Christmas is around the corner, and it’s raining here in Minnesota. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining that I can ride my road bike outside in December but what about this whole winter wonderland thing? I want snow, and hot chocolate, and Christmas lights with mittens. I haven’t even been wearing mittens, people!
Anyways, Christmas Cookie Extravaganza was a success! 5 cups of butter, 4 cups of powdered sugar, 2 chocolate bars, and 6 hours later, I finally had enough cookies to send to my friends. Hope it was worth it people, because the shipping cost me $160. Good thing I didn’t buy you guys REAL gifts. I hope the rest of you enjoyed my holiday cookie guide and it helped you to make a stupid amount of cookies in one afternoon, too!
So, now you’ve made like 85 cookies and you still need to decorate them. You can’t send your friends naked little gingerbread men and PLAIN sugar cookie cut outs. If you’re not going to decorate them, then why even send them at all?!
Okay, okay, enough with the theatrics. I’m just trying to build up to it. Are you ready?
COOKIE DECORATING 101
1. Cookies – so while this statement is a bit obvious, you’ll need some cookies in order to decorate them. JK you guys, this note is really to remind you to let your cookies cool COMPLETELY before decorating. I recommend making them the day before since decorating can take a while. If time doesn’t permit, allow your cookies 2 hours before decorating. If you have to ask yourself, “Are these cookies cool enough?” THEN THEY AREN’T. Leave ’em alone and come back in 30 minutes.
2. Let your cookies cool completely – see bold note above.
3. Space – clear everything you don’t need from your counter, kitchen table, whatever you wanna call it. You’re gonna need some elbow room and a spot for every cookie. Leave some space in front of you for your “area” and lay parchment paper down beneath the cookies.
4. Application – you can cut the corner of a plastic bag to apply icing for an easy DIY job, but it becomes a little hard when you have multiple people trying to decorate because you can’t set it down. You can also buy pastry bags, but I have recently taken to using squeeze bottles. They are about a dollar and you can get them in the baking isle at the grocery store.
5. Sprinkles – just, sprinkles.
6. Color – food coloring, gel, you name it. Else, you can stick to the classic white with sprinkles. See note above for sprinkle usage.
7. Icing – you’re gonna need a lot of powdered sugar. My icing recipe calls for powdered sugar, water, vanilla extract, and a littttttle bit of coconut oil. The recipe is enough to make two colors if you’d like but honestly it’s easier to just do one batch one color. Try to mix in an order where you don’t have to wash the bowl because it will make your life easier. For example, go from white, to green, to black. THEN you can wash and make red, etc.
8. Border icing – start with the border of your cookies. Allow the border to dry and then go back and fill the rest. This is especially important if you’re doing some kind of pattern with multiple colors so they don’t bleed together. Like ahhhh, candy canes and that kinda stuff.
9. Fill icing – add 1-2 tsp of water to the icing you used for the border and mix thoroughly. The idea is that the icing is thin enough to spread on its own but won’t fall off your cookies since you’ve already got your border. Since the icing is a little thinner, it will also be easier to apply the sprinkles. When it’s thick, the icing dries fairly quickly and the sprinkles won’t stick. Trust me, it’s better this way.
10. Holiday tunes – crank that Carol of the Bells and jam out. Not even kidding, you guys. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.
This guy was Michelle’s favorite. He is the “minimalist snowman”.