One of my favorite things to bake during the holidays is sugar cookies and to use them in my curated cookie boxes. A big part of that process is creating cute new cookie designs that are hand-formed. So, what are hand-formed cookies anyway? Basically, they’re cookies that have been formed by hand into an endless possibility of shapes and designs. This year, I decided to make hand-formed knit hats and snowman cookies and thought I’d share the process with you because it’s so fun and requires no special equipment at all.

First, you’ll need to make the dough:

Holiday Shaped Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Beat butter in a stand mixer until light. Add in sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour and beat slowly until combined.

To color your dough, pull the portion out you’ll be coloring and add soft gel food color. Gently knead in until the coloring is completely mixed in to the dough.

  • Form into desired shaped (see tutorial for hats and snowmen below) and then freeze the logs until hard and ready to slice.
  • Once logs are frozen solid, slice and place  on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on size and thickness. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until set but not brown.

Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on a cooling rack.

How to make the knit hat shaped cookie design:

To make these knit hat cookies, you need to make a log of cookie dough that is colored to your liking and layered, in gradually smaller size. Gently press the sides into a hat shape.

Roll another small log that will serve as the pompom on the hat, and place on top of the hat base. Place in the freezer and freeze until solid. Once frozen solid, remove from freezer and  slice and bake as instructed in the recipe above.

You can follow the same process for making snowmen or any shapes or designs you come up with:

You can press eyes into the snowmen using the blunt end of a skewer and a smile by pressing the base edge of a cake decorating tip where the mouth would be. 🙂

Note: If you live in or near Spokane, Washington, I highly recommend shopping local and purchasing your baking equipment and supplies from Carolyn’s Cake & Candy Supplies.  If not in this area, the affiliate links to the supplies linked above will take you to Amazon.


In 2002, I was dreaming of creating a fun and happy little event to sell my vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, I held my first event in my neighbor's barn along with a handful of friends. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today The Farm Chicks Vintage & Handmade Fair fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces packed with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best event of its kind in the USA. I describe it as the best weekend of the year!