Am I the only person on the planet who hasn’t started my Christmas shopping yet? I know, Christmas is right around the corner but I just don’t feel like going to those crazy stores yet. Maybe I’ll just do it all on-line this year.
How about you? Are you done with your shopping yet? Do you enjoy going to the malls or do you do most of your Christmas shopping on-line?
the one thing I enjoy doing during the holidays is baking. Obviously! In fact, I only wish the holiday season were longer so that I can get more baking in.
Every year I make a list of the things I want to bake during the holiday season, but there is always something I just can’t quite squeeze in.
The one thing I always squeeze in is Holiday Cut-Out Cookies. There is simply no way I could not make beautiful frosted cut-out cookies. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Oh, and my kids would never let me not make cut-out cookies.
It is to the point where more and more, I barely even have to participate in the process. My kids have no problem making the dough. And after making it, the dough goes into the refrigerator for a while to firm up so we can roll it out.
And that is normally where I come into the picture. It is still a bit too challenging for my kids to roll out the dough themselves. So I will roll it out and then try and cut the cookies out myself.
Of course, the kids like to help pick out the cutters they want to use and cut the cookies out themselves but I’ll tell you what: They will often try and cut out the dough right in the center of the dough. So if I let them do that all day then I am literally going to be rolling out dough for hours.
I try and show them to fit in all the cutters like a Tetris game so they don’t waste space so we aren’t rolling dough for hours but it doesn’t often work.
The thing my kids excel at is the frosting and decorating the cookies. I can give them a plate full of cut out cookies, a couple cans of store bought frosting and a few jars of various sprinkles and they will be busy for hours meticulously frosting their cookies. It is so fun to watch them as they carefully choose their sprinkles to mix and match!
And wearing their Flirty Aprons. is just another element of the fun. We have had these cute aprons now for a few weeks and my kids honestly wouldn’t think of starting to bake without them on.
There are obviously a number of different ways that you can decorate cut-out cookies. The easiest, of course is to grab a store bought can and sprinkles and just decorate them like my kids did.
If you really want to go all out, you can pipe and flood with royal icing like I did to the cookies featured above in the first two pictures of this post. If you are interested in decorating with Royal Icing I recommend this book called Cookie Craft
I learned how to decorate with royal icing from this book and the icing recipe I use comes from this book as well. Or you can try these links here to learn some tips:
Spoon technique: Spoonful of Flavor
Design Idea: Somewhat Simple
General Tips: Sweetopia
Outlining and Filling: Sweet SugarBelle
The “Bag Trick”: Karen’s Cookies
Honestly, if you have never tried decorating cookies with royal icing before, these tutorials and hints should be more than sufficient to help you get started! 🙂
Whether you use frosting straight out of a can or go all out and pipe and flood with royal icing, I hope you have a chance to make a batch of Holiday Cut Out Cookies this year. To me, it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without them! 🙂
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- 1 c. butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 4 t. meringue powder
- 3 TBLS warm water
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 4 t. meringue powder
- 6 TBLS warm water
- food dye
- sprinkles and decorations
- canned frosting (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and blend into sugar mixture in a couples of additions, mixing just until blended.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- On a well floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and place on a cookie sheet fitted with a silpat or parchment paper.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for at least a minute before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- When cookies are cooled, make the royal icing.
- First, blend the ingredients for the piping frosting in a medium mixing bowl for several minutes until the mixture is the consistency of toothpaste, adding additional water or powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Divide into small bowls and mix in food coloring to desired tint. Cover the bowls immediately.
- Blend all the ingredients for the flooding icing for several minutes in a large mixing bowl until the consistency resembles heavy cream. Divide into bowls and all food coloring and mix until desired consistency is reached.
- Using pastry bags and squeeze bottles, decorate cookies as desired.
Royal Icing recipe: Cookie Craft
Try these other Holiday Cookie Recipes: