Sunday, December 26, 2010

12 Cookies & Crafts of Christmas

Q BJECTIVELY SPEAKING, Christmas is the one occasion where parties and cookies will be measured against everyone's fondest childhood memories. OK, maybe I should lighten up on the melodrama, but it's hard to deny the headache that present-hunting or baking can sometimes elicit. Stuff your face and your stockings with my favorite DIY Christmas cookies and crafts.

1. Cinnamon Tree 
A great use of cinnamon besides for adding flavor is to use the bark! What you'll need: cinnamon sticks, hot glue gun, twine, mini stars (you can find these wherever they carry scrapbook making supplies), three buttons, plaid fabric, three consecutively long Evergreen leaves. I would suggest cutting approximately 1.5", 2", 2.5" pieces.

2. Snickerdoodles
Cinnamon is also used in so many Christmas classics, my favorite being snickerdoodles! This recipe makes the most pillowy golden brown cookies.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar 
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature  
1. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
2. Mix butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in separate bowl, then add 2 eggs and flour mixture. 
3. Form 18-20 balls, combine cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar and use to coat dough balls.
4. Leave about 3" of space between cookies, because they spread! Bake at 350° for 13 minutes.

3.  Santa Gift Tags
These are a cinch to make and therefore a perfect project to do with kids. Draw/paint personalized Santa faces on card stock/watercolor paper. Cut the faces out, making sure to leave room for the beard. Tie together short pieces of white yarn approximately 1.5" long with another piece of yarn, and tape to the back of Santa's face.

4. Cool Jewel Cubes
Bling your drink with these dazzling ice cubes! I've already made Cranberry "garnets", "emeralds" (a drop of green food coloring does the trick), Apple "Topazes", and "Diamonds" (just water!)... the possibilities are endless. You can find the ice cube mold by Fred here

5. Snowman Donuts
I found these donut hole snowmen over at They didn't mention what they used for the snowman's face, but I used some brownie crunch sprinkles for the eyes and mouth. For the "carrot" nose, I used some orange tootsie rolls and shaped them into Frosty's nose!

6. Doily Snowflakes
I doubt it was an accident that doilies resemble snowflakes. Look around the house for any crocheted doilies you have stored away, or you can create your own. Paper doilies hang more elegantly, but you could use crocheted doilies for a bunting that would add some charm to a bare table or wall. I needed last minute bags for presents, so I took out my scissors and beautified some ordinary red bags.

7. Nutty Reindeer Ornament
I'm pretty "fawned" of these darling deer ornaments I help put on the tree this year. ;-) Gather some unshelled walnuts, peanuts, pom poms, and googly eyes for this ornament. Add a festive bunch of fabric between the "antlers" and you're all set!

8. Chocolate Crinkles
Chocolate lovers won't be able to resist this one. It's moist, gooey, and bursting with flavor without being too strong. The snowy white confectioners' sugar provides the perfect winter touch too.

  • 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, melted using a double boiler.
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • splash of milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

    1. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.
    2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in one bowl.3. Mix butter and sugar, then adding in eggs, vanilla, and melted chocolate, then flour and milk.
    4. Refrigerate dough until firm, which takes 1-2 hours depending on the settings of your fridge.
    5. Form about 20 balls, and roll in confectioners' sugar.
    6. Turn oven to 350° and bake for 13-15 minutes.

    9. Pasta Angel Ornaments
    Behold, pasta-haired angels... a twist on your angel-hair pasta! What you'll need: wooden bead for the angel's head, Rigatoni for the body, Bowtie aka Farfalle pasta for the wings, Elbow macaroni for the arms, Acini de pepe for the hair, clear glue, hot glue gun, white spray paint, gold glitter, string, and a fine gold pen to draw on your angel's face.


    10. Pumpkin Cookies
    Why limit pumpkin to Halloween or Thanksgiving? These pumpkin cookies adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies book have a vanilla-ey icing and you can top them with these gingerbread men that I gave away here.

        •    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        •    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
        •    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        •    1/2 teaspoon ginger
        •    3/8 teaspoon nutmeg
        •    1/2 stick unsalted butter
        •    1 cup brown sugar
        •    1 egg
        •    3/4 cup canned pumpkin
        •    1/2 cup evaporated milk
        •    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    *For the icing, use 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 stick unsalted butter, 1/8 cup evaporated milk,  and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
    1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
    2. Mix butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs, then add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Lastly, add flour.
    3. Bake cookies for 12 minutes at 375°.

    11. Claus Cookies
    Sugar cookies are a must-have for Christmas! My favorite holiday treat are these Claus Cookies. Using egg paint with a drop of red food coloring, you can opt for a lighter treat than with icing.  And you know what this means--more cookies! A win win situation. You can decorate these with white nonpareils, snowflakes, coconut shavings, icing, or whatever else you have on hand.

    12. Petit Four Presents
    These petit fours are--quite literally--Christmas presents for your mouth! I didn't have my camera  handy when I made mine, but here are some fabulous looking ones from Check her out! You can use Wilton Fondant with Oreo cakesters and it takes no time at all.

    Happy Holidays, everyone!


    Sappiess said...

    Awesome Christmas ideas. Remember these: