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3 Easy Christmas Cookies To Bake With Kids

5 from 2 votes
You can make 3 Easy Christmas Cookies To Bake With Kids with just one batch of my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Dough!
Three different types of cookies are made from one batch of sugar cookie dough, including: Christmas Tree Cookies, Snowman Cookies, and Reindeer Cookies.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY PARENTS LOVE THIS RECIPE: My 3 Easy Christmas Cookies To Bake With Kids all start with the same dough. Yes, you read that right! One cookie dough, three different cookies to keep the kiddos creative and happy!

There is a lot on your hands when you’re a parent, and cooking up batch after batch of Christmas cookies to please all your little ones (not to mention your spouse, grandparents, and possibly coworkers!) is a bit too much to take on. I totally get it!

That’s why I wanted to share with you my 3 Easy Christmas Cookies To Bake With Kids. Each cookie is unique, fun, and one of a kind — but they all start with the same dough. 

One cookie dough for 3 different types of cookies to give yourself and your stand mixer a break. 

Every kid likes to spend a little special time in the kitchen helping to bake Christmas cookies for Santa or holiday cookies they can share with their family and class. I’m so happy to be able to give you a stress-free recipe to do just that — plus, these cookies are extremely kid friendly. Not only are they delicious sugar cookies, but they’re easy to decorate cookies. Your little one certainly doesn’t need to attend pastry school just yet. 

Whip up a batch of my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Recipe, and let’s get started! 

Table Of Contents

Three differently decorated sugar cookies are presented on a white table. They are Christmas Tree Cookies, Snowman Cookies, and Reindeer Cookies.

What You’ll Need To Decorate Easy Christmas Cookies

To get started baking easy holiday cookies with kids, you will need a few things.

  • Best Ever Sugar Cookie RecipeWhen kids picture decorating sugar cookies, this is exactly the cookie they imagine. My homemade sugar cookie recipe gives you a crispy, sweet cookie that’s perfect for decorating! This is the dough that all three of our cookie designs will use. 
  • Decorating Icing. I outline how to make decorating icing below in the full recipe. You’ll use this icing for all 3 cookies.
  • Gel Food Color. We’ll be using gel food coloring for these cookies. I prefer gel food coloring over liquid food coloring because it has brighter colors and won’t water down your icing. A little goes a long way.
    • I used green and black gel food coloring.
  • Piping Bags and TipsFor the icing, you can use piping bags or Ziploc bags.
  • Decorations. I use a number of store-bought products to decorate these cookies to keep it simple. Of course, feel free to decorate however you like with whatever products you like best! Here’s what I used:

Sugar Cookie Decorating Tips

I’ll go over a few key tips for each cookie decoration, but here are a few helpful things to know when working with this sugar cookie dough and the homemade icing!

  • This dough is soft and sticky, so be sure to work quickly when you roll it out, so it stays cold. Use plenty of flour to prevent sticking!
  • Chill the dough for at least 3 hours before you roll it out. Otherwise, it will be too difficult to handle.
  • Keep the icing covered if you are making it in advance; otherwise, it will dry out!
  • For each cookie, I give you decorating suggestions, but of course, feel free to decorate however you and your little ones like! Use different candies, change the icing colors, or thicken the icing with more powdered sugar.

Can I Make Sugar Cookie Dough Ahead Of Time? Making Icing In Advance

Yes and yes! You can make sugar cookie dough in advance by wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in your refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can freeze sugar cookie dough for up to 2 months. Be sure to let it come to temperature in the refrigerator overnight before you plan on baking.

You can make the icing in advance and store it, covered, for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. 

Christmas Tree Cookies

Christmas Tree decorated sugar cookies are shown in stages of decorating. They have homemade green icing, colorful candies, and edible star sprinkles.

These extra-large Christmas Tree Cookies make it easy and fun for small hands to decorate!

Scroll down for a step-by-step guide to decorating Christmas Tree Cookies! Here are a few tips while decorating these sugar cookies:

  • You can cut the Christmas tree shapes into any size you prefer; keep an eye on them while baking so they do not burn.
  • You can make Homemade Sprinkles to decorate the trees! 
  • I used these Edible Gold Stars to decorate. 
  • Any colorful candies will do, but if you prefer, you can color your decorating icing with different gel food coloring and use that instead. 

Reindeer Cookies

The stage of homemade Reindeer Cookies made with sugar cookie dough. The reindeer cookies have pretzel antlers, gumdrop noses, and edible eyeballs.

Are your kids enamored with Rudolph and the rest of Santa’s magic reindeer? Then these simple to decorate holiday cookies are the perfect project! 

Be sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to see my step-by-step guide for decorating Reindeer Cookies, but while I have you here, here are a few tips:

  • Get the kids involved with scooping, rolling, and shaping the dough before you bake! This cookie is a very easy shape and a great way to get kids involved.
  • You can roll the dough in cinnamon sugar before shaping it for a delicious coating.
  • I used red for the reindeer’s nose, but feel free to use different colored gumdrops! You can also use M&Ms or Skittles for the nose.
  • Be sure to have extra pretzels because they can get a bit messy when you try to break them to create the antlers.
  • I used these Candy Eyeballs, but you can decorate using different colored icing if you prefer. Or just different colored candies!

Snowman Cookies

Festive Snowmen Cookies are shown in stages of decoration. The sugar cookies are coated in a homemade icing, covered in coconut flakes, with eyes, mouth, and buttons made from black icing. The snowman's scarf is made with fruit roll-ups and the nose is an orange gumdrop.

I may find these Snowman Cookies the cutest of the bunch! There’s lots of room for creativity here, so let your kids get a little wild while dressing up their edible snowman! 

You can follow my step-by-step guide to decorating Snowman Cookies below, but here are a few tips.

  • Larger cookies are easier for small hands to decorate, so feel free to adjust the size to your preference!
  • If precise piping for the eyes, mouth, and buttons is too difficult, use mini chocolate chips instead.
  • Be sure to use sweetened coconut flakes for the best taste. If your kids aren’t fans of coconut, omit it.
    • Instead of coconut flakes, you can use white sanding sugar for a sparkly snowman. Or, omit both the coconut and sanding sugar; the white frosting will still look adorable bare. 
  • I give you directions to make traditional-looking snowmen below, but let your kids decorate their snowmen how they’d like! Experiment with different food coloring and candy. 

More Holiday Cookie Ideas

And don’t miss more everyday baking recipes in my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day cookbook!

Watch The Recipe Video!

3 Easy Christmas Cookies For Kids To Bake

5 from 2 votes
You can make 3 Easy Christmas Cookies To Bake With Kids with just one batch of my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Dough!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 24 cookies
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 22 mins
You can make 3 Easy Christmas Cookies To Bake With Kids with just one batch of my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Dough!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 24 cookies

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

Decorating Icing

  • cups (10 oz/284 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

Christmas Tree Cookies

Snowman Cookies

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • Black gel food coloring
  • 6-7 orange gumdrops
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Fruit/candy Roll-Ups
  • 1 cup (4 oz/115 g) sweetened shredded coconut flakes

Reindeer Cookies

  • 20-24 Red gumdrops
  • 1 pack Candy Eyeball 
  • 20-24 small pretzel twists

Instructions

To Make the Cookie Dough

  • Make my Best Ever Sugar Cookie Dough. Transfer to a work surface and press the dough into a flattened disc. Wrap well with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

To Make the Icing

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, corn syrup, extract (if using), and 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. The consistency should be that of a very soft peanut butter, very easily spreadable but not runny. If it seems thick, add a few drops of milk until the correct consistency is reached. If not using right away, keep the icing in an airtight container.

To Make the Christmas Tree Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into roughly 7 x 16-inches (18 x 35 cm) rectangle that is about ¼-inch (6mm) thick. Using a pizza cutter and measure 15-inches (38 inches) lengthways and marking the pastry every 5 inches (12 ½ cm). Measure in the center of each piece 7-inches (18 cm) high. From that point join the points to make a triangle (see video for easy visual). Gather and reroll scraps to get more triangles for a total of 8. (If the dough starts to get too sticky, refrigerate for about 10 minutes to rechill before continuing.)
  • Arrange the triangles a few inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until the cookies are a light golden brown around the edges.
  • Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cook completely. (For longer storage, place in an airtight container until ready to decorate, for up to 2 days.)
  • Once you prepare the icing scoop around 5-6 tablespoons of plain icing into a small piping bag fitted with a tiny round tip for the Christmas garland. With the remaining icing add a few drops of green gel food coloring until you get your desired shade of green for a Christmas tree.
  • With a spoon, scoop out some of the green icing onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to spread the icing to the edges.
  • With the white icing, pipe the string for the garland in zigzags across the green icing.
  • While the icing is still wet, add your candy and sprinkles to decorate your tree: arrange M&M’s or Skittles along the white string to look like lights, add the Edible Gold Stars to look like ornaments.
  • Leave the cookies on a baking sheet or wire rack for a couple of hours to let the icing dry before placing them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

To Make the Snowman Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼-inch (6 mm) thick, and using a 2 ½-inch (6 ½ cm) round cutter, cut out 20 circles.
  • Gather and reroll out the dough to ¼-inch (6 mm) thick, and using a 2-inch (5 cm) round cutter, cut out 20 circles.
  • Slightly overlap a large circle with a small circle and press together to attach to create the head and body of the snowman.
  • Arrange the snowmen on each baking sheet, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, and bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the edges are light golden brown.
  • Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (At this point, you can store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 days before decorating)
  • Once you make the icing, place ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) of it in a small bowl and stir in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in a few drops of black gel food coloring until the icing is black. This consistency should still be very soft but hold its shape. If the cocoa powder thickened the icing too much, add a drop or two of milk to loosen it. Place the black icing in a small piping bag fitted with a very small round tip and set aside.
  • For the carrot noses, cut each gumdrop in half and then cut each half into a triangle. Toss in the sugar to coat the cut sides. Set the noses aside.
  • For the scarves, cut the fruit/candy roll-ups into an 8-inch strip to make a nice, long scarf. Set aside.
  • To decorate, use a small spoon to scoop some white icing onto the cookies and use the back of the spoon to spread the icing to the edges.
  • Place a gumdrop nose in the middle of the smaller circle, then sprinkle the shredded coconut flakes all over the white icing, pressing down gently to make the coconut sticks.
  • With the black icing, pipe two dots of the eyes, a few dots to the mouth, and a few more dots down the center of the large circle for the buttons.
  • Finally, twist the roll-up scarves around the neck of the snowmen to keep them warm! Leave the cookies on a baking sheet for a couple of hours to let the icing completely set before transferring to an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Reindeer Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough to yield 24 balls.
  • Break the pretzel twists in half to create antlers and stick two into the sides of each cookie disc, spaced about 1½ inches (4 cm) apart. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie to create a dent for the nose.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Place the icing in a small piping bag fitted with a very small round tip.
  • Place a dot of icing for each eye and into the dent for the nose, then stick on googly eyes and a red gumdrop for the noses.
  • Leave the cookies on a baking sheet for a couple of hours to let the icing completely set before transferring to an airtight container for up to 2 days.
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Lois
Lois
1 month ago

You need George in more videos!! Love it!

Terry
Terry
1 month ago

Gosh! What an adorable picture of George holding his reindeer cookie. He’s growing so quickly!

If I skipped refrigerating the dough, could I put it through my Spritz gun?
Thanks in advance!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook