15 Easy Christmas Cookies to Make With Kids

Get your little ones baking

Classic Gingerbread Cookies

Claire Cohen

 

When Christmas rolls around, many of us like to imagine baking the kids, but complicated recipes sometimes get in our way. Make this year different with a collection of Christmas cookies that are simple enough for little ones to help make. From classic options like sugar and gingerbread cookies to some adorable alternatives—hello, Elf on the Shelf!—these festive recipes will certainly make the holidays one to remember.

  • 01 of 15

    Cookie Press Butter Cookies

    Cookie Press Butter Cookies

    Claire Cohen

     

    These buttery Christmas cookies are flavored with almond or vanilla extract, so they smell wonderful when baking in the oven. Use the highest-quality butter you can find for these simple, but special treats. Kids will have so much fun "pressing" out the pretty shapes.

  • 02 of 15

    Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

    Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

    Katrin Ray Shumakov-Getty Images

     

    Cranberries replace raisins, giving these oatmeal cookies a holiday twist. Let the butter, eggs, and milk come to room temperature before you cream them for best results. Have little ones stir in the berries at the every end or help scoop the dough onto the baking tray.

  • 03 of 15

    Thumbprint Cookies

    Thumbprint Cookies

    Westend61-Getty Images

     

    This classic holiday treat requires no rolling, so kids can shape them without any help if you prepare the dough. They'll have so much fun squishing their little fingers to make the well for the jam. If you want to switch things up a bit, try using different flavors of jelly or even chocolate icing.

  • 04 of 15

    Candy Cane Cookies

    Candy Cane Cookies

    Margaret Vincent-Stocksy United

     

    Tots will love making these cookies because they get to play with the dough. Separate the dough into two balls, color one with red food coloring, roll them into ropes, and let kids twist them together to create the striped "candy cane" effect.

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  • 05 of 15

    Sugar Cookies

    Sugar Cookies

    Annabelle Breakey-Photodisc-Getty Images

     

    These festive treats are sure to become a delicious part of children's holiday memories. Kids will enjoy cutting the dough into festive shapes and can help decorate the tops with colored sugar once they've cooled.

  • 06 of 15

    Classic Gingerbread Cookies

    Classic Gingerbread Cookies

    Claire Cohen

     

    What would Christmastime be without gingerbread cookies? Watch little ones' faces light up when you let them mix the batter with their hands. Then have fun decorating them with faces, buttons, and other trimmings.

  • 07 of 15

    Easy No-Bake Cocoa Coconut Balls

    Easy Cocoa Coconut Balls

    Diana Rattray

     

    Chocolate and coconut are always good together. Get kids to help you roll the dough into balls chill in the fridge. Then, once they're ready, roll again in confectioner's sugar and serve—no baking required!

  • 08 of 15

    Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

    Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

    Diana Rattray

     

    Vibrant red velvet crinkle cookies are a pretty holiday treat for gifting. If your kids are chocolate monsters, let them add mini chocolate chips to the cocoa-flavored batter.

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  • 09 of 15

    Soft Molasses Cookies

    Soft Molasses Cookies

    Diana Rattray

     

    Soft, lightly-spiced molasses cookies are simple to make—there's no rolling required—and turn out chewy and delicious every time. They spread when cooking, so be sure to leave 1 to 2 inches between cookies on the baking sheet.

  • 10 of 15

    Elf on the Shelf Mini Cookies

    Elf on the Shelf Mini Cookies

    Leah Maroney

     

    Old Saint Nick gets cookies, but what about his elves? Your kids will love making and decorating these cute treats for Santa's helpers. Best of all for mom and dad, they bake in only five minutes.

  • 11 of 15

    Forgotten Cookies

    Forgotten Cookies

    Diana Rattray

     

    Kids will enjoy the game of "forgetting" about these meringues (you turn the oven off and leave the cookies to continue cooking overnight, as the appliance cools), then "finding" them on Christmas morning. The entire family can enjoy with a glass of milk.

  • 12 of 15

    Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

    Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

    Diana Rattray

     

    Peanut butter lovers will gobble up these six-ingredient cookies. Let kids drizzle chocolate sauce over them for an even more festive look.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

    Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

    Westend61-Getty Images

     

    Here's a recipe that lets vegan kids get in on the Christmas fun. This variation on the wintertime classic are completely dairy-free thanks to an egg replacer and vegan margarine—which also means they're cholesterol-free, too.

  • 14 of 15

    Eggnog Cookies

    Eggnog Cookies

    Diana Rattray

     

    Do you kids love the taste of store-bought eggnog? With help from a few warming spices, turn their favorite holiday beverage into scrumptious snacks. Just mix, drop, and bake—no chilling or extra steps required.

  • 15 of 15

    Easy Drop Cookies With Nutmeg

    Easy Drop Cookies With Nutmeg

    Diana Rattray

     

    You probably already have all the ingredients on hand for these classic drop cookies with nutmeg that will fill your kitchen with a cozy scent when baking. Kids have fun dropping the dough onto the cookie sheet and pressing pecans into the middle.