Making Christmas sugar cookies is a staple in our household, and I think it’s safe to say it’s a staple in yours too. Today I am teaching you how to make holiday sugar cookies with royal icing so you can take your baking game to the next level. (Santa will put you on the ice list for all your extra effort.)
You can use my family recipe for baking sugar cookies from scratch, or go the simplified route and use the Foodstirs organic sugar cookie mix. Either path will bring you an insanely delicious batch of sugar cookies.
Holiday Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing are perfect for your artsy side
Also, I need to mention that piping royal icing takes patience. LOTS of patience. Reserve a few practice cookies until you get the hang of it.
The basic steps of applying royal icing go as follows:
- Outline the edge of your cookie with a #1 or #2 piping tip. Let is set for a couple minutes.
- Then, “flood” the center of the cookie inside the icing. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the icing and fill in all holes while wet, then let it set for about 10 minutes.
- If you’re adding fancy sprinkles, make sure you apply them while the royal icing is wet so they stick. However, make sure the other colors that you do NOT want sprinkles on are already set.
Got it? Okay, cool.
Grab the recipe for these cookies below, and enjoy!
How to Make Holiday Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
For the sugar cookies:
- 1 package Foodstirs Sweet Tooth Sugar Cookie Mix
- 1 large egg
- 12 tablespoons butter cold and cubed
For the royal icing:
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Gel food dye
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on low speed until creamy, then blend in egg.
- Slowly add in sugar cookie mix and blend until incorporated.
- Gather dough in a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap dough in plastic and freeze for 20 minutes, until dough is firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from freezer. Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 1/4" thick. Cut with desired holiday cookie cutters. Place cookies 1" apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges lightly browned. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- While cookies cool, prepare the royal icing. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on low speed, until foamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar until the shiny and stiff peaks form.
- Divide icing into separate bowls for desired icing colors. Mix in a pea-sized amount of gel food dye until blended. Pour each color into separate piping bags, fitted with a #2 icing tip. Create an icing outline on the sugar cookies first. Let set for about 5 minutes, then flood the middle with icing until completely filled and smooth. Add any desired sprinkles or accessories while icing is wet. Let icing set, then add additional frosting decorations and details. Serve and enjoy!