I have an in with the North Pole, and rumor has it that St. Nick is itching for some new Christmas cookies this year. Chocolate chippers are great (check out our favorites around town here), but by his seven millionth house or so, Santa craves something different. And if you’ve been handing out snowman-shaped sugar cookies as gifts year after year, so do your friends and family. There’s no need to dust your kitchen in flour, though; we found six delicious and festive confections from some of our favorite NYC bakeries. Below, find the cream-of-the-crop cookie for everyone in your life.
For your Sicilian nonna: Cuccidati Cookies from Court Pastry Shop
Italian grandmothers know exactly what you’re craving at any given time. (At least mine did.) Having a bad day? Come over for some chicken parm. Feeling sick? Pasta e fagioli will cure every ailment. The best way to mend a broken heart? Bury yourself in a tower of lasagna. Now treat the woman who practically raised you with a holiday tradition of yesteryear. Sprinkled with a rainbow of pellets, the cookie from this old-school Italian bakery on (appropriately) Cobble Hill’s Court Street is filled with standard flavors (fig, nutmeg, cinnamon) and surprising textures (whole almonds hidden within!). 298 Court Street, Cobble Hill
For your kid’s ridiculously patient teacher: Penelope Cookies from One Girl Cookies
It takes a lot of sugar to fuel a teacher’s day wrangling thirty or so students/maniacs, who are likely hopped up on sweets themselves. Help the cause with a box of these one-bite Penelopes; your teacher can stash them in his desk drawer and pop ’em in his mouth all at once before any of the kids get wise to his in-class snacking. Filled with apricot preserves, these thumbprint cookies are both flavorful and sweet. The crushed roasted almonds and walnuts coating the outer dough offer a savory balance while tasting like an open fire. 68 Dean Street, Cobble Hill; 33 Main Street, Dumbo; 254 36th Street, Industry City
For true-blue New Yawkahs: Green + White Cookies from William Greenberg Desserts
Your born-and-bred friend has a lot of strong feelings about the city he calls home: Millennials caused gentrification; Mayor De Blasio doesn’t know how to eat pizza; the MTA is letting the subway system deteriorate on purpose. When it comes to desserts, though, he could debate for hours about who makes the best black and white cookie in the boroughs. Sure, nearby Bavarian neighbor Glaser’s takes the cake for originating the recipe way back in 1902 (along with being topped with frostings you’d want to spread on everything). But where else can you indulge on one that’s both delicious and embodies the holiday season? The answer lies inside this kosher bakery on the Upper East Side. 1100 Madison Avenue (between East 82nd and 83rd Streets), Upper East Side
For your friends who prefer savory over sweet: Basler Leckerli from Leckerlee
And now, for some European fun facts. Did you know that, in Germany, Santa Claus has a demonic, clove-hoofed sidekick named Krampus? German Christmas sounds a lot quirkier than what we experience on this side of the pond, so it deserves a cookie to complement it. Fortunately, the seasoned (and seasonal) vendor of these spiced biscuits—currently residing at the Union Square and Columbus Circle holiday markets until Christmas Eve—is readily equipped with soft, Nuremberg-style citrus cookies, laced with orange and lemon peel, almonds, honey, and Kirsch. 59 Franklin Street (between Broadway and Benson Street), Tribeca; Union Square Holiday Market, Union Square at 14th Street; Columbus Circle Holiday Market, 59th Street and Central Park West
For your drinking buddies: Eggnog Sandwich Cookies from Ovenly
The Brooklynite bakers behind the female-owned Ovenly, Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga, boast a hyper-seasonal sandwich cookie that will give your hot toddy a run for its money. Squeezing together a grown-up rum buttercream filling are two spiced cookies encrusted with sugar crystals and spiked with spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon) and, yes, more rum. Should your eggnog craving linger into New Year’s, the recipe has been making the Internet rounds for a few years. 31 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint; 210 Flatbush Avenue, Park Slope; Urbanspace Vanderbilt Market, 230 Park Avenue (between East 45th and 46th Streets), Midtown East
For your Oprah-loving sister-in-law: White Chocolate Candy Cane Pretzel Cookies from Maman
The modern-day Renaissance woman is also, unsurprisingly, the ultimate gift-giver. Aside from giving every single audience member his or her own brand-new car that one time, stories about her generosity on- and off-set make us a little green with envy. Fortunately, the 20th edition of her annual Favorite Things list is stuffed with ideas for every stocking. The sweetest entry of 2017, though? This irresistibly stylish mashup from the kitchens of triple threat (baker/designer/event planner) Elisa Marshall. Multiple locations
Get in touch with our experience advisers for a custom Christmas Cookie Crawl of New York City.