This is the first time in 5 years, that I was home early for holidays, so this Christmas holiday I went all out! After Thanksgiving was over, the Christmas tree and decorations were out, and my family and I were putting them all up around the house while the Christmas music was blasting!
When I was still in college, by the time I came home for holiday, the Christmas tree was already up and decorated, and the house was decorated with lights and garland. One of my favorite things is decorating the house and the tree for the holiday, so I was always a little bummed that I didn’t get to help set up for the holiday. But this year, I got to pick the theme for the tree and the inside decorations, and it was just so much fun!
This year, my little sister and I are hooked on the Food Network show, ‘Christmas Cookie Challenge’. We love seeing all the different bakers bake and decorate the sugar cookies! Since I was finally home and had time, she and I spent the last weekend baking and decorating sugar cookies of our own! We used to bake sugar cookies, but never as elaborate as this time, usually it’s just some store bought frosting and small decorations, but this year, with all the shows recoreded, we watched and baked along with them. It was soooo much fun!
We used the sugar cookie recipe from Alton Brown, on the Food Network website, and followed the royal icing as well. After a long weekend of baking and decorating (and hand cramping from squeezing the icing onto the cookies…), here is what turned out! These are not gluten-free, but that’s okay because we baked these to give to our neighbors and friends.
Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing adapted from Alton Brown
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
- Cream the softened butter and sugar together, until a pale yellow color
- Add in the egg and milk
- In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together
- Slowly add in the bowl of dry ingredients into the egg mixture
- Mix until the cookie mixture starts to clump together (if you mixture seems too dry and it’s not sticking together, add in 1 Tsp of milk)
- Split dough into to sheets of baking paper and let it rest in the fridge for atleast 2 hours
- When dough is ready, pre-heat oven to 375F degrees
- Roll the dough until its 1/4 inch thick and using your favorite cookie cutters, carefully cut and transfer your cookies to a lined baking sheet
- Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes or until you see the bottom edges turn a light golden brown
- Cool on a wire rack before decorating with your royal icing
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Combine the egg whites and vanilla extracts until foamy
- Add in the confectioners’ sugar slowly, then once it is all added turn mixer speed to high
- Mix until icing becomes shiny
- For decorating, we divided the icing into different bowl to add food coloring
- Use immediately or store in an air tight container
Make sure to follow me on Instagram @laioneandonly to see what other holiday treat I’m baking!
Every day, Lai day! What are you baking for the holiday??