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The Ina Garten Christmas Cookies We’ll Be Making All Season Long


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Need tips on entertaining? Turn to Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten. Need a relatively easy recipe that’s sure to impress your family? Look no further than the cookbook Garten wrote for and dedicated to her husband, Jeffrey. Need to simplify your life with cooking hacks you only wish you knew yesterday? Garten’s your gal.

Do you sense a theme here? When it comes to life in the kitchen, Garten knows all.

The author of 13 cookbooks — she most recently released Go-To Dinners in October Garten certainly knows her way around the kitchen. With likely hundreds of published recipes to choose from, we can’t say we have one favorite recipe, but we will say it’s her desserts we just can’t get enough of, especially with Christmas mere days away.

Whether you’re expecting guests this holiday season or you want to bake a batch of sweet treats to share with your friends, family and neighbors, ahead we’ve gathered all of Garten’s best Christmas cookie recipes.

Spicy Hermit Bars

Christmas gingerbread cookies.

Image: iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Image: iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Made with dark rum, golden raisins, and tons of flavorful spices, Garten’s Spicy Hermit Bars are a unique treat that will dazzle your tastebuds this holiday season! The recipe for these delicious gingerbread-esque bars was originally published in Garten’s 2016 cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey.

Get the recipe from Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Raisin pecan oatmeal cookies

iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

While you might not think of oatmeal raisin cookies as a traditional holiday treat, Garten’s version is made with cinnamon and dark brown sugar that is simply irresistible! You could even switch out the raisins for dried cranberries for an extra festive feel. This recipe was originally published in the 2008 Back to Basics cookbook.  

Get the recipe from Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients: A Cookbook $16.33

Ginger Shortbread Cookies

Ginger shortbread cookies by Ina Garten.

Image: Gracie Carroll/Edit Seven
Image: Gracie Carroll/Edit Seven

A sprinkle of the season’s festive ginger makes these tasty shortbread cookies extra delicious. Garten’s Ginger Shortbread Recipe comes from her 2014 Make It Ahead book, and they are so easy to make.

Get the recipe from Edit Seven.

Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook $17.40

Pecan Sandies

pecan sandies, ina garten

Image: Chana’s Art Room.
Image: Chana’s Art Room

From roasted pecans to sugarcoated pecans, it’s hard to resist this nut during the holidays. And they’re the best on sandies. This pecan sandies recipe is from Garten’s 2012, New York Times best-selling cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.

Get the recipe from Chana’s Art Room.

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust: A Cookbook $13.87 on

Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Ina Garten's ginger cookies
Image: Eating My Words.

Gingerbread cookies are the ultimate Christmas cookie, and these ginger cookies from Garten are to die for. This recipe makes 12 to 16 cookies and cooks in just 13 minutes. You’ll just need some pantry staples like ground cloves, ground ginger, and unsulphured molasses.

Get the recipe from Eating My Words.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

ina garten, chocolate hazelnut cookies

Image: noirchocolate/Adobe Stock.
noirchocolate/Adobe Stock

Straight from the pages of Garten’s 2010 cookbook, How Easy Is That?, Garten writes of these irresistible shortbread cookies: “I love the combination of shortbread, roasted hazelnuts, and chocolate. The shortbread can be baked in advance, wrapped with plastic, and then filled with Nutella just before serving.” This recipe makes 18 cookies and bakes in just 20 to 25 minutes.

Get the recipe from People/Ina Garten.

Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips $22.88 on

Shortbread Cookies

shortbread, ina garten cookies

Image: Lana_M/Adobe Stock.
Lana_M/Adobe Stock

Sure, you have to wait an hour and 15 minutes before you can chow down on these shortbread cookies, but they’re 100 percent worth the wait. This recipe makes 20 cookies and comes from the Barefoot Contessa episode titled “Impromptu Dinner.”  These cookies call for vanilla extract, so make sure to use Garten’s favorite.

Get the recipe from  Ina Garten/Food Network.

Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract, with Gift Box, 4 ounces $21.95 on

Fruitcake Cookies

ina garten fruitcake cookies

Image: galiyahassan/Adobe Stock.
galiyahassan/Adobe Stock

I know, I know — why would I ever include fruitcake in a list of tasty recipes? Believe it or not, Ina has found a way to make this infamous holiday dessert not only palatable but downright delicious. Just trust us on this one, OK? You’ll just need to pick up a few things, including candied cherries, dried apricots, and dried figs.

Get the recipe from Ina Garten/Food Network.

Cherry-Pistachio Biscotti

ina garten biscotti

Image: nadiia_diachenko/Adobe Stock.
nadiia_diachenko/Adobe Stock

A cold day calls for a hot cup of joe and homemade biscotti — and Garten’s cherry-pistachio biscotti will be gone before you know it. Considered an intermediate-level recipe, this makes 25 to 30 biscotti and was published in Garten’s 2016 cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey.

Get the recipe from Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook $19.88 on

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

ina garten thumbprint cookies

Image: ShpilbergStudios/Adobe Stock.
ShpilbergStudios/Adobe Stock

They’re the cookies your grandma always set out every Christmas, and Garten’s recipe might just be as good as Meemaw’s. Filled with your pick of raspberry or apricot jam (you can’t go wrong with Bonne Maman), this intermediate recipe makes 32 cookies.

Get the recipe from Maura McEvoy/Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves $4.56

Mini Linzer Cookies

linzer cookies, ina garten

Image: tilialucida/Adobe Stock.
tilialucida/Adobe Stock

Another Christmas classic dessert, these traditional Linzer cookies will hit you with a wave of nostalgia. Much like thumbprint cookies, these sugar-dusted, bite-size delights are filled with raspberry preserves. And this particular intermediate recipe yields 36 cookies.

Get the recipe from Food Network/Clarkson Potter.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

chocolate chunk cookies, ina garten cookies

Image: azurita/Adobe Stock.
azurita/Adobe Stock

We’ve saved the best for last: good, old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies. You absolutely cannot go wrong with a freshly baked batch of chocolate chunk cookies, and of course, Garten’s recipe is a reliable one. Making 36 to 40 cookies, this recipe, pulled from Garten’s 2001 cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties, calls for walnuts, semisweet chocolate chunks, brown sugar and more.

Get the recipe from James Merrell/Clarkson Potter/Food Network.

Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really Fun $22.88 on

A version of this article was originally published December 2018.

Before you go, check out these Ina Garten-Approved holiday gift ideas:

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