While everyone loves to *eat* beautifully-decorated, gourmet-looking cookies, it's not always so easy to make them yourself. With our easy and creative Christmas cookie decorating ideas, you're on your way to homemade, show-stopping Christmas treats that will totally win the cookie swap. We're here to help you achieve your best-looking cookies ever, from spicy gingerbread souped-up with swirls of frosting to simple sugar cookies decked out in red and green. On our list, you'll find impressive ways to achieve your cookie-decorating dreams for a dessert plate that's beyond impressive (and surprisingly easy!).
These fun and festive ideas are truly the gifts that keep on giving — simply start with your favorite holiday cookie recipe and then get decorating: We've got classic sugar cookie dough, cocoa-filled chocolate truffle dough and cinnamon, ginger and clove–infused winter spice dough. Of course, we've also included other cookie options for the more adventurous bakers out there (we simply can't make a list of Christmas cookies without including spicy gingerbread or buttery spritz cookies!), but feel free to use these decorating ideas on whatever dough you'd like. Can't eat all the cookies yourself? Beautifully decorated cookies happen to make the best homemade food gift, so feel free to bake several dozen and spread the holiday cheer. The best part is that each of these doughs can also be made and frozen up to one month in advance, saving you even more precious time during the holiday rush. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
- Mix up a batch of royal icing. Thin out half with a few drops of water until it looks like honey, then pop thick and thin icings into two separate piping bags.
- Pipe the thick icing to outline your cookies with a line and let set.
- Flood with the thin icing, then use a toothpick to quickly drag it to the edges.
- Let icing set slightly, then sprinkle with sanding sugar or nonpareils. Let set.
Decorating in a hurry? Dip store-bought madeleines in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped cranberries and pistachios so they look (and taste!) homemade.
"Glue" a stack of sugar cookies together with royal icing to create the perfect edible pine.
Gingerbread isn't just for houses! It also makes a sweet, spiced base for rich milk chocolate frosting — which you can use to make these minimalist snowflake shapes.
Decorate these sugar cookies like ornaments and you'll be able to hang them on your tree — if you're able to resist eating them first.
Scoop and roll Sugar Cookie Dough into 1-inch balls; place on cookie sheet. Pat to flatten. After removing cookies from oven, immediately press a candy kiss into the center of each cookie.
Cookie decorating isn't just about adding icing! With the help of a cookie press, you can add Christmas shapes of these picture-perfect cookies.
Scoop and roll Sugar Cookie Dough into 1-inch balls in a small bowl of cinnamon sugar; place on cookie sheet. Pat to flatten slightly.
The recipe calls for a madeleine mold, but if you don't have one, you can always dip a cookie of any shape into white chocolate and sprinkle with lavender.
The decorative stars on these jam filled cookies are just as adorable as the paper envelopes they come in.
Dip these waffle cookies into melted bittersweet chocolate so the shreds of coconut will coat half of the cookie. Did we mention there's no baking involved with these?
Tying together these rolled gingerbread sticks is the most adorable use of red ribbon we've seen this season. But if you don't have a ribbon, you can decorate with edible glitter, like this batch has.
Cut Chocolate Truffle Dough into rounds. When cool, brush halfway with melted white chocolate, then press into gold sanding sugar
These are powdered sugar cookies, not that more common powdered sugar donuts. But if you want to eat them for breakfast, we'll look the other way ...
Scoop and roll Chocolate Truffle Dough into 1-inch balls; place on cookie sheet. Pat to flatten. After removing cookies from oven, immediately press Starlight mint into center of each.
The icy blue frosting looks kind of like icicles here, no?
Believe it or not, thyme makes a great holiday cookie topper — taste it for yourself if you don't believe us.
With pastry wheel, cut Chocolate Truffle Dough into rectangles (about 1 inch by 2 inches). When cool, brush one end with melted chocolate, then press into toasted shredded coconut.