Hector Manuel Sanchez

Especially if you’re not the best at baking.

If we’re honest, Christmas cookies are more about looks than anything else. Sure, they taste great, but their visual appeal is often the clincher for an eager hand reaching for the cookie jar. Rather than fussing with endless tools and ingredients, we're sharing how to decorate Christmas cookies with some no-fail tricks for making memorable holiday treats that are easy to put together.

Use Paper Cut Outs

Making a festive cookie for the holidays doesn’t always require icing. Powdered sugar does a wonderful job in decorating a cookie with a coat of pristine white. Like when you were a kid and cut paper folded on itself to create geometric patterns, you can do the same to make a stencil for your cookies. After you’ve made a few patterns, cover the cookies with the stencil and sift powdered sugar over the stencil to leave a clean decoration on your cookies.

WATCH: Christmas Lights Sugar Cookies

Dip or Drizzle with Chocolate

Chocolate is a fail-safe way to make impressive looking cookies with very little effort. Simply dip half the cookie or use a spoon to drizzle warm melted chocolate across the surface. If you want to go the extra mile, use large sprinkles (like large white, green, and red nonpareils) to decorate the surface while the chocolate is still warm. They stick to the cookie once the chocolate has hardened and give festive contrast in color and texture. Also, use both white and milk chocolate for a more interesting look.

Invest in a Squeeze Bottle

If you’re going to commit to decorating with traditional icing, meander through the crafts section at the store and pick up a few refillable plastic squeeze bottles. They’re easier to use if you don’t work with piping bags regularly, and they give you more control over the icing as you decorate.

Here’s our 5-Ingredient Sugar Cookie recipe. Feel free to add lemon zest, orange zest, almond extract, or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for some additional flavor.