How to Make Sprinkle Stocking Cookies with Your Kids This Holiday
If you're in search of easy Christmas baking recipes for the kids, you've come to the right place. Our Sprinkle Stocking Cookies are simple to make and fittingly festive for the holiday season. While typical cookie decorating can require lots of supplies, time, and patience, these treats couldn't be easier to throw together. After all, any imperfections are hidden under a thick layer of sprinkles.
This recipe is a great baking and decorating project for kids of all ages. The young ones may make a bit of a mess with the sprinkles, but hey, it's all part of the fun. These cookies pair beautifully with our Painted Shortbread Cookies too.
Get the Recipe: Sprinkle Stocking Cookies
Step 1: Bake
If you're a seasoned baker, this standard sugar cookie dough will be a breeze. Even if you've never really baked before, this dough is a great introduction into the world of cookies. Older kids can make this dough all on their own; younger kids will need some guidance, but can combine the ingredients in the mixer. Almond extract is optional in this dough, but it really does give these buttery cookies a nice boost of flavor.
In this recipe, it's key to let the dough chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. This ensures that your cookies hold their shape when cut. Your kids can help you roll out the dough—try to keep it an even thickness so the cookies bake evenly (if it's not perfect, it's not the end of the world).
Now for the fun part. Your kids can cut out the cookies with a stocking-shaped cutter; you'll want to bake these cookies in 2 batches. If you overbake these sugar cookies, they'll be too brittle and dry—bake until slightly golden around the edges, but still pale in the center. While your cookies cool, make your icing.
Unlike a standard royal icing, which is made with powdered sugar, water and meringue powder, this simplified version uses only powdered sugar and milk. Since you're not going to really see the icing, you don't need the meringue powder to add shine, so you can cross that item off the grocery list. It's important to bring your icing to a spreadable consistency—if it's too loose, it will simply run off the sides of the cookie.
Step 2: Decorate
Before starting to decorate, you'll want to pour 2 colors of sprinkles (we like to use white sanding sugar and red or green sanding sugar) onto respective plates. You'll dip the iced cookies into these sprinkles.
No piping bag? No problem—simply snip the corner off a ziplock bag and load your icing into there. You can use the piping bag to outline the cookie; then, once your cookie is outlined, fill it in with white icing, starting in the center of the cookie and expanding outwards. Use a toothpick to fill in icing in any spots you missed until it is smooth over the entirety of the cookie.
If your kids are younger, you can complete this step on your own and have them take over with sprinkles. If your kids are old enough to handle a piping bag without making a complete mess (we'd say over 7 is a good estimate), you can show them how it's done and set them up with their own piping bags.
While the icing is still wet, your kids can dip the lower portion of the stocking in 1 color of sprinkles, then dip the upper portion in another color of sprinkles. Dipping the lower half of each iced stocking in sprinkles before dipping the top half will result in the neatest look (so you're not mixing sprinkles too much). But at the end of the day, these cookies are going to look cute and fun no matter what.