My list of Christmas baking is long with all my favourite recipes that I love making every year and all the new recipes that I want to try. And then there are all the last minute inspirations that I see floating around on Instagram, Pinterest, in coffee shops and well, just about everywhere! There is one Christmas cookie that will always be loved by just about everyone, kids and adults included – the simple, yet, can be sophisticated, Christmas sugar cookie!
With so many fancy designs and beautifully decorated Christmas cookies, the sugar cookie has up’d its game in the public eye and by the home baker! Probably a lot of us have seen so many sugar cookie designs and thought “I can do that, seems easy enough”. But once tackling the design and getting the icing colours just right you end up with something that may resemble children’s art work.
Well, I may not be the best at piping and perfecting the cutest Christmas sugar cookie ever but I did find a classy way to make it look like I did! By keeping everything one colour and adding little touches of sugar crystals and silver balls these cookies look quite sophisticated. I didn’t even fuss about the icing and try to make everything look perfect. In reality the imperfect drips of ‘snowy’ icing looks even better! There’s no messing with food colouring or overthinking how to design the icing to look just perfect. They just do, because of the simple snowy feel of using the same white colour.
I think these Christmas sugar cookies turned out simply elegant! What do you think?
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons full milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to butter mixture, and mix until dough forms into a ball. Split dough in half and shape each piece into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface roll out dough approx. ⅛ in thickness. Using a cookie cutter cut out desired shapes and place them on your prepared cookie sheet approx. 1 inch apart (it's best to keep similar sizes and shapes on one pan, as different sizes will bake faster or slower than others).
- Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes until the bottoms start to brown (baking times differ depending on the size of your cookies, so check often).
- Cool cookies on a cooling rack.
- Ice with Royal icing once cookies are cool (see recipe below).
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 cups sifted icing sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice or almond extract (optional)
- In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy (about 3 minutes), add lemon juice if using.
- Slowly add icing sugar.
- Raise the speed to medium- high until icing is thick and shiny. This should take about 5 minutes (If you feel the mixture is still too runny at this point you can add more icing sugar to help stiffen it up, just add a little at a time).
- Add icing to a piping bag and pipe on cooled cookies.
- Let air-dry for at least an hour
Rule of thumb is one egg white to one cup of icing sugar. Remember when the icing is runny the icing will spread out.
Also the icing needs lots of time to air-dry (I let my piped cookies air-dry overnight).