I love Christmas traditions, and many of mine have to do with baking. How much I look forward to sampling the half-dozen or so cookie recipes we only bake at Christmas, gathering ingredients for stollen (introduced by a Swiss friend), and poring over my thirty-plus Christmas magazine for new recipes or crafts to make!
For twenty-five years or more, my family has painted sugar cookies at Christmas. We love giving detailed cookies with the recipient’s name painted on the hard white frosting, or hanging a few from this year’s Christmas tree, found in the forest and brought home. I love that our painted cookies are easy enough to make that my children have been painting cookies since they were two or three years old, and that no one is wrestling with icing bags and decorative tips, or covering the cookies in enough sprinkles to crack a tooth. The painted cookies are sweet, simple and such a fun artistic outlet!
You can try it yourself! I’ve recorded a little video sharing how we do it (it’s easy!) and the recipe is at the bottom of this post:
Do you have a Christmas tradition you’ve put a unique spin on? I’d love to hear about it!
Painted Sugar Cookie Icing:
2 egg whites
2 1/2 cups icing (powdered) sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 Tbsp water
Combine all ingredients, mix well. Add more icing sugar if needed. Icing should be the consistency of thick paint – thick enough not to run off the cookie, but soft enough to settle to make a smooth surface for painting.
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
Cream butter & sugar. Add:
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
Mix well. Add
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix until dough makes a ball. Separate into two equal portions, wrap and chill for several hours.
Roll out dough, cut into shapes as desired. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Cool, then frost with icing.