When I think of Holiday Cookies, I think beautiful: bright red frosting piped around the edges of a star-shaped gingerbread cookie, melted chocolate perfectly drizzled across a sugar cookie, a golden circle of apricot jam in the center of a thumbprint cookie. More than any other time of year, when it comes to Christmas Cookies, neatness counts.

But while it's almost impossible to ruin the taste of a cookie while decorating it (and, in fact, some of those mistakes can be a fun treat for the baker!), for many people the process of adorning a cookie can be stressful. Unruly frosting bags and mis-mixed frostings can make it difficult to create the festive cookie you see in your mind.

Fortunately, we at EatingWell are here to help. Our step-by-step guide to decorating cookies breaks the process down into easy-to-understand steps. If you've ever wondered how to make marbled swirl designs in frosting, how to melt chocolate without burning it or just how to wield a frosting bag, you'll love the easy answers provided by our Test Kitchen. Check it out before your next holiday baking session!

Holiday Cookie Swap

Want to lighten up your favorite Christmas cookie recipes? We're kicking off the holiday baking season the first week in December by sharing prize-winning cookie recipes and tricks from our EatingWell Test Kitchen pros to make any cookie healthier but still taste great. Find everything you need for beautiful, healthy cookies here.