5 Reasons Christmas Cookies Don’t Have to Be Perfect

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Are you feeling some stress this holiday season? The stress to be Pinterest perfect? As a blogger I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, so I definitely am! And every year I get sucked into the idea of the perfect tray of Christmas cookies, for gifting and for serving. But you know what? This year I’m giving myself a pass on perfect cookies and here are five reasons why. Plus I’ve included my favorite Kid Taste Safe Christmas Cookie Dough and Frosting recipe for your next cookie decorating session.

Don't stress over Pinterest perfection with your Christmas cookies this year! They don't have to be perfect. Great kid-friendly cookie dough and recipe too.

  1. Messy cookies are more fun!  Don’t stress about rolling sprinkles or spilled frosting until after the fun is over. Yeah, it takes a little more clean-up, but that’s what paper towels (Bounty) and laundry detergent (Tide) are for!! Oh and Dawn. Can’t live without Dawn. My butter smeared carpet from last year’s decorating party speaks for what Dawn can do!!

Frosting Mess

  1. Perfect cookies are over-rated because you have to make them by yourself.  These cookies you get to make together and those memories are worth every minute… And your kids can make them on their own. My 4 1/2 year old is so proud of herself

Rolling Dough Together

  1. They probably taste better.  Why?  My daughter puts layer upon layer of frosting and about a gazillion sprinkles on her cookies.  If I’m totally honest, I have to admit that they taste better that way :)

Cookies and Frosting

  1. They are more personal. Our life isn’t perfect.  Far from it. So why do I feel like my Christmas cookies should be?
  2. Fun  makes memories, not perfection. This is what my daughter will remember when she’s a grown-up making cookies with her kiddos. Hopefully she’ll remember the fun and also the sense of pride she felt when she did it all on her own. I’m guessing that she’ll remember sneaking bites of cookie dough when I wasn’t looking. Good thing we make cookies without eggs!

Cookie Pride

Kid Taste Safe Christmas Cookie Dough & Frosting

Don't stress over Pinterest perfection with your Christmas cookies this year! They don't have to be perfect. Great kid-friendly cookie dough and recipe too.
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies


For the Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter, softened but not warm
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese

For the Frosting

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder {affiliate}
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • Gel food coloring


To make the dough:

  • Make your superfine sugar by pulsing sugar in your food processor for 10-15 seconds.
  • Mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar & salt) in a standing mixer. Or in a large mixing bowl if you’re doing it by hand.
  • Cut each stick of butter into 8-10 pieces. Then, while mixing on low, add the butter 1 piece at a time. Mix until butter is incorporated and mixture is crumbly. This takes about a minute.
  • Add the vanilla and cream cheese and continue to mix for about a minute. Dough will still seem a little crumbly.
  • Knead the dough by hand to pull together the crumbles and make sure the cream cheese is evenly distributed.
  • Divide the dough in half and flatten into a one inch thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

To roll & cut the cookies:

  • Tear off two sheets of parchment paper about 2 ft. wide. Sprinkle one sheet with flour and place a disk of dough in the center. Add a little more flour and another sheet of parchment. Then roll out 1 dough disk to a 1/4″ thickness.
  • Cut with flour dipped cookie cutters. If dough starts to get sticky while cutting, pop it into the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  • Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. When sheet is full, place in refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking.
  • Repeat until all the dough is cut.

To bake the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet after five minutes. Do not over bake the cookies, they should be just slightly golden brown at the edges but still pale in the center.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Make the Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl combine powdered sugar and meringue powder. Mix on low (with splash screen on!) for about 30 seconds to break up any clumps. Then add water and mix on medium for about 6-8 minutes, stopping in the middle to scrape the sides of the bowl. The icing should look thick, like paste.
  • Divide your icing into as many bowls as you want colors.
  • Next add water to each bowl, small baby spoonful by baby spoonful until icing passes the 10 Second Test. To conduct the 10 Second Test, pick up a little icing on your baby spoon and pour it back into the container. Slowly you will see the drizzle settle into the bowl of icing so that the surface is smooth and you can’t see where the drizzle was anymore. You want to add enough water so that the drizzle disappears in about 10 seconds. If it takes longer than that, it’ll be too thick to spread. Less than that and it’s too runny.
  • Now add your gel food color until you reach your desired color. Remember that colors will deepen after a few hours so you can stop adding color before you get that perfect shade.
  • Icing the cookies is as simple as spreading and then sprinkling with toppings like colored sugar or non-pareils. My favorite trick is to ice cookies on a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. This allow extra sprinkles and frosting to drip off the cookies.


Pick up everything you need for these delicious cookies over at Costco! Yes, you DO need that 2 lb. package of butter because these cookies go fast!! And don’t worry about the mess… They have all the Tide you need for the entire holidays :)

Costco Tide

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