Decorating sugar cookies might be my new obsession. I don’t celebrate Christmas so decorating sugar cookies was never really a thing I did during the holiday season. Hanukkah is more about making latkes and jelly donuts, so cookies were never really in the mix. This year I was going all-in on cookies, so I knew sugar cookies would be a must.
Frosted Christmas Sugar Cookies
I made frosted sugar cookies to celebrate the election and remind people to vote. It was so fun decorating them with different color sprinkles and icing. Each little cookie was like a mini art canvas. I was instantly hooked. After decorating my vote cookies, I knew I had to make more of these in the future.
Since I don’t celebrate Christmas, I had to gather the right supplies. I am now the proud owner of holiday cookie cutters and lots of holiday sprinkles. I also had to stock up on more gel food coloring so I could have a variety of colors.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
For the sugar cookie dough recipe, I used a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The recipe is simple to make and the dough is easy to work with when using a lot of cookie cutters. Not only do the cookies look beautiful, but they also taste great. The recipe suggests adding in a little almond extra in the dough. It doesn’t add much, but it gives the cookies a brightness and gives them a little edge over plain sugar cookies.
The dough is also great if you want to make it ahead. I made this dough about a week in advance and stuck it in the freezer. The day I wanted to use it, I placed it in the refrigerator for a few hours to thaw. Then it was ready to go as if I had baked it that day.
For the royal icing, I used a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction as well. The icing has a nice consistency making it easy to decorate the cookies. This recipe uses meringue powder instead of egg whites. I used the Wilton brand, which is available in most supermarkets. The icing is quick to make and makes a decent amount. I’ve learned that a lot of royal icing goes a long way as well, so don’t make more until you are sure that you will need it.
The icing takes on color really well. I’ve been a big fan of gel food coloring lately. The gel keeps better in frosting and icing. It keeps a brighter color, even after it dries. It doesn’t fade and would highly recommend it over liquid food coloring.
Check out the recipe below for the sugar cookies. Happy holidays!
Frosted Sugar Cookies
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the egg and extracts and continue to mix on low speed until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, making sure everything is incorporated.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture and beat on low. The dough will be soft, but if it looks too sticky add in about a tablespoon of flour.
- If you are freezing the dough, split the dough into two equal discs and wrap it in plastic wrap. If you are going to use the dough immediately, roll it out on a floured surface using a rolling pin. You want the dough the be thin, but not paper-thin. About 1/4 inch thick. When the dough is ready, place it on a cookie sheet with parchment. Continue with the remaining dough. Stack the pieces of dough on top of each other and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to chill.
- When the dough is just about ready to go, preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a sheet pan with parchment.
- On a floured surface, start to cut out the dough using cookie cutters of your choice. Re-roll the extra dough and continue to cut out different shapes. If the dough starts to get soft at any point, place it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes to set.
- Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely before decorating.
- For the royal icing, mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water in a medium-sized bowl or in the stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Beat everything together for about 1-2 minutes. You want the icing to have a smooth, but thick consistency. It should drop down smoothly from the whisk when ready to use. Add in more water if it is too thick or more powdered sugar if it is too thin.
- The icing will take about 2 hours to completely dry. Let the icing dry on the cookies before doing multiple layers. You can put the cookies with the icing in the refrigerator to speed up the drying process if needed.
- Extra cookies can be frozen and kept in the freezer for 3 months.
Did you make this recipe?! Let me know and share it on Instagram. Tag @crispcrumble and use the hashtag #crispandcrumble.