Christmas Cookie Ideas

Many of my Christmas cookie ideas came from some of our large old companies. Years ago large companies like Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Spry Shortening, Hershey’s Chocolate and others use to put out great ideas to use for baking. This was especially true for the holidays.  Since an early age, I would become so enthralled reading all these interesting cooking crafts. It is like sculpting with dough or painting food.

Christmas Cookie IdeasChristmas Cookie Ideas

Below is a classic refrigerator cookie dough recipe which can be used in making many food crafts. It can be used to make many different kinds of decorative Christmas cookies as I show you in the following directions. If you feel you cannot spare the time to make the dough from scratch you can purchase refrigerator cookie dough from the supermarket. I have listed many of the options which have come to my mind.

Holiday time is a great time to experiment with your Christmas cookie ideas. Often it is not something which takes a lot of time but rather just changing those “same old” recipes. Sprucing them up with colorful sprinkles or candies can add that holiday feel when serving to your family or guests. It is a time to try new recipes with new flavors to set family traditions. It is also a time to drag out old traditional family recipes which you may have longed for. Maybe they are ones which Mom (Or Dad) used to make.


Classic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough with Decorative EdgesClassic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough with Decorative Edges

Many Christmas cookie ideas can be created with refrigerator cookies.

  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • Dash nutmeg
  • ¼ Cup milk

Beat butter in large mixing bowl on medium speed until smooth.
Add sugar and beat until blended; beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder and nutmeg in small bowl.
Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture.
Beat on low speed after each addition until well blended.
Shape dough into 2 logs each 6 inches long; 2 inches in diameter.
Wrap each roll in plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.


TO BAKE PREHEAT OVEN to 350F degrees.
Line cookie baking sheets with parchment paper.


NOTE: Read the OPTIONS below. For all Christmas cookie ideas it is best to keep dough and sliced cookie dough cold until ready to go in oven.

OPTION 1: FOR ROUND COOKIES WITH DECORATIVE EDGE  Before refrigerating the plain sugar cookie dough roll the logs in colored sprinkles using ¼ cup for each log. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Cut logs in ¼ inch slices placing 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges start to brown. (Some sprinkle melt in the oven; so they do not looks as pretty after baking.)

OPTION 2: FOR ROUND COOKIES DECORATED AFTER BAKING Cut logs into ¼ inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes. When completely cooled frost with cookie icing. Sprinkle with colored sugar, sprinkles or decorate with colored icing.

Classic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked Round and DecoratedClassic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked Round and Decorated

OPTION 3: FOR GIANT SANTA STOCKING Cut logs into ¼ inch slices; each stocking takes around 15 slices. Arrange slices on parchment paper lined cookie sheet touching each other. Start by arranging 4 for the bottom of the stocking with edges touching. If you count the bottom slice at heel there should be 5-6 up for the back. Fill in with more slices shaping a stocking; you can fill empty places with parts of slices. Bake at 325F degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool cookie completely on baking sheet. Decorate with frosting and decorative candies.

Classic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked in a Giant Santa StockingClassic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked in a Giant Santa Stocking

OPTION 4: GIANT SANTA BOOT  Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut logs into 30 slices (1/4 Inch thickness).  Arrange 6 slices with edges touching for the bottom of boot. Add 2 more rows of 6 slices on the top of row 1. Lining up the back place 3 rows using 4 slices each forming a boot (All edges touching). Bake at 350F degrees for 13 to 23 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely on pan. Decorate with colored frosting; Lifesaver candies for boot holes and black string licorice for boot laces.

Classic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked in a Giant Santa BootClassic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked in a Giant Santa Boot

OPTION 5: CHRISTMAS TREES Cut dough into ¼ inch slices. Use 6 slices for each tree and make 3 trees the same way.
Place slices on parchment paper lined trays like a pyramid; overlapping slices about 1/8 inch.
Make a BASE by placing 8 slices in a circle on parchment lined baking sheet using 1 slice to fill the center.
Bake trees and base at 350F degrees for 9-11 minutes until golden; cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.
Carefully and evenly cut trees in HALF VERTICALLY making 6 parts. 
To assemble tree use pastry tube filled with decorator’s frosting.
Pipe frosting in spoke fashion on base forming 6 lines.
Pipe a thick line of frosting along cut edge of 1 tree half.
Press firmly into frosted spoke line on base.
Repeat with remaining tree halves pressing firmly into frosting on base and frosting on cut side of first half.
Fill connecting spaces with frosting; hold in place a few minutes for frosting to set and tree will stand alone.
Decorate with small pieces of candy by attaching with a small drop of frosting.

Classic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked in a Christmas TreesClassic Refrigerator Sugar Cookie Dough Baked in a Christmas Trees


Many Christmas cookie ideas call for a special frosting.

  • 3 ½ Cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ Cup solid shortening
  • 5-6 Tablespoons milk
  • Few drops food coloring if desired

Beat all ingredients in large bowl until smooth and creamy.
Tint for colors if desired.


Christmas cookie ideas include cookie puzzles.

  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Package (3 Ounces) softened cream cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 Egg (Separated)
  • 2 Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • Green food coloring
  • ½ Teaspoon water
  • Assorted food colors

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Combine sugar, butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl.
Beat mixture until well blended; beat in vanilla, mint and egg WHITE.
Add flour and salt mixing well; mix in 6-9 drops green food coloring to dough.
Knead 1-2 minutes until color is evenly blended; divide dough into 3 parts.
Press or roll on wax paper each part into a Christmas tree 1/8 inch thick.
Transfer dough on wax paper to ungreased baking sheet; set aside.
FOR YOLK PAINT in small bowl whisk together the egg YOLK and ½ teaspoon water.
Divide yolk paint among several little custard cups or containers.
Mix food color in each making several different colors; paint decorations on trees.
Bake for 9-15 minutes until set; cut trees into different sizes and shapes of puzzle pieces.
Bake an additional 5 minutes; cool completely and wrap each separately.
Makes 3 cookie puzzle trees or 18 servings.


Dancing Bears Nibbler WreathDancing Bears Nibbler Wreath

Many Christmas cookie ideas are easily made with crackers.

  • 6 Ounces vanilla flavored candy coating (Cut in small pieces)
  • 60 round buttery crackers (2 Inch size)
  • Candy coated chocolate pieces
  • Chocolate flavored bear shaped graham crackers
  • Cherry flavored fruit leather

Melt candy coating in small saucepan over low heat stirring constantly.
Place 5 crackers in a circle with ½ inch space between them.
Spread candy coating generously on back side of 5 additional crackers.
Arrange coated crackers on top of circle with coated side down.
NOTE: Each of the top crackers should overlap 2 on the bottom circle and the sides of the top crackers should tough.
Repeat process and make 6 wreaths; let all wreaths stand until the coating sets.
Attach candy and bears with a little melted coating and arrange as you desire.
Cut 6 bow shapes from the fruit leather; attach each to a wreath with coating.

NOTE: I coated some of my crackers on the top with melted chocolate and I used ribbon instead of the fruit leather.


Teddy Bear OrnamentsTeddy Bear Ornaments
Teddy Bear GarlandsTeddy Bear Garlands

Gummy bears are great in making Christmas cookie ideas.

  • 2 Ounces vanilla flavored candy coating (Cut in small pieces)
  • 36 Gummy bears
  • 36 Miniature pretzel twists
  • 8 Feet ribbon (1/8 inch wide; cut in 6 pieces each 16 inch long)

Melt candy coating in small saucepan over low heat stirring constantly.
Spread candy coating on back side of 6 gummy bears.
Attach to 6 pretzels with single hole at bottom; let stand to set.
NOTE: Make sure gummy bear’s head is toward the hole and centered over twist in center of pretzel.
Repeat with remaining candy coating, gummy bears and pretzels.
Weave 1 piece of ribbon through the holes in the decorated pretzels.
Tie ribbon at each end to secure; repeat to make 5 more garlands.

NOTE: To secure pretzels in place on the ribbon, add a drop of white chocolate and let set.

FOR ORNAMENTS: Use three pretzels; two on the bottom and one on the top with hole at top.

Use melted chocolate to secure; apply gummy bears and ribbon with melted chocolate.


Make Christmas cookie ideas to look like stained glass with crushed candy.


  • Cookie dough
  • Hard candy (Assorted colors)
  • Hammer
  • Shallow containers (For candy)
  • Small zip lock bags or wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cookie sheets

Dough Recipe

  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • 1/2Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Separate candy colors; crush each color by placing in zip lock bag and hammering.
Place crushed candy in individual containers; set aside.
FOR DOUGH In large mixing bowl beat butter until creamy; beat in sugar.
Add remaining ingredients; beat until dough forms.
Shape dough in ball and refrigerate overnight.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.
Break off pieces of dough and roll into ropes about ¼ inch diameter.
Arrange ropes into designs on aluminum foil.
NOTE: This dough shape is what holds the sugar panes.
With scissors trim foil around each cookie leaving some foil for handling.
NOTE: This will make it easy to transfer to cookie sheet.
Bake 5 minutes; remove from oven.
NOTE: Cookies will be slightly larger but not brown.
NOTE: If you want to hang the cookies, make a hold now while still soft.
Fill spaces in cookies surrounded by dough with crushed candy (Each space different color).
Return cookies to the oven about 4-5 minutes longer; cool completely.
NOTE: After completely cooled peel foil from cookies.


Christmas cookie ideas include gift tags to go with your gifts.

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ Teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 ½ Cups flour
  • 1/3 Cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • Decorator’s frosting
  • Colored icing, candies or sprinkles for decorating

Combine butter and next 4 ingredients in large bowl.
Beat until light and fluffy; set aside.
In another bowl stir together flour and next 3 ingredients.
Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture blending well.
Divide dough into 4 parts; wrap tightly and chill 3 hours.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F degrees.
Roll 1 part of the dough at a time on floured surface to 1/8 inch thick.
Cut out in rectangle shapes (3X2 ½ Inches).
Make a hole in top of each cookie with straw for hanging.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes until firm; remove from baking sheets.
Cool completely on wire racks; decorate as desired.

Decorator’s Frosting

  • 2 ½ to 3 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Egg whites
  • ¼ Teaspoon peppermint extract

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Beat mixture on high speed of mixer until very stiff.


Great Christmas cookie ideas include all kinds of cookie wreaths.

  • 3 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 Cup sugar (Divided)
  • 3 Teaspoons grated orange peel (Divided)
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1  1/3 Cups softened butter
  • ¼ Cup fresh orange juice
  • Cup blanched almonds (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Teaspoon water

Tinted Frosting

  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 1-2 Teaspoons milk
  • Few drops green food coloring
  • Red cinnamon candies for decorating

FOR COOKIES preheat oven to 400F degrees; lightly grease cookie sheets.
In large bowl combine flour, ¼ CUP sugar, 2 TEASPOONS orange peel and salt.
Cut in the butter until crumbly; stir in orange juice until dough holds together.
Knead a few times and press into ball.
Divide dough into ¾ inch balls; roll each into 6 inch long rope on floured surface.
Use 2 strips for each wreath twisting together to make a rope.
Pinch ends together making a wreath; place on prepared baking sheets.
In shallow dish mix almonds with ¼ CUP sugar and 1 TEASPOON orange peel.
With fork mix egg white and water together.
Brush tops of wreaths with egg white mixture; sprinkle with nut mixture.
Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned; move to racks and cool completely.
FOR FROSTING mix together sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon milk and few drops coloring.
If needed add more milk for consistency; decorate with red candies.


Some Christmas cookie ideas can be created with simple packaged foods.

  • 1 Package (12 Ounces) mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Papers removed)
  • 1 Package refrigerator peanut butter cookie dough

Preheat oven according to package directions.
Slice dough about 1 inch slices; cut into 4 quarters.
Place each part in ungreased miniature muffin tin.
Bake according to package directions for cookie dough.
Remove from oven; immediately press in a peanut butter cup.
Cool in pans; use a small spoon to lift cups out of pans.