20 Holiday-Shaped Cookies for a Season Full of Kid-Friendly Fun

Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies
Photo: Joy Howard

Making cookies for Santa is a rite of passage for many kids and their parents. After all, who doesn't want to win some last-minute points on the "good" list right at the present drop? You could settle for a classic chocolate chip cookie—Santa won't say no to that—but how about taking it a step further with some easy holiday-shaped sugar cookies? We can bet Saint Nick will appreciate one in his likeness, or that of a sparkling snowflake, and they're sure to stand out in the crowd of cookies he's bound to consume on Christmas Eve. Our kid-friendly cookie recipes come in a myriad of holiday shapes, including Snow Flurries, reindeer, candy canes, and even 3D Christmas trees. Plus, they're easy to assemble and don't require advanced piping skills to make them look spectacular. The kids will have so much fun, they might want to eat all the cookies themselves.

01 of 20

Sparkling Snowflake Shortbread Cookies

Snowflake Shortbread Cookies
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas/ Styling: Buffy Hargett/ Food Styling: Rebecca Kracke Gordon

Recipe: Sparkling Snowflake Shortbread Cookies

These easy cookies require just six ingredients, including pre-made frosting. Be sure to stock up on snowflake cookie cutters in varying sizes.

02 of 20

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
Joy Howard

Recipe: Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

No cookie cutters required. Just dye your dough and roll into a log, slice, and bake. Add sprinkles if you (or the kids) so desire.

03 of 20

Snowy Tree Cookies

snowy tree sugar cookies
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Snowy Tree Cookies

It's time to put your star-shaped cookie cutter collection to good use. You'll need them in six sizes to build these fun, 3D trees.

04 of 20

Melted Snowman Cookies

Melted Snowman Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Melted Snowman Cookies

They might be a little saggy, but thankfully, appearances aren't indicators of taste.

05 of 20

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies
Joy Howard

Recipe: Candy Cane Cookies

Thanks to a dose of peppermint extract, these cookies hint at the classic red-and-white candy that signals the coming of the Christmas season. Kids will enjoy an afternoon making these cookies and dunking them in a cup of cocoa.

06 of 20

Sprinkle Stocking Cookies

sprinkle stocking cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Sprinkle Stocking Cookies

What's almost as fun as a stocking stuffed with gifts? Stockings you can eat, of course. Let the kids choose the sprinkles and personalize their own to eat.

07 of 20

Peace Dove Cookies

Peace Dove Cookies
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Peace Dove Cookies

Making these cookies will surely bring peace and goodwill to all the recipients.

08 of 20

Linzer Tree Cookies

linzer tree cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Linzer Tree Cookies

Let the kids cut the cookies into shapes and poke the holes before baking—but you may want to save the sugar dusting task for yourself.

09 of 20

Reindeer Cookies

Reindeer Cookies
Southern Living

Recipe: Reindeer Cookies

Rudolph is pulling into town. Kids will have a blast assembling these Reindeer Cookies—and snacking along the way.

10 of 20

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Snowflake Sugar Cookies
Zoe Denenberg; Prop Styling: Rachel Mulcahy

Recipe: Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Delicate, just like the real thing. Despite their appearance, they're not as difficult as they look. All you'll need is a batch of our Easy Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing to make these jolly cookies.

11 of 20

Cornflake Wreath Christmas Cookies

Cornflake Wreaths
Southern Living

Recipe: Cornflake Wreath Christmas Cookies

You may not want the kids to deck the halls with these wreaths, but they are delicious nonetheless.

12 of 20

Five-Ingredient Sugar Cookies

5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Five-Ingredients Sugar Cookies

Only a handful of ingredients makes these tender cookies easy, and a simple icing technique makes them elegant.

13 of 20

Brown Sugar Cookie Stars

Brown Sugar Cookie Stars
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Brown Sugar Cookie Stars

Star cookies look extra twinkly with royal icing and fancy gold sprinkles

14 of 20

Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies

Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee Cake
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell

Recipe: Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies

Whether served on their own or used as a garnish as shown here on our Chocolate-Gingerbread-Toffee Cake, pretty, spiced gingerbread cookies are a must-have at Christmas.

15 of 20

Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Spritz Cookies

Want a quick way to make dozens of shaped cookies? Grab a spritz press and knock out dozens of festive wreaths, Christmas trees, and flowers in no time.

16 of 20

Chocolate-Marshmallow Linzer Heart cookies

Chocolate-Marshmallow Linzer Cookies
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling; Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Chocolate-Marshmallow Linzer Hearts

Christmas is all about love, so who says heart-shaped cookies are reserved for Valentines's Day? Pretty pink makes a nice color change-up too.

17 of 20

Holiday Present and Star Shortbread Cookies

Holiday Present and Star Shortbread Cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Holiday Present and Star Shortbread Cookies

These charming gift and star cut-outs are perfect for parties, hostess gifts, and Santa.

18 of 20

Chocolate Gingerbread Wreath Cookies

Chocolate Gingerbread Wreath Cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe: Chocolate Gingerbread Wreath Cookies

Chocolate and spice make a perfect flavor combination in these cheerful cookies.

19 of 20

Apple Pie Cookies

Apple Pie Cookies
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Apple Pie Cookies

These tender-crusted mini apple pies will be the hit of your cookie tray.

20 of 20

Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies

Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies
Joy Howard

Recipe: Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies

Put a spin on the traditional gingerbread with this chocolate version. When icing, use plastic bags with the corner snipped off for easy piping and clean up.

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