On the fifth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Five Sugar Cookies,
Four Viennese Crescents,
Three Candy Cane cookies,
Two Toffee Squares,
And a cookie shaped like a Christmas tree.
A classic favorite, sugar cookies are fun for the entire family to make and decorate. And the decorating possibilities are endless – ice cookies with the Royal icing recipe here and then sprinkle with sugar crystals, nonpareils, or sugar pearls in festive colors.
Holiday Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (clear, preferably)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until combined.
- Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Transfer half of dough to a lightly floured piece of parchment paper; roll to just under 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 30 minutes. Repeat with other half of dough.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using cookie cutters, cut out cookies and space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are golden. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
- When cookies are cooled, decorate.
- 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
- 2/3 cup water, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- Gel-paste food coloring
- Mix sugar, water, and meringue powder with a mixer on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. Icing should be the consistency of glue. (If icing is too thick, mix in a little more water. If icing is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar.)
- Add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired color is achieved. If you are making more than 1 color, divide icing first.
Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 week. Stir before using.
Christmas cookies look beautiful in pastel colors.
Bright colors are also fun!
Decorate cookies and store in sealed containers or cookie boxes.