Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are definitely one of my favorite Christmas desserts. The possibilities are endless depending on the cookie cutter shapes, icing colors and sprinkles that you choose to decorate with. This year I decided to take a modern approach to my cookie decorating. By adding some lime green and pink to the traditional red & green color palette it gives the cookies a fresh new look!

Just by having the cookie jar stocked full of cookies decorated in bright colors has made me happy every time I walk into the kitchen. It is for sure an edible holiday centerpiece! I'm sorry to say that only crumbs are remaining in the jar now.

To decorate the cookies I used royal icing and thinned it down just enough so that I could use the same consistency to pipe a border of icing without it running over the edge and still was able to flood the centers with the same consistency icing as well. This technique allowed me to save some time decorating since I didn't have to trace the borders of each cookie using a piping bag and allow them to try before coming back and flooding. I really like how the cookies turned out, they are whimsical and free form, definitely not perfect but oh so yummy!

Sugar Cookies (makes about 3 dozen)

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 cup sugar
-2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
-1 egg
-3/4 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp almond extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a mixer cream the sugar and butter well.
  • Add the egg and extracts to the butter mixture and mix well.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the bowl as necessary as mixing.
  • Grab a ball of dough and knead it together.
  • Roll dough out onto floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
  • Place cookies on prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. This will prevent the cookies from spreading when baking.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets then transfer to wire racks to completely cool.
Decorate with Royal Icing.

When decorating cookies I plan out the colors I will be using ahead of time (for these cookies I used: green, lime green, pink, red). I separate the batch of royal icing into individual plastic containers with lids for each color of icing I plan to make. I then color each container of icing and thin it down with a 1/2 tsp of water at a time stirring after each addition until I reach the desired consistency for decorating. I transfer the icing into plastic squeeze bottles with a nozzle on top and use for decorating.

What's your favorite Christmas cookie to eat and/or decorate?


  1. very pretty!!! love them :) i think gingerbread is my fav...did some decorated ones too!

  2. These are truly precious! I am absolutely loving all the cute cookies popping up in the blogosphere this week.


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