Super-Sized Holiday Cookies

Think big and put the happy in your holiday.


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Chocolate Ornaments

painted Chocolate Ornaments and mug of coffee

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Mixing luster dust with lemon extract creates a smooth, sheer color that can be easily painted on cookies. Swap in other clear alcohol-based extracts like orange or almond, and let each family member create their own signature ”ornament.” 

Make ’em mini
Go with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Opt for simple decorations—otherwise, they may look super busy. 

Template notes
Instead of buying a cutter, make your own ornament template here.

Makes 8
Prep 20 m
Microwave 1 m
Refrigerate 60 m
Bake 14 m

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Cookie Templates

super sized cookie template composite

Instead of buying cookie cutter, make your own checkerboard, ornament, and tree templates here.

Print out the template (make sure the print size is set at 100%). Place paper on top of a thin piece of cardboard (like a file folder) and cut along dotted line. Lay cardboard template on top of dough and cut out with a paring knife (or pizza cutter); a ruler is helpful to keep your edges square. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Re-roll scraps and cut. Repeat with remaining dough.


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Almond Checkerboards

Almond Checkerboards cookies red and green

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Go simple or complex: Sprinkle a single color over the entire base, or make small piles or lines of sugar to peek through windows created by the top cookies. 

Make ’em mini
Pick up a fluted cookie cutter set. Cut out dough with the 11/2-inch cutter. Cut 1-inch centers out of half the cookies. Sprinkle base cookies with colored sugars, then stack cutouts on top before baking. 

Template notes
Instead of buying a cutter, make your own square template here.

Makes 5
Prep 20 m
Refrigerate 120 m
Bake 20 m

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3-D Trees

3-D tree cookies with frosting

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Tree tip
To ensure a smooth edge on cut cookies, use a Microplane to shave down any bumps.

Make ’em mini
Go with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Opt for simple decorations—otherwise, they may look super busy. 

Template notes
Instead of buying a cutter, make your own tree template here.

Makes 5
Prep 20 m
Refrigerate 120 m
Bake 13 m
Assemble 60 m

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Holiday Wreaths

girl holding holiday wreath cookie in front of her face

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Note: You’ll want to overlap each holly leaf by at least 1/4 inch so the wreath is solid enough to hold together. If dough seems soft, refrigerate after cutting out but before arranging.

Make ’em mini
Pick up a fluted cookie cutter set. Use a 1 1/2-inch and a 1-inch cutter to form a wreath shape. 

Makes 3
Prep 25 m
Refrigerate 120 m
Bake 16 m
Refrigerate 2 hr or overnight
Bake 16 min per batch

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Royal Icing with Luster Dust

huge checkerboard cookie

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Place confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder in a standing mixer bowl. Beat in ¼ cup water; increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 min.

Add 2 tbsp water and beat until light and fluffy. 

To decorate, dilute icing with 1 tbsp water at a time until it has the consistency of thick heavy cream. Spread 1 to 2 tbsp icing over each cooled cookie with an offset spatula. Let dry at least 3 hr or overnight. 

Paint with luster dust: For each color, mix dust with 1 tsp lemon extract until smooth. Brush over dry iced cookies; let each color dry before brushing on more luster dust. 


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Gotta-Have Gear 

gotta-have gear for super-sized cookies

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Use heavy-duty rimless baking sheets so that cookie-packed parchment can slide on and off with ease. 

Speaking of which, recipe-ready parchment sheets are a baker’s best friend.

Hit up craft stores for food-safe paint brushes, and keep them in a kitchen drawer (so they aren’t “borrowed” for other household projects).

To achieve a saturated green on the Wreaths, opt for gel food coloring; visit michaels.com for colors.

For Ornaments, buy a range of sheer, shiny luster dusts. Check out bakell.com for options.