Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Decorated Sugar Christmas Cookies

I love baking Christmas cookies; especially sugar cookies.  There are so many fun cookie cutters … I just love Mr. & Mrs. Claus and the traditional colors of Christmas.  These cookies were decorated with Royal Icing.  I taught myself to decorate cookies with Royal Icing several years ago.  I read a lot of blogs on how to decorate and found  Sweet Sugar Belle to be a very talented cookie decorator with a lot of tutorials and great tips!  There is still time … so go ahead and get your supplies and get your sugar cookies and mad decorating skills on, put on some Christmas music and have fun!

This recipe for sugar cookies is really good – the dough doesn’t spread when baking and the cookies are perfect!  Sometimes I omit the almond flavoring and just double up the vanilla.  Always use the best ingredients possible when baking … it makes a difference!

Recipe Source:  food.com

Kittencal’s Buttery Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I use Madagascar Vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. For cookies; in a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  4. Set oven to 400°F.
  5. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets use parchment paper only)
  6. On a very lightly floured surface roll out the dough into about 1/4-inch thickness.
  7. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.
  8. Place cookies 2-inches apart on cookie sheet.
  9. Bake 8-9 minutes (oven temperatures vary so keep an eye on the cookies)

(I do not use the icing recipe that come with this cookie recipe.)

Candy Cane Fudge Kiss Cookies

Candy Cane Fudge Kiss Cookies

This year it was time for me to mix it up and try some new Christmas cookie recipes.  I had to have chocolate .. and mint is a nice addition.  Besides tasting wonderfully delicious, these cookies are also pretty and festive to look at.  The dough requires chilling for a couple of hours … then into the oven they go.  An easy, delicious recipe … why not add them to your Christmas cookie repertoire?!

Candy Cane Fudge Kiss Cookies
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup confectioners sugar
40 candy cane white chocolate kisses
Preparation:
Melt chocolate chips, let cool and set aside.  Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl to blend.  In a separate bowl cream together butter and brown sugar using a mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate until combined.  Add dry ingredients into wet mixing until combined.  Stir in nuts.  Cover cookie dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into a 1-inch ball.  Roll balls in confectioners sugar and place 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-14 minutes until cookies are set and tops are cracked.  Let sit for one minute and then gently press a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.  Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Storage tip:  Refrigerate in an airtight container in a single layer for up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month.  Redust with confectioners sugar if needed.

Recipe Source:  EverydaySisters

Candy Cane Fudge Kiss Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing – Snowmen and Snowflakes

I baked and decorated a lot of sugar cookies this year!  I love the way sugar cookies look decorated with royal icing.  They can be elegant or whimsical and this sugar cookie recipe is so good!!  Not only does it taste fantastic but the dough is so easy to work with.  The cookies are baked at a high temperature for a short period of time so they don’t spread and lose their shape.

Snowman Christmas Sugar Cookie

It’s hard to believe I started decorating cookies 2 years ago … time flies!  I’ve learned a lot about decorating, picked up valuable tips, and am much quicker since I first started decorating.  There are great sources of inspiration and tutorials on the internet.  A good place to start is here at The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle.  She has numerous tutorials and tips and is the “Queen of Sugar Cookies”!  Seriously, her cookies are amazing.

Christmas Sugar CookiesOne of the best tips I picked up is that you don’t always have to make two consistencies of icing for flooding and piping,  And you do not have to wait to let the outline dry before flooding your cookie.  In fact, if after piping your outline and you flood your cookie immediately you create a seamless cookie which is much more attractive!  The more cookies you do, the better you get!  Go ahead … give it a try … you’ll love the results!

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Christmas Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

3 Dimensional Christmas Sugar Cookies

3 Dimensional Snowmen Cookies

Why not add some interest to your dessert table during the holidays with these adorable dimensional snowmen cookies?  Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe or this recipe,  and decorate with royal icing.  I used a toothpick to attach the snowman to the cookie and frosting to attach the candy cane.  Happy Decorating!

Cher's Snowman Cookies

Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies

Cookies-Blog1I couldn’t let Christmas go by without making some decorated sugar cookies.  I first started decorating sugar cookies with royal icing last Christmas and fell in love with the results.  Give them a try, and impress yourself, family and friends.  Decorating cookies is really not hard, it just takes time, but the results are so worth it!  You can refer to my previous posting for instructions on decorating cookies with royal icing.

Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies

The Ultimate Sugar Cookie

  • 3/4 cup Golden Crisco or Butter-flavored Crisco (shortening)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cream Crisco, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixer bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until light and creamy. combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing on low speed until well blended. Cover dough and chill 1 hour, if desired, for easy rolling. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll half of dough at a time. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut in desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Roll leftover pieces. Sprinkle with coloured decorations or leave plain to decorate when cool. Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown. (Time will vary with cookie size.) Cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies – Decorated for Christmas

Looks like I’ve caught the sugar cookie fever!  I tried decorating sugar cookies with royal frosting for the 1st time the other week and enjoyed it so much I made another batch this weekend!  Put on some Christmas music and give it a try!  You can find the recipe  and instructions here.  Happy Holidays!

Ultimate Sugar Cookies – Decorated for Christmas

I have a confession to make.  I’ve had sugar cookie envy for many, many years.  Year after year at Christmas time I made sugar cookies; they were not a pretty sight!  They tasted great but the icing was put on with a knife and decorated with sprinkles.  There is nothing wrong with that, except I always loved looking at pretty decorated sugar cookies and I didn’t know how to replicate them.  I lived with my envy of the beautiful decorated cookies that others made; until this year when I ventured into an unknown territory of royal icing, decorating tips, disposable pastry bags, and gel food coloring!  I owe it all to bloggers!  I found quite a few bloggers with step by step directions for decorating sugar cookies with royal icing.  I could hardly wait to try it out.  I discovered a few things:  I love decorating cookies, I especially love the end result; and decorating cookies like this definitely takes some time!  My first batch went terrifyingly slow … I won’t even tell you how many hours it took!!  The second batch, I cut my time down in half … phew … sigh of relief!  I had fun with it – I sat at the kitchen table, put some Christmas music on and away I went into a new adventure with royal icing.

I’ve been using this recipe for sugar cookies for year – we love them!

The Ultimate Sugar Cookie

3/4 cup Golden Crisco or Butter-flavored Crisco (shortening)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Coloured decorations or icing

Cream Crisco, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixer bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until light and creamy. combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing on low speed until well blended. Cover dough and chill 1 hour, if desired, for easy rolling. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll half of dough at a time. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut in desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Roll leftover pieces. Sprinkle with coloured decorations or leave plain to decorate when cool. Bake at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown. (Time will vary with cookie size.) Cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack.

Decorating with Royal Icing

The best directions I found were here at Annie’s Eats.  She details everything with pictures so it is easy to follow along – great job Annie!!  Thank you.

Royal Icing – Source:  Annies-Eats
Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)  Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set.

Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.  Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.  Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.

 

Give it a try – you will love the results!