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, candy cane creations and some healthy-ish holiday treats.
Ready in: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Why we love it: Chocolate and mint is one of our favourite flavour combos of the season. These candy cane cookies are so pretty (and yummy!), they’re a perfectly tasty gift—just pop them in a festive box.
How kids can help: Kids will love decorating these with royal icing and crushed candy canes. To keep the mess to a minimum, spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Then pipe dots along the edges of each cookie. Connect the dots around the edge of the cookie before filling them in for a neater look.
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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Ready in: 3 hours and 45 minutes
Why we love it: Get out your Christmas cookie tray. These elegant swirls might be our favourite gluten-free Christmas cookies, ever. They only need five ingredients and are surprisingly low-calorie. Don’t be turned off by the longer cook time. These light, crispy cookies get their signature texture from a low, slow bake. Pop them in the oven while you enjoy a holiday movie. Trust us, the wait is worth it!
How kids can help: Your kid will love helping you beat the eggs and sugar (or watching you do it) until glossy, stiff peaks form. If they’re extra keen, they can also help you paint the inside of the icing bag with food colouring to get those gorgeous swirls.
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.
Ready in: 55 minutes
Why we love it: With crispy edges and chewy centres, these are ideal cookies. Kids are also obsessed with white chocolate and sprinkles, so let them have both in one cookie. Plus this recipe freezes super well, meaning you can bake up just a few when a craving hits.
How kids can help: Ask your child to sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then they can add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. They’ll also love folding in the sprinkles and white chocolate and shaping the cookie dough into balls. (A cookie scooper works best for this!)
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.)
Ready in: 25 minutes
Why we love it: This vegan Christmas cookie ticks a lot of boxes: it’s plant-based, it’s easy, and it doesn’t require use of the oven. Essentially a vegan take on chocolate macaroons, it’s also relatively healthy, with sunflower butter adding protein, while chia seeds, oats and shredded coconut up the fibre factor.
How kids can help: If your kid is old enough to read and measure, go ahead and let ‘em at it. This recipe doesn’t require any heating, so the worst they’ll do is make a mess.
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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