Bake or Buy: 3 Holiday Cookie Ideas

Bake or Buy: 3 Holiday Cookie Ideas

Save time by decorating premade cookies to look like you spent all day baking.

By: Wendy Kalen

The holiday season means cookies but it also means a new level of busy. Skip the hassle of baking cookies from scratch and decorate premade cookies with our ideas.

If you feel the need to break out the butter and measuring cups, we’ve included a recipe in here, too. Enjoy!

1. Melting Snowman
These adorable cookies are clever, cute and so very easy to make.

8 small peanut butter cups
125 mL (1/2 cup) plus 15 mL (1 tbsp) vanilla icing
8 mini peanut butter cups
8 marshmallows
8 7 1/2-centimetre (3-inch) purchased cookies
16 mini chocolate chips
8 orange sprinkles


  1. Carefully slice the solid chocolate bottom section off each small peanut butter cup. Put a dab of icing in the middle of each bottom; top each with a mini peanut butter cup to make the snowman’s hat. Slice each hat in half
  2. With a moistened knife or scissors, cut the marshmallows horizontally into two or three slices for a total of eight pieces. Moisten the cut side of a marshmallow with water and press it onto the middle of a cookie; repeat for each cookie*
  3. In a microwavable bowl, warm the icing in 5-second intervals, stirring after each, until it is smooth and pourable. Pour about 1 tablespoon of icing over the top and sides of the marshmallow. Top each iced cookie with a “hat”, chocolate chip eyes and an orange sprinkle nose. Repeat, reheating three times to finish decorating the cookies.

*Tip: Instead of the marshmallows, you can mimic this step by spreading marshmallow fluff on the cookie.


Eyes: Instead of mini chocolate chips, eyes can be piped through a snipped corner of a plastic bag with coloured icing. Or, once the icing dries, eyes can be painted on with melted and coloured icing or chocolate.

Nose: A snippet of orange gumdrop candy can be formed into carrot-shaped noses. Or orange-coloured icing may be piped or painted on as a nose.

Hat: Hats come in all sizes and colours. Gumdrop candy can be worked like clay to form lots of different styles of hat. If the gumdrop gets a little sticky, dust your hands with powdered sugar.

2. Happy Doughnut Snowman
No holiday cookie could be easier and more adorable. This clever use of a miniature doughnut is perfect for getting the kids involved. These snowmen can’t help but make you smile.


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Ingredients (per doughnut)
1 gumdrop orange slice or orange frosting
5 miniature chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles
1 miniature powdered doughnut
2 chocolate chips


  1. With a moistened knife or scissors cut a small triangular piece off the gumdrop and press it into the doughnut hole
  2. Push the miniature chocolate chips into the doughnut to form a smile
  3. Push the chocolate chips into the doughnut for the eyes


  • The smaller the hole in the doughnut, the cuter the face will look.
  • If you are feeling crafty, pipe the snowmen’s noses with orange frosting.

Other Easy Decorated Christmas Cookies

  1. Smear peanut butter between two crackers and coat them with melted chocolate. Let them cool in the fridge for an hour and serve.
  2. Use melted, canned frosting to make snowflakes on store-bought cookies.
  3. Use fruit leather to create ribbons on cookies to create wrapped gifts. Or, cut out leaves and make a wreath on a cookie. Give a snowman a hat and scarf.

If you are in a baking mood…

Peppermint Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches
Serves: 12 to 14 (2 cookies per serving)
Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook time: 11 minutes per batch
Difficulty: Medium 


425 mL (1 3/4 cups) flour
125 mL (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa
1 mL (1/4 tsp) salt
175 mL (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
250 mL (1 cup) light brown sugar
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
1 large egg

125 mL (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
375 mL (1 1/2 cups) marshmallow crème
2 mL (3/8 tsp) peppermint extract
1 mL 1/4 teaspoon salt
20 starlight mint candy or candy canes, coarsely crushed


  1. Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa and salt to combine
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until combined. Add the vanilla, beating until combined. Add the egg, beating until combined
  4. Add the dries into the butter mixture, beating until combined
  5. Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets 5 centimetres (2 inches) apart. Cover balls with a piece of plastic wrap and, with the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie into a two-inch circle
  6. Bake until they look dry, 11 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes then transfer to rack to cool completely
  7. Filling: In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the marshmallow crème, peppermint extract and salt, beating until well combined, scrapping down the side as needed. Stir in the crushed candy to combine
  8. Dollop a rounded spoon of the filling in the middle of the flat side of half the cookies; cover each with a plain cookie, rounded-side up. Lightly press each sandwich together to bring the filling to the cookies’ edge

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So great for when i don't have the time to bake!

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