A closeup image of christmas cookies

How to make Christmas cookies for kids

Christmas isn’t quite Christmas without that classic spiced cookie smell wafting through the house. And with the kids finally off school, there’s no better time to fill your kitchen with keen assistant chefs and start cooking up a festive storm. This easy Christmas sugar cookie recipe is the perfect thing to make with kids: bake them, decorate them, and give them out as gifts – if you can resist gobbling them up immediately, that is.

The perfect Christmassy sugar cookie recipe for kids

This recipe makes 15 or more delicious Christmas cookies for kids to share with their friends (and you, their kind and generous parent). The smell when they’re baking is pure Christmas!

First off, ingredients. You will need:

  • 280g plain flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 120g butter

  • 225g granulated sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or allspice

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • A selection of your favourite brightly-coloured sweets 

And for the icing:

  • 210g icing sugar

  • 3-4 tbsp milk or water

  • Red, yellow, and green food colouring

Ready? Here’s how to make the sugar cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C and line a tray (or two) with baking parchment.  

  2. Blend the flour, salt, and baking powder with a whisk. 

  3. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and creamy. 

  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla bit-by-bit with a wooden spoon. 

  5. Fold in the flour one spoonful at a time.

  6. Halve the mixture, place it in two plastic bags, and refrigerate for twenty minutes until the dough is firm and easy to roll. Don’t skip this bit, as it helps to keep the cookies from spreading. The important thing all great Christmas cookie recipes for kids have in common is a dough that holds its shape well: you want your reindeer shapes to stay reindeer shaped, essentially. 

  7. Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out one of the dough balls until it is 1.5 cm thick. 

  8. Now for the really fun part: use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas trees, stars, reindeer, moons, or snowmen, and then move the cookies to your lined baking tray. If you want to use them as Christmas tree decorations, use the end of a straw to create a hole that’s big enough for some string. Roll up the scraps into a ball and repeat steps 7 and 8. Do the same for the remaining dough ball.

  9. Bake in the oven for 10-18 minutes, with an adult turning the tray around half way through. Once they’re nice and golden, take them out and leave them to cool completely before icing. 

Top tip: Part of the reason kids love baking is the chance to make a big mess! Relax, and let them – Persil liquid can help you shift any flour or dough mix that sneaks past their aprons.

How to ice your Christmas cookies 

Now to decorate your freshly-baked Christmas cookies together! 

  1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the water or milk, stirring to make a smooth paste. When it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, it’s ready. If you go too far, just add more sugar.

  2. Separate the mixture out into four small bowls. Add green food colouring to the first, yellow to the second, and red to the third; leave the fourth bowl white.

  3. Using a spoon, coat each of your Christmas cookies for kids with a base colour of icing. If you’re adding sweets, press them into the wet icing now, then wait for it to dry (about 20 minutes). 

  4. Now for the fine detail: pipe the remaining icing onto the cookies using a narrow nozzle and piping bag. If you don’t have an icing kit, you can use a toothpick to apply thin lines and detail to your cookies. 

  5. All done! Leave them to dry, or eat them right away. No judgement here.

That’s it – one of the best easy Christmas cookie recipes kids can make at home. Now if you’re still overflowing with festive spirit, why not try one of our other Christmas activities for kids? From advent calendars to homemade cards, we’ve got your whole winter break covered.  

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