Tasty cookies are a must-have at any Christmas party and frosted sugar cookies add a particularly festive and personal touch to any holiday get together. They also make for a fun family activity around the holidays. Collect cookie cutters in your favorite holiday shapes, food coloring for frosting, and assorted small candies for decorating accents, and you are ready to begin. Some recommendations for cookie cutter shapes are Christmas trees, stars, stockings, snowmen, and candy canes. M&Ms, cinnamon dots, and red and green sprinkles are candies that complement these cookies well.
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Note that you will need some additional ingredients for the frosting and decorating process.
Mix the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until well-incorporated. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Once the dough is well-mixed, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. After the dough is chilled, roll out to 1/8-inch thick and cut into desired shapes with your holiday cookie cutters. Place the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 8 minutes. Cool the cookies completely on a wire cooling rack.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, the whole family can join in the fun of decorating. A moderately stiff frosting is best for frosting the cookies because they themselves are firmer than, say, a cake or cupcake. To mix such a frosting, combine powdered sugar, softened butter, milk, a dash of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Once frosting is mixed to your desired stiffness, separate the frosting into several bowls, and mix each bowl with a different color of food coloring. Then, place each color of frosting into separate decorating bags with assorted frosting tips. Decorating bags and tips can be purchased at nearly all craft and kitchen supply stores. Make sure the frosting bags are tightly sealed at the top (twist ties are very effective for accomplishing this), so that decorators of all ages can use them effectively without making a mess. Then, let family members create their own design on each cookie using the different frosting colors.
Children particularly enjoy decorating these cookies because it allows them to be creative and involved in making something that tastes great. Candies and sprinkles of all kinds add decorative and tasty accents and make the process even more fun for even the youngest of helpers. The end result is a holiday treat that is fun to make, uniquely stylish, and absolutely delicious.