Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Christmas cookies with four ingredients or less

Kait Fowlie

The holidays are stressful enough, so save yourself some time as well as your sanity by cutting a few cookie corners. These quick and easy cookie recipes are so seriously tasty, you’ll stay on everyone’s nice list. We promise.

Cookie swap |

You’ve shopped till you’ve dropped and wrapped until your hands hurt; don’t slave in the kitchen for any longer than necessary. Here are a few four-ingredient recipes that will make you the star of the cookie swap, no sweat needed. Everything you need is in your pantry already. How’s that for simple? Keep these recipes saved; you’ll want them for future holidays.

Psst! Never participated in a cookie swap before? Here are our tips for organizing a Christmas cookie exchange >>

Classic shorbread |

Classic shortbread

Melt-in-your-mouth shortbread is the darling of the Christmas cookie swap. Who doesn’t love a sweet and buttery slice of shortbread? Now is your chance to break out that stash of cookie cutters you bought and forgot all about.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks


  1. Add the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt to a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the vanilla, butter and 1 teaspoon of water. Pulse until the dough is just formed.
  2. Wrap the dough in saran wrap, and form it into a 2 1/2-inch-thick log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch-thick discs, place them on a baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes.

Coconut date balls |

Coconut-and-date balls

This one’s for the crunch lovers out there. Sweetened with dates and flavoured with coconut, this no-bake treat has all the goodness of a rich chocolate truffle but won’t leave you with a sugar hangover.


  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews


  1. Place the dates in a food processor, and pulse until a paste forms.
  2. Add the almond meal, coconut, cashews and a pinch of salt. Process until combined.
  3. Roll into balls, and then roll the balls in the shredded coconut. Chill the balls in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Need more guilt-free cookie offerings this Christmas? Try this healthy vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe >>

Fudge crinkles |

Fudge crinkles

Quick, easy and beautiful on a festive plate, these fudge crinkles are so rich and gooey that giving them away might be a little heartbreaking. Cake mix is the key ingredient here. Feel free to use any flavour you’ve got on hand.


  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box of cake mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the dry cake mix, oil and eggs until combined.
  2. Dust your hands with the icing sugar, and shape the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the icing sugar, and then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes.

Cookie ball pops |

Cookie ball pops

This simple treat requires no baking, and it’s actually as fun to make them as it is to eat them. Get your kids to help decorate them!


  • 1 (250-gram) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package of Oreo cookie crumbs, finely crushed
  • 2 (170-gram) packages of Baker’s white chocolate
  • 3 drops of green food colouring (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract (optional)


  1. Mix the cream cheese, extract (if using) and cookie crumbs until blended. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls, and then refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate as directed on the package. Stir in the food colouring and the remaining extract, if using. Dip the balls into the chocolate, place them on a sheet of parchment paper, and decorate if desired with crushed candy canes or sprinkles. Stick a lollipop stick into each ball, or serve them as cookie ball truffles.

More on Christmas cookies

Homemade Christmas gift: Cookie mix in a jar
Blogger traditions: Christmas cookies
Why you should say “no” to Christmas cookies

Leave a Comment