I have fond memories of baking Christmas cookies with my mom and I love doing the same thing with my own kids. Of course my children are still young and making perfect frosted cut-out cookies just isn’t going to happen. It’s good for me because it challenges the perfectionist in me, which is something I’m working on letting go of. But with that, I’ve looked for some new easy-to-make recipes for fun with my kids.
I found this recipe for Santa Graham Cookies in one of my cookbooks and it’s perfect! There is no baking involved and it’s pretty simple but great fun for the kids! And they’re cute too!
Santa Grahams Cookies
(scroll to the bottom for the full recipe)
Here is what you’ll need:
Red food color
1 1/4 cup vanilla frosting (from a 16 oz can) – or you can make your own
12 (2.5 inch square) graham crackers
1 cup (about 75) mini marshmallows, cut in half
6 small red gumdrops, cut in half
24 red M&Ms or other small red candy, like red cinnamon candies
Start with a cookie sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper. (This will save on mess – always a good thing with kids!)
Put 1/4 cup of frosting into a small bowl.
Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring to the frosting. You may need a little more food coloring, depending on how red you want it.
Mix this up well. Add more food coloring if you want it darker. My color looked a little more red than my camera would have you believe, but it wasn’t as red as the picture in my cookbook. Then again I wasn’t sure I wanted it quite that red as the kids would be working with this. Too red = stains!
So here’s our color:
Set this bowl aside and add the other 1 cup of frosting to a bowl.
Now my recipe says to add 1 drop of red food coloring to this, but I just took the spatula I used for the red frosting and the little bit of red left colored it just right.
Mix it up well; we’re looking for a slightly pink color here; this will be for Santa’s face:
If you haven’t finished getting your other ingredients ready, like cutting the marshmallows & gumdrops in half, you’ll want to do that now. I found it was easier to just cut them with kitchen shears.
So now we should have everything laid out – 12 graham cracker squares, a bunch of mini marshmallows cut in half, 12 gumdrop halves, M&Ms, and two bowls of frosting.
(Ignore the small tube of cake mate icing – it didn’t work as I’d planned)
Grab the kids (if you haven’t already) & the fun can begin! If your kids are really little, I suggest putting the frosting on for them and they can decorate with the candies.
For the frosting, frost 1 inch of a corner of a graham cracker with the red frosting. This is going to be Santa’s hat.
Frost the rest of the graham cracker with the light pink frosting, being careful not to mix the colors with the hat. Of course if you do… well this is a project for the kids, right? So you can just blame them.
I’ll just add that at this point, I was wondering why I tried to take as many pictures as I was. Luke was hanging on me and Joshua was trying to eat the M&Ms as fast as he could and I was getting frosting on the camera. Oops!
Back to the recipe – The basic idea is to put a marshmallow half for the pom pom on the hat, a gumdrop half for Santa’s nose, 2 M&Ms (or other small candies) for the eyes, with more marshmallows making up the beard.
Of course the kids might have their own ideas.
My tip: give each child their own waxed paper covered cookie sheet. It helps keep the mess down and helps avoid fighting.
Even my 2 year old Joshua was able to help and decorated his own two cookies.
The kids all really enjoyed creating their Santas and it was fun to see each of them do their own thing.
Here is one of my Santa Grahams:
Click here for the printable recipe – Santa Graham Cookies
*Recipe credit goes to Pillsbury Christmas 2007 cookbook