Kids Crafts: Edible Christmas Ornaments - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Kids Crafts: Edible Christmas Ornaments

| November 30, 2011 | 66 Comments

Welcome back to Kids Get Crafty and our “Edible Christmas Ornaments”… ok ok… they are just cookies on a ribbon, but seeing as they are for hanging in the tree, surely that makes them and ornament? And as they are for eating.. surely that makes them edible. So therefore – edible ornaments? No?

edible christmas decorations

Christmas to me is all about tradition and time together. A big focus of our Christmases are the “once a year” cookies that you bake. And we have been making Vanille Kipferl and Husarenkrapfen and Schoko Macronen and if we have time will make some Zimt Sterne and Linzer Augen. Well, we haven’t made them all yet, but they are on the list.

edible christmas decorationsFrom a child’s perspective, the edible ornaments are the best: The dough is easy. You get to cut out cookie shapes AND you get to decorate. There is lots of spoon licking and sprinkle snaffling. What more do you want?

Ok, I totally admit, that baking with children is messy and CAN BE stressful. They want to do things. And then they don’t want to things. And then they want to eat EVERYTHING. And then they complain that the sibling had more. Messy. Stressful and yet strangely fun and rewarding.

My top tip for baking with young kids:

baking with children

1. Be prepared. Get everything you need out before you let the kids near the baking. Clear you surfaces as best you can.

2. Give each child their own bowl (yes, it is worth it).

3. Less is more. Don’t be ambitious. If need be make more cookies when the kids are in bed. Also limit the number of sprinkles (they will want to add all of them at once) and stick to one type of icing/ colour of icing.

4. If need be, start chanting: This  is fun.This is fun. This is for the children. This is for the children. Making childhood memories. Making childhood memories.

We by accident (don’t ask) made double the amount. So I put some in the fridge and finished it off when the kids were not around. Same goes for the decorating. I did 2/3s of the decorating after the children went to bed and saved some for them to do.

Firstly Our Easy Cookie Recipe:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar (or a few drops of essence)

If you prefer no eggs, you can use our shortbread recipe too.. it is fabulously versatile and has no eggs in it. But the additional egg and vanilla sugar make it that little bit more special for Christmas! You can of course add some cinnamon too. Your call. A totally flexible recipe.

For the Decorations:

  • Icing sugar, lemon, flavours, a bit of water if necessary, sprinkles, silver balls, choc sprinkles… whatever takes your fancy!

Preheat oven to 180C and bake until golden (20-30min)

baking with children

1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. If you find it easier, crumble butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar together first. Add the egg second. Each child got their own bowl. Reduced mess and squabbling. Red Ted (3 .75yrs) is now able to do all the mixing. Pip Squeak (2yrs) played more and then I helped her finish it off.

baking with childrenedible christmas ornaments

2.  Roll out. Cut out your shapes. Once on tray, make a large hole in your cookies. This hole WILL get smaller as the cookie bakes and you may well have to give it ANOTHER prod once you have taken the cookies out of the oven!

edible christmas ornament

3. Make your icing sugar. I made 3 types:

  • Pink (& red) with rose flavouring – hearts & mushrooms. Watch any red food colouring a wee drop is plenty for pink. If you add too much you end up with lots of blood like icing.. not too Christmassy. More for Halloween!
  • Yellow with orange juice/ flavouring & choc chips – stars – in retrospect I would have used chocolate sprinkles and not the choc chips. Sprinkles would have looked better!

 christmas baking kids

edible decorations

  • White with lemon juice (my favourite) & lots and lots of sprinkles and silver balls – these are the ones the children made!

edible christmas decorations edible christmas decorations

4. Oh yes. It was messy. But they loved it. There were sprinkles everywhere. In fact we had a sprinkles explosion. Life was good.

edible christmas decorations decorations with kids edible christmas decorations

5. When it is time to decorate your tree, thread them and hang (maybe make this part of your advent activities with the children!). You may find that you will have to use a needle and thread for some of the children’s cookies, as icing and sprinkles will be covering the holes.  Keep in an air tight container until you put your tree up. Remember to keep the “flavours” separate – rose in one tin, orange another and lemon a third. Else the flavours will mix and not be as delicious!

We also like to make small cookie packages for friends that we visit during the Christmas season and our neighbours. In fact, with one of these packages in our hands, is how we first introduced ourselves to our neighbours when we first move to our current home! And I would like to think that 6 years later, we are good friends!

Read more about our Advent Ideas & Traditions of at Life at The Zoo.

For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list.

If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up:

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Category: Christmas, Kids Craft, Recipes

Comments (66)

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  1. Salma says:

    They are so good, Chloe is not waiting to hang them! Nearly finished! hehe! LOVELY!

  2. Red Ted Art says:

    Salma – yours were a gift, you don’t have to wait :-))))) but we do!!! x

  3. Hello there. What gorgeous cookies! My favourite cookie recipe is the stained glass window biscuits I did a few weeks ago!

    Such fun, cooking with your little ones!


  4. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh yes, I remember those! They are fab!!!!

  5. Kathie says:

    Oooh, Christmas cookies, especially here in Germany. Love the Linzer Augen, and the Vanillekipferl. Marc’s Aunty makes 17 different sorts, and they are all amazing, but I don’t know what they’re called. Oh, and last year we baked the same sort of biscuits you used for your ornaments there, but used them as gift tags for our presents for family by piping names onto them.

  6. Red Ted Art says:

    Kathie – 17 different kinds!!! Wow! I do up to 8 and that is plenty!! Lucky you!!! Oooh how lovely to use them as gift tags!! Yummy!

    Emma – told you my “craft” this week was the “same” as yours last 😉

  7. emma says:

    love it, we will be making these, thanks for reminding me to make them :)

  8. Jaan says:

    Your kids did a great Job! They really are cute. AND thanks, I have been trying to figure out what to decorate the tree this year. Think having my son help me make cookies to hang on the tree is the BEST EVER idea. Thanks a million, for making our Christmas a bit more speical.

  9. tcherryni says:

    Great tips – I NEVER manage to get everything ready first, the girls always see what’s going on and jump right in!! Must develop stealth baking prep abilities :-)

  10. Red Ted Art says:

    Ah yes, kids are great at sniffing out that something fun is about to start……. you can but try! Clear surfaces help though. We have a small kitchen and a messy house… so it certainly makes it better for us!

  11. Dorie says:

    Great idea for decorating the cookies and using them as ornaments…not sure how long they would last in our house though. :-)

  12. sunnymama says:

    They look great and yummy too! :)

  13. Susieqtpies says:

    So adorable! Love the cookies and the mess. I miss little hands. My girls are now tween/teens and they are less likely to come play with me in the kitchen. The candy sushi pics is of my youngest who is the only one who will play-when she is in the mood. lol

    Love your blog. I’m your newest GFC follower and linked up. I’m also having a Holiday link up on my blog. I’d love for you to link up this post and or anything else holiday related.

    Thanks, Susie

  14. Kerstin says:

    Holiday greetings from sunny Florida, Mags! :)
    Hope we’ll still make it round to baking our cookies, once we get back on Dec 20th…
    Anyway, I’d like to share my favourite cookies with you, as I can eat TONS of them. They might not be great for “baking” with children, but they can help dip them in chocolate on day two.
    I copied a US recipe to save me from translating everything:

    1 vanilla bean

    1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (300 g) softened butter

    2 1/2 cups (350 g) light brown sugar, measured without packing

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 large pinch each of ground cardamom and allspice

    1 large pinch of salt

    3 bitter almonds, ground, or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

    1 egg

    4-5 tablespoons milk

    5 1/2 cups (750 g) flour

    10 ounces (300 g) semisweet chocolate
    Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the pith; place it in a mixing bowl along with the butter.
    Add the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, salt, and ground almonds to the butter and cream all these ingredients together to form a smooth mixture.
    Now work the egg and the milk into the dough; finally blend in the flour as quickly as possible.
    Divide the finished dough into 3 equal-sized pieces and roll them out into 3 cylinders about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
    With the aid of a dull knife, press the sides into a square so that when cut they will produce rectangular slices.
    Wrap in plastic and let the bars of dough rests, preferably overnight but at least 2 hours.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Preheat the oven to 375°F. (190°C).
    Cut each roll into 30 slices.
    Place on the baking sheet, spaced well apart, and bake on the center shelf of the oven until light brown, about 12-15 minutes.
    Remove the baking sheet and let the pangani cool.
    Temper the chocolate.
    Dip the pangani from corner to corner on the diagonal, wipe off the underside on the rim of the bowl, and let the cookies dry on parchment paper.

  15. Maggy, I got so hungry now…Can I stop by for tea?
    Love to you, great post

  16. Ooo when did Red Ted turn 4?! and it’s your birthday soon too? sneaky thing! :-) I WILL find out 😉 Those look yummy indeed x

  17. Red Ted Art says:

    Anna – ooops – I got carried away. He isn’t 4 yet, but he keeps talking about his 4th birthday! Have amended the text above! But it IS my birthday soon…

  18. Ima says:

    We also love making cookies to decorate the tree. And the kids even love eating after they have been hanging in the tree for quite a while. :) Our favorite cookies to bake in this time of year are ‘speculaasjes’.

  19. Rashmie @ MommyLabs says:

    Maggy, I agree with you – baking with kids can be stressful and yet it’s “strangely” fun and joyful!
    Love those cookies and they sure go into the ornament category! :)

  20. Roopa says:

    Love those cookie ornaments!! Cookie decorating/painting is a favorite at our house too:)

  21. Karyn says:

    Thanks for linking up! I have linked up to yours as well!

  22. YUM! I love the idea of edible ornaments! Thanks for the idea! NO eating the salt dough ornaments! lol

  23. se7en says:

    We have a cookie swap every year and I have packed our Christmas Cookie Recipes into this post:

    Just recently my kids took over the kitchen for the day and I am thinking of letting them do it again… they were brilliant – given the chance they far exceeded my expectations – even with cleaning up!!!

  24. claire woods says:

    My son loves cooking.

  25. claire woods says:

    Son loves chocolate chip cookies but usually we buy one of those packets from the supermarket.

  26. ali thorpe says:

    I like anything that’s simple! Oatmeal cookies always seem to work and are reasonably nutritious (for a cookie). I’m also partial to ginger biscuits, which are ideal for making with cookie cutters!

  27. Oh these are brilliant! Sharing and Pinning!
    My favorite cookie is a warm chewy snickerdoodle, yummy :)

  28. Laura Pritchard says:

    I love triple chocolate cookies mmmmm!

  29. Beautiful! I’m afraid our tree would be bare! haha! Please consider linking your post up at the C&C linky! I’ll be sure to link our homemade tiles here! :)

  30. olivia kirby says:

    my faves are cinnamon and raisin :-))

  31. Qudsia Ahmed says:

    My 2 year old LOVED the cookie decorating activity at her birthday party (we had craft instead of games) so I think she’ll be super keen to (eat) this one! :)

  32. MotherWifeMe says:

    Thank you! That’s this afternoon’s activity decided then. Totally agree on kids having their own bowl, my daughter, the tinkerous toddler, has adopted a pink jelly mould as her cookery bowl!

  33. Red Ted Art says:

    Oh yes, perfect for birthday parties too!!!!

    And… Mother Wife Me – bless how cute is your toddler!

  34. Kelli says:

    So many great ideas! Id LOVE for you to come link this up or any of your other holiday ideas in my new link up! Thanks!


  35. MsXpat says:

    Hey! What a clever idea! Can hardly wait to do things like this with my boy :0) Happy Xmas to you and yours.

  36. Thank you for linking up at Critters And Crayons Homemade Christmas!

  37. Zsa Zsa says:

    My favorite cookie recipe is a honeycake recipe. We used to buy big bags as a child, plain and white icing. So far the closest recipe I have found is one that I changed to use spelt flour. It gives it a chewy texture.

  38. Emily Gwilliam says:

    This is such a wonderful activity to do with your children! We made gingerbread men a couple of weeks ago, and yes we found the standard size gingerbread man cutter too big for my little ones hands, a family of cutters would be a great thing :)

  39. Educational Resources says:

    Excellent pictures and really great stuffs.

  40. Sue says:

    More excellent advice and ideas!! My favourite cookie recipe is lemon shortbread. I use the basic shortbread recipe (1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, 3 parts plain flour) and add the juice and grated rind of one lemon. If the mix gets a little sticky I just add a bit more flour. Roll out, cut into shapes and cook at 180C for 12 mins (approx) until lightly golden.

  41. B Fryman says:

    What a fun activity! My favorite Christmas cookie is Nestle break and bakes-just like mom used to make! :)

  42. Red Ted Art says:

    My mouth is watering!!

  43. Ami Pilbrow says:

    I really like midnight cookies, they are like the gooey ones you get from bakery supermarkets and are really quick and easy to make. To make them extra yummy you can roll them in sugar before baking them. Yum!

  44. Maya Russell says:

    My favourite cookies are soft and chocolaty with smarties dotted around.

  45. Elaine Kidd says:

    Almost the same as yours but I add 2 tsp. Ginger and 1 tsp. Cinnamon to get an extra Christmassy flavour

  46. Saraj says:

    A favourite here is toffee & marshmallow cookies :) use a basic cookie recipe & add toffee pieces (hit/smash a slab/ bar of toffee if you can’t get the pieces) & marshmallows – gooey toffee cookies are ‘born’ :)

  47. This time of year I love to make shortbread or gingerbread men cookies! My daughter has already helped me with a few batches and I just went in to her school to help her class bake shortbread cookies with dried cranberries and blueberries. Would love the cookie cutters – and happy birthday whenever it is :-)

  48. JamieM says:

    My favorite cookies are warm chocolate chip with a cool glass of milk. ;•D

  49. Janine Atkin says:

    i love making cornflake cakes but i add a bit of golden syrup in there too. makes them that extra bit yummy

  50. amber says:

    I love all of your Christmas cookies. Just in time for cookie exchanges! Keylime cookies are some of my favorites.

  51. Angie says:

    I love experimenting with putting different flavours in my cookies, lavender, rose water, orange zest, yum!

  52. Simone says:

    I like Rachel Allen’s recipe but the double chocolate chip which works a treat every time!

  53. Jennifer says:

    Terrific ornament! Share your ornament (or more) on our Linky List to get exposure for your own blog and share with your community.

  54. Loni says:

    This is a very cute Recipe. I think my daughter will enjoy very much. Here is my fav cookies.

    2 cups margarine/butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    3 eggs
    4 cups flour
    3 cups custard powder
    4 teaspoons baking powder

    Mix butter, sugar, van essence and eggs till light and creamy. Mix dry ingredients and add to sugar mix. Mix till smooth. Shape cookies and bake at 190 degrees Celsuis.

    You can serve them as is. They also go great stuck 2 together with icing.

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