Kid's Christmas Cookie Animals

Decorating and eating Christmas cookies is one of the greatest pleasures of the Christmas season for kids.

By Kathy Oberman

 This year the FamilyTime kitchen decided that decorating a plate full of Christmas animals would provide hours of fun for kids--if only minutes to eat!

Make It Easy
While we favor any favorite homemade cookie recipe there isn't always time to make the dough. So this year why not try prepared cookie dough from the grocer? Kids can easily lump the dough together and roll it out with a rolling pin.

Gather up all your favorite animal cookie cutters and then cut out and bake your cookies. Once the cookies have cooled it's time to decorate and turn these barn animals into Christmas animals.

Decorating Set Up
Have the kids prepare a simple white icing or use store-bought vanilla and chocolate icing. The vanilla icing can be dyed many colors with food coloring.

If you use canned icing, stir it with the dye and use it directly in a pastry bag. To use this icing for complete cookie coverage use a teaspoon of water to four tablespoons of icing and mix thoroughly with a fork.

Set up a table for the kids to work on and cover it with wax paper for easy clean up! Have all the fun Christmas decorating ingredients laid out. These include store-bought tubes of colored icing in red and green, cinnamon candies, silver dragees in different sizes, and colored sprinkles.

Older kids can use pastry bags filled with white or colored icing and a simple small round pastry tip. These can be found inexpensively in kitchen specialty shops.

Decorating Christmas Animals
The key to turning the barnyard animals into Christmas animals is to give them wreath necklaces!

The animals can be iced entirely with any color or just outlined by piping icing around the edge with the pastry bag or store-bought tube icing.

Make a snowy white Christmas kitten and give it silver eyes and a cinnamon nose and red whiskers. Using green tube icing, swiggle the icing around the kitten's neck to create a wreath. Dot the wreath with red icing for berries.

Use yellow or white icing for a Christmas goose and yellow sprinkles. Lace his neck with green icing and place cinnamon candies in the wreath or dots of red icing.

Chocolate icing is perfect for making brown cow patches on your Christmas cow. Using a finger, smear a little chocolate icing in a few spots on the cow. Outline the cow in white icing using the pastry bag or tube icing and outline each brown patch. You can even give your cow red Santa boots! Don't forget his wreath.

Merry Christmas! These cookies won't take long to disappear!