30 Tasty European Cookie Recipes to Try Out
When it comes to cookies, preferences vary, but this list of European cookies caters to so many tastes that it’s hard not to find a favorite.
Soft, crunchy, fruity, flaky – take your pick. With recipes for vegans and options easily adapted to suit paleo regimes, there’s a treat for everyone. So indulge, but not too much because there are even more coming.
Also known as biscotti, cantucci cookies will surprise you with their exceptional crunchiness and a sweet-nutty aroma that is simply irresistible. Traditionally, you would pair them with Vin Santo, a dessert wine, but they are equally delightful when enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea.
Since Byzantine times, melomakarona have been a cherished Greek tradition. These honey-soaked soft cookies, flavored with aromatic spices, remain a beloved Christmas dessert in Greece, offering a taste of history and warmth during festive seasons.
How about some Christmasy sweet, crumbly cookies infused with a hint of almond and generously dusted with powdered sugar? In Greece, they’re a must for seasonal celebrations, and one of the most popular cookies, and they could become your new favorites too.
When it comes to sandwich cookies, they present a great opportunity for creativity and experimentation. Linzer cookies typically feature the combination of almond flavor and a sweet jam filling, but you can easily customize them to your liking. Share your personal variation.
5. Chocolate Biscotti
These are a wonderful twist on the traditional Italian Christmas cookies recipe, with the same crunchy almond goodness but now with a rich cocoa flavor. Enjoyed as a snack or alongside a warm beverage, they can make any day feel better.
Piernik, or Polish ginger cake, is like a whirlwind of spicy sensations and one of the most popular Polish cookies. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom come together to tingle your taste buds and warm your soul. It’s a Christmas tradition as heartwarming as a cozy fireplace.
With their distinctive twisted shape and hints of lemon and orange zest, koulourakia are slightly crispy on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside. This lovely mix of spices and textures is what keeps both children and adults coming back for more.
It’s one of the most popular Easter treat in Greece, but you can definitely bake them all-year round.
8. Chocolate Melomakarona
This recipe puts a chocolatey spin on the traditional Greek Christmas treat: by coating them with a glossy layer of chocolate, melomakarona gain an irresistible cocoa richness, for a truly indulgent cookie.
9. Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread is like a delicious blank canvas – you can shape it into anything you fancy, whether it’s a jolly snowman in December or a sunny beach scene in July. Its adaptability makes it a year-round baking project!
Having a reputation for being the world’s finest, Swiss chocolate lends its unparalleled quality to brunzli, a type of almond meringue Swiss cookie celebrated for its crisp exterior and a luscious, chocolate-infused center.
Sometimes referred to as Dutch windmill cookies, speculaas are spiced biscuits with intricate designs and a unique blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. While they share a similar spicy and aromatic profile with gingerbread, Speculaas have a distinct flavor and thinner, crispier texture.
12. Chocolate Kourabiedes
While kourabiedes have been synonymous with special moments in Greek culture, this recipe breathes new life into the classic. The fusion of time-honored flavors with deep chocolate notes makes this a modern success.
Oreshki, a beloved Ukrainian cookie, are charmingly shaped like nuts and offer a delightful surprise inside. These bite-sized pastries boast a delicate, crunchy exterior, and when you bite into them, you discover a sweet filling that’s a true delight.
14. Walnut Crescent Cookies
Treat yourself to a simple joy that’s sweet, nutty, and oh-so comforting. These little crescent-shaped wonders are all about buttery bliss and the exquisite flavor of finely ground walnuts. They are a favorite Christmas food in Austria, but also popular in other Central and Eastern European countries.
Although the origin of Madeleines is shrouded in myth, what truly matters is that these delicious French cookies are easy to make and especially delicious. These delicate sponge cakes are perfect for special occasions and even as casual nibbles.
Zimtsterne, German cinnamon stars, are like tiny morsels of holiday magic and one of the most popular German cookies. With their chewy texture and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, these aromatic cookies capture the essence of festive traditions.
17. Custard Creams
These iconic British cookies have been a teatime favorite for generations with their velvety vanilla custard cream embraced between two crisp and gently sweetened biscuits. Great for when you want to feel like royalty.
Pepper on the ingredient list for a cookie? Absolutely! Embrace the unexpected with these enchanting German spice cookies – round, coated in confectioner’s sugar, and completely flavorsome.
19. Baci di Dama
Italy, home to outstanding art, sublime romance, and culinary mastery, also gifts the world Baci di Dama. These tiny, heavenly cookies unite the awesomeness of hazelnuts with the allure of chocolate in a perfect, sweet ‘kiss.’
20. Sweet Potato Cookies
Straight from Catalonia, panellets are soft, chewy delights that bring the wholesomeness of sweet potatoes to your sweet tooth. This is a vegetarian-friendly recipe, with no butter or milk but with a sensational marzipan flavor.
21. Pignoli Cookies
Create authentic pignoli cookies with just five simple ingredients: almond paste, pine nuts, egg whites, sugar, and a pinch of salt. This gluten-free recipe is surprisingly creamy without dairy, following easy steps that make it accessible for anyone.
22. Almond Paste Cookies
Affectionately named almond horns, these cookies are quite popular during the holidays in Germany. Shaped like a crescent moon with the ends dipped in chocolate, they are not only gluten-free but can also be made in paleo and vegan versions.
The best thing about lebkuchen? They can be decorated in countless ways. Try simple glazes, intricate icings, beautiful patterns with nuts or dried fruit, and even jam fillings or covering in chocolate. You’ll have as much fun decorating as eating them.
If you’re a bit particular about your sweets, give this recipe a try; it’s incredibly flexible. Not a fan of figs? Opt for raisins. Can’t locate masala wine? Grape juice or brandy will do just fine. Not satisfied with walnuts? Hazelnuts or pecans work equally well. Make this recipe your own.
25. Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies
This recipe has an amazing backstory. It was brought from the old continent two generations ago and adapted to satisfy new sweets enthusiasts. Savor cookies that have a nostalgic feel and timeless quality.
26. Berliner Krantz Cookies
“Berlin Wreaths” are a type of cookie predominantly made for Christmas. They are flaky and sweet, with a simple twisted design resembling a wreath (hence the name). Rain some pearl sugar or add sprinkles on top for a cute finish. Oh, and they’re actually Norwegian.
You might recognize this style as thumbprint cookies in the U.S. Essentially, they are pockets of sweet dough filled with a tart jam. In Swedish, hallongrottor translates as raspberry cave, a fitting description for this lovely shortbread.
28. Bosnian Butter Cookies
Made with semolina flour and infused with the bright zest of lemon, these shortbread cookies take on charming shapes resembling Madeleines or even adorable bear paws. No wonder they’re aptly named Šape in Bosnian. You might say they’re un-bear-ably delicious!
29. Orange Butter Cookies
For Christmas, fill the house with a citrusy aroma that turns wintertime into a true celebration, and let the joy of Romanian orange butter cookies be the sweet melody that wraps everyone in the warmth of the season. For more local delights, check out our round-up of the most popular Romanian cookies.
30. Walnut Cookies
The secret to making spectacular walnut cookies is to add something that will bind the ingredients but not make the filling too hard. In this case, it’s mascarpone. Once you know that, the recipe becomes a breeze. From now on, your cookies will always be magical.
That was quite the tour through the delectable world of European treats! We’ve sampled cookies from so many countries, each with different ingredients and flavors, but in the end, they all have something in common, they’re all amazingly tasty.