I don't know about you but I always struggle with presents for my friends kids. I don't want to buy a toy that 3 weeks later my friend is going to hate me for because it hasn't stopped beeping, and I don't want to buy chocolate, as I'm sure they will have lots already.
This is when I came up with the idea for an decorate your own christmas cookie kit. I'd make the cookies myself, buy some cheap cake decorations and a cute little container to put them in; I managed to do all three for under £3.
I got these containers form the works for £1.99 for both, as they were on buy one get of free. They also had Santa ones, I must have spent ages choosing!
These kits can be entirely personal, you put it what you know they will like. I made cookies in the shape of a snowman, christmas tree, and a tree ornament; they aren't perfect as I did them free-hand, but it all adds to the charm right!? For the decorating 'tools' I chose two different types of writing icing, milk chocolate buttons, mini marshmallows, sugar stars and hundreds and thousands.
I wanted to put everything in the container, but unfortunately the cookies were too big, so I tried them to the character's hand and made it look like they were carrying the cookies.
I made my own sugar cookie recipe, but feel free to use a packet mix.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place the butter and sugar in large bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until light in colour. Add the egg and milk and beat to combine. Put the mixer on low speed, and gradually add the flour, beat until the mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/ gas mark 5.
Sprinkle the surface where you will roll out the dough with the powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from the fridge at a time, and sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If the dough has warmed during rolling, place a cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.
Cut into the desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7-9 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges, rotating the cookies sheet halfway through baking time.
Let sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from the oven and then move to complete cooling on a wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.