Decorated Cut Outs

If you’ve got the time over the holidays, this is a great alternative to the standard sugar cookie (which I will be doing a post on soon!). Piped with royal icing in lots of detail, these cookies are great packaged up and given as gifts or as the star of your dessert table for Christmas. These are fun because the possibilities are endless… I make them different each year and it’s fun to come up with new ideas! I doubled the recipe and it yielded about 12 dozen cookies but my trees were huge so you probably could get more.

Start out by making the sugar cookies by following THIS RECIPE

You can make the royal icing like I did in the gingerbread cookies recipe, or you can try this alternative. I ran out of meringue powder halfway through icing the cookies so I found another recipe that works just as well and cost much less to make. Add 2 egg whites, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice and 3 cups confectioner’s in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for about 5 minutes until it reaches the right consistency. Tint with food coloring depending on what colors you’re using and then transfer to squirt bottles.

For the snowmen, outline the cookie in white royal icing and then “zig zag” the icing in small sections. Swirl together using a toothpick simulating swirled snow and cover entire cookie. Sprinkle with clear flakes and then pipe on a hat, buttons and face.

For the snowflakes, fill the cookie with a really pale blue tinted royal icing and let dry completely. Once dry, pipe dots on the ends of all the points and pipe “V’s” under the dots. Connect the V’s making a start then pipe a star over that one in the empty spaces.

For the candy canes, fill the cookie in with white royal icing and let dry completely. Once dry, pipe in the peppermint swirls using a red tinted royal icing.

For the ornaments, fill in with a red tinted royal icing and sprinkle with multi colored ball sprinkles. Once that’s completely dry, pipe lines with white and green icing.

For the santas, fill the cookies in with a red tinted icing and sprinkle with red sugar sprinkles. Once that has completely dried, pipe a hat, beard and gloves with white icing and eyes, boots and a belt with black icing.

For the trees, working in small sections, fill in with green tinted icing and pipe a strip of white icing. Use a toothpick to drag the white icing down to simulate snow on the boughs of the tree. Continue all the way down the tree and let dry completely. Pipe on garland with a purple tinted icing and add a star to the top in yellow. Glue m&m’s on with white icing to simulate the ornaments.

Let all of the cookies do their final drying for a few hours before packaging them up to make sure they’re set all the way. They can be stored in an airtight container or frozen until your ready to use them!