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Santa baby, if you hurry down the chimney, chances are you’re going to be here a while munching on cookies—and we certainly can’t blame you.

The holidays are a perfect time to get creative with baking, and the cookie options for your Christmas dessert are endless. If you’re looking to forgo a trip to the bakery and take on a festive DIY instead, here’s how to decorate your cookies like a pro. Pass the milk, please!

Stacking Star Cookie Cutters, Set of 10, $11.96 on Sur La Table

Let your cookies be the star of your dessert spread.
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Step one: Be delicate.

Chances are if you’re whipping up a batch of sugar cookies, you’re looking forward to dousing them with icing and sprinkles. Be intricate with your planning and get the appropriate tools. A piping bag might channel your inner Betty Crocker, but there’s a good possibility that it’s difficult to manage and you’ll end up with a mess on the kitchen counter. Opt for different-sized icing bottles so you can expertly place the icing on your snowflake cookies just so. Grab a set of tweezers (preferably one you don’t use to pluck your brows) and place your sprinkles exactly where they’re meant to be.

Step two: Let it snow.

If you’re hoping for a white Christmas, your sweets can definitely take on the snow treatment (in the form of sugar, that is). Dusting these candy cane cookies with granulated sugar not only gives them an extra pop and makes them sparkle, it makes them taste all the more delicious. It’s the small touch you can’t forget.

Step three: Don’t rely on typical shapes.

Linzer Sablés are a satisfying addition to your dessert table. The sweet, slightly spiced dough makes for a perfect treat on a cozy winter evening, but let’s face it: The cookie’s circular shape is boring. Put a Christmas spin on the treat with festive cookie cutter sets. Won’t you be more inclined to take a bite out of that jelly cookie with a candy cane shape?

Step four: Whip it good.

No sandwich is more satisfying than a cookie sandwich, right? These Chocolate Sandwich Cookies With Peppermint Buttercream Filling just scream “Merry Christmas.” But before squishing your filling between the cookies, make your whipped cream look enticing. A whipped cream dispenser will allow you to play around with designs and make a plate of these bad boys seem irresistible.  

Step five: Don’t be afraid to switch it up.

No December is complete without a plate of gingerbread cookies. But don’t make these tiny fellas all the same. Now that you have your icing bottles and tweezers, you can get super crafty. Make each cookie have a different personality, switch up the sprinkle colors, and decorate their cute gingerbread men suits differently. It’ll be a colorful family that’ll join yours at the holiday table.

Step six: Pick a different color scheme.

As delightful as the red-green color combo can be, sometimes you need a little break. If you’re thinking about making classic Pinwheel Cookies don’t feel as though you’re married to those shades. Spice things up with a gold food coloring. If you want to find another palette that works well for your winter-themed sweets, head to Pinterest for some inspiration.

Step seven: Don’t forget about the finishing touch.

A little extra attention goes a long way. Topping off your Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies with salted peanuts or your Pomegranate Macarons with edible gold not only looks lovely, but adds to the flavor.

Step eight: Make the presentation count.

Though I’m always inclined to take a bite out of a cookie, something about festive place sets gets me quite excited for sweets. Okay, since it is Christmas, I’ll have six gingerbread men instead of one.

Happy holidays, everyone. Hope that glass of milk is ready for some serious dunking.

Related video: 7 Ways to Decorate Holiday Cookies

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Danielle is a trending news writer at Elite Daily and a freelance contributor for Chowhound and Domino. When she's not working, she's probably reading a book or eating a bowl of gnocchi at Frankie's. Find her @dvwrites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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