The eating season is upon us. Our neighbours to the south started in earnest with Thanksgiving, but there's no reason we Canadians can't join in — Hanukkah started on November 27 for eight days, and then we're into December. It'll be Christmas before you know it, which means you need to start preparing your edible arsenal — and what better way to spread the holiday cheer than with cookies?

Cookies could be the perfect dessert, thanks to their versatility. You can have just one if you want a small treat, or sample a variety if you're going all out. You can make several different kinds for variety, or stick to your tried-and-true favourites. And in a pretty package, they're the holiday gift that manages to be thoughtful and cost conscious.

We've rounded up 20 of our favourite cookie recipes. They're perfect for a holiday cookie exchange, giving as gifts, or bringing to work to spread some seasonal cheer.

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  • Mexican Wedding Cookies

    These pretty cookies look like they're covered in snow, but feel a bit more sophisticated than the standard snowball cookie. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/mexican-wedding-cookies-91976.aspx" target="_blank">Kraft Recipes</a>.

  • Shortbread

    You don't want to mess around with a holiday classic, so we turn to Martha, who can always be relied upon for a great recipe. Learn how to create these at <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/332945/shortbread-cookies" target="_blank">Martha Stewart</a>.

  • Gingerbread

    Sure, gingersnaps are great, but these soft gingerbread cookies can't be beat. Learn how to create these at <a href="http://theparsimoniousprincess.blogspot.ca/2010/12/only-in-december-best-gingerbread.html" target="_blank">The Parsimonious Princess</a>.

  • Matcha Cookies

    These tea-based cookies are a fresh way to add a touch of green to your dessert table in December — with the bonus of some antioxidant properties included! Learn how to create these at <a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/quick-and-easy/green-tea-latte-icebox-cookies/" target="_blank">Chatelaine</a>.

  • Sugar Cookies

    It's hard to get simpler than sugar cookies, but sometimes simple is best. If you want to get a little bit fancy, add some red and green sprinkles to the top. Learn how to create these at <a href="http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/9870/easy-sugar-cookies" target="_blank">AllRecipes.com</a>.

  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

    Mmm, chocolate cracks! Here's another recipe that's simple but delicious. Some cookies are classics for a reason. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/chocolate-crinkle-cookies.html" target="_blank">Williams Sonoma</a>.

  • Spritz Cookies

    We like the classic flower shape seen here, but if you search on eBay or even at the dollar store, you can find a treasure trove of spritz cookie presses — everything from Christmas trees to camels. Learn how to create these at the <a href="http://www.joyofbaking.com/cookierecipes/SpritzCookies.html" target="_blank">Joy of Baking</a>.

  • Snickerdoodles

    What tastes more like Christmas than cinnamon? Nothing. The answer is nothing. Try out these snickerdoodles and you'll see why. Learn how to create these at <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/snickerdoodles/8576/" target="_blank">Food Network Canada</a>.

  • Chocolate Mint Cookies

    Okay, cinnamon tastes like Christmas, but mint tastes like winter. We guess you'll just have to make both types of cookie. Learn how to create this at <a href="http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/chocolate-mint-cookies-46" target="_blank">Nigella's website</a>.

  • Chai Sugar Cookies Stack

    And if cinnamon tastes like Christmas, then chai is like cinnamon on steroids. I think you see where we're going with this theme. These are sugar cookies made sophisticated. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/chai-cookies/" target="_blank">My Baking Addiction</a>.

  • Lingonberry Sandwich Cookies

    Love the Swedish food offerings at your local Ikea? Then you'll want to make these cookies, which use the popular Scandinavian berry. Learn how to create these gorgeous cookies at <a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/cookies/christmas-cookies-lingonberry-sandwich-cookies/" target="_blank">Chatelaine</a>.

  • Icebox Cookies

    Need a bunch of cookies during the holidays — but not all at once? Check out this recipe for basic icebox cookies to let you bake and prepare as needed, with the bonus of these adorable lion cookies included too. Learn how to create these at <a href="http://www.diamondsfordessert.com/2011/01/lion-cookies.html" target="_blank">Diamonds For Dessert.</a>

  • Raspberry-Almond Linzer

    It's a bonus that delicious raspberries have a very festive colour, but you could also make these with a different berry of your choice. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/raspberry-almond-linzer-cookies-00000000046663/index.html" target="_blank">Real Simple</a>.

  • Rugelach

    Let's not leave out other winter holidays — celebrators of Hanukkah could use cookies too! These delicious Jewish favourites could only be called miraculous. Learn how to create these at the <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/rugelach-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">Food Network</a>.

  • Peppermint Meringue

    So adorable! And these striped meringue-based cookies are also gluten free, and can be dairy-free if you use coconut or soy cream instead of dairy in the ganache. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/296264/mini-peppermint-meringue-cups-with-ganac?czone=food%2Fholiday-cookies-center%2Fholiday-cookies-recipes&gallery=274912&slide=296264&center=276951" target="_blank">Martha Stewart</a>.

  • Coconut Macaroons

    Macaroons look fancy, but these have just five ingredients, which means they're an attainable sort of luxury. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/coconut-macaroons" target="_blank">Food & Wine</a>.

  • Chestnut Meltaways

    Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ... save some chestnuts when you make stuffing, and use them to make these tasty (and gluten-free!) cookies. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/cookies/gluten-free-roasted-chestnut-meltaway-christmas-cookies/" target="_blank">Chatelaine</a>.

  • Lebkuchen

    These delicious ginger-flavoured cookies are criminally under-appreciated in North America. They're satisfyingly sweet and crunchy on top, then chewy on the inside. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lebkuchen" target="_blank">Food & Wine</a>.

  • Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    There's never a time of year when chewy chocolate chip cookies aren't welcome, but you can give them a special twist with chocolate-mint chips, red and green M&Ms, or bits of crushed-up candy canes. Learn how to create them at <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/344840/soft-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies" target="_blank">Martha Stewart</a>.

  • Maple Bacon Icebox Cookies

    Because if you can't get ridiculous during the holiday season, when can you?! Learn how to create these at <a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/quick-and-easy/maple-bacon-icebox-cookies/" target="_blank">Chatelaine</a>.

Mexican Wedding Cookies: These pretty cookies look like they're covered in snow, but feel a bit more sophisticated than the standard snowball cookie.

Learn how to create them at Kraft Recipes.

Shortbread: You don't want to mess around with a holiday classic, so we turn to Martha, who can always be relied upon for a great recipe.

Learn how to create these at Martha Stewart.

Gingerbread: Sure, gingersnaps are great, but these soft gingerbread cookies can't be beat.

Learn how to create these at The Parsimonious Princess.

Matcha Cookies: These tea-based cookies are a fresh way to add a touch of green to your dessert table in December — with the bonus of some antioxidant properties included!

Learn how to create these at Chatelaine.

Sugar Cookies: It's hard to get simpler than sugar cookies, but sometimes simple is best. If you want to get a little bit fancy, add some red and green sprinkles to the top.

Learn how to create these at AllRecipes.com.

Chocolate Crinkle: Mmm, chocolate cracks! Here's another recipe that's simple but delicious. Some cookies are classics for a reason.

Learn how to create them at Williams Sonoma.

Spritz Cookies: We like the classic flower shape seen here, but if you search on eBay or even at the dollar store, you can find a treasure trove of spritz cookie presses — everything from Christmas trees to camels.

Learn how to create these at the Joy of Baking.

Snickerdoodle: What tastes more like Christmas than cinnamon? Nothing. The answer is nothing. Try out these snickerdoodles and you'll see why.

Learn how to create these at Food Network Canada.

Chocolate Mint: Okay, cinnamon tastes like Christmas, but mint tastes like winter. We guess you'll just have to make both types of cookie.

Learn how to create this at Nigella's website.

Chai Sugar Cookies Stack: And if cinnamon tastes like Christmas, then chai is like cinnamon on steroids. I think you see where we're going with this theme. These are sugar cookies made sophisticated.

Learn how to create them at My Baking Addiction.

Lingonberry Sandwich Cookies: Love the Swedish food offerings at your local Ikea? Then you'll want to make these cookies, which use the popular Scandinavian berry.

Learn how to create these gorgeous cookies at Chatelaine.

Icebox Cookies: Need a bunch of cookies during the holidays — but not all at once? Check out this recipe for basic icebox cookies to let you bake and prepare as needed, with the bonus of these adorable lion cookies included too.

Learn how to create these at Diamonds For Dessert.

Raspberry-Almond Linzer: It's a bonus that delicious raspberries have a very festive colour, but you could also make these with a different berry of your choice.

Learn how to create them at Real Simple.

Rugalech: Let's not leave out other winter holidays — celebrators of Hanukkah could use cookies too! These delicious Jewish favourites could only be called miraculous.

Learn how to create these at the Food Network.

Peppermint Meringue: So adorable! And these striped meringue-based cookies are also gluten free, and can be dairy-free if you use coconut or soy cream instead of dairy in the ganache.

Learn how to create them at Martha Stewart.

Macaroons: Macaroons look fancy, but these have just five ingredients, which means they're an attainable sort of luxury.

Learn how to create them at Food & Wine.

Chestnut Meltaways: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ... save some chestnuts when you make stuffing, and use them to make these tasty (and gluten-free!) cookies.

Learn how to create them at Chatelaine.

Lebkuchen: These delicious ginger-flavoured cookies are criminally under-appreciated in North America. They're satisfyingly sweet and crunchy on top, then chewy on the inside.

Learn how to create them at Food & Wine.

Chewy Chocolate Chip: There's never a time of year when chewy chocolate chip cookies aren't welcome, but you can give them a special twist with chocolate-mint chips, red and green M&Ms, or bits of crushed-up candy canes.

Learn how to create them at Martha Stewart.

Maple-Bacon Icebox Cookie: Because if you can't get ridiculous during the holiday season, when can you?!

Learn how to create these at Chatelaine.

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