Whether looking for the perfect teachers' gift or the perfect late-night snack for a persnickety Santa, your kids will enjoy preparing treats for everyone on their list-not to mention themselves.
1. Iced Browned Butter Sugar Cookies
With nutty, caramel notes from browned butter and a fair bit of salt to balance the flavors, these cookies will become an instant favorite. You can roll out the dough right after combining all the ingredients-no chilling required. Look for pearlized sugar in gourmet markets or craft stores. Let the kids sprinkle the coarse crystals over the icing to give the cookies a sparkly, jewel-like appearance.
2. Gingerbread People
For a whimsical presentation, arrange these cookies in a lunch box lined with colorful packing paper. Use a variety of cookie cutter sizes to create "families." If you don't want to cut the dough into shapes, roll it into two logs, cover, chill, and slice into 1/8-inch rounds. Refrigerate the dough up to three days, or freeze up to one month.
3. Popcorn Brittle
While replacing the nuts in brittle with popcorn certainly removes a lot of fat, it also results in a wonderful hybrid--part caramel corn, part brittle. The brittle is crunchy and sweet, with just a hint of saltiness. Editors suggest keeping the kids out of the kitchen until the mixture has cooled and set. Once it is ready to go, let them at it!
4. Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringue Kisses
Piping cookies from a pastry bag is a lot of fun, and the work goes quickly. But kids might enjoy the no-fuss option of dropping level tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet instead. Whichever method you choose, these kisses are ideal when enjoyed alongside a cup of hot cocoa.
5. Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
These chewy treats use toffee bits for a crunchy twist on the classic oatmeal cookie. After you and your little elves make a batch, cuddle up on the couch with a glass of milk and enjoy while you watch your family's favorite holiday movie.
6. Chocolate-Hazelnut Thumbprints
With a double shot of chocolate and hazelnut flavors, kids and adults will rave over these filled cookies. The espresso powder is optional, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor.
7. Ginger-Lemon Pinwheel Cookies
Creating these swirly cookies isn't as involved as it may appear. Kids will enjoy helping you roll the dough and will marvel at their scrumptious creations once they are pulled from the oven.
8. Frosted Pumpkin Cake
Easy and delicious, this sheet cake is a no fuss option that will be one of the first things to go on any casual holiday dessert table. No matter how messy your sous chefs are, rest-assured, the frosting is too delicious to worry about aesthetics.
Continue Reading: 12 more Healthy Holiday Kids' Treats