The Ultimate Christmas Cookie: Too Pretty To Eat

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding…

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding…

Oh, BRING us some figgy pudding, and a cup of good cheer!

No figgy pudding here, just the Christmas classic: decorated sugar cookies!

Now, don’t expect to pop these pretty designs out in an hour. To save me some sanity, I baked the cookies one day and decorated the next.

Don’t let me scare you now, but it actually took me a total of 9 hours to decorate all of the cookies. And don’t fret either. It was a joyous occasion listening to Christmas music on Pandora and decorating until my heart’s content.

It’s an especially great idea for homemade Christmas gifts for you friends and family.

You can even get your kids involved. For example, you could decorate the main body of the tree and let the kids decorate them with snow, sprinkles, and decorations!

Rolled Sugar Cookies

slightly adapted from Glorious Treats

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How-To

  1. Stir together the flour and baking power in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), beat the butter for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the sugar and beat for another minute.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
  5. Slowly add in the flour mixture until it is completely incorporated.
  6. Place one half of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and shape into a disk.
  7. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  8. Freeze the dough for about 20 minutes.
  9. Place one dough disk into the refrigerator while you work with the other.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface.
  12. Lay a piece of parchment paper on top and roll out the dough to 1/3-3/8″ thick.
  13. Cut your shapes out and place on a cookie sheet that has been covered with a silpat mat or non-stick foil.
  14. Place the cookie sheet with the cookies on it into the freezer for about 5 minutes.
  15. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or until light brown.
  16. Allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet and carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
  17. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Royal Icing

slightly adapted from Glorious Treats

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 12 tablespoons warm water
  • food coloring (optional)

How-To

  1. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder and water together and beat with a hand mixer until it’s the consistency of toothpaste.
  2. Separate the icing into the number of bowls that you’ll be coloring (I did white, red, green, blue, brown).
  3. Color the individual bowls the desired color.
  4. Place half of the individual colored icing into another bowl. This is so you’ll have a thick icing and a thin icing.
  5. In one of the colored bowls, mix in 1/2 tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the thin icing consistency, the consistency of corn syrup.
  6. Now you should have a thick and thin icing for each color.
  7. Using 10 piping bags (5 fitted with a size 2 tip (thick icing) and 5 fitted with a size 4 tip (thin icing)).
  8. Decorate your cookies as you wish, using the thick icing first and letting it dry, then filling it in with the thin icing (sometimes a toothpick helps to spread it out). Allow the icing to dry between coats and layers.

Servings: 18-30 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters

Note: My cookie designs were inspired by Glorious Treats.

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About ChocolateAndCarrots

Caroline is a wife, new mom, food blogger, recipe developer and photographer from South Carolina. She is OCD about having the kitchen sink clean, a major chocoholic, and loves modern, simple styles. Caroline runs chocolate & carrots where she primarily focuses on healthier baking. She also has a mom blog called crackers & carrots where she documents everything pregnancy and baby. Connect with her: Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram!

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