December holidays are for indulgence, fun and family. For an activity that wraps all three of these into one awesome creative adventure, you can’t beat baking cookies. So, grab the kids and turn your kitchen into a Willy Wonka style cookie factory this festive season.
The fun of baking together will keep them occupied for hours, and the payoff is a scrumptious treat they made themselves. Plus, baking as a family has gifting perks. Think little jars of cookies that you can give everyone from Auntie Nora to your husband’s boss. Sounding like too much of a mission for you? Think again! We have a variety of fun and simple cookie solutions that will minimise the mess and cut out the fuss.
Try your hand at these super easy and fun-to-make festive cookie ideas. Remember, homemade isn’t supposed to be perfect, so just have fun being creative together.
Festive doughnut cookie wreaths
Combine the best parts of a doughnut with the homey crunch of our legendary Soetkoekies for this party treat. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter any round object, like a tin can or coffee mug, will do as a stencil. Use a butter knife to cut around the outside of your stencil and the larger end of a piping nozzle to pop a hole into the middle of each doughnut cookie
What you’ll need:
1 pack of CAB Foods Soetkoekie Premix
5ml vanilla essence
250g White chocolate
CAB Foods Festive Sprinkles
CAB Foods Gold Sprinkles
Custard Powder for dusting
Prepare your Soetkoekie batter as per the instructions on the label. You want these cookies to be thicker than you would normally roll cookie dough so that they look more like doughnuts. Roll the dough out to about 4mm thick on a surface dusted with custard powder. Not only does the custard powder add lovely flavour to your doughnut cookie, it also helps them turn a perfect golden doughnutty colour as they bake.
Use your doughnut cutter to cut cookies and carefully transfer them to a cookie tray prepared with non-stick spray. Bake your doughnut cookies at 180C for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown and smelling delicious.
Once your cookies have cooled, melt the white chocolate in your microwave stopping every 20-30 seconds to stir. Carefully spoon the melted chocolate over your cookies, allowing some of it to drip down the side like it would with a doughnut. Use your gold and festive sprinkles, as well as your holly decorations to add pizzazz before the chocolate sets.
You can pop your doughnut cookie wreaths in the fridge for about 10 minutes to ensure the chocolate is properly hardened before transferring them to an airtight container until you are ready to serve.
Stained glass sugar cookies
The one thing South Africa’s festive season has ample of it sunshine. Bake these pretty, translucent cookies and hold them to the light to see the colours come to life. They also make great tree ornaments if you poke a hole with a drinking straw at the top prior to baking and knot little ribbons through once they’ve cooled.
Stained glass cookies look difficult to make, but they really aren’t, especially when your cookie dough has already been prepared and rolled for you!
What you’ll need:
1 pack of CAB Foods Ready to Bake Cookie Sheets
1 pack of coloured hard candies
Your favourite cookie cutters in small and large sizes
Defrost your cookie sheets at room temperature and carefully remove them from the box. There is no need to dust a surface, just transfer the sheets with their plastic bottom layer to a table or counter and start cutting your favourite cookie cutter shapes.
Use smaller cookie cutters or a butter knife to cut smaller “windows” in each of your cookies. The larger end of a piping nozzle also works very well. Carefully transfer your cookies to a cookie sheet prepared with baking paper or a silicone baking mat.
Divide your candies by colour and use a heavy rolling pin or meat mallet to gently crush them into pieces. Remove the pieces from their wrappers and start packing them out carefully in your cookie windows. You can stick to one colour per cookie or do different combinations for a rainbow effect. Remember to make a small hole for your ribbon if you want to hang these in front of a window or use them as tree ornaments.
Bake your cookies for 10 minutes at 180C and wait until they have cooled down completely before carefully peeling them off the baking paper.
Although the candy windows go hard once the cookies have cooled, it can still cause your cookies to stick together, so best to store them in an airtight container between layers of baking paper until you are ready to serve or decorate your tree.
If you don’t have a CAB Foods store nearby and can’t get your hands on our Ready to Bake Cookie Sheets, don’t stress. You can make these cookies using our famous Soetkoekie Premix which is available online and can be delivered anywhere in South Africa.
Chewy Ginger-nut cookies
These cookies are unbelievably easy to make, and yet they are the epitome of a delicious treat to serve under your tree, or with coffee after the huge Christmas roast dinner.
For a spicier version, add just a pinch of fine pepper and a half teaspoon of allspice to the mix.
What you’ll need:
1 pack of CAB Foods Ginger Cookie Premix
250g chopped pecan nuts
10 butterscotch candies
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
Pour your pack of premix out into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped pecan nuts and cinnamon and give the mixture a bit of a stir. Mix in the egg, honey and butter as per the instructions on the label.
Unwrap the butterscotch candies and place them in a zip seal packet. Gently tap the packet with a rolling pin or meat mallet to crush the candies. The aim is to break each one into 5 or six chunky pieces, not to completely smash them into powder. Add the crushed candies to your cookie mixture and give the batter a squash until they are blended in.
Pull a piece of the batter off and roll it between your hands to form a ball roughly the size of a ping pong ball. Press it flat in your palm and place it on a prepared cookie sheet. Repeat this until you’ve used all your dough.
Bake at 180C for 15 minutes. Once cooled the butterscotch candies become lovely, chewy pockets of sweetness hidden in the crunchy cookie.
Gingerbread dress-up dolls
This is an especially amusing activity when you have a budding fashionista in your house. Have fun creating a variety of pretty outfits for your gingerbread people to model before you gobble them up. Use whatever sweets, sprinkles and sparkles you can find to decorate your different outfits.
What you’ll need:
1 pack of CAB Foods Ready to Cut Gingerbread Man Cookie Dough
CAB Foods Royal Icing in an assortment of colours
1 pack of CAB Foods Eye Decorations
Defrost your ginger cookie sheets at room temperature and carefully remove them from the box. Transfer each sheet with its plastic bottom layer to a table or counter.
Start by cutting 6-10 gingerbread men and transferring them to a cookie sheet prepared with non-stick spray.
Use a butter knife to design and cut out different tops, pants and dresses for your gingerbread people from the remaining cookie sheets. The easiest way to make sure you get the right shape is to use your gingerbread man cookie cutter. Cut a man as before, but lob off its head, hands and feet. Cut the remaining part into a top and pants that will perfectly fit your gingerbread people that are cut with the same cookie cutter.
Bake your gingerbread men and their outfits at 180C for 10 minutes and let them cool completely before decorating.
While you wait, prepare your royal icings as per the instructions on the packet. Transfer each colour into a piping bag and snip a tiny bit off the tip with scissors so you can easily pipe without too much icing running out at once. Use white royal icing to stick eyes on your gingerbread people and draw the rest of their faces.
Use coloured royal icing to decorate their outfits and secure decorative sweets and sprinkles. Once all your icing has hardened you can start playing dress-up with your gingerbread people. Be mindful to store your gingerbread people and their wardrobe in a sealed, airtight container to keep them fresh and crunchy.
Gingerbread dress-up dolls can also easily be made with CAB Foods Ginger Cookie Premix which is available online.
Choc-chip stars for Santa
Delivering presents is exhausting, especially in the South African summer. Bake these super easy cookies to leave out as a little refreshment for Santa when he reaches your house. Making them takes up almost no time, and can easily become a fun Christmas Eve bedtime project.
For a super decadent version of these stars, substitute the choc-chip cookie dough with our Cut and Bake Red Velvet Choc Chip Cookie Dough.
What you’ll need:
CAB Foods Cut and Bake Choc-Chip Cookie Dough
Icing sugar for dusting.
Let your cookie dough defrost at room temperature until it is completely pliable.
Dust a counter top or table with flour or custard powder and squash the dough down onto the prepared surface. The chocolate chip in the dough makes it impossible to roll completely flat, but you can use a roller to spread it our evenly to a thickness of 3-4mm.
To cut a perfect star, dip your cookie cutter in corn starch first. Cut your cookies from the flattened dough and carefully transfer them to a baking sheet prepared with non-stick spray. Bake your cookies for 10-15 minutes at 180C.
These cookies are absolutely divine when they are still slightly warm. Dust them with icing sugar and serve with a glass of milk for a very special Christmas treat. Just remember to leave a few for Santa!
No need to miss out on creating these cookies if you can’t get to CAB Foods store. Make you own delicious choc-chip cookie dough by using our tried and tested Soetkoekie Premix and working 80g of milk chocolate chips into the batter. The premix and chocolate chips are available via our online store and can be delivered anywhere in South Africa.
For more edible festive fun, be sure to visit a CAB Foods store or our online shop. You’ll find everything you need for a creative and delicious cookie feast as well as other must-have holiday bakes and ingredients at the very best value for money.