4 Christmas Cookies from One Cookie Dough

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This one cookie dough recipe can be used to make 4 different cookies. Make thumbprint, sprinkle, frosted sugar, or secret kiss cookies, and fill your Christmas cookie tray with this one basic dough recipe!

This simple cookie dough uses instant pudding as a secret ingredient that makes soft and chewy cookies that can be customized for all your favorite cookie flavors.

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Bake the dough as is for treats with soft centers and crisp edges. Or add a few extra ingredients and make some classic Christmas desserts.

🎄One Cookie Dough, 4 Christmas Cookies

This pudding cookie dough base can be used to make four different cookie recipes. You can create a colorful Christmas cookie tray from just this one dough recipe.

Divide it in half or fourths, and start filling your holiday dessert table. The delicious cookies are:

🧈Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Shortening and Butter – A combination of butter and shortening gives these a soft texture.

Instant Vanilla Pudding – The pudding adds flavor and helps make these moist and chewy. You don’t make the pudding. Just add the powder to the dough.

The remaining dough ingredients are baking staples, including

  • sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • powdered sugar
labeled sugar cookie ingredient photo

🥣How to Make the Base Cookie Dough

  1. Mix the Wet Ingredients – Using an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Then add the eggs, vanilla, and instant pudding.
  2. Add the Dry Ingredients – Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the wet ingredient about one-third at a time until it is all combined.
  3. Scoop – Use a medium cookie scoop to make balls about 1 1/2 tablespoons in size.
  4. Add to Baking Sheet – Put the cookie dough balls on silicone baking mats or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Keep the balls about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake – Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 12-15 minutes, making sure not to overbake. Pull them out when the edges start to brown and the middle looks set.
  6. Cool – Let them cool on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes. Then place them on a wire rack.
creaming the butter, shortening and sugar
Cream the butter, shortening and sugar
adding the pudding and eggs
Add the eggs, vanilla and pudding mix
mixing the flour
Mix the dry ingredients
adding the flour
Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl

Find More Christmas Cookie Ideas!

✔️Make the Dough Ahead of Time

This is freezer-safe cookie dough, so it is easy to make ahead of time and spread your baking over a few days or weeks! It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Or freeze the dough for up to 2 months before baking. If frozen, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Take the dough out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking.

💭How to Store

When baked these will keep at room temperature for about 5 days in an airtight container. They also freeze well and keep for 2 months in the freezer.

platter with christmas cookies all made from one dough.


Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Don’t overbake.
  • Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on the baking sheets.
  • Use a cookie scoop for evenly sized dough balls.
  • Divide the cookie dough and make some (or all) of the cookie variations! Try Secret Kiss Cookies, Frosted Christmas Cookies, Sprinkle Cookies, or Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies.

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

plate of christmas cookies
4.34 from 3 votes

Basic Cookie Dough Recipe

Published By Anne
Make more cookies with less effort this Christmas! Use one cookie dough recipe to make 4 different cookies. Make thumbprint, sprinkle, frosted sugar, or secret kiss cookies.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time22 minutes
Servings: 60
Print Save Rate Pin


  • ¾ cups unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Beat the butter, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer for 3 minutes until soft and creamy.
    ¾ cups unsalted butter, ¼ cup shortening, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and instant pudding mix to the mixing bowl. Continue mixing until completely combined.
    2 eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    2 ½ cups flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix between additions until all the flour is incorporated.
  • Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Space the dough balls about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. They are done when light golden brown around the edges and the middle is set.
  • Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Nutrition Information

Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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