Love it or hate it, the holiday season fast approaches. Temperatures have officially dropped and the streets all shine with the icy sparkle of holiday lights. It’s time to start thinking about Christmas baking and what better place to begin than cookie territory?

Christmas cookies hold a special place in the hearts of many. Not only do they make great gifts, they are a quick and easy way to feed dessert to a hungry holiday crowd. I especially love serving cookies and milk on Christmas Eve as a playful homage to the tradition of leaving out treats for Santa Claus. This list of cookies covers all your baking basics and then some. Pass the milk, please!

With a buttery crunch and a burst of inviting coconut flavour, Super Thin and Crispy Coconut Cookies add a bit delicate elegance to any cookie platter. (Via Foodienarium.)

Super Thin and Crispy Coconut Cookies

Chewy, spicy and completely classic: Molasses Cookies are an age-old favourite for the holiday season. Rolling these cookies in sugar adds a festive sparkle. (Via Sift and Whisk.)

Molasses Cookies

Chocolate Coffee Pistachio Biscottiare all dressed up in seasonal style thanks to the addition of bright red sprinkles. I love the idea of packaging these tasty cookie fingers in red and white bags. They make great gifts! (Via Jackie’s Happy Plate.)

Chocolate Coffee Pistachio Biscotti

How cute are these? Sugar Tree Cookies are adorable stacks of winter green cookie “branches”. A fun project to make with the kids on a snowy December afternoon. (Via Leanna Bakes.)

Sugar Tree Cookies

The holidays are all about indulgence so why not go all out with your cookies? Christmas Chocolate Drops are fudgey bites of chocolate richness with a toothsome walnut crunch. (Via Nutritious Eats.)

Christmas Chocolate Drops

Ruby red with a light dusting of sweet, white snow, Red Velvet Cookies are a new and delicious take on your favourite cake. (Via Food Fanatic.)

Red Velvet Cookies

Almond Linzer Cookies with Cranberry Jam are tender and nutty with a bright, tart filling. I serve this cookie with a nice pot of herbal tea and plenty of Christmas music. (Via Cooking Melangery.)

Almond Linzer Cookies

Festive and fun! Peppermint Patty Stuffed Ritz Crackers are dipped in chocolate and finished with a candy-cane crunch. (Via The Gunny Sack.)

Peppermint Patty Stuffed Ritz Crackers

For a more sophisticated nibble, look to Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce. Sweet and buttery cookies with a rum-infused sauce for dipping: sign me up! (Via Willow Bird Baking.)

Toasted Pecan Shortbread

Cranberry-Orange-White Chocolate Cookies combine all the flavours of the season in one incredible cookie. Serve with cold milk and your favourite holiday film. (Via Mess Makes Food.)

Cranberry-Orange-White Chocolate Cookies

What’s your favourite holiday cookie to bake in December?