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Christmas Cookies From Around the World

Christmas is right around the corner, and we know what that means. COOKIES! Baking cookies is a great way to spend time with your family and celebrate the traditions you have in your family. Although Christmas may look very different this year, baking cookies is something you can do over the phone, text, or video chat (and if you’re not that great at baking, just make it look good).

Have you ever wondered what traditional holiday cookies are like in other parts of the world? Food for the Hungry (FH) works in 20 different countries all over the world, which means over 20 different traditions and holiday foods. To learn more about our work in those countries, click here.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite holiday cookies from a few of our FH countries, take a look! Note: for some of these recipes you may need to convert the recipe from grams to cups or Celsius to Fahrenheit. 


Cookies to Try: Africa

Ethiopia: Spiced Crescent Cookies

In this recipe, you will be using the spice mix Ras El Hanout. You will be creating a pastry that you form into the shape of a crescent and drizzle with chocolate.

Kenya: Maandazi

Maandazi is essentially a fried triangle you can find as a popular street snack. It’s often served with a spicy chai tea. Try eating these with your favorite holiday beverage.

South Sudan: Kabis

Sudanese Kabis are airy, light, and crunchy cookies comparable to shortbread cookies, but less crumbly. They are made with ammonia carbonate, which is a traditional rising agent used before baking powder became popular.


Cookies to Try: Asia

Bangladesh: Fuljhuri Pitha

Fuljhuri Pitha cookies are beautiful rose-shaped cookies that are fried and often served with a warm beverage. You may need a mold for this recipe, but it will be worth it!

Indonesia: Kue Nastar

Nastar is a very popular Chinese New Year cookie from Indonesia. It is a delicious round ball-shaped cookie filled with pineapple jam that is sure to melt in your mouth.

Philippines: Paciencia

The Paciencia is a Filipino meringue cookie.  This five-ingredient cookie is so easy to make (which is good because you’ll probably need to make two batches after trying them).

Vietnam: Saigon Cinnamon Ginger Cookies

These Saigon cinnamon ginger cookies are not a traditional cookie, but more of a Vietnamese inspired cookie. These spice-filled cookies are coated in a large grain sugar called Demerara sugar to add a nice crunch.


Cookies to Try: Latin America & Caribbean

Dominican Republic: Mantecaditos

Mantecaditos are also called butter cookies. They are a simple, yet delicious, cookie that pairs very well with a warm cup of coffee.

Guatemala: Champurradas

Champurradas are Guatemalan sesame cookies you will often find at bakeries and among many street vendors.

Haiti: Bonbon Amidon

Bonbon Amidon cookies are traditional starch cookies that you can dress up and decorate just like you would decorate traditional U.S. sugar cookies during Christmas.

Peru: Alfajores

Alfajores cookies are almond-flavored shortbread sandwich cookies with a rich caramel filling in the middle.


No matter what cookie(s) you decide to try, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Want to try some of our other recipes?

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Taste the World: Mangú con Los Tres Golpes Recipe [DR]

Emudro Recipe [West Africa]

Doro Wat Recipe for Easter [Ethiopia]

Causa [Peru]

Chicken Adobo Recipe [Philippines]