Christmas Cookie Puzzles

It's fun to play with your food! Make baking a game with these fun and easy DIY puzzle cookies.

Cookies are a staple of the Holidays.  I think they should be a staple of any diet because I love them and they are delicious.  Baking cookies is great because they are versatile with so many fun shapes – especially during the holiday season.  The colors, shapes, and flavors vary so much.  Some intricately decorated cookies are little delicious works of art.  One of my favorite childhood memories is baking cookies with my mom and grandmother.  It was always fun to help mold the dough into winter shapes and sprinkle the colored sugars.  The idea for puzzles came from years of baking with my family.  Kids can help with the baking and also play with and then eat them.   I thought it would be fun to make baking literally a game!  So puzzle cookies were born.  You'll have the best holiday party on the block!

I used a cookie recipe from my grandmother.  You don't have to be Martha Stewart – purchasing cookie dough sheets from the supermarket works just fine.  I will list my recipe at the bottom of the post.  Other than sugar cookie dough, you will need cookie cutters and sprinkles or colored sugar.  Basic shape cookie cutters work best.  If you have an intricate snowflake pattern or the like, it can get tricky to make the puzzle work.   I line the baking pan with parchment paper for easier cleanup.  A couple of tablespoons of flour is necessary for rolling the dough so it won't stick.

Roll the dough flat.  Cut a square roughly 4" x 4".  You can make it larger or smaller, it's up to you. 

Place the cookie cutter shape in the center.  Draw 4 lines for the "puzzle pieces" from the center cookie shape to the edges of the square.  The puzzle takes its shape at this point.

Add the sugar or the sprinkles.  It is easier to leave the center cookie cutter in place so the sugars/sprinkles don't overlap and make a mess.

Gently lift the pieces of dough and place them onto the baking pan.  Place them in the general shape of the puzzle.  I used a spatula to make sure my pieces didn't tear apart. 

Bake at 350 for 6-9 minutes.  Start checking the dough at 6 minutes.   Allow to cool and harden a bit before piecing the puzzle together.

 Fun to work and fun to eat!

The cookie recipe I used:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
2 Sticks Butter

Preheat oven to 350.

1.  Cream Butter and Sugar until well mixed.
2.  Add Vanilla and Egg and mix.
3.  Gently mix flour and baking powder in another bowl.
4.  Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat together.  I usually add a couple of tablespoons of water if the dough is extremely dry. 
5.  Once ingredients are incorporated, turn the bowl onto a floured counter top.  Knead the dough to make sure it is solid and then roll out what you need to make puzzles. 
6.  Roll a small piece of dough each time for individual puzzles.  You may decide to chill it first or not.
7.  Bake for 6-9 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool and harden before eating or "working" the puzzle.