It's that time of year again and one of my favourite holiday traditions is baking and decorating sugar cookies for my friends and family. I have a holiday bake-off/fundraiser at work on Monday and these Christmas sugar cookies with royal icing are just perfect for the occasion!
How to Make the Best Sugar Cookies
Although this recipe is fairly easy to follow, I always plan ahead and give myself enough time when making these cookies because the entire process spans over the course of a couple of days. Why? Let me explain:
- the cookies need a day to completely cool before icing
- the icing also needs a day to completely harden to prevent the icing from getting smudged.
But, if you don't care for the icing or have no need to decorate, you can devour these cookies as is. They taste great both plain or decorated!
Decorating Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Once we have made our sugar cookies and allowed them to cool, we are ready to start preparing the royal icing, and decorating! There are 2 ways to make royal icing. You can either use egg whites or meringue powder. I opt for the meringue powder, mainly because I don't have to worry about disclosing that my icing contains raw eggs. My favourite to use is the Wilton Meringue Powder which can be found at Michael's or online on Amazon.
Once the icing is prepared, I would suggest dividing it up into smaller portions so that you can mix a few different colours. When you are not using the icing, cover it with a wet towel to prevent it from drying out!
Now, let's decorate 🙂
Step 1: Outline (aka. "dam")
Step 2: Fill (aka. "flood")
Step 3: Decorate with sprinkles
ALL DONE! 🙂 I can't wait to take them in and share with my co-workers!
It's that time of year again and one of my favourite holiday traditions is baking and decorating Christmas sugar cookies with royal icing for my friends and family.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- food colouring (optional)
Make the sugar cookies:
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Turn the mixer to low and add the baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined.
- Form dough into a ball and wrap dough tightly in plastic cling wrap and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour or overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from fridge and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes using your favourite cookie cutters. Transfer your cookies onto the cookie sheet, placing them 1 inch apart. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. Let it cool for 1 minute on the pan and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely (preferably overnight, if icing).
Prepare the royal icing:
- In large bowl, combine the meringue powder with the confectioners' sugar
- Add water and vanilla extract and beat with a mixer on medium-high until smooth. If you find that the icing is too thick, add more water. If too think, add more sugar.
- Add food coloring, if desired. Note that if you are adding liquid food colouring, this will have an effect on your consistency. You may need to add more sugar to thicken it out.
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: christmas sugar cookies, christmas cookies, sugar cookies, christmas sugar cookies with royal icing, how to decorate sugar cookies