Simplify Holiday Baking with Supersized Treats
Go big or go bigger.
Instead of decorating dozens of teensy little cookies, impress friends and family with a few outrageously large treats that are easy to make and fun to give. Here are 5 examples where bigger is best.
Wrap it up For gift-giving, transfer each fully cooled cookie to a holiday-theme plate, wrap with plastic wrap, and top with an equally giant bow. Take your gift over the top by adding a glass quart jar of milk, tied up with ribbon or tucked in a holiday wine bag.
Cookie Globes For each globe, shape ½ cup dough into a ball and flatten into a 3½-inch patty. Arrange at least 3 inches apart on lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F until centers are set, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Sky and Snow Tint half of the Royal Icing light blue with blue food coloring. Frost about one-half of each cookie with blue icing. Frost remainder of each cookie with white icing. Sprinkle blue side with white sprinkles and white side with coarse decorating sugar. Decorate cookies as desired the marshmallows, rolled out gumdrops, graham crackers, and sprinkles. Attach a slice of granola-nut bar to bottom edge of cookie with icing. Let dry completely.
Edible Scenery For colorful trees, hats, sleds, and more, roll out large gumdrops on a well-sugared surface, then cut and stretch into desired shapes. Graham crackers make cute houses. Slices of regular and miniature marshmallows work well for snowman bodies.
Giant Cinnamon Roll Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 9x12-inch rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Spread dough with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut dough into six 1½x12-inch strips. Loosely roll up 1 strip and place in center of pan. Add remaining strips to pan, loosely coiling them around the center spiral of dough. Cover pan and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes — or cover with plastic wrap, chill overnight, and let rest at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and dough in center is set — cover with foil during last 10 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Cool 10 minutes and spread with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting Beat together 3 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon milk until smooth.
Mitten Cookies Roll dough out to ½-inch thickness and cut five 4x5-inch rectangles, using a fluted pastry cutter or pizza cutter. Arrange rectangles at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Use your finger to pat a mitten shape into each, being careful to not press all the way through. Bake at 325 degrees F until cookies are lightly browned at edges and set in center, about 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. While cookies are still warm, use the back of a spoon to repress mitten shape, if necessary. Cool in wire racks.
Jam Filling Soften jam in microwave about 30 seconds; stir and spoon into mitten shapes, about 2 tablespoons per cookie.
Icing Put white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chips are melted. Spoon into a zip-top plastic bag. Snip off a small corner of bag; pipe swirls, dots, or drizzles onto cookies.
In the bag Chill these before wrapping to help the Jam and white chocolate set up and stay put. To package, set each cookie on a holiday-theme paper plate, slip into a large clear treat bag with the opening to the side, and tie with ribbon.
Pinwheels Divide dough into 3 equal-sized balls. Tint 1 ball with red food coloring and one with green food coloring. Blend ½ cup sprinkles into third ball. Shape each ball into an 8-inch rope. Bundle ropes together to form a log, and twist 4 or 5 times to get a good swirl. Roll gently on counter top to smooth sides to make one large long about 3½x3½x6 inches. Roll log in remaining ½ cup sprinkles. Wrap log in wax paper and a cotton towel; freeze 30 to 60 minutes or chill at least 4 hours. Unwrap dough and slice into 12½-inch thick slices. Arrange at least 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees F until set, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove from baking sheets and cool completely.
Don’t be caught red- (or green-) handed! When working with gel paste food coloring, it helps to stir it into the dough with a fork or wooden spoon before kneading it in. Wearing Food-grade disposable gloves is also not a bad idea.
Check out our collection of Christmas Cookie Recipes.
This article originally appeared in the December/January 2019 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.