1. Slow Cooker Helper
If you’re planning on dipping a lot of cookies in chocolate, let your slow cooker help you out. Add your chocolate pieces to glass canning jars, then place the jars in your pot. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides and turn the heat to high. Wait about 30 minutes, give the chocolate a good stir, then reduce the heat to low. Your chocolate will be kept warm and ready for dipping or drizzling.
Tip: Make sure you don’t get any water in your jars – that will cause your chocolate to seize and get lumpy.
2. Homemade Snowflakes
Have the kids help you cut out paper snowflakes, or grab a paper doily. Place on top of your baked and cooled cookies. Put some confectioners’ sugar in a small sieve or fine strainer and sprinkle away. Carefully remove the paper, and you’ll have a beautiful snowflake print left behind.
Tip: Don’t have confectioner’s sugar on hand? Make your own by pulsing granulated sugar in your food processor or blender until fine and fluffy.
3. Ace the Icing
Okay, this is going to sound odd, but hear me out. To help little kids ice Christmas cookie designs, use an infant syringe (from their liquid medication). Wash in hot water and dry it thoroughly inside and out (cotton swabs can help). Thin out the icing just a bit, so it’s super easy to add fine details. Use a different syringe for each color, and don’t forget to thoroughly wash and dry them after use. (You might also like this $10 squeeze bottle icing kit from Target.)
4. Make Impressions
Use different items from around your house to press designs into raw cookie dough before baking. Try a few of these fun ideas:
- Press cookie dough into the center of Tupperware container tops (the “old school” kind you had growing up, that have ridges) to make seashells.
- Press cocktail or juice glass bottoms (or sometimes the sides of the glass, if they have nice etchings) into raw dough for pretty designs.
- Squish bubble wrap into cookie dough, then gently pull it away, for a honeycomb effect.
- Using a bottle cap and a straw, gently press the cap into the center of the cookie dough, then cut out four holes with the straw to make adorable buttons.
- Find your favorite crunchy foods to press into raw dough to make designs: bowtie pasta, pretzel rounds, etc. Just make sure to remove them before baking!
- Gently press an apple corer into dough to make sunflowers. Don’t cut all the way through, just make a mark, then pinch the end of the “petals” with the tips of your fingers.
Tip: you can really grab anything in your kitchen drawer to make designs – don’t forget your (clean) meat mallet, cheese grater, cooling racks, whisks, and more.
5. Flower Power
Take your favorite colorful freeze-dried fruit (raspberries, strawberries, mangos, or blueberries) and grind it to a powder. Dip a small whisk into the mixture, then press it into raw cookie dough for a colorful flower imprint.
Tip: You can also use cocoa powder and fork tines!
6. Thumbprint Cookies, Minus the Thumb
Using the pointy end of a juicer, gently press into your raw cookie dough, then fill the indent with your favorite jam. You can also flip the juicer over and press the cookie dough into the empty space underneath to make a fun mold.
7. Turn Cookie Cutters on Their Heads
Here’s a step-by-step guide showing how to turn gingerbread man cutouts into reindeer.