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Christmas Ornament Cookies


18 Min.
1 Hr. 30 Min.
Skill Level:
18 (2-1/2 inch) cookies

Why deck the halls when you can decorate this Christmas Ornament Cookies recipe? They're chocolate shortbread cookies, flavored with rich HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa and topped with REESE'S Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures Candy to look like edible ornaments! After you whip up these Christmas Ornament Cookies, we'll walk you through how to make an easy, traditional royal icing, too. You can use it in so many recipes later, too! Get creative with your little ones and add sprinkles to your ornament look-alikes!

Peruse our Holiday Dessert Recipes for more festive and tasty treats to warm up your wintertime kitchen.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Bake Time
18 minutes
Cool Time
30 minutes


Prevent your screen from going dark while you bake.


  • Assorted
    food color
  • Assorted
    edible decorations such as HERSHEY'S Chocolate Chips and sprinkles
  • Holiday Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 cup
    butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups
    powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • Royal Icing
  • 2-1/2 cups
    vanilla frosting, royal Icing or combination of both
  • 2-1/4 cups
    powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp
    meringue powder (pasteurized dried egg)
  • 3 Tbsps
    warm water
  • Additional
    water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if too thick.

Step-By-Step Directions

Equipment Needed 
oven oven
mixing bowl mixing bowl
cookie sheets cookie sheets
measuring cups measuring cups
rolling pin rolling pin
2-1/2 inch cookie cutter 2-1/2 inch cookie cutter
wire rack wire rack

Prepare Holiday Chocolate Shortbread Cookies and choice of frosting. Divide and tint frostings, if desired.


Bake cookies one day and decorate the next.


Pipe design or spread frosting on tops of cookies. Immediately decorate with desired toppings and design. Allow frosting to set.


Meanwhile, vertically cut mini peanut butter cups into halves; set aside. Place dab of frosting at top of cookie ; position peanut butter cup half in place to form hook holder for "ornament". Hold in place until firm and candy stays in place.


Holiday Chocolate Shortbread Cookies:

  1. Heat oven to 300° F. Beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Add cocoa; blend well. Gradually add flour, stirring until smooth.
  2. Roll or pat dough to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface or between 2 pieces of wax paper. Cut into 2-1/2 inch circles with cookie cutter. Reroll dough scraps, cutting cookies until dough is used. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or just until firm. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Royal Icing:

Stir together 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon pasteurized dried egg whites (meringue powder). Add 3 tablespoons warm water. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until spreadable. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if too thick. Divide icing into small bowls for each color desired and tint with food colorings. Transfer icing to pastry bags with desired tip. Cover icings and tips of pastry bags with damp paper towels to keep icing from drying out. (To flood tops of cookies with icing, pipe small line of frosting around outside of cookie to form rim. Thin a portion of remaining icing with additional water so that it will flow easily inside rim). Some garnishes may need a firmer icing to hold their shape. Stir in small amounts of additional powdered sugar to get desired consistency.

Additional questions?