We’ve more than halfway through our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. Hopefully you all have gotten some good ideas for goodies to make for your friends and family.
Deborah from Taste and Tell is here today to tell us about a staple recipe that you must have this holiday season. I love Deborah’s amazing photos and her cute personality in her blog posts. Thank you so much for guest blogging today!
Hi! I am Deborah from Taste and Tell. I am so excited that Christy invited me to guest post here for her 12 days of Christmas Cookies. I will admit that I totally have the Christmas cookie bug here at my house. In fact, there have been 4 different batches of cookies that have come out of my kitchen in the last 4 days! I’m just worried that I’m going to go into a sugar coma long before Christmas even arrives!
When Christmas comes around – or any holiday for that matter – the first recipe that comes to my mind is my mom’s sugar cookies. I’ve blogged about them before, but really – this is by far my favorite sugar cookie recipe. And really, you can’t have Christmas without at least 1 batch of sugar cookies!! Actually, if you were to ask my husband what his favorite is of the cookies I make, I can guarantee he will say these cookies. This is one of the very few recipes that gets made over and over again in my kitchen!
There are 2 tricks to getting these cookies just right. In my opinion, the perfect sugar cookies are nice and soft – so in order to keep these from going hard on you, you need to 1) make sure you don’t roll out the dough too thin, and 2) underbake them by a minute or so. In fact, I think my mom’s original recipe says to bake them for 8-10 minutes – and I usually take mine out at about 6 minutes!
I’m also including instructions on how to make and decorate with decorating icing. My husband is not the biggest frosting fan. In fact, whenever I make cookies that get frosted or cupcakes, I’ll usually set some aside for him that aren’t decorated at all. But this icing – he loves! And in my opinion, this is the best icing to go with for Christmas cookies, because once it has dried, you can easily stack the cookies. And it’s so pretty!
So here is my favorite Christmas Cookie!!
Sugar Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
2 – 2 ½ cups flour

Decorating Icing:
2 ¾ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
food coloring and sprinkles (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and mix well. Add the salt, baking powder, vanilla and milk. Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is soft, but not sticky.

Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 375F.

*The wonderful thing about this dough is that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated first. I did, but only about 20 minutes, and it rolled out perfectly.

For the Decorator Icing:
Beat all ingredients well. The icing should be a little bit stiff. Add food coloring and stir well.

Start out by placing half of the icing in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (or place in a zip-top bag and cut a very small hole in the corner). You will want to pipe the outside shape of the cookie. This acts as a dam so that the icing doesn’t drip off the sides.
To the remaining icing, (and you can add back in any icing that didn’t get used from piping the edges), add a little more water. Start small – about a teaspoon at a time, and stir. You want a thinner consistency that is easy to spread, but you don’t want it to be too runny. Using a spoon or knife – I think the spoon is the easiest – put some icing in the middle of the cookie. Using the back of the spoon, spread the icing to the borders that were piped on earlier. The border should keep the icing from spilling over. Don’t add too much icing to the center so that it overflows – use just enough to cover the cookie. If using sprinkles, this is the time to sprinkle them on.
Leave the cookies out in a single layer until completely dried. Once dried, the cookies stack beautifully!

Thanks Deborah! Although I have a good sugar cookie recipe, I have to try this recipe because they look sooo good!