The Best Christmas Cookies In Every State

Christmas baking table scene with assorted sweets and cookies, top view over a rustic wood background


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Delicious homemade Christmas cookies and festive decor on wooden table
Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

Christmas Cookie Craze

Getting a container of cookies from your neighbor during Christmastime is sort of like getting a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day: You wind up sifting through the medley in search of your favorite varieties. Have you ever wondered if your favorite Christmas cookie aligns with the rest of your state's preferences? A map shared with USA Today breaks it down, naming the most-searched Christmas cookies in each state according to Google Trends.

Related: Best Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas homemade gingerbread cookies
Christmas Cookies by the Tree

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Break out the cookie cutters, frosting, and sprinkles — sugar cookies are the optimal decorating cookie for a fun (and edible) Christmas activity. This go-to, classic cookie is the favorite in these states: 

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • New Mexico
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

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Italian Christmas Cookies a soft and sweet cake-like cookie covered with icing and sprinkles closeup in the plate. Horizontal

Italian Christmas Cookies

From cake-like cookies glazed with icing to rainbow cookies, the repertoire of Italian Christmas cookies is as expansive as it is tasty. With a prominent Italian-American population in the Northeast, it's no wonder they're the best Christmas cookies in these states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

Homebaked Cookie Bars With Chocolate Chips, Cranberry, Coconut,

Christmas Bar Cookies

Between chocolate chips and M&M's to brookies, cookie bars are always reliable. Here's where they're the fan favorite at Christmastime:

  • Illinois
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Peanut butter blossom cookies up close with rows of cookies behind on wooden cutting board.
Jen Tepp/istockphoto

Peanut Butter Blossoms

If a chewy peanut butter cookie rolled in sugar with a Hershey kiss in the center doesn't sound appetizing to you, you might not be from one of these states where it's the No. 1 Yuletide choice:

  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Wisconsin

Shortbread cookies
Emily Carlin / Flickr

Mini Christmas Cookies

There's something so endearing about a bite-sized piece of shortbread with red and green sprinkles. Mini Christmas cookies are the holiday favorite in California.

Peanut butter cookies on ceramic plate. Close-up view. Light grey concrete background. Morning breakfast or lunch. Tasty snack.

Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies

Straightforward and slightly salty, peanut butter cookies are good any time of year, but they're best enjoyed during the holiday season if you're from Nevada. 

Candy Cane Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies by leah1201l (CC BY-NC-ND)

Candy Cane Cookies

You don't have to enjoy peppermint to love candy cane cookies. These sugar cookies look like candy canes but taste like, well, sugar. They're the most beloved cookie in New Hampshire and Utah during the holidays.

Mexican Homemade Cookies (hojarascas)

Mexican Christmas Cookies

Hojarascas pack a punch in the flavor department with their cinnamon-sugar highlights. Folks in Arizona and Oklahoma opt for Mexican Christmas cookies during holiday baking.

Walnut Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies are basically the powdered doughnut of the cookie world, and they get the most holiday hype from Colorado residents. 

Mug of a fragrant hot chocolate or coffee with marshmallows

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Why drink hot chocolate when you can eat it in cookie form? That's the philosophy in Kansas, where these chocolatey, mini marshmallow-laden cookies are a Christmastime favorite.

Springerle cookies

Springerle Cookies

These German cookies boast intricate, embossed designs and a buttery flavor, and according to Texans, they're the best Christmas cookie there is.

Cookies with cracks

Ube Christmas Cookies

Hawaii is practically a mecca for all things ube, so it only makes sense that ube Christmas cookies are the state's holiday favorite.

Holiday spritz cookies with icing

Spritz Cookies

Almond extract gives spritz cookies a distinct flavor, and they're one of the most beloved decorative cookies — especially in Iowa.

Red velvet shortbread cookies on cooling rack

Red Velvet Cookies

The color alone is enough to make red velvet cookies a good go-to for Christmas baking; the cream cheese frosting is merely a bonus. They're the holiday favorite in Missouri.

Kitchen sink cookies
itshomemade/ Flickr

Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies

We've all heard the saying, "everything but the kitchen sink." If that's the notion for Christmas cookies, you might add ingredients like chocolate chips, M&M's, sprinkles, pretzels, and a partridge in a pear tree to your batter. The practice is so common in Arkansas that kitchen sink Christmas cookies earned the state's No. 1 spot.

Kolacky with Raspberry. Pastry with jelly and cream. Polish Kolaczki cookies, freshly baked
Tatyana Consaul/istockphoto

Polish Christmas Cookies

Polish cookies — namely kolaczki, which are filled with fruit preserves — aren't just a good tea time treat. They're also ideal for Christmas, and are a favorite in Alabama and Michigan.

Mexican wedding cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Not to be confused with snowball cookies because of the powdered sugar coating, Mexican wedding cookies are in a league of their own. They're the top Christmas cookie in Indiana and West Virginia.

Christmas cookies and Christmas tree

Royal Icing Christmas Cookies

When it comes to decorating Christmas cookies, you can let the kids go wild with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles on sugar cookies. Or, if you're after something more aesthetically pleasing, royal icing is the way to go — especially in Kentucky, where royal icing Christmas cookies are the favorite.

Linzer Christmas cookies filled with raspberry jam on concrete background

Linzer Cookies

A jam-filled, buttery cookie with powdered sugar sprinkled on top is the gist of Linzer cookies, which are the top choice in Massachusetts.

Top view of traditional Linzer cookies with raspberry jam heart on table. Christmas or Valentines day traditional homemade heart shaped cookies, tasty snack.
Alexander Lyakhovskiy/istockphoto

German Christmas Cookies

Pfeffernüsse and Spitzbuben are just a couple of beloved German Christmas cookies. Bakers in Maryland consider them the star of the show during the holidays.

Pepparkakor in a glass jar

Moravian Cookies

Regarded as the "world's thinnest cookie," Moravian cookies lean on molasses and myriad spices for flavor. In North Carolina, they're the top pick at Christmastime.

Homemade cookies on wooden table.

Christmas Butter Cookies

Leave them plain like a shortbread cookie, add some sprinkles, or dip them in chocolate. There are tons of ways to enjoy Christmas butter cookies — just ask Floridians, who consider this the best Christmas cookie around.