5 Tips for Decorating the Perfect Christmas Sugar Cookies•
Posted on December 13 2023
From jam thumbprints to peanut butter blossoms and gingerbread men, cookies bring plenty of holiday cheer with every batch. But all that can quickly go down the drain when it comes to decorating.
Whether you keep all the cookies for yourself, give them as gifts, or put them out at parties, we’ve got five simple tips to help you decorate the perfect Christmas Sugar cookies this year! And the only tools you’ll need are a piping bag, tips, and some toothpicks.
Step 1: Use royal icing.
You may love your grandma’s buttercream frosting. But perfect cookies call for royal icing, which dries with a smooth finish. Check out this 5-minute recipe from Fresh April Flours for a no-stress option that makes 1 cup of icing.
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- ½ Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/8 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Easy Royal Icing
- Combine warm water, corn syrup, and extract in a bowl. Stir until corn syrup is dissolved.
- Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add sugar water to powdered sugar and stir until thoroughly combined. Icing should drip slowly.
- Add color if desired.
Step 2; Outline your cookie
The first step to perfect cookies is drawing an outline—think of it like a coloring book! This step helps keep your icing neat around the edges. Use a small tip, and if you used a fun cookie cutter, make sure you follow the entire outline to really get those details.
Step 3: Flood your cookie.
Add a teensy bit of water to help the icing flow more freely, and fill in your outline with frosting. You still want the icing to hold its shape, but you also want it to get into those little nooks.
Step 4: Add details.
Adding extra details to our cookies really helps them pop! Think small, like stripes, dots, or squiggles. Choose colors that pop against your original icing—or skip the flooding step altogether and just add lots of yummy details.
Step 5: Try marbling
If you don’t trust your finesse with adding details, try a simple marbling technique that’s hard to mess up. Before your flooded cookie dries, pipe a few thin lines of icing across the cookie. Then, drag a toothpick downward through both layers of icing. When you reach the bottom, move over and upward this time. Keep alternating until you reach the edge of the cookie to create a beautiful marbled look!
Once your cookies are dry (in about 24 hours), you’re ready to send them to some happy recipients! If you plan to give them as gifts or party favors, a simple pastry box with a window is the perfect way to package them! They’ll not only stay safely stacked, but they’ll be in ideal gift form!