Fun Holiday Cookies in Half the Time
Between holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and Santa’s midnight snack, cookies are an enduring (and delicious) holiday tradition. It can be tricky, though, to find enough time in these short December days to hand-paint paper-thin shortbread snowflakes delicately dusted in edible glitter.
Take a peek at our five favorite cookie tricks that will get your kitchen smelling sweet and save you time this holiday.
If you’ve got a helper or two eager to get on Santa’s nice list, enlist them as thumb-stampers to create these super simple shortbread sweets.
Tear off pieces of shortbread dough and roll into small balls.
Press your thumb into the center of each dough ball to make a small depression. Fill each cookie with a dollop of your favorite jam.
Bake according to instructions.
Get creative by mixing-and-matching your dough and jam combinations. You can even swap jam for your favorite nut butter or melted chocolate.
Decorating cookies couldn’t be easier with a DIY parchment paper stencil and a dusting of powdered sugar. These look darling even if your stencils are slightly crooked—in fact, off-kilter designs make them more endearing.
Start with a dark-colored cookie, like chocolate shortbread.
Cut out small shapes from parchment paper—stars and Christmas trees are a good place to start.
Place parchment paper stencils on cookies, dust with powdered sugar, and remove stencils gently, keeping them flat as you lift them off so the sugar on them doesn’t dust your design.
These cookies turn out best if you let the dough set in the freezer overnight, which makes them a perfect after-dinner activity for a winter evening. Let creative little minds come up with a mix of different toppings, or stick to classics like coconut or candy canes.
Roll out shortbread into a 2-inch thick cylinder.
Sprinkle a variety of crushed winter candies across a sheet of wax paper—try crushed candy canes, peppermint bark, sprinkles, candied walnuts, or coconut. Or go wild and use them all!
Roll your log of shortbread dough across the wax paper to pick up all the toppings.
Wrap in wax paper and freeze overnight.
Slice the log and bake the cookies according to instructions.
Santa’s Favorite Sandwiches
Looking for something to occupy the kids as you wrap gifts? Sandwich cookies present endless creative possibilities, and if you’re making them for Santa, they require undivided attention and care (buying you undisturbed time in the living room).
Choose sturdy cookies and a spreadable filling (or several!).
Spread your filling on one cookie and top with the other. Mix and match top and bottom cookies for a little added variety.
Little Peppermint Dippers
For a super festive look, dress up pre-made shortbread cookies with melted chocolate and crushed candy canes or peppermint bark.
Melt chocolate over low heat, stirring continuously. Remove from heat as soon as chocolate is melted and takes on a glossy sheen.
Crush candy canes or peppermint bark between parchment paper or in a bag. Don’t worry about having uneven pieces!
Dip each shortbread cookie one at a time into melted chocolate and sprinkle peppermint pieces over the top.
Whether you’re baking for neighbors, generous teachers, gluten-free playmates (try swapping in Klippy’s or Cappello’s gluten-free doughs), favorite coworkers, or the whole family, these cookie combos are sure to please.