One of the greatest joys of Christmas is the smell of baking cookies in the kitchen. I enjoy making them with my family together as a Christmas tradition, as well as decorating them myself, and saving them a surprise. Packed in a gift bag and tighten with ribbon can also be a nice and special gift to your friends or co-workers.
How Do You Make Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing?
To get started, combine wet ingredients in a larger bowl. Add dry ingredients gradually. The dough comes together quickly and it will be very stiff. Use your hands to knead the dough, adding more flour, until is smooth and ready to roll.
The dough holds its shape and doesn’t need to be chilled. Place it on the floured surface and roll out up to ¼ inch thickness. Cut shapes using your favorite cookie cutters.
Place cookies on cookie sheets and bake for 6-7 minutes, try to not overbake. They will be light brown, may look unbaked, but when you take them out of the oven they’ll be baked a little more at the sheets while they setting.
Cool cookies completely before decorating with Icing. They will have perfect edges and perfectly smooth surface for decorating.
How Do You Decorate Christmas Sugar Cookies?
There are a million ways to decorate Christmas Sugar Cookies, and that’s what is more thrilling about these cookies! 🙂
Before starting to make Royal Icing, prepare everything (squeeze bottles or piping bags, specialty cookie decorating items, food coloring liquids or food coloring gel or paste, straw or toothpick…) because Icing dries fast and will harden.
If you want different colors of icing, divide the icing into separate batches and tint with a food coloring gel or paste. Put the icing in plastic squeeze bottles, pipe it around the outline of each cookie first.
Add drops of water to thin the icing to flood consistency, squeeze some in the center of one cookie, and spread it over the top with a toothpick. Add decor gently (like Betty Crocker Decor Selects candy sprinkles). Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
These Christmas Sugar Cookies can be stored in your cookie jar for up to two weeks, and will still be soft and delicious.
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour ( and more for dust)
- 2 tablespoons finely ground almonds (almond flour)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line 2 baking sheets with a parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl combine butter and sugar, and mix it until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract and egg.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Add gradually to the wet ingredients. The dough will be stiff.
- Knead the dough a little if needed, divide into workable batches and roll out (¼ inch thick) onto a floured surface. Cut the dough.
- Bake cookies at 350 F for 6 minutes, and leave at cookie sheets to cool and until firm enough.
- In a bowl combine powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add the water and vanilla extract gradually. Beat with a mixer at medium speed about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks (regulate with more powdered sugar or water drops, if needed). Put Icing at piping-bag and decorate cookies.
Sugar Cookies can be stored in your cookie jar up to two weeks.
The cookies can be frozen - wrapped (individual pieces) in plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag, up to 1 month.