At Pillsbury, we love to play with our food. Crescent Dogs. Pig Buns. Tie-Dye Monkey Bread.
So when our editorial team was challenged to come up with some new ways to decorate holiday cookies, we couldn’t say no. We gathered up our bag of traditional supplies – frosting, red and green decorating gel, colored sprinkles, spatulas of all shapes and sizes, cookie cutters – and added two new ones: Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Roll-Ups. With all their bright colors, I knew they’d be the perfect addition to our festive treats.
First step was baking the cookies. Using Pillsbury’s gingerbread cookie dough, I made ornament shapes by slicing off rounds of the dough and baking them on a cookie sheet according to the package directions. (If you’d like, you can make small holes in the cookies before they cool completely and then string them with ribbon for edible ornaments.)
I also made a batch of sugar cookie “gifts” for decorating. For these, I lined a baking sheet with waxed paper and pressed the sugar cookie dough onto the sheet in a thin layer (my sheet wasn’t completely filled). I baked the dough slightly longer than indicated on the package, about 25 minutes, until the cookies were lightly browned. Next I cooled them a bit in the pan on a wire rack, then removed the dough, using the waxed paper as handles. To shape the cookies, I cut the dough into squares with a pizza cutter.
Finally, decorating time! Everyone grabbed tools and ingredients from our stash and let loose their creativity. Cookie cutters were used as stencils to hold sprinkles. Fruit Roll-Ups were cut up to make stripes and dots and reindeer and a ton of other designs. Decorating gel was used to put the red in Rudolph’s nose.
Along the way, we learned a few things:
• Clean kitchen scissors work well for cutting up the fruit snacks (instead of a knife). Spray the scissors with nonstick cooking spray first to make it even easier.
• A spilled jar of sprinkles can really make a mess. Be sure to cover your work surface with newspaper or waxed paper first to make cleanup easy.
• There’s no wrong way to decorate a cookie! If you’re not happy with your cookie, start again on a fresh one.
Our final platter of cookies was creative, colorful and really, really tasty. It was almost a shame to dig into them after all that work, but we couldn’t resist.
What’s your favorite way to decorate holiday cookies? Do you have any tips to share?