Tips for A Successful Christmas Cookie

1:45 PM

I'm low on funds for Christmas presents this year but I still want to gift my loved ones. One idea I had was to make customized Christmas cookies (what do you think?) So I embarked on this journey of making Christmas cookies..

Have you heard of SweetAmbs? She does absolutely amazing designs with royal icing. Obviously, she was my inspiration and I knew that I would have to practice to get anywhere near her skill level!

This was one of the more challenging (aka LONG) baking projects I've taken on. It really shouldn't be that challenging for you, let's just say I learned from my mistakes and the process will be much easier next time!

>Side note: My other challenging baking project was this Doctor Cake I made with fondant for my boyfriend. It took more than 3 hours, no lie. Mainly because I'm a perfectionist but the things you do for love, right?

Tips for a Successful Christmas Cookie 

1. Divide this project into 3 days (if you can) 

  • I chose to do everything (as in preparing the cookie dough, baking, and icing) on the SAME DAY and I was absolutely exhausted when I finished. 
  • Next time I'll make sure to 
    • Day 1: Prepare cookie dough (because it needs to be chilled at least an hour in the fridge)
    • Day 2: Bake cookies 
    • Day 3: Ice the cookies 

2. Buy royal icing mix 

  • This time around I used egg whites with this recipe because I didn't want to buy meringue powder. It's worth a try but I'm hoping using the royal icing mix will make it easier in the future! 
  • Or follow this guide for making it with meringue powder! 

3.  Buy multiple #3 pipette tips & Use Ziploc bags(or piping bottles) and couplers for piping the icing


  • As you can see, I purchased 4 different sizes of tips. Turns out that the #3 tip was the easiest to use in terms of getting the designs I wanted and for pushing the icing out. I bought these from Michael's and they were 99 cents each! 
  • #103 and #5 weren't necessary to have. The very smallest tip was SO small that I had trouble getting any icing out of that tip. 
  • Depending on the number of icing colors you're planning on using and the number of people decorating, you should use your best judgement on deciding how many tips to use! 
  • Next time, I'm going to use piping bottles because it was difficult to keep the icing at the end of the ziploc bag to pipe out. 
  • Instead of buying those overpriced piping bags I'm sure you have ziplocs lying around that you can use! 
  • That screw on device you see is called a coupler and its main function is to allow you to change tips for piping frosting. I found it necessary for keeping the piping tips stable at the end of the Ziploc and making sure icing didn't come out of the hole I made in the bag. 

5. Chill the cookie dough & Roll the cookies to a good thickness and bake for 6-7 minutes at 350 degrees

  • I chilled the dough in the fridge for an hour wrapped with foil. This made a big difference on making it easy to roll out. 
  • Think about the sugar cookies you buy from the store and roll them to that thickness. 
  • My first round, I rolled the cookies too thin and they came out hard instead of soft like typical sugar cookies. 
  • The recipe I used suggested baking them for 8-10 minutes but I loved how soft they were when I baked them at 6 minutes so I'd just suggest varying the times and seeing what you prefer. 

6. Rest the icing tips on a moist paper towel when not in use 

  • Royal icing dries quickly and you want the icing to be fluid when you're decorating. So to prevent it from drying out, cover it or rest the icing tip on a moist paper towel! 

7. If you're trying to do a design of multiple layers, let the layers dry at least a few hours in between decorating. 

  • Unless you want the colors incorporated into each other like this cookie 
  • It's a good idea to wait before applying that second layer of writing because the frosting will incorporate to create a smooth surface. 

Now that I've got my first try down and know what I need to do differently I'm going to try to tackle this project again this weekend and actually make the cookies to gift! 
I'll be sure to post an update! 
Have you made Christmas cookies before and what was your experience like?

Oh and an update to my December Goals List. I finished reading "The Alchemist" last night so that's #2 finished! And with making these Christmas cookies that's #10 finished! Excited to get the rest of the list accomplished!

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  1. I needed these tips! I am a terrible cookie decorator...sadly :(

    Sugar & Something

  2. These are so so cute :)
    Hopefully I can decorate cookies this year.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  3. Making cookies is on my list this year so thanks for the tips! I can't wait to start baking. Hopefully they turn out half as good as yours!


    1. Yay! I'd love to see how yours turn out, good luck!! :)

  4. I think your cookies look fabulous! I love seeing people bake and decorate fun cookies and cakes but always hate the experience when I do it myself. I like they you shared this so we could learn from your mistakes, that's so nice of you. I hope eeryone you gift these cookies to loves them! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  5. I just recently found a love for baking, so I am SO excited to bake Christmas cookies this year! Thank you for all of the helpful tips! PS that doctor cake is AMAZING!

    xo Ashley

    1. Thank you!! I'd love to see yours when you make them!

  6. My sister is going to college to be a pastry chef + she swears by royal icing for Christmas cookies - good tip! x Nicole |

  7. Awww this is an amazing idea!! I was actually thinking of doing the same thing myself!

    Sara Kate Styling

  8. I need this. My mom and i are SO bad at making Christmas cookies. or any cookies for that matter!

  9. I need to use those icing tips that I have had in the back of my cupboard for forever. I like the idea of spreading out cookie making into three days!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  10. Love the zip-lock hack idea! I am going to use that for my cookies next weekend!

    How 2 Wear It []

  11. I am having a cookie party this weekend!!! I am so excited about it! Great tips and right in time!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  12. These cookies are adorable!

  13. This is a sweet gift idea. I can relate to being super low on funds but still wanting to give gifts to those you love. Your cookies look great!

  14. I have to admit that I get pretty impatient when it comes to baking. I always want to finish everything within hours, but I'm sure if I took the time to split up the work into several days like you suggested, my cookies would end up looking as awesome as yours. They're so cute!

  15. Wow those cookies look delicious!

  16. I'm awful at decorating Christmas cookies but yours look great! Thanks for sharing this guide!

    Pick Your Beau

  17. Oh my gosh these are all adorable! I love this post!

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  22. it with homemade whipped cream. I hope that I did her Bampa's pie justice! I know it was a hit in our house! best-moving-company-cross-country


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