3 Simple Holiday Cookies Kids Can Make

snowball cookiesMerry Cookies, I mean, Christmas! It's hard to imagine Christmas without all the cookie baking, isn't it? Well, believe me, kids think so, too.

Many of you parents will be baking a lot on your own, but if you're looking for a few cookie baking recipes that are easy for kids to make, look no more. We've compiled three easy recipes that combine three of the most important aspects of the season: powdered sugar, peppermint, and chocolate.

Of course, when it comes to baking and hot ovens, we can't leave kids on their own completely, but these three recipes each have seven or less ingredients and minimal, simple instructions, so the kids can take a big part in the making that comes before the baking.


3 Simple Holiday Cookies Kids Can Make

Snowball Cookies (pictured above)

Recipe by Sharon Mehl for Kaboose


  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter in large bowl. Add sugar, cream until light. Stir in vanilla. Mix in flour and salt. Stir in nuts.
  3. Shape into balls.
  4. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Dust powdered sugar on snowball cookies as soon as they come out of oven. After the cookies cool, dust them with powdered sugar again. (Roll the cookies in powdered sugar each time if you want a more wet look.)

Makes about 36 cookies

candy cane cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Recipe from FamilyFun


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Red food coloring

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in the peppermint and vanilla extracts. Gradually mix in the flour.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Color one half with red food coloring and leave the other half plain. Roll out a tablespoon of red dough and a tablespoon of plain until they are each 6 to 8 inches long. Twist them into a candy cane, pinching the ends. Repeat.
  3. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not brown.

Makes about 25 cookies

chocolate shortbread cookies

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Sara Quessenberry for Real Simple


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Coarse decorating or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Baking Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high until fluffy; beat in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
  3. On a lightly floured surface or piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. With a 2-inch cookie cutter (preferably fluted), cut the dough into rounds, flouring the cutter and re-rolling the scraps as necessary. Arrange 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate on the baking sheets for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  4. Heat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the rounds generously with the coarse sugar and bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until set, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 26 cookies

What cookies do you like to make with your kids?


Images via Lucy Schaeffer for Kaboose, FamilyFun, Mitchell Feinberg for Real Simple


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