Decorated Christmas Cookies to Try Out at Home
Decorated Christmas cookies aren’t just for Santa!
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The holiday season is here, and so are all the nostalgic treats that bring us comfort and joy over the cold winter months. Luckily, decorated Christmas cookies aren’t just for Santa! Whether you’re hosting a cookie decorating party or just looking for a heartfelt gift for neighbors, teachers, and friends, these creative cookies are guaranteed to spread the Christmas spirit.
There’s no shortage of fun and delicious ways to decorate Christmas cookies. The most traditional decorated Christmas cookie recipes use a sugar cookie base, but shortbread and gingerbread make excellent canvasses as well. Royal icing, buttercream, and glaze can be mixed and layered, while sprinkles come in a variety of festive colors, shapes, and even textures.
Seasoned fondant artists and first-time frosters alike can enjoy experimenting with creative toppings like melted chocolate, candies, and pretzels. But if you need a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered.
These adorable Christmas cookies look like Santa’s reindeer and taste like tiny chocolate pies. Start with the Belgian Boys’ Choco Caramel Cookie Tarts. These buttery shortbread tarts are layered with smooth caramel and topped with rich Belgian milk chocolate, the perfect base for your reindeer’s face.
Slice a marshmallow in half horizontally to create a snout, pressing cut-side down on your tart. Do the same with two mini marshmallows for eyes, dabbing each with a dot of chocolate frosting for pupils. For the antlers, break a pretzel in two and position one piece above each of the eyes. Don’t forget to add a red candy on top to create Rudolph’s famous nose!
An elegant twist on a holiday classic, these decorated Christmas tree cookies are almost too pretty to eat (but too delicious not to!). Whip up a shortbread cookie dough using your preferred recipe, then use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas tree shapes and bake.
While your cookies are cooling, melt down chocolate over a double boiler— or do it the easy way by microwaving chocolate chips in 30-second bursts, making sure to stir in between. Dip your Christmas trees in the melted chocolate at a diagonal angle, covering about half the cookie. Top with roughly chopped hazelnuts before the chocolate sets.
Move over sugar cookies, stroopwafels are here to stay this holiday season! Known for their delightfully crunchy and chewy texture, our Dutch Caramel Stroopwafels contain a layer of gooey caramel sandwiched between two crisp waffle cookies.
To decorate, melt down some white chocolate using either the double boiler or microwave method. Dip your stroopwafel in the melted chocolate, making sure to cover just half of the cookie. Allow the chocolate to set, then use royal icing to pipe on three red berries and two green leaves. And remember, tradition says that if you eat a mistletoe stroopie, you have to kiss the chef!
Is it really Christmas if it doesn’t smell like warm gingerbread baking in the oven? There’s nothing more nostalgic than decorating gingerbread men over the holidays, but don’t worry if you’ve misplaced great grandma’s recipe. The secret to baking perfectly spiced, soft-in-the-center, crisp-on-the-edges gingerbread cookies comes down to a few key steps.
Be sure to use softened butter rather than melted butter to avoid a dense texture, pick your brand of molasses carefully, and whatever you do, don’t skip refrigerating your dough for at least three hours. A firm, chill dough will ensure your gingerbread men keep their shape in the oven.
Once baked, use white royal frosting to pipe on a face, buttons, and frills around the hands, feet, and collar. Now just don’t let your gingerbread man run away!
Sweet and crumbly sugar cookies make the perfect canvasses for creating cookie art. A variety of shapes is key here— select cookie cutters that will transform your dough into snowmen, stockings, bells, snowflakes, and any other festive shapes you can find. Decorate with fondant to create impressive, professional-looking designs.
For easy fondant decoration, mix red or green food dye with white sugar paste, roll flat, and then use the same cookie cutters that you used for the cookies to cut shapes out of the fondant. Brush the back of the fondant with water to help it stick, then lightly press the fondant shapes to their corresponding cookies. Draw on top with edible markers, royal icing, or more fondant shapes.
Royal icing is the king of icings for a reason. Its unique texture allows for a smooth and precise application that dries to a firm and crunchy finish, so you can wrap and transport your cookies without fear of smudging.
To whip up your own royal icing, combine three tablespoons of meringue powder and four cups of powdered sugar in a mixer. Whisk on medium speed with six tablespoons of water for 7-10 minutes, adding another tablespoon of water if needed. Finish with half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few drops of food dye. Use a piping bag to outline your cookie with icing before flooding the inside. Allow to dry, then add details on top in contrasting colors.
Mastering royal icing can be tricky, so don’t worry if you don’t get it quite right the first time. We promise your cookies will still taste delicious!
These chocolatey Christmas ornaments might just be prettier than the ones on your tree! Start with our crunchy, caramelly Mini Choco Stroopwafels as a base. These bite-sized cookies are dipped in real Belgian Callebaut Chocolate and look just like Christmas baubles when decorated.
Spread colorful frosting on top of your stroopwafels. You don’t have to follow a strictly red-and-green color palette— golds, silvers, creams, and browns look both elegant and festive. Cut a handful of mini peanut butter cups in half and position on top of each cookie with a dab of frosting to create the ornament cap.
Don’t want to put away the cookie cutters just yet? Read our list of Christmas treat ideas to keep the fun going all season long!