Between shopping for gifts and entertaining guests, the most wonderful time of the year can get pretty stressful. Save time and money on your Christmas cookie baking with these genius hacks, so you can focus on enjoying the holiday season.
1. Turn Marshmallows Into Frosting
Ran out of frosting? Don’t waste time and money running to the store. Marshmallows, if you have them handy, make a creative and easy icing fix. Dip one side of your marshmallows (mini ones work best) in water so they don’t slide off, then plop a few on each cookie when they have three to five minutes left to bake. Once they start to melt but aren’t too runny, take the cookies out and spread your “homemade” frosting with a spoon. Make sure the marshmallows don’t turn brown, or else they won’t spread easily.
2. Spice Up Pre-Made Dough
Using store-bought cookie dough to make Christmas cookies isn’t cheating if you add a personal touch. Take pre-made sugar cookie dough and let it soften. Then, sprinkle in any flavour you’re craving: cinnamon, orange zest, almond extract, vanilla extract, nuts, pure peppermint extract, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips. Your guests will never know the difference.
3. Dip Everything in Chocolate
The easiest way to take an ordinary cookie and make it instantly more appealing? Dip it in chocolate. This hack works with any type of cookie you make because, well, it’s chocolate. Add a dash of peppermint extract to give your dip a hint of Christmas.
4. Tackle Two Recipes with One Dough
Cousin Nancy wants cookies; Aunt Lorraine wants pie, but you certainly don’t have time to make both. Making pie crust takes a lot of time and patience, so store-bought cookie dough can be swapped in for an easier alternative. Simply press the softened dough into a pie dish, bake it, then add your favourite no-bake fillings like cream or fruit.
5. Make a Buttermilk or Sour Cream Alternative
If your recipe calls for a cup of buttermilk or sour cream—but they’re nowhere to be found in your fridge—take 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, then add enough milk to equal 1 cup.
6. Keep Your Cookies Soft
No one likes a dry, hard cookie (especially not Santa Claus). To ensure maximum cookie freshness, store them in a container with a slice of white bread, half of an apple, or an orange peel. The cookies will absorb that moisture, keeping them softer longer.
7. Don’t Let Sticky Ingredients Stick to Measuring Cups
Many Christmas cookie recipes call for ingredients like honey, syrup, or molasses. An easy fix to a sticky measurement mess is spraying the measuring cups with a non-stick spray first. You’ll get more accurate measurements, and cleaning up will be a breeze.