Decorated Christmas Cookies


With all the holiday baking, I think my most favorite is decorating Christmas cookies.  and lets face it, Decorated Christmas Cookies are always the prettiest cookies on the tray and they make a fun gift as well!

I have a secret though……… I don’t really “enjoy” doing it, because I’m still learning and the perfectionist in me struggles with lines that aren’t straight enough, icing that is too thick/thin, too many colors to mix…..well you get the idea.

But 14 hours later…………I see happy faces!

No one cares that my lines aren’t perfect.  These Santa Belly Cookies were loved by everyone!

Santa Belly decorated christmas cookies at

No one cares that my icing isn’t perfectly smooth.  Decorated Christmas Tree Cookies are so simple and just as fun to decorate as a real tree!

Decorated Christmas Tree cookies

or that I didn’t feel like mixing ONE MORE COLOR, and made my snowflake cookies white and silver, because I already had those colors mixed.

How to make Decorated Christmas Cookies

Almond Butter Cookie Recipe

Royal Icing

Making Royal Icing Video


Rolling out Cookie Dough Video

Holiday Cookie Baking Tips


Cookie Baking Tips & Tricks at



I did learn two new things this time while working with my cookies!

#1) Glaze Icing: Amanda of I Am Baker has always amazed me with her cookie decorating skills and she uses a glaze icing, instead of royal icing.  When I cut out stars to make my Raspberry Filled Butter Cookies, I baked a few of the stars to try my hand at glaze icing.

Star cookies with glaze icingI have to say……….I LOVED working with the glaze! I didn’t have some of the issues I have with royal icing.

The glaze icing gets hard, but not rock hard like royal icing.  My family loved it and gave it a big THUMBS UP!

Amanda’s Glaze Icing Recipe

Video on Glaze Icing at University of Cookie

While you over at Amanda’s you may want to check out her incredible Christmas Tree Cake! Be prepared to be WOWED!

Decorated cut-out cookies, tips, tricks and recipes at

more decorated cookies


Holiday Cookie Baking Tips at

Holiday Cookie Baking Tips


#2) Lesson in Photography: Pay attention to what you are wearing if you have shinny objects in your photos…..I’m just sayin…………


Have you learned anything while doing your holiday baking ?  Do you LIKE decorating cookies?



more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

85 Responses to “Decorated Christmas Cookies”

  1. Estela @ Weekly Bite posted on December 20, 2010 at 7:31 am (#)

    You icing looks incredible! I’m awful at icing cookies. Thanks for the tips :)

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Estela!!

  2. bridget {bake at 350} posted on December 20, 2010 at 7:40 am (#)

    Bwahahaha!!! That is SO funny, Cheryl!!! Best photography tip, EVER!

    Your cookies are *precious*! Love the Santa bellies and the trees and the snowflakes….well, all of them!

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:30 am

      you made me do it! hahahaha

  3. Amanda posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:09 am (#)

    LOL! Love the photog tip!!

    Beautiful cookies, Cheryl!!!

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Thanks Amanda………..and thanks for always being there to support me!?

  4. Cookbook Queen posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:22 am (#)

    You so went there and I LOVE it!!

    Your cookies are ADORABLE!! Love the santa ones, and really, I have totally been there with not wanting to mix ANOTHER color of icing…blah.

    I have yet to try the glaze icing but have been very curious. Do the cookies smudge if stacked?

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:31 am

      you guys all encouraged me to “go there!” haha

      The glaze gets hard and will not smudge, just doesn’t get AS hard as RI

  5. SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:26 am (#)

    What a great job with those cookies!!

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Thanks so much!

  6. notyet100 posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:26 am (#)

    so cute,..

  7. Liz @ Blog is the New Black posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:41 am (#)

    I think they look great, but I am the same about things looking perfect!

  8. Amy | She Wears Many Hats posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:42 am (#)

    Yummy and cute.

    If only we could peek behind the star. ; )

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:31 am

      haha……….trust me, it wouldn’t be pretty!

  9. Amanda posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:43 am (#)

    You are so sweet! And TALENTED!!! Love all of those beautiful and delicious looking cookies!!

    Be blessed!

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:29 am

      Thanks for you help and recipe Amanda!!

  10. Maria posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:46 am (#)

    Love the cookies and great tips too:)

  11. Lynn Brown posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:49 am (#)

    I love decorating sugar cookies, a new obsession, and honestly I always use a glaze, love, love, love it, so simple, and it does dry enough to stack!!! Love your post and will have to remember the photo tip!!! ha ha!!

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:32 am

      I can’t wait to try the glaze again!

  12. Samantha @TheKelleyEight posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:53 am (#)

    Thank you, and that photo malfunction is hilarious! I’m a warm pants, tee, and fuzzy sock kind of girl…

  13. Kristyn posted on December 20, 2010 at 9:19 am (#)

    I love your snowflakes, they look great!! I too am a perfectionist when it comes to the cookies so most of the time I just give up….you inspired me not to! Thanks!!!


    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:33 am

      no matter how they look, they still taste yummy! Don’t give up!

  14. michelle@sugarswings posted on December 20, 2010 at 9:20 am (#)

    great tips….because its so true….i love to decorate when its all set up and ready to go, but the prep work is alot of well..prep! I did star wars gingerbread characters for the kiddos recently, and i based which ones i did on which ones i could do less royal icing colors for…! great tip on the shiny objects..! and your cookies do look great!!! happy holidays :)

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Those star wars cookies were AWESOME!

  15. CopyKat Recipes posted on December 20, 2010 at 9:24 am (#)

    Beautiful cookies. I have cookie envy, this year I lived vicariously off of the generosity of others when it came to cookies. I think we all learned our lesson about the objects that reflect and tea pots, when that man took a photo of a stainless steal teapot he put on eBay, he wasn’t wearing any clothes.

  16. Kristen posted on December 20, 2010 at 9:35 am (#)

    You are super talented, Cheryl!! And imagine the traffic if you would have kept that reflection up… you’d be all over the web :)

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:34 am

      not the traffic I want! hahaha Thanks Kristan!

  17. April @ The 21st Century Housewife posted on December 20, 2010 at 9:37 am (#)

    Your cookies are beautiful! I love decorating cookies, but I never seem to get enough time to do as many as I would like to. And I have to confess, they don’t look nearly as good as yours! Thank you for the great advice and links :)

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2010 at 10:34 am

      I’ve learned it’s much easier to do just a few at a time!! Thanks so much!

  18. naomi posted on December 20, 2010 at 10:42 am (#)

    These look great. Boy, if you are struggling, then I am in big trouble! Love the J-O-Y stars.

  19. Sue posted on December 20, 2010 at 10:57 am (#)

    I have been wanting to make Santa belly cookies too! They are so cute! Though I love all of your Christmas cookies, my favorite part of this post might be your “Lesson in Photography” tip #2:) That cracked me up!

  20. Erin @ Where Beauty Meets Function posted on December 20, 2010 at 10:57 am (#)

    Your cookies look fabulous!!

    I always WANT to decorate beautiful cookies…but they never turn out like yours! :(

  21. deb @ Simple Plate posted on December 20, 2010 at 11:33 am (#)

    you’re so funny! And too crafty and sheesh… I wish I had time for all the goodies!

  22. Pink Martinis and Pearls posted on December 20, 2010 at 11:46 am (#)

    They all turned out great! I have been putting off decorating mine for the last few days. I’m calling it a ‘cookie funk’ and I don’t think I’ve ever been in one. After looking at your cute cookies I’m inspired to get into the kitchen today and finish up. Thanks for the push. :)

  23. Paula posted on December 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm (#)

    You made me laugh out loud with your photography tip! Good thing that you didn’t place a giant Christmas Ball there. LOL! Your cookies are wonderful and I like the silver snowflakes. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family for a lovely Christmas and wonderful New Year.

  24. Aimee @ Simple Bites posted on December 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm (#)

    Beautiful! Are you getting private lessons from Bridget? 😉

  25. Lynn from For Love or Funny posted on December 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm (#)

    You inspire me to decorate some cookies this afternoon!

  26. Wenderly posted on December 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm (#)

    Beautiful cookies! And I love the shiny object tip…that has totally happened to me before! LOL! Clever cover up! :)

  27. Diane {} posted on December 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm (#)

    They all look wonderful!!!!

  28. Simone posted on December 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm (#)

    I love your christmas cookies!! And yes, I have experienced the issue with the shiny objects myself on some occassions… lol..

  29. Robyn | Add a Pinch posted on December 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm (#)

    BAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh my word, Cheryl! That is the funniest thing ever!!!

  30. Jamie | My Baking Addiction posted on December 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm (#)

    OH…I am smitten with those snowflakes! SO pretty!

  31. Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm (#)

    I’m glad it’s not just me who had trouble with the ornaments this year. I took all these beutiful pictures of my Christmas tree, then was sad to have to majorly trim the pictures. Trust me, nobody would want to see me in my bathrobe and no make up!

    All your cookies are pretty, even if you don’t think they are perfect. I learned a long time ago that if you don’t point the imperfections out, when it comes to food, most people won’t even know or care.

    I’m just jealous you have sugar cookies. Nobody but me is too fond of them in my family, so I haven’t really had homemade ones in years. I might try to do some this year if I can find the time.

  32. Laurab @foodsnobstl posted on December 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm (#)

    Thanks for the excellent photography pointer! Too funny.

  33. Shelly posted on December 20, 2010 at 10:09 pm (#)

    Your cookies look gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat. Nice work they turned out great!

  34. Jacqueline posted on December 20, 2010 at 11:14 pm (#)

    Love the idea of the glaze. If I get time I will try your adorable Santas. I would love to put those out on the plate on Christmas Eve, and I wouldn’t mind having to eat them to cover up the evidence. So so cute.

  35. Judy @ In His Grip posted on December 21, 2010 at 5:58 am (#)

    I too love iced Christmas cookies and struggle with the same thing. However, my family does not care about how beautiful my icing is they just want the cookie.

  36. Amanda posted on December 21, 2010 at 10:36 am (#)

    I think these look SO good Cheryl. You should see my cookies – a hot mess. So I let Josh go crazy over my mistakes and everyone ohhh and ahhh’s over his cookies instead! One day I’ll be good! :)

    I featured your santa belly cookies. I’m in love with them!


  37. Scary Mommy posted on December 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm (#)

    These are seriously the cutest things EVER! I’m Jewish and I want to make them!

  38. Kathleen posted on December 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm (#)

    Your Christmas Cookies are some of the prettiest I have seen!! Just beautiful. Thanks for posting.

  39. Lisa posted on December 23, 2010 at 11:35 am (#)

    TOO cute, and thanks for the laugh!

  40. marla posted on December 24, 2010 at 9:39 am (#)

    Such pretty cookies & I LOVE the santa bellies!! Happy Holidays :) XO

  41. Mona posted on November 30, 2011 at 8:00 am (#)

    I hope you can forgive me for “borrwing” you pictures in my blog. I will put them out 4.12. and use them in my christmascalender in the blog. Its ment to be tips for how to decoret you christmas coocies. I will link to your blog, if they “click” the picture.

  42. sweetsugarbelle posted on December 9, 2011 at 6:11 am (#)

    First of all, I am appalled that you even THINK about anything BUT decorating cookies…Not like it?! I’m calling Bridget and staging an intervention 😉 Second of all, I just startled Bernie LOLing at the robe thing! No wonder I like you…I do things like that all the time! AT LEAST you noticed, LOL!

  43. megan {a dash of megnut} posted on December 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm (#)

    I love those santa cookies! I made christmas trees in 3 different colors this year. I tried to keep it simple so that I wouldn’t get so stressed out and it still took me over 9 hours to make 50 cookies. I start off loving it and then by the end my wrist is cramping and I’m frustrated and I just want to get them done. But when I see those happy faces and everyone says how good they are I know it’s worth it. I just wish they realized how long it takes sometimes before they ask me to bring them only a day before the party haha!

  44. Alli Hope posted on December 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm (#)

    Hello, I was just wondering, for the Santa bellies could you tell me the process you did? I tried googling how to do them or what to use and got nothing. Thank you.

    • TidyMom replied on December 18th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      nothing tricky, it’s done just how it looks. I covered the cookie in red royal icing. Let that dry, then used black royal icing to draw a belt and buttons, and grey for the buckle and a little white at the bottom.
      Have fun!

  45. megan posted on July 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm (#)

    Just a note to let you know this post was featured on the At Play Blog today.

    We have over 1,400 recipes and craft projects
    I hope you’ll stop by


  46. Amy posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm (#)

    Can you stack your cookies after decorating with your royal icing recipe? I have to take my Christmas cookies across the country this year and I need a good smudge-free icing recipe!

    Thank you!!

    • TidyMom replied on December 3rd, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      after they dry/set for 24 hours you can stack them!

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