One of the best ways to make wonderful holiday memories with kids is to bake holiday cookies. Baking with kids takes time and patience, so be sure to allow plenty of time for holiday baking.
In addition to allowing plenty of time when baking with kids, it’s also important to make the process of baking holiday cookies more important than striving to create perfect cookies. The memories that creating Christmas baked goods provide is by far the most important thing.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Christmas Sugar Cookies
Christmas sugar cookies are probably the most popular holiday cookies. There are numerous ways to decorate these old fashioned favorites, but they start with a good sugar cookie dough. Here is an easy recipe for Christmas sugar cookies:
- 1 and ½ cups of butter, softened
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 5 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in beaten eggs and vanilla until well blended.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking powder. Once the flour mixture is well blended, mix it into the butter, sugar and egg mixture.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
On a floured surface, roll out the sugar cookie dough until it is ¼ to ½ inches thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies into various shapes.
Place the cookies an inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for around 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating.
Tips for Decorating Holiday Cookies
When it comes right down to it, there are no rules for decorating Christmas cookies with kids since the main objective is to have fun and make memories, but the following tips may make the process more fun and a bit easier:
- Holiday cookie cutters such as reindeer cookie cutters are a lot of fun to use, but don’t feel restricted to using Christmas cookie cutters. Many young children enjoy using alphabet cookie cutters any time of year.
- Starting off with pre-made sugar cookie dough is a good option if time is limited. Decorating is the most important part of making holiday cookies with kids, so it’s fine to start with pre-made cookie dough.
- Use large cookie cutters when baking holiday cookies with younger children. Larger cookies are easier for little hands to decorate.
- Buy one or two tubs of vanilla frosting and divide the frosting equally into four to six small bowls. Add food coloring a few drops at a time to each bowl, mixing after each addition, to create frosting of different colors.
- Kid’s baking kits are a great option for those who are limited on time or who aren’t particularly skilled when it comes to baking and decorating cookies.
- Cake decorating tubes can be used to add finer details to holiday cookies.
Fun Ingredients for Decorating Christmas Cookies
Colored frosting or sugar are the only absolutely necessary ingredients for decorating Christmas cookies. Below are a few additional options:
- Cake decorating sprinkles
- Chocolate chips
- Small candies such as M&M’s ®
- String licorice
- Gumdrops, either whole or cut up
- Anything else that catches the eye when wandering down the candy aisle at the supermarket
Baking holiday cookies with children is one of the best ways to create fun Christmas memories. Start off with pre-made sugar cookie dough or use the easy sugar cookie dough recipe above. Cut out the cookie dough with fun shaped cookie cutters, remembering not to feel restricted to using only Christmas cookie cutters. Finally, decorate the cookies with colored frosting and desired candies. Don’t stress if the cookies aren’t perfectly decorated. Creating warm memories is far more important than creating award-winning cookies.
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