Cute & colorful classic Christmas cookies

A collection of cute & colorful classic Christmas cookies

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

Stained glass cookies (1960s & 1970s)


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2 cups Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon [baking] soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
5 food colors

Mix thoroughly butter, confectioners’ sugar, egg and flavorings. Blend in flour, soda and cream of tartar. Divide dough in half; color portions of one half with food colors. Cover dough; chill 2 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375 F. Roll plain half of dough ‘/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Cut with tree, star, ball or other decorative cookie cutters. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Roll colored doughs; cut out different shapes to fit on top of each plain cookie shape.

If you wish to hang the cookies on your Christmas tree, insert small piece of paper drinking straw through top of each cookie before baking. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown on edges. About 2 dozen cookies.

* If using self-rising flour, omit soda and cream of tartar.

** For brightly colored cookies, use paste food color, available in most specialty stores.

From Betty Crocker/General Mills, Inc. 1966 & 1971

Stained glass Christmas cookies - Vintage recipe 1960s

Stained glass Christmas cookies - Vintage recipe 1971

Christmas bell and tree cookies (1954)

Mix well:
1/2 cup soft shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp, vanilla

Sift together, them stir in:

1-1/2 cups sifted GOLD MEDAL Flour
1/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Color 2/3 of dough red or green. Mold this into 1-1/2″ x 10″ roll and chill. For bell shape, squeeze top half together, leaving lower half flared and curving like a bell. For tree shape, squeeze into triangle.

Save 1/4 cup of white dough in form bell clappers or tree trunks. Roll out rest of white dough on paper into a 10 x 4″ rectangle large enough to cover colored dough. Trim edges. Wrap around colored dough. Chill.

Heat oven 375 F (quick moderate). Slice dough with sharp knife. 1/8″ thick. Place on ungreased baking sheet 1/2″ apart. Press tiny balls of white dough in bottom of bells to form clappers, or to trees to form trunks. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.

Vintage Gold Medal Christmas bell and tree cookies from 1954

Merry Maker cookies (1962)


1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
Food coloring and decors


Mix sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Mix dry ingredients; blend in. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Heat oven to 375. Make an assortment of Merry Makers, rolling tough to 1/8″ thickness. Place on lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until delicately golden.

Jester palette

Blend 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water. Divide among several small custard cups, one for each color. Add McCormick-Schilling food coloring to each cup for desired color. Paint designs on cookies with small paint brushes before baking.

Merry Maker cookies recipe - Vintage Christmas 1962

Kaleidojokes: Divide dough into several parts; make each a different color. Roll bits of several colored doughs together to make patchwork or roll each separately and fit several colored pieces together to make design. Cut cookies; sprinkle with decors, if desired.

Fools’ caps: Shape leftover bits of dough, 1/8″ thick, over metal pastry tube tips. Bake on tips.

Checkmates: Divide half of dough in several parts; make each a different color. Roll untinted half of dough; cut in desired shapes. Roll, cut and press pieces of colored doughs onto uncolored cookies to make designs. Sprinkle with decors, if desired. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Merry Maker cookies - shapes and colors - 1962

A treasury of 150+ vintage Christmas cookie recipes

Rainbow cookies (1972)


1 cup butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Red, green and yellow food coloring


Cream butter; add sugar gradually; blend in vanilla, salt and flour. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Tint one part pink, one part green, one part yellow, and leave remaining part plain. Shape 1/4 of each piece of dough into a long rope-like strip 1/2 inch thick.

Place the 4 colored strips side by side on a lightly floured surface. Roll out lengthwise into a rectangle 14 x 3 inches. Cut with large round cooky cutter so that each cooky has 4 colored strips. Repeat process with remaining dough. Reroll all extra pieces together, cut into rounds, making marbled cookies. Place on greased cooky sheets. Bake… 350 degrees about 10 minutes.

Makes approximately 7 dozen, depending on size.

Rainbow cookies (1972)

Peppermint pinwheel cookies (1966)


1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1 egg white for topping
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup sugar for topping
1/4 cup finely crushed peppermint candy


Cream butter; add sugar gradually. Beat in egg and flavorings. Blend in sifted dry ingredients. Divide dough in half. Mix food coloring into one half of dough. Chill doughs until firm.

Roll one half of white dough into an 8-inch square on floured canvas. Roll one half of red dough into an 8-inch square. Place white square on top of red square. Roll as for jelly roll. Repeat with remaining dough. Wrap in waxed paper; chill overnight. Cut into 1/8 inch slices.

Place on greased cooky sheets. Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 10 minutes. Mix egg white and water; brush on hot cookies. Sprinkle with combined sugar and peppermint candy.

Makes about 10 dozen peppermint pinwheel cookies

Peppermint pinwheel cookies (1966)

Colored pastel sugar cookies (1962)

Ribbon Christmas cookies (1966)

Vintage Christmas cookies - Ribbon - Wisconsin 1966

Pillsbury’s Frosted Christmas cookies

Ingredients & directions

Sift and measure 2 cups flour. Add 4 teaspoons baking powder (or 2-1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder) and 3/4 teaspoon salt; sift.

Cream 1/2 cup shortening; add 1 cup sugar gradually; cream well.

Add 1 egg, well-beaten, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat well.

Add dry ingredients; mix well.

Add 1-1/2 squares (1-1/2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted, to 1/2 the dough; blend well. Chill doughs slightly.

Roll out on floured board to 1/8″ thickness. Cut with various shaped cutters (floured).

Bake in hot oven (400 F) for 8 to 10 minutes. When cold, frost with plain confectioners’ sugar icing. Tint icing in different vegetable colors and flavor with various extracts. Sprinkle with colored crystallized sugar and dragees. Sprinkle crystallized sugar on some cookies before baking.

Frosted christmas cookies pillsbury 1950s

Classic gingerbread houses: 28 clever Christmas creations made with cookies & candy (1987)

Dream cookies

From McCormick-Schilling

1963 McCormick Christmas cookies

Get 7 classic recipes for deliciously decadent old-fashioned 7-layer bars (aka magic cookie bars)

Vintage Christmas cookies – Star Brights (1968)

Vintage Christmas cookies - Star Brights - Wisconsin 1968

Colorful butter spritz Christmas cookies recipe (1985)

Vintage colorful Butter spritz Christmas cookies recipe from 1985

Colorful spritz-topped Christmas cookies

Colorful spritz-topped Christmas cookies - retro recipe

Pastel pretties retro Christmas cookies from 1967

Pastel pretties retro Christmas cookies from 1967

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest. Thanks for visiting and for supporting a small business! 🤩 


You might also like...

The fun never ends:

Comments on this story

One Response

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.