Holiday Nuggets

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This Holiday Nuggets cookie recipe has been a holiday baking favorite in the RecipeGirl family for over 40 years.  

Holiday Nuggets on a cooling rack

I remember growing up with these guys.  Yep, that means my Mom has been baking Holiday Nuggets for over 40 years for our family.  They’re kind-of, sort-of like snowball cookies… except they’re a bit flatter… still covered with powdered sugar and added-sprinkles for holiday effect.

My Mom was a very good baker, and she often involved me in the process.  That’s probably why I developed my love for being in the kitchen.  She didn’t create recipes, but she was good at collecting the best ones.  I’m not sure where this one originated, but it’s one of those classic holiday cookie recipes that we’ve had around for a long time.

Holiday Nuggets on a cooling rack

They’re definitely the sort of cookie that you always want to make sure you have on your holiday cookie platters.  Everyone reaches for cookies covered in powdered sugar, and sprinkles are (of course) pretty much irresistible.

Lightly sweetened and flaky with chunks of slivered almonds, these are the kind of cookies that melt in your mouth.  The powdered sugar coating gives them an extra boost of sweetness.

Holiday Nuggets on a platter

Do Holiday Nuggets Freeze Well?

Yes! These cookies freeze well, so you can certainly bake them now and store them in the freezer in a well-sealed container until you’re ready to take them out for holiday munching.

I’m a big fan of baking Christmas cookies weeks ahead of time, and then taking them out little by little as we have guests or when I put together gift bags for friends.  They’re safe in the freezer, right??  I’m less likely to eat cookies when they’re stored in the freezer.  But they’re not completely safe since frozen cookies taste pretty good too.

Stack of Holiday Nuggets

Add these to your holiday baking list!  The recipe makes a small amount- about 3 dozen Holiday Nuggets.  If you want them a little larger, you’ll get two dozen out of the recipe. Double it if you want more!

Here are a few more holiday cookie recipes you might enjoy:

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5 from 5 votes

Holiday Nuggets

This Holiday Nuggets cookie recipe has been a family favorite for over 40 years!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 90kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword christmas cookies, holiday nuggets


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped slivered almonds
  • additional powdered sugar
  • red and green sprinkles, optional


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Sift the flour and salt.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the shortening, butter and powdered sugar. Blend in the extracts and nuts. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix until dough is smooth.
  • Shape the dough into small balls, using 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until edges are slightly golden and they are baked through.
  • Roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar. Mix some sprinkles in if you want a holiday look to them.



  • You may need to refrigerate the dough for a little while to get it firm enough to roll into balls.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.4mg
More holiday cookie favorites...
Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Jane wrote:

    Do you freeze them “naked “ or can you sugar and freeze without powdered sugar getting gooey ?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I freeze them with the sugar on. I’m not sure about the gooey part- don’t think I’ve seen that happen.

  • Dena wrote:

    I made a batch of these and they are delicious ! I was wondering if there was soemthing I could add to the recipe to make them not soo crumbly as you bite into them.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      A little milk added in to the dough may hold it together more, but they are definitely a crumbly texture.

  • Lori wrote:

    Are these soft or more of a crunchy cookie?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      They are not soft, but I’d say they’re more crumbly as you bite into them– like a shortbread cookie.

  • Frances wrote:

    Hi Lori! I love your recipes! Wondering what kind of shortening you prefer? I don’t make many recipes that call for shortening and it confuses me a little. Thanks so much!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Crisco solid shortening 🙂

  • Laura wrote:

    3/4 cup shortening….do I use cooking oil, Crisco or Tenderflake?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      solid crisco shortening.

  • Sandy Coughlin wrote:

    These will be delicious for our cookie party. Such an easy recipe!

  • Cathy Pollak wrote:

    These are a perfect choice for the cookie tray!

  • Jennifer Farley wrote:

    I can’t wait to make these around the holidays! So cute!

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore wrote:

    I love this! Such a fun treat for the holidays!

  • Barbara wrote:

    You can’t go wrong with a classic cookie for the holidays.

  • Kelley Vieira wrote:

    These are so what I have been searching for. I will be making them this week and will let you know how th e y came out. Hoping this is a much sought out recipe a home baker is looking for from those bakery ” oh how can I make those”

  • Deb Krygeris wrote:

    Hi Lori,

    Quick question on the Holiday Nuggets…for a holiday look, do I mix sprinkled into the dough or just the powdered sugar topping? Thanks! Deb

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Just the powdered sugar topping!

  • Miranda wrote:

    I need to make a batch of these! I love how festive they are!

  • Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch wrote:

    Lori – these look so special and delicious! I love recipes with a long tradition such as these! I would love to have some of these this morning!