Christmas Cookie Decorating Ideas to Try This Year
Need a new Christmas cookie decorating idea? Try these stunning techniques that will make your cookie tray merry and bright.
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Easy Shaped Cutout Cookies
If you’re baking up a batch of Christmas cookies this year, start with our easy recipe for Decorated Christmas Cutout Cookies. The six-ingredient dough is our go-to for cutout designs like candy canes, stars and trees. Once cooled, try your hand at royal icing by piping on festive colors.
Pro tip: Here’s a handy 46-piece decorating set ($42) that includes all the piping bags and tips pros use to decorate.
Pipe red icing with a #3 round pastry tip to form Santa’s hat and suit. Once the red icing is dry, use black icing with a #1 round tip for eyes, mittens, belt and boots. With white frosting and a #2 round tip, add the trim for the hat and suit. Use the same tip for his beard. If desired, use sprinkles for the belt buckle and mouth.
Before you start, check out these cookie decorating tips.
For this classic decoration, start with our easy buttercream frosting recipe. Combine 1 cup frosting and 1-1/2 teaspoons water; stir until smooth. Place in a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in corner of bag. Pipe desired designs onto cookies. Immediately sprinkle with colored sugar. Gently shake off excess sugar. Let dry.
This quick Christmas cookie decorating idea adds a flash of flavor. Melt candy melts or prepare confectioners’ sugar glaze and stir in 1 teaspoon water until smooth. Dip cookies halfway into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off.
For a special effect, coat with chopped nuts, sprinkles or crushed candies. Place on a wire rack over waxed paper and let dry completely. Practice the technique with our recipe for Classic Italian Sandwich Butter Cookies.
For an artsy look, consider color mist. Cover cookies in an even layer of royal icing, let dry. Spray color mist ($9) over cookies; either in a single layer, overlapping colors or blend several colors.
To create the interlocking design of these festive cookies, cut dough using a five-point star-shaped cookie cutter. Cut a vertical slit between two points on each star so it reaches just above the center of the shape. Spread dough apart to form a 1/4-in. opening. Once baked, assemble the cookies together.
Place cookies on a wire rack over wax paper. Prepare our confectioners’ sugar glaze; stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons water until smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle over cookies. Let dry completely.
Assorted candies, sprinkles and a bit of colored icing is all you need to make these wacky elf designs. Have the kids help out by giving each of their cookies a unique personality.
Less is more! Instead of globbing on an entire layer of icing, decorate the edges of your cutout with a thin line of frosting. We used Wilton #3 round decorating tip ($6) for our wintery design.
Spread buttercream frosting over cutout cookies, then place a stencil over top and sprinkle colored sugar over the cutout area. Carefully lift off the stencil.
Make a stencil by tracing your chosen shape or design on a piece of parchment and cutting it out. Or utilize a craft lever punch of your favorite shape.
The easiest way to decorate cookies with royal icing is to dip them. This method serves as a great base for all kinds of embellishments. And dipping cookies is just as easy as it sounds: Prep a thin royal icing, place it in a shallow bowl, then dip the top of your cutout cookies into the icing—done!
White sprinkles create the fur, coat and teeth of this adorable yeti cookie. Pipe on blue icing for his face, fingers and toes. And don’t miss our other creative ways to transform your gingerbread men.
Your rubber stamps aren’t just for crafting anymore. After flooding your cutout cookie with a flat layer of white icing, use food coloring and a (clean!) stamp to create your stunning design.
Elf on the Shelf
The Elf is in the house! Create these next-level helpers using royal icing, sprinkles and edible markers. No one will resist his cheery grin. What Is Elf on the Shelf, Anyway?
Spread confectioners’ sugar glaze over cookies; let dry. For each desired color, stir 1/2 teaspoon water into 1/4 cup glaze until smooth; tint with food coloring ($13). Tightly crumble a 12-inch square piece of waxed paper into a ball; lightly dip into colored glaze. Press onto cookies; repeat until the desired pattern is achieved. Let dry completely.
Make your gingerbread man cookie cutter do double-duty this season. Use the cookie cutter as normal, bake cookies and allow to cool. To decorate, pipe antlers with royal icing along the arms and legs, create eyes with mini chocolate chips and nose with a Red Hots candy.
Christmas Tree Centerpiece
Surprise your family with this epic Christmas cookie tree that acts as a centerpiece for your table. Bake up star-shaped cookies of varying sizes and stack them together using frosting as the ‘glue.’
Next, check out these Christmas kitchen decor ideas from our stylists.