Easy Christmas cookies to make with kids

Sugar, spice and everything. . .covered in icing. We live for homemade cookies during the holidays, and this year we’ll be enjoying them more than ever. The best Christmas cookie recipes are those made together. And these tasty treats are simple enough for kids to help make, while delicious enough for adults to want seconds.

We’ve rounded up some of the top Christmas cookies for every taste—from classic Christmas sugar cookies to precious gingerbread people and some healthy-ish holiday treats.

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table with cookie tray and white plate with shortbread cookies topped with red and green sugar

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy these cookies but a plant-based margarine makes them dairy-free (just double-check the ingredients, since some margarines contain dairy). Flaked oats give these Christmas shortbread cookies a hearty texture and they’re so quick and easy to make—ready in only half an hour.

How kids can help: Your youngest bakers can help mix ingredients in a mess-free way with the help of a resealable freezer bag. It’s so squishy and fun to knead the dough—this task was practically made for sensory play. They’ll also love topping the cookies with coloured sugar or sprinkles.

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BUDGET WATCH
Skip buying sprinkles and make your own cookie decorations with what you have on hand. If you have food colouring you can easily make your own coloured sugar for some DIY sparkle.

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parchment paper with decorated gingerbread people

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: These spicy gingerbread cookies have all the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg flavours we crave, with the comforting, chewy texture of our favourite oatmeal cookies.

How kids can help: Break out your cookie cutters and let the kids have fun creating their own gingerbread characters. Think beyond men and let them make their own tasty holiday stories starring snowmen, trees, dogs or whatever shapes you have on hand.

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TIME-SAVING TIP
These cookies come together quickly but if you want to make the dough in advance, it’ll last in the fridge for about two to four days.[1]

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Vegan gluten-free lofthouse cookies

Ready in: 1 hour

Why we love them: You don’t have to tell anyone that they’re vegan and gluten free, but vegan, celiac and gluten-intolerant folks will be delighted to know that these soft, cakey cookies taste just like the bakery favourites.

How kids can help: Big kids can show their muscle power by creaming the sugar with the vegan buttery spread, while kids of all ages will enjoy decorating the cookies in traditional Christmas and Hanukkah colours.

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Jell-O Meringue Poppers

Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love them: Chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside and colourful throughout, these rainbow-y meringues bake up easy thanks to a simple mix of Jell-O and egg whites. Choose green and red Jell-O powder to make them extra Christmas-y.

How kids can help: Big kids will love taking charge of the electric mixer, while little ones can—with a bit of grownup guidance—help squeeze the meringue out the piping bag.

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Chocolate chip tree cookies

Ready in: 55 minutes

Why we love them: Packaged cookie dough, chocolate chips, Smarties and a little creativity are all it takes to get these cute Christmas tree cookies started.

How kids can help: Toddlers and up can have fun with this forgiving dough, rolling it into long ropes and shaping the ropes into trees.

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double chocolate pecan peanut butter cookies scattered around two mugs of black coffee

Ready in: 25 minutes

Why we love it: We’re always down for a new spin on a good peanut butter cookie. This one is loaded with crunchy peanut butter and made holiday-worthy with white and dark chocolate and toasted pecans.

How kids can help: Kids can handle most of this recipe all on their own. They can mix up the ingredients and then drop heaping spoonfuls of the dough onto a baking sheet. (Mom or Dad still has to do the oven work, sorry.)

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
These cookies aren’t healthy per se, but we like that they include both peanut butter and pecans for an extra hit of protein to balance some of that sugar.

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Simple cake mix cookies

Ready in: 35 minutes

Why we love them: It’s right there in the name—made with just cake mix, butter, eggs and your favourite decorations, these pretty cookies are super simple.

How kids can help: From mixing the dough to rolling and decorating it, little kids can participate in almost every step of these easy-peasy cookies, while older ones can do most of the work themselves (with some adult help around the hot oven, of course).

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snowman cookie, holly cookie and red Santa book cookie in spicy gingerbread

Ready in: 20 minutes

Why we love it: A spicy twist on traditional sugar cookies, this recipe uses a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg for a festive flavour that’s a hit with both kids and adults alike.

How kids can help: You don’t even need a piping bag to decorate these Christmas sugar cookies. Just spoon the frosting into a resealable plastic bag and snip off a tiny piece from one of the corners. Set up each bag with a different colour and let the kids have fun.

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Article Sources

  1. Ask USDA Department of Agriculture. What is the shelf life of cookie dough?

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