When you think of Christmas traditions you have, what are the main standouts? My favorite things include:
- Going downtown Chicago on Christmas Eve with my family, followed by 5:00 pm Mass
- Watching Christmas movies and drinking hot chocolate with my friends to get pumped for the holiday
- Driving around Houston to see all of the gorgeous Christmas lights
- Baking and decorating Christmas cookies
Most of these things I can only do once a year realistically, but even though I bake year round, it’s just one of those things that makes me feel cozy and at home, no matter where I am. Christmas isn’t complete without some cookie decorating, so I wanted to show you how to easily host a cookie decorating party!
Start off with a great cookie recipe that doesn’t expand too much when you bake it. What I mean by this is, if you cutout a Christmas tree with a cookie cutter, you want it to still resemble a tree once it’s pulled out of the oven, and not a puffy cloud. I used a sugar cookie recipe because I am not partial to gingerbread, and this one in particular is crunchy and chewy and doesn’t change shape – the perfect combination! Pick a few different cookie cutters to give your guests some variety. I chose a tree, a snowflake, a man, and Texas… because that last one is always a crowd pleaser.
Then you need some frosting. I always make my handy homemade buttercream icing recipe since it’s always a hit and holds its shape as well. That’s right, you don’t want your icing melting all over your cookies! Make a double batch of frosting, split it 4-5 bowls, and add color to each of them. Place each color into a zip top bag (or a piping bag if you’re fancy like that) and snip off one corner to make it easy for everyone to decorate and draw with.
Last, but definitely not least, fill up a bunch of bowls with small candy and Christmas classics like spice drops, red hots, sprinkles, and peppermints. The more colorful the better!
Let your friends go nuts with the decorations! I loved seeing what people came up with. Favorites included the Star of David from the snowflakes, personalized cookie people dressed like other party attendees, and a Texas flag in the shape of Texas. Merry Christmas, y’all!
The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Cutouts
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2.5 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
2. Slowly add in the baking powder, salt, and flour. If it becomes too difficult to mix, take the dough out and continue adding the flour by hand. Chill the dough for an hour or overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Roll out your dough on to a piece of waxed or parchment paper to about 1/4″ thick. If the dough starts to stick, add flour to the rolling pin as well. Cut out your favorite Christmas shapes and place on to a baking sheet by peeling them off of from the paper.
4. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, or until just slightly browned on the edges. Cool them on a wire rack until completely cooled.
5. Whip up a batch of your favorite frosting, dye it a few colors, and place into sip top bags with one corner cut off for people to use to decorate. I use my easy homemade buttercream (link in the above post).
Recipe by Bunny Baubles Blog