Tasty

19 Creative Christmas Cookie Ideas That Are Actually Easy

Be the baker you always wanted to be!

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1. Bust out your holiday stamps and dress up your royal icing-glazed cookies.

countrycleaver.com

Make your favorite sugar, gingerbread, chocolate, or other cookie (store-bought or pre-made dough is completely legit here!), drizzle with a 3-ingredient icing recipe like this one from King Arthur Flour, then go crazy with your stamps! The key to making this really work is to use gel food coloring instead of the normal liquid kind (you can find it at most grocery stores or craft stores).

Learn more about the technique and how to make it work at Country Cleaver.

2. Or skip the stamps and just use your favorite brushes and DIY edible paint to draw directly on the icing.

poprocparties.co.nz / nectarandstone.com

Make the same cookies and icing as you would for the stamp cookies above, but instead of directly stamping gel color onto them, mix up edible cookie paints (McCormick has instructions for creating 19 different colors using liquid food coloring at the bottom of this recipe), and play around with brushing them in your favorite designs.

The cookies pictured above were created by Australian bakery Nectar and Stone for New Zealand's Pop Roc Parties (and omg, they both have beautiful Instagram accounts).

4. Decorate before you bake by dyeing your dough, and twisting it into lollipop shapes.

sprinklebakes.com

This is great for anyone who doesn't love frosting and candy toppings, but still wants to try something creative and fun with holiday cookies. You can totally use store-bought dough for this, just let it come close enough to room temperature that it's easy to work with. Then, let them rest in the fridge for at least half an hour after you roll them, so they bake more evenly.

Find the recipe on Sprinkle Bakes.

6. Bring a little bit of Old St. Nick's joy to everyday Oreos by covering them in white chocolate, red gel icing, and other decorations from the baking aisle.

acultivatednest.com

The cute cheeks are pink M&Ms, but could totally be substituted with red ones. If you're not confident in your ability to gently sprinkle the right amount of coconut onto only half of an Oreo, there's no shame in upgrading your base cookie to something larger, like a gingersnap.

Get the full tutorial at A Cultivated Nest.

7. Stick marshmallows on puddles of icing to make little melted snowmen.

listotic.com

There are tons of tutorials (and a few fails) for these type of snowman cookies on Pinterest, but I like this version because almost anyone can pull it off: you use pre-made dough (or even store-bought cookies), pre-made icing, and food coloring markers to make the magic happen.

Get the how-to at Listotic.

8. Dip chocolate wafer cookies in melted chocolate, then cover them with sprinkles or crushed candy canes.

butterlustblog.com

You can find these delicious chocolate noms in the baking or snack aisles of most grocery stores — because they're already made, the only prep you have to do before decorating is melting the chocolate and potentially crushing the candy canes. This recipe adds matcha to the chocolate so it's green (like Christmas, get it?), but you can stick with white chocolate or use food coloring to make other colors if you prefer.

Get the recipe at Butterlust.

9. Build a forest scene out of these no-bake trees decorated with M&Ms Minis and white chocolate.

thereciperebel.com

Of course you can use sprinkles or icing or edible glitter or whatever else you want to decorate these!

Get the recipe at The Recipe Rebel.

10. Coat Oreos in a candy coating or chocolate and top them with a Mini Reese's to make ornament cookies.

blog.candiquik.com

Then you can add sprinkles, other candy, or drizzles of colorful icing to your heart's content.

Get the recipe and tutorial at Miss CandiQuick.

11. Or opt for the sugar-cookie-and-Rolo version, decorated with M&Ms or other candies.

yourcupofcake.com

Of course you could use any kind of candy you wanted, or even the stamping or painting techniques from the top of this post. They're your cookies, make them however you'll love them most!

Get the recipe and how-to at Your Cup of Cake.

12. Make these chocolate evergreen trees, allow them to dry, then just put them on top of your favorite sugar cookie recipe with the help of a little white frosting.

justataste.com

You can also stick them into cupcakes. Either way, you have a snowy scene!

Learn how to make them at Just A Taste.

13. Make big red bows that stick to themselves using Fruit by the Foot and a pair of kitchen shears...

yourcupofcake.com

Fruit by the foot is probably easier to work with than actual ribbon, to be completely honest.

...and use them as the finishing touch on iced wreath cookies.

yourcupofcake.com

If you have just the smallest bit of piping skill, you can make the six little stars required to ice this cookie.

Get the full tutorial and recipe at Your Cup of Cake.

14. Melt candy on the insides of your favorite sugar cookie recipe to make stained glass cookies.

homegrownandhealthy.com

You'll need both a large round cookie cutter and small cookie cutters in various shapes to make this work, but it's sooo pretty. You can also use crushed peppermint or gummi bears, just make sure to watch the candy melting so it doesn't burn!

Learn how to make them safely at Homegrown and Healthy.

15. Skip the annoying (and gross) stiff gingerbread and build your holiday candy houses with graham crackers instead.

aliceandlois.com

The tutorial suggests hot gluing the graham crackers together (which tbh would be very stable), but of course icing or even some well-placed peanut butter would work if you want to eat 'em.

Get the full how-to at Alice and Lois.

16. Print out a stencil shape of your choice, then use it for sprinkling perfect powdered sugar onto the type of cookie you love the most.

whiteonricecouple.com

The tutorial for these includes a recipe for these Dark Chocolate Gingersnaps, but you could also use store-bought chocolate wafers or regular gingersnaps. You can find holiday cookie stencils for sale, but it's cheapest to make your own — this Martha Stewart tutorial will show you how to make them.

Get the recipe and see more examples of this technique at White on Rice Couple.

17. Coat them in festive sprinkles and your favorite icing.

livelymess.com

Sometimes there's nothing wrong with taking the easy way out!

Use your favorite recipe, or try these Almond Shortbread Cookies from Lively Mess.

18. Go au natural and top your cookies with green pistachios and red dried cranberries.

xoxobella.com

Chop them as finely or as roughly as you like. These are also frosted with super easy 2-ingredient lemon icing.

Get the recipe at XOXO Bella.

19. Lightly melt marshmallows onto the tops of your sugar cookies, then use red icing and white chocolate chips to make little Santa bellies.

pillsbury.com

If piping that belt looks intimidating, skip it, or use a single strand of Licorice Red Vines and a yellow jelly bean.

Get the recipe and tutorial at Pillsbury.