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Delightfully Retro Cookie Decorating Tips from 1964

Updated November 23, 2021
Stencil Cookies
We went deep into the Pillsbury vault to bring you the cookie decorating tips of old. You’ll be a pro in no time with these blasts from the past.
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Pillsbury Holiday Cookie Kit

In the spirit of holiday traditions and festive nostalgia, we're taking it back to 1964 with this throwback to our iconic decorating kit! A one-stop shop for Christmas baking, these fan-favorite kits were made up of a special 2-pack of Pillsbury Cookie Dough, easy cookie decorating ideas, and fun stencils folded inside the wrapper.

If you're looking for low-effort ways to take this year's cookies to the next level, look no further! These quick-prep, retro-inspired treats are the perfect way to bring some old-fashioned flair to your dessert spread. No matter what you're baking, we’ve got the best tips for cookie decorating to get you in the holiday spirit.

Make Before You Bake

Pillsbury Holiday Cookies

The crazy-busy holiday season may have you craving a cookie that requires minimal steps, and we have just the recipes for the occasion! Add these simple additions to your cookie dough to step up your flavor game without sacrificing family time. Follow the tried-and-true instructions from our 1964 cookie kit: Slice your dough and then cut each slice into quarters before rolling in your before-baking additions!

Chopped Pecan Cookies

Rolled in Chopped Nuts

Simply roll your Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough in chopped walnuts, pecans, or peanuts before baking. Then separate your dough into small balls and bake. These cookies are not overly sweet, so they pair wonderfully with a warm cider or cold glass of milk!

Pecan Cookies

Top with Pecans

Once you’ve separated your cookie dough, place one nut on top of each cookie. The pecans will roast during the baking process adding delightful flavor to the sweetness of your sugar cookies. Bonus: This cookie looks fancy, but prep time is almost non-existent!

Coconut Cherry Cookies

Coconut-Cherry Surprise

Now, for the real showstopper—the coconut-rolled, cherry-topped sugar cookie that’ll win the next party with its looks and flavor. Simply add shredded coconut to your sugar cookie dough and then place halved Maraschino cherries on top of the cookies before baking. The result is a sweet treat with minimal mess. Pro tip: Use parchment paper underneath the cookies for easier cleanup.

After-Baking Decorations

Frosted Decorated Cookies

What’s better than fresh cookies out of the oven? Cooled cookies covered in candy, frosting, and colored sugar—that’s what! These post-baking decorations will impress anyone who tries them, and better yet, pulling them together won’t take up your whole night. Plan to use the traditional slice-and-bake method for cookies you'll decorate after they've been baked to perfection. These flat-topped treats will give you more surface area to work with making them ideal for frosting, decorating and stencils!

Gumdrop Cookies

Gum Drops Galore

With a subtle nod to the gum drop-decorated gingerbread man, this sugar cookie combines sugar, ease, and fun all in one! Simply frost sugar cookies (wait until cooled!) and arrange gum drops in your favorite pattern. Next step: Eat and enjoy!

Red Hot Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon Candy Toppers

For those who crave cinnamon, we suggest frosting your sugar cookies and topping them with Red Hots. Decorating cookies with frosting and candies is the perfect activity to enjoy with the kiddos, and it only requires two ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Stencil Cookies

Stencil Cookies

We created our own stencils with inspiration from our 1964 cookie decorating kit, but with the help of some sturdy cardstock and scissors or an Exacto knife, you can make your own stencils from any shape you’d like! Once your cookie is frosted, gently place the stencil on top and cover with your favorite sugar or sprinkles. Don’t feel limited to using just one color of sprinkling sugar. Blend green and red for a holiday tree or mix and match other colors for festive creations!

Oh-So-Fancy Toppings

Marshmallow Peppermint Cookies

For classy cookies you can make in just a few steps, give these tricks a try! Whether it’s crushed peppermint or gooey marshmallow topping, these cookies scream holiday deliciousness. Pro tip: We found quartering our sugar cookie dough made for the perfect bite-size cookies with these fancy toppings.

Crushed Peppermint Cookies

Crushed Peppermint

Place your favorite peppermint candy in a small plastic storage bag and lightly crush with the help of a wooden rolling pin. Remove your cookies from the oven and sprinkle with peppermint pieces! It's delish! These festive sugar cookies are the perfect treat to enjoy with a mug of hot chocolate. Yum!

Melted Marshmallow Cookies

Melted Marshmallow

All you need for this recipe are two ingredients: marshmallows and Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough. Remove warm cookies from the oven, and place one halved marshmallow (cut side down) onto the cookie. It will soften just enough to give that ooey-gooey marshmallow goodness, but won’t look like a huge melty mess. It's as tasty as it sounds!