As Christmas approaches, the kids are likely getting more and more excited about Santa’s upcoming visit to deliver toys, especially if they’ve been exceptionally good this year. And, talk has probably started about what kind of cookies they should leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve to ensure that they stay in his good graces. The kids will love helping make cookies for Santa, so check out these kid-friendly cookie recipes that you and the kids can make together this holiday season.
- Cut out sugar cookies – Cream together 1 cup of softened butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla and 2 eggs to the mixer and blend together. In a separate bowl, mix together 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Whisk the dry ingredients together and then add them to the wet ingredients. Combine the ingredients until just mixed, avoiding over-mixing them. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, or let the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to start baking, roll out the dough so that it’s ¼ inch thick, using a dusting of flour on your work surface and a rolling pin. Cut out the cookies using cookie cutters. Bake the cookies at 400 degrees F. for 9 minutes. Once cool, frost the cookies with frosting and sprinkles.
- Gingerbread men – In a large mixing bowl, cream together ½ cup of softened butter, 1 (3.5 oz.) package of cook and serve butterscotch pudding, and ½ cup of packed brown sugar. Once that is blended well, add 1 egg and mix until incorporated. In a small bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups of flour, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Using a floured surface, roll out dough to about ¼ inch thick and cut out in the desired shapes. They can be gingerbread men and women, little houses or stars – it’s up to you. Place on greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly brown on the edges. Allow cookies to cool before decorating with frosting and various candies.
- Reindeer cookies – Use store bought peanut butter cookie dough for these. Shape the log into a triangle shape and slice off ½ inch slices, placing them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake according to package directions. When cookies come out of the oven, place 2 small chocolate covered pretzels on two corners of the cookie to act as antlers while the cookie is still hot. Press part way into the cookie and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, use a little frosting and mini candy coated chocolate pieces to add eyes and a red nose to your cookies.
- Cinnamon sugar bunuelos – Using cookie cutters, cut stars and trees out of flour tortillas. Then, heat up about 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place tortilla shapes into skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar while they are hot so it sticks. Continue frying the tortilla shapes, adding oil to the skillet as needed.
- Mice cookies – Separate 20 chocolate sandwich cookies, leaving the layer of white icing on one side. This is your snowy platform to build your mouse on. You can eat the other side of the cookies as you won’t need them for this project, though they also make tasty chocolate cookie crusts for pies! Melt some chocolate almond bark in the microwave according to package directions. In the meantime, dry off 20 maraschino cherries with the stem, on some paper towels. In a small bowl place some sliced almonds. Unwrap 20 chocolate kisses and have them standing by. In another small bowl place 40 dragees or small red candies. Dip the cherries into the chocolate by holding the stem carefully just covering the cherry. Lay the dipped cherry sideways on top of the cookie half so the stem becomes the mouse’s tail. Take a chocolate kiss and press the flat side up against the bottom of the cherry. Take 2 similarly shaped almond slices and place them between the cherry and the kiss to make the mouse ears. Be sure to move quickly before the chocolate hardens. Use a toothpick and a little melted bark to “glue” the dragees or candies onto the kiss face for eyes. Continue with rest of the cherries to make 20 mice cookies.
The kids will love working in the kitchen with you, and will enjoy getting to help make cookies for Santa. You’ll all have a blast making cookies together, and these cookies are all simple and relatively stress free, making them perfect for your little helpers.