Ten fun and festive Christmas cookies to bake with kids of all ages. Many can be made ahead and frozen to bake throughout the holiday season.
Happy first day of December! I don’t remember the last time I was this excited about the holiday season. I’d say that 2020 needs as many cheery, cozy holiday vibes as we can cram in. We’re planning on going big with all of our favorite holiday traditions. A pj Christmas light drive with thermoses of hot chocolate, movies in front of the fire, and cookie baking of course. We started early and made sugar cookies over the weekend. My curbside pick-up order this morning included all the candy we need to make gingerbread houses. Here are our top ten cookies to bake this time of year with ways to get kids of all ages involved.
The flavor one this gingerbread has just the right amount of spice and a subtle sweetness. Toddlers can help press the M&Ms into the dough before baking. Older kids can cut out the dough or do more elaborate decorating. We’re going to try this recipe to make gingerbread houses this year – I’ll let you know how it goes!
Chocolate Mint Pinwheel Cookies are tender butter cookies with swirls of chocolate, vanilla, and mint dough. I make variations on these cookies for many different holidays, but love this mint and chocolate twist for Christmas. Prepare these ahead and refrigerate or freeze to slice off as few or as many as you want at a time.
These rich dark chocolate cookies are filled with creamy caramel and topped with a sprinkle of salt. Put a plate out and they’ll disappear fast (but only if you’re willing to share)! Kids will love unwrapping the caramel and wrapping the chocolate dough around the caramel pieces.
Saltine crackers form a crunchy base for this easy Chocolate Saltine Toffee Bark (sometimes called “cracker candy”) that is always a crowd-pleaser at the holidays. Dark chocolate, toffee bits, and a pinch of flaked sea salt balance the sweetness of the sweet toffee layer. While pouring the caramel is an adult-only task, kids of all ages love lining the crackers on up on a sheet pan and adding toppings.
Light, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth Candy Cane Meringues are naturally gluten-free, flavored with peppermint and are a sweet addition to a cookie spread around the holidays. These are great for kids ages 4 and older. The batter is poured into Ziploc bags, so kids can practice squeezing the batter out into the candy cane shape.
Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms are a soft, chewy chocolate cookies topped with white peppermint candy kisses. One of my favorite Christmas cookie tasks as a kid was to unwrap the kisses that go on top of cookies, and my kids ages 2-6 all love doing this too. (Especially since they snack on them as they work.)
Christmas Tree Meringues are fun and easy to make. (Also naturally gluten-free.) With a light, crunchy texture and topped with sprinkles, they are a festive addition to a holiday cookie plate. Like candy cane meringues, these are fun for older kids to practice forming – the shape takes a little practice, but they come out delicious no matter how they look. All kids will love adding the sprinkle “decorations”.
8. Elf Pies
Chewy bite-sized brownies topped with a light, fluffy frosting and crushed candy cane. Designed for Santa’s elves, but well-loved by all. This is an oldie but goodie that is on my list to make this year. They are so small and can be topped with whatever you have on hand – kids can pick their favorite sprinkles to add to the top.
Creamy, rich chocolate ganache rolled in crunchy candy canes. Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles add a little something different to the holiday cookie / candy spread. The best part? These are super kid-friendly since they require only four ingredients – no special equipment or candy thermometers necessary. Older kids that are comfortable in the kitchen can easily make these themselves.
Soft peanut butter cookie cups stuffed with chocolate peanut butter cups. We keep the dough in the freezer to bake throughout the holidays and the kids always love unwrapping the Reese’s cups and pressing them into the warm cookies. I hate to play favorites with my cookies, but these are probably mine!
Bonus: Sweet and Salty Snack Mix
Although this isn’t technically a “cookie”, this snack mix is a fun addition to a cookie box or holiday dessert spread. My kids absolutely love this every holiday season!