I absolutely LOVE Christmas! The sights, the sounds, and of course, the goodies! Christmas just isn’t complete without some homemade treats – my mother-in-law’s buckeyes, my granny’s date cookies, and my sugar cookies for Santa. Decorating cookies with my kiddos is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. And now that they’re older we have really been able to get fancy!
Sure, some of them have a million sprinkles & may be a bit hard to chew, but the memories we made were worth it!
Generally, sugar cookies are topped with royal icing – the kind you use for gingerbread houses. It’s thin and when dry, leaves a hard, shiny surface which makes it easier to stack the cookies on top of each other. But at our house, we’re all about taste, so we use buttercream instead. Making decorated cookies for Santa is fun, easy & great for groups.
Here’s what you’ll need –
A sugar cookie recipe (use your own recipe, a bag of mix, or refrigerated cookie dough)
Cookie Cutters (Pick them up at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s & save by using a coupon on your smartphone)
Icing (homemade or store-bought)
Food Coloring (the gel colors work much better & can be found in the Wilton aisle of your grocery)
Sprinkles, Candy, anything you’d like to decorate with
Prepare your cookie dough & roll out on a work surface sprinkled with flour. Unless you want snowflakes that look like flowers, be sure to keep the dough thin – about 1/4 of an inch think. Cut out your cookies & place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (a must for easy clean up). Bake according to directions & let cool completely.
Now you’re ready for icing! Make (or open) your icing of choice. Decide how many different colors you want & separate them into bowls or cups – I always use styrofoam for easier clean up. Add food coloring to the icing – a few drops go a long way, so don’t overdo it. And if you don’t want to buy a bunch of different colors, just pick up the 3 primary colors – red, blue & yellow. Think back to grade school art & color theory. If you have the 3 primary colors, you can make any color you want. Easy peasy.
Woo hooo! Now it’s time to decorate. You can get as creative & fancy as you want. Last year, I taught my kids how to use piping bags with decorative tips, but up until that time, we just used plastic knives & slapped the icing on. If you are using sprinkles, be sure to have them open & ready when you begin adding the icing to the cookies. Most icings will dry (whether it is a crusting buttercream or royal icing) so you need to add the sprinkles before the icing sets up. And don’t worry about it if Frosty has crooked eyes, the point is to spend time together & have fun!
If you make some cookies, be sure to share them with us on our Facebook page! There may even be a prize for the best, or most creative cookies 😉
With all of the hustle & bustle, remember to take time to enjoy the season with the ones you love and celebrate the birth of Jesus.