Smiley Santa Cookies Recipe

Smiley Santa Cookies Recipe

A merry twist to the Santa cookies, this Smiley Santa cookies recipe will be fun to make and wake up young ones with.

Smiley Santa Cookies Recipe

Makes: 20
Prep: 35 min
Bake: 10 min per batch
Decorate: Depends on skill

Planning Tip:
The decorated cookies may be stored airtight with waxed paper between layers at cool room temperature up to 1 week, or frozen up to 1 month.

Knead 1/2 cup flour into 18-oz tube refrigerated sugar-cookie dough. Roll into a log, cut log in 20 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Place on lined baking sheet and flatten into a 2-in. round. Add hat (Step 5). Bake and decorate as directed.

10 graham crackers, each broken into 2 squares

Cookie Dough (see Tip and Note):
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine (not spread), softened
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
Whites from 2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
20 wooden skewers, pointed ends broken off (optional)

Eyes & mouths:
1 oz semisweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips, melted
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Yellow food color, liquid, gel or paste
2 purchased disposable decorating bags or 2 qt-size ziptop freezer bags and one #5 plain round piping tip
Red crystal decorating sugar (from a 4-oz tub)
80 miniature marshmallows

1. Trace outline of hat (actual size printed over this text) on sturdy paper and cut out. Place pattern on each cracker square and carefully cut around outline with a sharp knife.

2. Heat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet(s) with foil. Using a 2-in.-diam jar, bottle or glass as a guide, mark 20 circles on foil about 2 1/2 in. apart.

3. Dough: Beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla and baking powder in a medium bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl sides, then beat in egg whites, 1 at a time until blended. Stir in flour.

4. Set a gal-size ziptop bag into a wide rimmed tall glass or jar (to free your hands); scrape dough into bag. Cut 1/2 in. off 1 bottom corner. Pipe a 2-in-wide, 1/2- in.-high mound of dough in each circle on ungreased foil-lined baking sheet(s).

5. Place a graham-cracker hat, touching dough, above each mound. With a wet finger, smooth top of mounds. If desired, insert skewers into dough.

6. Bake 10 minutes or until puffed and spongy when gently pressed. Using a wide spatula, immediately remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Place sheets of waxed paper under rack.

7. Line cooled baking sheet with waxed paper. Scrape melted chocolate into decorating bag and pipe eyes and mouths for cookies on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm and ready to use.

8. Scrape 1 cup Royal Icing into a decorating bag fitted with piping tip. Tint remaining icing yellow; cover tightly. Pipe icing in bag around edge of hats. Squeeze icing remaining in bag into a bowl and stir in water, a few drops at a time until thin enough to drip easily from a spoon. Spoon icing within piped border. Spoon red sugar over wet icing; allow to dry.

9. Brush excess sugar from hats. Spoon 1/3 cup yellow icing into decorating bag fitted with piping tip. Pipe around curved edge of each round cookie. Thin remaining yellow icing as directed in Step 8; spoon within piped border. Before icing sets, put chilled chocolate eyes and mouth, smooth side up, on each cookie. Let dry completely.

10. Snip miniature marshmallows in half and press sticky side along bottom of hats and at tips.

Christmas Tree Cake Recipe

Christmas Tree Cake Recipe

An elaborately designed and decorated Christmas tree cake recipe that will be the crowning glory of your dinner table and a grand finale to an elegant Christmas meal.

Christmas Tree Cake Recipe

Serves: 24
Time: 10 min plus 25 baking
Decorate: Depends on skill


– Bake the cake 1 day before decorating. Decorate cake up to 3 days before serving. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

– To stabilize the cake, insert wooden skewers in the cake horizontally and vertically. Mark the ends with green M&M’s so you can remove the skewers before serving the cake.

– For star at top of tree, from a large gumdrop, cut a ¼ -in.-thick round slice from base of gumdrop. Using a very small star-shaped cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut star from slice. Dip cut surfaces in sugar.


christmas tree cake pattern


2 boxes (16 oz each) pound cake mix, prepared as directed on pkg
3 cans (16 oz each) vanilla frosting
16 each starlight mint and red gummy-bear candies, or other candies of your choice
Green and red paste food color
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 bag (12 oz) M&M’s mini baking bits
1 bag (12 oz) regular-size M&M’s
12 red-and-white-striped birthday candles
1 yellow star-shaped gumdrop or 1 large yellow gumdrop (see Note)
2 miniature candy canes
Tiny red and green candy stars

How to:

1. Cakes: Position racks to divide oven in thirds. Heat to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-in. baking pan and a 9-in. square cake pan. Line bottoms of both with waxed paper.

2. Spread 4 cups batter in the square pan and remaining batter in the larger pan. Bake 1 pan on each oven rack, switching position of pans halfway through baking, 20 to 25 minutes until a pick inserted near centers of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert onto racks, remove pans and peel off waxed paper. Let cool completely. Turn cakes right side up, cover loosely and let stand in a cool, dry place about 24 hours to firm up.

3. Frost and decorate: Slice rounded tops (humps) off cakes with a long knife until flat. Transfer square cake to a serving platter. Frost sides and top with 1 cup vanilla frosting. Press mints and gummy bears into frosting around sides.

4. Using a ruler and sharp knife, cut the 13 x 9-in. cake along dotted lines as shown in diagram. The large triangle is the tree’s center, the smaller ones are the sides and the narrow pieces at top become gifts to place at base of the tree.

5. Trim bottom edge of large triangle flat. Brush crumbs from cut edges of triangles. Stir green food color into 2¼ cups frosting until desired shade. Stir in confectioners’ sugar to stiffen frosting. Tint ¼ cup frosting red; spoon into a quart-size ziptop bag, seal and set aside.

6. To assemble: Place large triangle upright in the middle of the frosted square cake. Using green frosting as glue, attach smaller triangles on each side. Use remaining green frosting to frost tree from bottom up, flaring frosting outward in 7 places on each edge to make branches.

7. Before frosting sets, press in diagonal lines of yellow mini baking bits for strings of lights and blue and red regular M&M’s for balls. Insert birthday candles. Top with star-shaped gumdrop. Insert candy canes into square cake.

8. Gifts: Cut 1-in. strips of cake into 6 cubes. Frost 5 sides with vanilla frosting; press in tiny stars. Snip tip off corner of bag with red frosting and pipe ribbon on gifts. Place around base of tree. Let all dry 2 to 3 hours, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and store up to 3 days in a cool, dry place.

Courtesy of Woman’s Day

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage Recipe for Christmas

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage Recipe for Christmas

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage Recipe for ChristmasServes: 10
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 1 1/2 hr

Cost Per Serving: 28¢

Planning Tip:
May be made up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate tightly covered. Reheat in a covered saucepan or in a covered microwave-safe serving dish in microwave.

1 head (about 3 lb) red cabbage
1 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar

1. Cut cabbage in half from top to bottom and cut out core. Cut each half in 3 wedges, then thinly slice (see Tip).

2. Place cabbage, vinegar and sugar in a large, heavy pot. Cover and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hours or until cabbage is tender. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Slicing the cabbage is easily done in a food processor fitted with a slicing disk.

Per serving: 90 cal, 2 g pro, 23 g car, 2 g fiber, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg chol, 12 mg sod

Gingerbread House Construction & Decorating Ideas

Gingerbread House Construction & Decorating Ideas

Let the charm of Gingerbread Houses into your house this Christmas with our easy plans and creative decorating ideas. Before long, you will be tempted to create an entire town of gingerbread houses!

Gingerbread House Construction & Decorating Ideas


Cover your work area with a plastic tablecover or waxed paper for easy clean up. If your house will have an outside (lawn, gardens, etc.), use a large heavy-duty piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil. For smaller versions, use large Styrofoam white plates. Be sure to use basic white frosting to “cement” your house, trees, lampposts, etc. to the base.


You will find plans for one-room house,Victorian house, chapel, country store, log cabin to help you build your gingerbread house. Offer suggestions to the children that a gingerbread house can also be Santa’s Workshop, a reindeer barn, Mrs. Claus’s kitchen, toy shop or even a replica of your own home. If you live in the big city, then why not make an apartment building using a tall milk container and adding lots of windows.

Building Supplies

Bread sticks (logs, rafters and beams), shredded wheat cereal (thatched roofs), wafer cookies (roofing tiles), mini chocolate candy bars (doors, shutters and shingles), Candy Kisses (church bell and roof decorations), lollipops (road sings), jelly beans (fireplace stones), fruit leathers (window shades), ice cream cones (trees), and candy canes with gumdrops (lamp posts) are just some ideas. For a more complete list of building supplies and their uses, click here.

Construction and Finishing Touches

Step by Step instructions are all laid out but remember to let the kids have fun… and enjoy the mistakes because it will cause even more creativity that you would ever have imagined!

General Plans

Dormers, Chimney and Windows

Set-up time: Allow gingerbread structures/frosting to dry overnight so they will be stable.


Flower cake decorations (garden), gumdrops (bushes), brown sugar (walkways and flowerbeds), pretzel sticks (fence posts), nuts (stones) and rock candy (rocks). Click here for details.

Christmas Decorations

Use Life Savers (wreaths), Red Hots and M&M candies (Christmas tree balls), white frosting (snow), powdered sugar (frost), melted hard candies (stained glass windows), colored sprinkles (Christmas lights), Fruit Loop cereal (Christmas railings) and marshmallows (snowmen) are some ideas.

People and Animals

Animal Crackers (add scarf decorations), Graham Cracker Teddy Bears (decorate in Santa suits), buy ready made from your bakery and for homemade, use cookie cutters or trace stencils onto cardstock and use for pattern on the cookie dough. Using a little blob of frosting, the people and animals will stand up on the base or to the sides of the house.

People and Animal Patterns:  Use cookie cutters, cut figures out of coloring books, etc.  Trace pattern onto a sturdy piece of cardboard or poster board and voila, you have patterns!

Place your pattern on Gingerbread dough with a sharp pointy paring knife, bake, cool, decorate.  To stand the figure around the gingerbread house, place it in a blob of thick frosting and voila, its standing!

Have fun and be creative!


ROYAL ICING CEMENT (“not” edible)


FONDANT (to make ornaments)


by Kimberly Lainson of The Party Works
Mary Ann & Kimberly, a mother and daughter team have created their sites and to provide a treasure trove of free kids birthday parties, baby showers and cake decorating ideas.

Gingerbread House Pattern – Log Cabin

Log Cabin Gingerbread House

Snow Covered Log Cabin Gingerbread House Plan

Welcome Christmas and Winter by building a cozy, tabletop log cabin with gingerbread. This gingerbread house plan requires no blueprints to print and cut, just like a log cabin does not require any. All you need is logs to build this one.

Log Cabin Gingerbread House

1.  Start with a 6-inch log in back, two 2-inch logs in front.  Top with 6-inch logs on sides, letting ends extend.  Continue building using spacers at inner edges of 2-inch logs.

2.  Fourth layer uses 6-inch logs all around.  Add 3 spacers across doorway; then top with 6-inch logs across front and back.

3. Using spacers and 3-1/2 and 2 inch logs, build up gables on front and back of cabin. Place a spacer on top of each gable.

4.  Ice and sugar roof pieces, ice top logs and spacers.  Set roof in place.



Use the following pattern to cut the roof and if desired, front and back ends.


Log Cabin Gingerbread House Pattern


Basic Gingerbread & Gingerbread Log Recipes

(“not” edible):


(to make ornaments)

Or if you would rather not bake at all, you can make an even more easier version of the Log Cabin gingerbread house. Try our Rolled Wafer Log Cabin – No Bake ‘Gingerbread’ House.


Gingerbread House Pattern – Easy One Room House

Easy One Room Gingerbread House

The most popular and easiest of all Gingerbread House plans is this One Room House. You will require lesser time to bake and assemble it and have more fun time decorating it in any way you like.

Easy One Room Gingerbread House

This classic Gingerbread house can be made with or without a chimney. The blueprint below if for a simple house without the chimney on the roof. If you would like to add a Dormer and a Chimney, follow these instructions.

One Room House - Easy Gingerbread House Blueprint

Once you are done baking and assembling, look up ideas for:

Gingerbread House Construction & Decorating Ideas

Gingerbread House Landscaping Ideas

Gingerbread House 101

Gingerbread House 101 - Recipes, Templates, Decorating Ideas and More

Whether pre-bought from a local bakery or made fresh in your oven, Gingerbread Houses give your children and teenagers the opportunity to transform your home with wonderful aromas and festive decorations that are oh so good enough to eat…. they love being creative and enjoy it all the more when they can eat their art supplies.

Gingerbread House 101 - Recipes, Templates, Decorating Ideas and More

From the very simple designs for those busy moms and dads to challenging blueprints for art projects for those artists among us, we’ve got it all. We’ve also included some gingerbread recipes for holiday gifts, Hanukkah and potlucks…Let the decorating begin!!!

Gingerbread House Basics

Gingerbread Party

Gingerbread House General Construction Plan

Gingerbread House Construction & Decorating Ideas

Gingerbread House Landscaping Ideas

Building Materials for Gingerbread House Making

Gingerbread House – No Bake Alternatives

Gingerbread Recipes

Basic Gingerbread Recipe

Royal Icing Cement (“not” edible)

Almost Buttercream Cement (edible)

Gingerbread Ornaments

Gingerbread Gift Recipes

Gingerbread House Blueprints

One-room house

Victorian house


Country store

Log cabin

Dormer & Chimney

Gingerbread House Ideas

Victorian Gingerbread House Decorating Ideas

Rolled Wafer Log Cabin – No Bake ‘Gingerbread’ House

Gingerbread House Blueprint – Victorian House

Gingerbread House Blueprint - Victorian House

Our detailed blueprint for a Gingerbread Victorian House will help you perfectly create a tabletop old-fashioned, opulent house for Christmas that you will fall in love with!

See detailed decorating ideas at Decorating Ideas for a Gorgeous, Victorian Gingerbread House and download the pattern below.

Download Pattern

Gingerbread House Blueprint - Victorian House

Victorian Gingerbread House Blueprint

This blueprint is at 100%. You can enlarge the original sized blueprint further to make your house larger.

victorian- gingerbread house blueprint

Once you are done constructing the Victorian Gingerbread House, its time to start decorating:

Gingerbread House Construction & Decorating Ideas

Gingerbread House Landscaping Ideas