It’s holiday cookie swap time! And that’s great news for those of us who love getting creative with baking.

As for me, I love baking, especially with my kids. But this time of year, sometimes you just need to stick with something easy and quick — maybe cookies made with love, but not with blood, sweat or tears?

So with the help of Lisa, who gets way more creative than I do in the kitchen, we’ve put together these 7 wonderfully creative no-bake holiday holiday cookie ideas to suit every taste and preference.

They’re perfect for cookie swaps, bake sales (maybe to raise money for a favorite charity?), pot luck dessert tables, or generous hostess gifts for all your holiday visits — right through New Year’s Day. I mean, can you ever really have too many cookies?

Top: Easy No-Bake Melted Snowman Chocolate Bark via Princess Pinky Girl;
Semi-Homemade Chocolate-Covered Holiday Oreos via Dinner At the Zoo

7 creative no-bake holiday cookie ideas for cookie swaps and hostess gifts | more:

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7 Creative No-Bake Holiday Cookie Ideas

Holiday cookie balls to make with the kids: Reindeer cookie balls at Like Mother Like Daughter

No-Bake Reindeer Cookie Balls  | Like Mother Like Daughter

We shared this recipe last year as one of our favorite no-bake holiday cookie ball recipes, and you all seemed to love it as much as we did! The base is Oreos, but the decorating results are so precious, no one will care that they’re semi-homemade. (Not that anyone should care anyway, and if they do, take them off your list for next year. I mean, it’s a gift! Of chocolate! For Christmas! Geez.)


No-bake cookie swap ideas for the holidays: Fudgy chocolate mint cookies from The Recipe Rebel

Fudgy Mint Chocolate No-Bake Cookies | The Recipe Rebel

She had me at chocolate and mint — probably my favorite chocolate flavor combination. But no-bake definitely seals the deal. I love how imperfect and gooey these look. It makes them all the more appealing for little hands. Keep napkins handy, parents.


No-bake holiday cookie swap ideas: Peanut butter and chocolate cookie bars from I Heart Eating


No-Bake Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Bars | I Heart Eating

Okay so I lied — my favorite chocolate flavor combination is chocolate and peanut butter (though mint is an extremely close second). If you are baking for kids who can eat peanut butter, they will go insane for this recipe, which has both chocolate cookies and peanut butter in the bars, and they’re topped with an extra layer of chocolate and peanut butter. Like a Reeses times a million.

No-bake holiday cookie swap ideas: Homemade chocolate turtles from Averie Cookies

The hardest part about this recipe may be that you need both chunky and non-chunky peanut butter. But as you may have guessed from my comments above, of course I have both in the house. (The benefit of picky kids with strong peanut butter preferences.) I love the addition of graham cracker crumbs and rolled oats too, for texture and a heartier flavor than classic turtles.

no-bake coconut snowball recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free | Emily Han for The Kitchn

No-Bake Coconut Snowballs | The Kitchn

We shared some of our favorite no-bake cookie ideas for summer last year,  but of course they’re fabulous for holiday time cookie swaps too. Especially these adorable coconut snowballs by Emily Han for the Kitchn, They happen to be vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free on top of being delicious. That’s such a treat for anyone who’s on a limited diet or grappling with food allergies, which can be especially tough this time of the year. Aw, you’re a good friend.  By the way, they’re particularly gorgeous for Hanukkah — just wrap in something blue and gold!

Related: 8 Hanukkah cookies you’ll want to eat all eight days…and nights.


Easy No-Bake Melted Snowman Chocolate Bark | Princess Pinky Girl

We always love sharing chocolate bark recipes because they look amazing, taste great (even if they don’t look amazing, ha) and don’t require baking. However these do require a few special little decoratifs, like edible eyes from the craft store or a baking shop. How is this Melted Snowman Chocolate Bark recipe not the single cutest thing ever? Just be careful showing this to your kids, because you’ll have no choice but to make them.


No-bake holiday cookies for cookie swaps: Chocolate covered holiday Oreos from Dinner at the Zoo

Semi-Homemade Chocolate-Covered Holiday Oreos | Dinner At the Zoo

A leftover from my days working in a chocolate store where we made our own chocolate-dipped Double Stuffs, I love this semi-homemade recipe, which is so easy, you hardly need a recipe. Still, there are some good tips at Dinner at the Zoo, and we both agree that Ghirardelli Melting Wafers are your very best chocolate option. They’re so quick and simple, they’re also perfect for last-minute gifts for neighbors, sitters, teachers and tutors, and your favorite hair stylist and manicurist — along with a nice tip, of course.

Sprinkle image: Diane Alkier via Unsplash