How to Decorate Christmas Cookies

The “Christmas” cookie may not be much different than cookies that are made throughout the year, but for some reason they just “feel” different. Many Christmas parties over the years have included times of cookie decorating. Perhaps it is the festiveness of the season, or perhaps it is because of memories from past Christmases. In either case, Christmas cookie decorating can be fun for both adults and children. Here are a few things to keep in mind.


You can make your own cookie dough, and most often people stick with a standard sugar cookie recipe. If you are busy, there is always the Pillsbury route, which provides tubes of ready-made dough that can be shaped into cookies for quick baking. (Of course, eating the dough by itself is also fun, but that is a topic for a different article.)


We should say a quick word about shapes, because this can enhance the fun of cookie decorating. When shaping the dough, the standard round cookie can be made, but other shapes may be more festive. For examine, 3 little balls stuck together can form a snowman. Or, a quick angel can be made with a triangle, two half-circle wings, and a little ball head. These shapes are easily constructed when using store-bought tube-based dough, but they can also be constructed with homemade dough.


Of course, frosting is the glue that holds cookies together. After the cookies have sufficiently cooled, people can begin to spread frosting. Kids will gravitate towards heavy spreading of frosting, so parents may want to steer them in a more minimalist direction, lest the cookie becomes a veritable sea of frosting. Again, frosting can be store-bought or made quickly at home with powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.


Finally, there is the most important part: toppings. These can range from standard sprinkles (multiple colors), to red hots, to silver candy balls. Again, parents who want to have some limits on sugar intake will have to watch their kids so they don’t cover the entire surface of the cookie with sugary toppings.

Getting fancy

It is also fun to purchase small tubes of colored icing from the grocery store. In addition, inexpensive decorating tools that squeeze frosting into different shapes can also be purchased and a little bit of food coloring in the frosting can make for fun decorative elements on the cookie.

Different styles

While this is not strictly “cookie” decorating, an event can also be built around assembling gingerbread houses from graham crackers and frosting. For this complimentary activity, all one needs is a stack of graham crackers, thick frosting, and the same toppings that are used for cookie decorating. This can be a fun alternative activity if people are more into assembling than decorating.


Probably the most important aspect of cookie decorating is to be prepared. That means that you have should have a large area for decorating, plenty of seats, and most importantly, enough decorating supplies. If kids are involved the process can easily get bogged down if there are not enough shakers of sprinkles or tubes of icing. Therefore, have as many decorating items as possible so that kids aren’t getting bored or fighting over the supplies. The overall goal is to have fun, enjoy the experience, and be creative. Happy decorating!


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