recipe at Duhlicious

Lemon Thyme Coin Cookies

Made with fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest, these cookies are full of unique flavor. See the full recipe at Good Housekeeping

Zebra-Striped Shortbread Cookies

This twist on the classic shortbread cookie combines vanilla and chocolate for the best of both worlds. When you're done baking, you can cover the edges in red and green sanding sugar for a festive look. See the full recipe at Bon Appetit

Eggnog Frosted Snickerdoodle Snowmen

The flavors in this recipe combine to create something extra special. These cookies are loaded with chai spices and topped with a homemade frosting made with actual eggnog. See the full recipe at Half Baked Harvest

Raspberry Rugelach 

These sweet and tart cookies are made using cream cheese, orange zest, jam, and freeze-dried raspberries. They also look like a work of art. See the full recipe at Bon Appetit

What are your favorite holiday cookie recipes? Let us know in the comments below, and if you try one of the above recipes, show us your final product!