Have you ever been in the middle of baking cookies and found that you couldn’t locate your cookie cutter? Or that you forgot to buy it while Christmas shopping?
Don’t fret! Some handy tricks can help you get the job done.
Keep reading to learn how to make Christmas cookies without cookie cutters and how to bring out the best of circular cookies using frosting and sprinkles.
Here are my favorite methods for shaping Christmas cookies when I don’t have a cookie cutter on hand:
One of the most common workarounds for cutting a cookie is to use a regular drinking glass or cup.
The festive spirit? You can match it by topping and frosting the circle-shaped cookies.
I’ll share with you some nifty and festive decoration ideas later in the article. For now, my advice to you is to use a glass with a thin rim since it cuts through the glass more smoothly.
To make the process even smoother, dip the rim in some flour before cutting the dough to prevent the dough from getting stuck inside.
2 – A Tin Can
Cut an empty tin can at both ends and use it to cut your cookies.
I think this method has an advantage over glass cups because there’s a workaround if your dough gets stuck inside. You can just push the dough out from the other open end!
The drawback is that it can be risky. So, make sure to remove any sharp edges or pieces that may injure you or tear through the dough along the way.
Not a fan of circular cookies? Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut different shapes after rolling the dough.
If you’re not that good of an artist, however, there are a couple of handy tricks to help you:
- Use parchment, wax, cardboard, or even plain paper to trace the shapes that are easy to draw. Think cane, snowman, heart, or triangle (for a simple Christmas tree).
- Print an outline to help you cut more complex shapes. However, printing the size you need for your cookies might need a bit of trial and error.
- If you’re cutting out shapes with edges, use a ruler to get an even final result. This trick works perfectly for shapes like triangles, diamonds, and squares.
You can roll your dough into the shape of a log and then slice it into pieces with a sharp knife.
The main catch here is that if your recipe recommends a specific thickness when you roll the dough, you’ll want to cut the slices to the same width or at least very close to it.
It’s worth mentioning that this approach can change the baking time slightly. So, you’ll need to monitor the cookies when they are in the oven.
If you want to save yourself the hassle, opt for drop cookies, like the good ol’ chocolate chip cookies.
All you have to do is form equally-sized dough balls, place them on a sheet, and put them in the oven!
You might be afraid that drop cookies aren’t going to convey the Christmas aesthetic. However, there’s a fix.
Personally, I integrate ingredients like red and green sprinkles or colored powdered sugar to tackle that concern if I’m making any kind of drop cookie for a holiday.
Since we’re on the topic of giving your Christmas cookies the right vibe, it’s time to check out some of the best ways to bedazzle your batch.
If you’re working with flat cookies—which I highly recommend without a cookie cutter—you can add red and green sprinkles on top of a white frosting.
It’s super simple yet festive enough for the holidays!
You can make frosting of any color, which gives you endless possibilities for decorating your Christmas cookies.
For circular cookies, use red frosting to cover an entire thing, then draw a belt and two buttons with black frosting, and you have yourself a Santa Claus cookie!
Alternatively, apply a layer of turquoise frosting and draw a snowflake with white frosting to capture the season.
It might take a while to nail the snowflake shape. That’s why I recommend practicing on a test cookie first.
Finally, try frosting a cookie with white frosting, then draw a triangle with green frosting, and you’ve got yourself a Christmas tree! You can even use drops of yellow, blue, red, and white frosting to make Christmas tree decorations, along with a star on top.
For the most part, a piping bag with a small round tip attached is all you need.
You can also use resealable plastic bags and snip off the corners according to the size you’ll need. This method gives you more room to work with different line sizes.
Part of the fun of making cookies is turning them into cute shapes, but you shouldn’t count on a cookie cutter all the time.
A cup, parchment paper, and a knife can save you in a pinch as long as you use the frosting and toppings to your favor.
So, don’t let the missing cookie cutter get in the way of your Christmas spirit!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.