Christmas cookie decorating ideas: Get inspired by our 20+ creative ideas!
To make your Christmas cookies a success, it is essential to decorate them well. And if you’re out of ideas, we’re here to help. In this article you will find more than 20 beautiful ideas for every taste. So, it doesn’t matter if you are a great artist or not, we are sure that here you will find a design that suits you perfectly. Using traditional icing or chocolate glaze, our Christmas cookie decorating ideas will help you. Are you ready to get inspired? Let’s go!
Table of Contents
- Easy Christmas cookie decorating ideas
- How to decorate Christmas cookies with chocolate glaze?
- Decorating ideas for Christmas cookies – Photo gallery
You can find thousands of Christmas cookie decorating ideas on the web, but you have to choose the right one. Yes, only one! We are sure that you will be tempted to try all the beautiful cookie ideas that you will see here in this article. But if you don’t want to spend the whole weekend painting on the table, then pick just one and save the rest of the ideas for 2023.
Why did we choose so many patterns then? Because the world is so colorful, and we want to provide decoration that is perfect for all of you. So if you are not comfortable with precise decorations or you do not have enough time to devote to Christmas cookies, go for the simpler, quicker designs. On the other hand, if you are an enthusiastic baker who likes to spend time in the kitchen, roll up your sleeves to make a royal icing decoration.
Christmas cookies are a perfect way to create a delicious and festive holiday stockpile at home. So, we advise you to prepare them in advance and not wait until Christmas Eve. Choose and prepare your favorite delicacies and then proceed to the decoration. This is the most fun part of the baking process, right? But before we start, we need to talk about royal icing. Don’t be afraid, just go for it! They may not be perfect the first time, but if you strictly follow our advice, we guarantee you a perfect result!
Royal icing recipe
Ingredients for the royal icing:
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 460g confectioners’ sugar
- 6-8 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food coloring
- Combine meringue powder and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl.
- Add 6 tablespoons of lukewarm water and mix with the whisk on medium speed for about 7-10 minutes. If needed, add an additional spoonful of water for a smooth frosting.
- Once the icing is ready, add the vanilla extract and additional water to get the right consistency for the piping. In the video above, you can see the proper royal icing consistency.
- Divide the white mixture into small containers and add the food colorings. Otherwise, you can also use gel food coloring as shown in the photo below.
Useful tips to make your job easier
- When making royal icing, make sure the container you use is clean and completely dry. More or less, baking is all about chemistry, so any extra “ingredients” can completely mess up the recipe and in this case, change the consistency of the icing.
- Once the icing is ready, cover it with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. Royal icing can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. Stir before using.
- Once the royal icing is dry and firm, you can easily wrap the Christmas cookies for a nice gourmet gift or even decorate the Christmas tree.
- If your cookies get too hard, add a piece of apple next to them and seal them in a box. You can also wrap them in plastic wrap. In this case, be careful that the apple does not touch the icing, otherwise it will absorb the moisture from the fruit and become runny.
- Add the first detail on the cookie (a hat, leaf, or just a white base), then let it dry before adding the rest. If you add the details before the icing dries, they won’t sit on top of the icing, but blend. However, there are some techniques that require a liquid base, such as making a Christmas wreath for example (see the photo in next paragraph).
When it comes to decoration, you’re spoiled for choice – there are plenty to choose from – little snowy houses, various animals, fairy trees, etc. Among the must-haves are Santa Claus, the snowman and the gingerbread man. If you are a beginner, start by making a Christmas gift or a simple snowflake. The Christmas wreath is also a very good idea. You will find plenty of ideas in the photo gallery at the end of this article. So, keep reading.
The classic glaze is liquid which makes it ideal for covering a chocolate cake for example, but not your Christmas shortbread. So if you’re looking for an easy way to decorate your cookies using this gorgeous cocoa delight, skip the butter or sour cream. All you need is cooking or baking chocolate. Choose one according to your preferences (dark, white or milk chocolate) or combine two different flavors. You can cover half of the cookie in white and the other half in black.
Another good idea is to spice up the chocolate with additional flavorings like cardamom, cayenne, chili powder, cinnamon or instant espresso.
How to melt chocolate
Here’s how to melt chocolate using a double boiler, explained step by step:
- Let cookies cool before decorating. You can even make them a day or two in advance.
- Fill a saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring to the boil over low heat.
- Next, put the chocolate chips in a metal bowl and place it over the pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water in the pan.
- Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.
- Remove the “bain-marie” from the pan and use the melted chocolate for your recipe.
Melting chocolate in the microwave:
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and put it in the microwave.
- Then heat for 1 minute at 50% power. If you use a higher temperature, the chocolate will not melt evenly and you risk burning it.
- Stop the oven to stir every 20 seconds. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl and use it to decorate your Christmas cookies.
Useful tips and tricks
- To melt the chocolate, it must be chopped into uniform chunks. You can use chocolate chips to make it easier.
- NEVER add water when melting chocolate. The chocolate would become crumbly and unmanageable. In this case, you can’t even add butter or cream.
- As soon as the chocolate melts, immediately remove it from the heat source. You can always reheat it if it starts to harden.
Decorating Christmas cookies with chocolate is much easier than using royal icing. But if you wish, you can mix the two techniques: first dip the cookie in the melted chocolate and when it is dry, decorate it with colored icing. If this is all too complicated for you, don’t worry. Put a few chocolate chips on the cookies before baking and you’ll still have a great themed treat. Another option is to stamp personalized cookies.
Do you like nuts? Then sprinkle your chocolate cookies with pistachios or finely chopped walnuts. For a fruity taste, top Christmas cookies with crushed freeze-dried raspberries. In both cases, the ingredients must be added before the melted chocolate hardens.
Stamped Christmas shortbread
Use Christmas shortbread to make a nice gourmet gift!
Marbled icing in white and green
Simple, yet sophisticated decoration.
Decorate Christmas cookies with fondant
Add edible beads and confetti
To make a 3D decoration, make your icing thicker.