This fun holiday sheet by Pillsbury was published in 1973 and includes a recipe for molding dough that you can use for cookies, tarts and decorations. The other side of the sheet shows how to make various shaped cookies using cookie cutters and by hand molding. Neat stuff! The sheet is typed out in full below along with scans of the recipe sheet (the first cover sheet is clickable if you’d like to view a larger copy).

Shape It Easy Molding Dough By Pillsbury

Shape it Easy Molding Dough
Shape and make cookies, tarts, decorations

Molding Dough
2 DOZEN 2 1/2″ x 1/4″ COOKIES

OVEN 350°

3-ounce package CREAM CHEESE, completely softened*
1/2 cup BUTTER or MARGARINE, completely softened*
1/2 cup firmly packed BROWN SUGAR
1/2 teaspoon SALT

COMBINE ingredients in large bowl.
STIR by hand until well blended


LIGHTLY SPOON flour into measuring cup; level off.

ADD to cream cheese mixture, stirring by hand until dough forms a ball.

KNEAD in bowl or on floured surface, 1 to 2 minutes, adding additional flour until smooth, pliable, and not sticky. (Dough is easier to shape the more it is handled.)

SHAPE on ungreased cookie sheets following suggested ideas.

BAKE at 350° until edges are light brown: thin shapes — 10 to 15 minutes; thick shapes — 15 to 22 minutes.

COOL 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. Store cooled cookies and unfilled tarts loosely covered. Refrigerate leftover dough up to 2 weeks; return to room temperature before using again.

*Tip: Cream cheese and butter or margarine may be softened using an electric mixer.

**Self-Rising flour not recommended.


Shaping - Decorating - Variations


Decorate unbaked cut-outs or original shapes with pieces of dough, moistening dough with water before attaching pieces. Make “hair” by pushing dough through garlic press. All unbaked shapes may be decorated with any of the following (always press firmly into dough): chocolate pieces or sprinkles, nuts, raisins, cinnamon candies or colored sugars.

Decorate baked cookies with PILLSBURY DECORATOR ICING or PILLSBURY READY-TO-SPREAD FROSTING (spread frosting on cookies easily with small paint brush).

To hang cookies, use the end of a SODA STRAW, cutting out small hole near top of unbaked cookie. After baking and cooling insert ribbon or string through hole to hang.

COLORED DOUGH: Add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon FOOD COLORING to cream cheese mixture before adding flour. For two color cookies, make one recipe each of plain and colored dough.

GINGERBREAD DOUGH: Eliminate FLAVORING; add 1 tablespoon MOLASSES, 1/4 teaspoon CINNAMON, 1/8 teaspoon each ground CLOVES and GINGER.

Cut Out Cookies Instructions


Roll or press out dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough with cookie cutters or your own cardboard patterns: draw desired pattern onto heavy cardboard; cut out, place on dough, and cut around edge with tip of knife. BAKE 10 to 15 minutes.

ANGELS — cut dough into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Cut a triangle from both sides of cookie. Invert triangles to form “wings”. Press firmly to seal.

REINDEER — cut dough into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Cut off two sides of circle to form triangle shape. Place the two curved pieces on either side of the wide end of triangle for “antlers”. Press firmly to seal (Slash curved pieces and spread to form “antlers.”)

CHRISTMAS TREES — cut dough into 2 1/2-inch rounds. Cut off two sides of circle to form triangle shape. Cut curved pieces into 1/8-inch strips and criss-cross over tree. Use a short piece for trunk. Press firmly to seal.

Hand Molded Cookies Instructions


CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS — shape 2 tablespoons dough into 1/2″ thick stocking. Print names or initials in dough with toothpick. Make patterns in dough using bottle caps, pastry wheel, spoon, can opener, etc. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

PARTRIDGES AND PEARS – PEARS: shape 2 tablespoons dough into a 1/2″ thick pear; insert a whole CLOVE into each end for the stem and blossom. PARTRIDGES: shape 2 tablespoons dough into a 1/2″ thick partridge; insert a whole CLOVE or CINNAMON CANDY for eye; prick with fork to make speckled breast. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

JACK HORNER PIES — shape 1 heaping tablespoon dough into thin circle on cookie sheet; place 1 tablespoon PREPARED PIE FILLING or JAM on center of circle. Top with another circle of dough; press edges with fingers or fork to seal. Print names or initials into top of pie with toothpick. Sprinkle with SUGAR. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

LETTERS — shape dough into 1/2″ thick ropes; form into letters; press pieces firmly together. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

BELL — shape 1 tablespoon dough into 1/2″ thick rope; form into bell; press pieces firmly together. Place a small ball of dough at bottom of bell. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

TURTLE — for body, fill a tablespoon with dough; level off with spatula and invert onto cookie sheet. For head, firmly press a small ball of dough into one end of the body. For feet, firmly press PECAN HALVES into the body. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

Holiday Favorites Instructions


TARTS — press dough into metal tart pans or over bottoms of muffin cups to form a thin shell. BAKE 10 to 15 minutes; cool thoroughly. Just before serving, fill shells with PUDDING or PREPARED PIE FILLING. Top with WHIPPED CREAM and, if desired, a MARASCHINO CHERRY or chopped NUTS. Refrigerate.

BUTTER CRESCENTS — use BUTTER when making basic dough. Shape 1 heaping teaspoon dough into crescent; place on ungreased cookie sheet. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes; cool 5 minutes. Roll cookies in POWDERED SUGAR.

JAM THUMBPRINTS — shape 1 heaping teaspoon dough into ball; dip into slightly beaten EGG WHITE, then into chopped PECANS. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press deep hole into center of each cookie with thumb or finger; fill with 1/2 teaspoon JAM. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

SUGARPLUMS — flatten out 1 tablespoon dough; wrap around a DATE, CANDIED FRUIT PIECE, PECAN, CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUT, or 1/2 teaspoon RAISINS. Seal securely. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes. Top with a swirl of PILLSBURY READY-TO-SPREAD FROSTING or PILLSBURY DECORATOR ICING.

CANDIED FRUIT BALLS — shape 1 heaping teaspoon dough into ball; roll in granulated SUGAR or COCONUT. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press a CANDIED FRUIT piece firmly into center of each. BAKE 12 to 18 minutes.

The 2 Week Diet

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4 Responses to Pillsbury’s Holiday Recipe Sheet: Shape It Easy Molding Dough

Jennifer Duggan
Published 25 December, 2009 in 9:00 am

On a whim, I went searching for this vintage recipe this morning (Christmas morning). My mother and I used to make these cookies every year, they were my favorite, and somehow we lost the recipe. It made my day to find this, and know that I will be able to make these cookies with my own daughters for years to come!! Thank you so much for posting it! Happy Holidays!!

Barbara Stolzenburg
Published 9 October, 2010 in 7:59 pm

I still have the original recipe insert that came in our flour I believe. It has been taped so many times, I just decided to copy it to my computer files so I could have it without worrying about it falling apart. I decided I’d check to see if you might have it on your website and what a JOY to see it in its original version! I have made this so many times, and shared it with friends and family. It continues to be my favorite frosted cookie—.
Thank you Pillsbury!
Barbara Stolzenburg

Linda Zunner
Published 5 December, 2011 in 4:35 am

OMG ThankYou,ThankYou.Our son wanted me to make the little jack horner pies which I call them raisin filled cookys.Had old recipe from 30 yrs ago and a part with torn off from old age LOL.Sooo very glad I could find the original recipe.This dough is AMAZING!!!
Thank You Pillsbury
Linda Zunner

Jodie Stoddard
Published 19 October, 2012 in 11:02 am

I think it is wonderful that this was posted. No one has ever heard of these cookies except for when my family or I make them. My family has made these cookies since before I can remember. It’s almost a requirement for each person in the family to have cookie cutters for every holiday because we have these at every family gathering. It is because of these cookies that I do not like sugar cookies. We roll them out, cut them into shapes and frost them with a basic homemade vanilla frosting in many colors. The recipe has been written on recipe cards, but when going through my grandmother’s recipe box to get everyone’s favorite recipes because I am making a family cookbook and getting it published, I found the orginal recipe insert as well. I never knew where the recipe came from as I had never seen the insert. We have so many recipes that came from the deep south from my great grandmother, I thought maybe it was from a neighbor or friend. I’ve always just said it’s a recipe my family has been using for years when people have asked about it. I had never thought of doing anything with this recipe other than cookies until I read through the insert. Wow a pastry shell? what a great idea. The insert is in pretty good condition but I scanned it into my computer anyway and will be putting into my family cookbook for sentimental reasons.

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