Tips and Tricks for Unique Christmas Cookies

See what the contestants on Christmas Cookie Challenge did to make their holiday cookies stand out.

Use Food Coloring to Create a Neon Effect.

Baker Justine Banks created a neon lights effect in her cookies by first using white food coloring to lighten the bright colors and paint the lines onto her cookies to create a background. Then, she piped the lines on top using the original colors to resemble a lightbulb.

Make Your Cookies Extra Groovy With Tie-Dye.

Contestant Dylan Hale added flair to his maple bacon shortbread cookies by creating a tie-dye effect with royal icing. To do this, he added different-colored spirals to his cookies and then pulled a needle tool toward the center of the cookie while the icing was still wet.

Pipe A Pattern to Create a Knit Effect.

Contestant Jacqueline Terrel added mittens to her Snowman wreath design to bring this Christmas character to life. In order to make her brown butter snickerdoodle cookies look like knitted mittens, she piped a pattern on top of a smooth layer of royal icing.

Add White Food Coloring to Prevent Different Colors From Bleeding.

To create the flying saucer Santa design atop her cinnamon almond vanilla cookies, contestant Ashlee Christman first created an outline with her vanilla royal icing and then filled the outline with runny icing to create a smooth layer. To prevent the different colors from blending together, she added a little bit of white food coloring in each color.

Make Puzzle Pieces with Different Cookie Cutter Shapes.

During the puzzle design challenge, contestant Mik Nuzzi got creative and used a wreath-shaped cookie cutter to create the nest for her cardinal-shaped cookie. In order to make the two pieces fit together perfectly, she used the bottom of the cardinal cookie cutter to cut into the top of the wreath.

Use Ribbon to Make Ornaments.

Contestant Chelsea Hunt cut little holes into her classic sugar cookie and threaded a ribbon through it to create a dangling Christmas ornament effect.

Use Words to Tell a Story.

When the bakers were challenged to craft creative Christmas cards out of cookies, contestant Stephanie Bruce-Torres piped a "punny" message on one cookie and piped a heartfelt message on the other to tell two different stories.

Stack Cookies to Create a 3-D Painting.

In one of the challenges, the cookie masters had to arrange decorated cookies into a single image worthy of display in the Louvre Museum. Stephen Horner placed his Santa Claus, reindeer and Christmas tree-shaped cookies atop painted square cookies to mimic a scenic painting.

Use unusual cookie cutters to spark creativity.

In one challenge, the bakers had to take Halloween cookie cutters and turn them into Christmas cookies. Mary Valentino turned the pumpkin cookie cutter into a perfect Mrs. Claus and the ghost cookie cutter into a jolly elf with a pointed hat.

Add texture and depth to your cookies.

During the decorating challenge Christmas Cookies on a Stick, Terri Fry uses thick royal icing to add texture to Santa's beard and creates a tiny tree in the window of the house to add depth.

Add little details to bring the story together.

Most people do not associate flamingos with Christmas, but Lana Witherspoon added a Santa hat, red booties and a thin strand of lights to give the tropical birds a festive touch.

Give Christmas characters a modern makeover.

During the decorating challenge Santa Gets an Upgrade, Ricky Webster decks Santa out with scuba gear and gives him a submarine to get around on Christmas.

Don’t go overboard.

Winner Kellen Whaley didn’t add sloppy tracks to his winning design like his competitors. He focused on flavor and neatness in his creation. Remember, people eat with their eyes first.

Create lights out of teardrop cookies.

Ricky Webster used royal icing to bring colorful teardrop cookies together into a string of Christmas lights.

Set the Scene with Edible Decorations.

Contestant Adija Smith's adorable penguin nesting-doll cookies are thoughtfully arranged on a bed of marshmallow snow. Molly loved them, “They’re all so cozy ... I would love to sleep on a bed of marshmallows.

Paint on Texture.

Contestant Rose Gebran painted on a mxture of royal icing and white food coloring before baking her Christmas mantle, giving the cookie a crackled texture.