One of my favorite traditions from growing up is baking cookies… and Christmas is the perfect time to do it. We always had so much fun piling on the icing and sprinkles and as we got older, attempting to make the cookies look beautiful. It was always a bonding experience and I knew that it would be one to continue with my own family.
As soon as I had children, I was breaking out the cookies- ready to bake and decorate. However, it is not as easy as it may seem, especially when your kids are younger. I have been learning how to make Christmas cookies simple, and here are the tips I have learned.
Use cookie dough that is already prepped.
A tip that I love is to make twice the dough and freeze it. In fact, I do this all of the time- make cookie dough and freeze it. Then, every day for a few weeks, I’ll just make 4 cookies a day (one per child. Fresh, homemade cookies daily… how could you not love that?
However… if it’s sugar cookies, I use the store-bought dough. I’m just not good at sugar cookies I remember there were some years that we decorated pre-cut cookies as a child. It was still so much fun and much less mess!
Prep ahead of time.
Make the frosting ahead of time. If you are making a dough, prep that ahead of time. Having everything mostly ready will help relieve stress. Once your kids are a little older, you can involve them more, but for when you need things simple- prepare! We do the same thing for our Cake Wars.
Use cupcake holders for the sprinkles.
We recently started doing this and it was a game changer. I love letting my kids get creative, but I also love having some sense of order. Sprinkles can equal pure chaos. While there is still a mess when we do this, there are limits to how many sprinkles the kids have access to.
Divide up the icing.
Instead of having large bowls, give each child their own individual bowls or just separate the icing into smaller bowls. They are easy to manipulate and the kids love the little bowls! I love to give each child a little station at the table complete with what they need to decorate.
Embrace the mess.
Making cookies and decorating them is messy. There is no way around it, so just embrace it. I try to implement systems that help, but there will always be the mess. I am learning that I would rather have the mess and the fun of the stress and no mess. The mess is temporary, but the memories last a lifetime.
I am so glad that my mom made Christmas cookies part of our traditions. As you prepare for Christmas baking, try out these tips to see how it helps with making Christmas cookies of your own!
Are you ready to bake? Try these!
(These first ones are so good… Peppermint Chocolate cookies!)