christmas cookies for kids on counter

Easy Cut-Out Christmas Cookies for Kids

Easy Cut-Out Christmas Cookies for Kids

Information about Easy Cut-Out Christmas Cookies for Kids

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With a dough that doesn’t require any electric equipment—just a bowl and clean hands!—and a super straight-forward method that’s ideal for doing together, these are our go-to cut-out Christmas Cookies for kids.

christmas cookies for kids on counter

Christmas Cookies for Kids

Every year when the holidays are in sight, we make at least one batch of cut-out cookies. (Okay, usually we make a few batches!) And this recipe, which doesn’t require a hand held mixer or stand mixer, is our favorite recipe to make together.

I love that the dough is forgiving and is hard to mess up, and that it rolls out easily without a ton of chilling (or any if you want to just fast forward the recipe a little).

Plus, you can add an easy icing and some sprinkles to really am up the festive factor if you want to.

They’re a seriously delicious sugar cookie meant for the holidays!

Easy Cut Out Cookies

My goal with any recipe meant to bake with kids is to make the process of making the dough and rolling out the cookies doable. Having little kids on hand in the kitchen is often fairly unpredictable (and messy!) so this cut-out cookie dough keeps that in mind.

I like to roll this out between sheets of parchment to help reduce any potential sticking, though a little flour also works.

There are a lot of photos in this post because I wanted to be sure to include all of the info—it’s very straight-forward though, promise.

ingredients in christmas cookie cut outs

Ingredients You Need

To make this holiday recipe, you’ll need a few basic pantry staples:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter: You’ll want this to be softened at room temperature, so plan to leave it out for at least an hour.
  • Milk: I use whole milk, but you can use low fat if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

TIP: The recipe is easy to adjust for allergies and is already egg-free. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for all of the info.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Gluten-Free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten-free baking mix in place of the all-purpose.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil, just softened (so not totally liquid, but softer than when it comes out of the jar at room temp). I tested it with about 10 seconds in the microwave in a heat-safe bowl.
how to make cut out christmas cookies step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process for making the cookies. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

  1. Stir together the dry ingredients in a bowl. This ensures that the baking powder and salt are evenly distributed.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
  3. Mix the dough together using clean hands (or you can use a food processor). Try to gently combine the butter into the flour, rather than kneading. You’ll just start squishing the butter into the flour, gently, but until the dough starts to come together. Form into a ball.
  4. Roll out between two sheets of parchment paper.
  5. Cut out with cookie cutters. If it starts to stick at all, either dust with flour or pop the dough into the fridge for a few minutes.
  6. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake.

TIP: If the cookies are different sizes or thicknesses, they may bake at a slightly different rate. You can pull smaller or thinner ones out of the oven sooner than larger, thicker ones.

how to decorate cut out christmas cookies

Tips for Frosting the Cookies

To decorate these cookies, you’ll want to:

  1. Pull the cookies from the oven when just slightly browned around the edges.
  2. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Stir together the icing ingredients in small bowls. If making different colors by adding food colors, make a separate bowl for each color.
  4. Paint on icing (or use a little knife) and add sprinkles as you and the kids like.

TIP: The icing will harden as it sits, so add any sprinkles right after applying it to ensure they stay put.

christmas tree cookies with sprinkles on parchment

How to Store

You can store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also freeze unfrosted cookies in a freezer bag, with as much air removed as possible, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before frosting.

Best Tips for Success

  • If the dough sticks after you initially chill the dough and roll it out, cut out the shapes and put it back into the fridge without trying to get the shapes out so it firms up more. Let the sheet pan chill for 10 minutes, then use a flat knife to pop up the shapes.
  • If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that it’s throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.
  • You can use whole-wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat. The cookies will be darker in color, but the results will otherwise be the same.
  • To make this dough ahead: Store it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours. It will need to sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften up, or you can remove it from the plastic, put it onto a plate, and microwave for 5-10 seconds.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten-free flour mix.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil, just softened (so not totally liquid, but softer than when it comes out of the jar at room temp). I tested it with about 10 seconds in the microwave in a heat-safe bowl.
  • Lower sugar option: Reduce sugar to ¼ or ⅓ cup if desired.
  • You may also like Salt Dough Ornaments, Easy Sugar Cookies, and more of my Favorite Christmas Cookies.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment and rate it below!

christmas-cookie-cut-outs-on-counter

Easy Cut-Out Christmas Cookies for Kids

Amy Palanjian

You can use any cookie cutters you like—the timing Is for 2-3 inch ones so scale up or down if yours are bigger or smaller. And feel free to make half of the dough at a time (and stash the other Into the fridge for a future day).

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 8 mins

Total Time 28 mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Servings 12 (Makes about 4 dozen small cookies)

Calories 190 kcal

Ingredients 

 

Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Easy Icing (optional)

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk
  • 1-2 drops food coloring (optional)

Instructions 

To make the cookies:

  • Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir together.

  • Add the remaining dough ingredients and use your hand to mix together to form a dough. (You can also use a food processor If you prefer. If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that it’s throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional milk until it comes together.)

  • Make two flattened disc of dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate while the oven preheats. 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll about ¼-inch thick between two additional pieces of parchment paper.

  • Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the scraps of dough and continue cutting out. (If you have any difficulty moving the cut outs, lightly flour the parchment paper.)

  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. (If you have some smaller shapes than others or some thinner cookies than others, you may need to remove them from the baking pan first, and allow larger or thicker ones to bake for an additional few minutes.)

  • Remove from the oven, let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining dough.

Easy Icing (optional)

  • Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl. You want it to be able to spread easily on the cookies and not be too thick. If you place some on the cookies and it runs right off, add a little more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick to spread, add a drop or two of milk. You can color the icing with a drop of food coloring if desired.
  • Use a small butter knife or paintbrush to spread on the icing or pipe on as desired. If adding sprinkles or other decorations, add them to the iced cookies right away before it dries.

Notes

  • Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
  • If the dough sticks after you initially chill the dough and roll it out, cut out the shapes and put it back into the fridge without trying to get the shapes out so it firms up more. Let the sheet pan chill for 10 minutes, then use a flat knife to pop up the shapes.
  • If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that it’s throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.
  • You can use whole-wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat. The cookies will be darker in color, but the results will otherwise be the same.
  • To make this dough ahead: Store it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours. It will need to sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften up, or you can remove it from the plastic, put it onto a plate, and microwave for 5-10 seconds.
  • Gluten-Free: Use this gluten-free cup-for-cup style flour.
  • Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil, just softened (so not totally liquid, but softer than when it comes out of the jar at room temp). I tested it with about 10 seconds in the microwave in a heat-safe bowl.
  • Lower sugar option: Reduce sugar to ¼ or ⅓ cup if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 88mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 245IUCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

Keyword christmas cookies for kids, cut out christmas cookies, cut out cookies

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