5 Ways to Use Holiday Cookie Cutters All Year

Don't be so one-dimensional when considering your cookie cutters. A gingerbread man is not always just a gingerbread man.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz


Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Matt Armendariz


If your favorite holiday cookie cutters (gingerbread men, snowflakes, hearts — you know the type) only get one spin around the kitchen each year, you're missing out. With a little creativity, seasonal shapes reveal multiple personalities so you can make good use of them whenever you please. Use our ideas as a starting point for even more cookie creations — the sky's the limit.

A Snowman Becomes an Ice Cream Sundae

Start with a snowman cookie. Using thick blue royal icing, pipe an outline of a bowl in the bottom half of the bottom snowball. Spoon thinned blue icing into the outline to flood it (use a toothpick to fill gaps). Use thick brown royal icing to outline a scoop-shaped dome above the blue bowl and flood it with thinned brown royal icing. Outline a pink dome above the brown dome and flood it with thinned pink icing. Sprinkle on mini chocolate chips. Pipe thick white icing and flood it with thinned white icing on the top ball of the snowman to make a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Let dry until the thinned icing is completely set, at least 2 hours. Spoon melted chocolate over the top of the vanilla scoop, letting it drip down in places to make hot fudge sauce for the sundae. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Top with a red candy to make a cherry.

A Gingerbread Man Becomes a Shark

Start with a gingerbread man cookie and place it horizontally in front of you (so the man is lying on its side). Using thick blue-gray royal icing, pipe the outline of a shark on the cookie, with the top fin on the top arm of the cookie, another fin on the bottom arm, the shark’s tail on the head end of the cookie and the shark’s mouth along the cookie’s legs. Spoon thinned blue-gray royal icing into the outline to flood it (use a toothpick to fill gaps). Use a paintbrush to paint a thin line of red royal icing along the edge of the shark’s open mouth. Pipe three curved lines of thick white royal icing to make gills. Use the same icing to pipe irregular pointy teeth (you could also use chopped white chocolate chips or chopped almond slivers for extra-jagged teeth). Let dry until the icing is completely set, about 2 hours. Use black royal icing to paint an eye and let set, about 10 minutes.

A Heart Becomes a Hedgehog

Cut out cookie dough with a heart cutter and cut the heart in half lengthwise before baking. Flip one heart half over and spread with a cream filling — your favorite nut butter or frosting would also work. Top with a second heart half. Pipe melted chocolate in an outline along the curved back and halfway along the base of the hedgehog. Pipe a curved line down the middle to outline the hedgehog’s furry body, leaving the pointed area bare for the face. Flood the chocolate outline with more melted chocolate (use a toothpick to fill gaps). Dip the chocolate-covered side in a bowl of chocolate sprinkles to make spines. Use melted chocolate to paint an eye and nose. Let the chocolate set, about 15 minutes. Turn the hedgehog over and repeat with the other side.

A Snowflake Becomes a Sun

Start with a snowflake cookie. Using yellow royal icing, pipe a big circle in the center of the cookie. Leaving a thin border of space around the circle, pipe yellow or orange curvy triangles the cookie points for sun rays. Spoon thinned yellow royal icing into the outlines to flood the circle and rays (use a toothpick to fill gaps). Let the icing set, about 1 hour. For extra pizzazz, pipe a thin border of orange icing around the yellow circle and rays. Pipe a thin border of yellow on the orange rays. Use black royal icing to paint eyes and a small smile.

A Holly Leaf Becomes a Bouquet of Flowers

Start with a holly leaf-shaped cookie and if it has a stem, place it with the stem bottom closest to you. Pipe dots of pink royal icing in various spots around the top two-thirds of the cookie. Stick flower-shaped sprinkles on each dot, and let the icing set about 10 minutes. Pipe lines of green royal icing from the flowers toward the base of the leaf. Add green oval leaves at the base. Let the icing set until firm, about 2 hours.