“Use cookies as place cards at dinner, ornaments for your tree or toppers for an iced cupcake,” says baking expert Dede Fuson. “Beautifully decorated cookies always shine no matter how you use them!”

Royal icing hardens when dry, making it a favorite for durable decorations and ornamental writing.

Shiny sugar cookie frosting is a slightly thinner frosting that produces a shiny glaze effect.

Buttercream frosting is also a classic topper because it spreads on thickly, so decorations can be added with ease.

No matter which you frosting or icing recipe you choose, add decorations – such as sparkling sugars, candy bits or colorful sprinkles – while the icing is still wet so decorations can set.

Icing and frosting recipes for Christmas cookies

Royal icing recipe

4 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup dried egg whites*
1/3 cup water
Food coloring

  1. Combine powdered sugar and dried egg whites. Stir in water to achieve a spreadable consistency. Divide into several smaller bowls. Stir in food coloring.
  2. Brush frosting on each cookie using pastry brush to coat top. Add sparkling sugars and toppings of your choice while still wet. Or pipe onto cookies using a pastry bag or zip-close bag with corner snipped off. Frosting will harden as it dries.

Makes frosting for 3 dozen 2- to 3-inch cookies

*Dried egg whites are available in the baking section of the grocery store.

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Shiny sugar cookie frosting recipe

3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond, lemon or vanilla extract
Food coloring

  1. Combine powdered sugar and milk in small bowl. Stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls. Stir in food coloring. Dip cookies or brush icing onto the tops.

Makes frosting for 3 dozen cookies

Buttercream frosting recipe

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring

  1. Beat butter in medium bowl with electric mixer at high speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat on low until blended.
  2. Beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add more milk if frosting is too thick. Divide into bowls. Stir in food coloring.

Makes frosting for 2-1/2 dozen cookies

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About The Author

The Myria Editors

Myria, originally launched in 1998, strives to deliver more conversation, and less gossip. More intelligence, less eye-rolling. More acceptance, less judgment. And throughout the site: more needle, less haystack. Through life's ups, downs, and everything in between, we want to encourage you, support you, and help guide you. The team behind Myria understands that status updates and selfies never tell the whole story, and that we all have stuff to deal with, and that's nothing you need to hide here. Beyond "been there, done that" - every day, we're still there and still doing it. That's how we know: You've got this.

About: Recipe and photos provided courtesy of White Lily and the JM Smucker Company.

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