TODAY All Day's 'Cookie Swap Special': 8 irresistibly inventive holiday cookie recipes


There's nothing quite like the smell of cookies baking in the oven, especially during the holidays.

A batch of homemade cookies makes any festive spread feel extra sweet, plus they make great gifts for friends, teachers or family nearby. And sure, everyone loves a sugar cookie decorated like a tree, but sometimes it's more fun to get inventive.

Related: Are you more of a sugar cookie or shortbread supporter?

That's why four talented chefs are baking up their favorite cookies on TODAY All Day. When you're ready to take your Christmas cookie game to the next level, tune into the TODAY show's new streaming channel to watch the "Cookie Swap Special" at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 17.

YouTube stars Angel Wong and Monique Kilgore along with cookbook authors Nik Sharma and Samantha Seneviratne will be sharing their families' favorite holiday cookie recipes.

Matcha Shortbread Cookies by Angel Wong

YouTube star Angel Wong created these cookies to honor precious memories from her childhood spent with her late grandfather who used to brew afternoon tea. The two would sip tea with cookies while talking about the events of the day.

Pineapple Cake Cookies by Angel Wong

These pineapple cake cookies are a holiday twist on traditional Taiwanese pineapple cakes, a popular pastry in Taiwan that features a crumbly shortbread-like crust on the outside and pineapple filling on the inside.

Peppermint-Brownie Christmas Cookies by Monique Kilgore

Is there anything better than a rich chocolate brownie? How about a rich chocolate brownie with flecks of cool peppermint that's been transformed into a crisp, chewy Christmas cookie with a minty, chocolate drizzle?

Red Velvet Snowball Cookies by Monique Kilgore

Red velvet is such a popular flavor for cakes and cupcakes. That's why Monique Kilgore of Divas Can Cook is always on the lookout for ways to “red velvetize” her favorite desserts. These dainty cookies capture the classic flavor of red velvet cake and look so festive on holiday dessert tables.

Spicy Ginger-Chocolate Cookies by Nik Sharma

In the early 18th century, a marriage took place in Turin, Italy, and the world has never been quite the same. That sacred union was, of course, between chocolate and hazelnuts, ground together into what is called gianduja. Nik Sharma's cookie recipe pairs chocolate and hazelnut with black pepper and ginger for a sweet, fragrant and slightly spicy flavor profile that's truly unforgettable.

Bolinhas Coconut Cookies by Nik Sharma

Coconut fans, this cookie is for you. Nik Sharma loves these tasty treats with a cup of hot, sweetened, milky black tea. Goan bolinhas are crunchy and crisp, sweet and full of that coconut aroma so many people love.

Saffron-Chocolate Biscotti by Samantha Seneviratne

Anyone who loves biscotti will obsess over this recipe for crunchy Italian biscuits. Laced with fragrant saffron and rich with bittersweet chocolate, the flavor profile of this sweet treat is truly elegant. Cookbook author and food stylist Samantha Seneviratne loves enjoying her biscotti dipped in a cup of coffee.

Walnut Linzer Cookies with Cookie Butter by Samantha Seneviratne

Nut lovers, prepare to push peanut butter cookies aside. Made with Biscoff cookie butter spread, crunchy walnuts and chocolate, these Linzer cookies are a wonderful treat for the holiday season ... but you may start making them year round.