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Here are two simple and easy ideas for decorated Christmas cookies! These are the first two cookies I made when starting out with royal icing so they are perfect for beginners! These cookies look fancy but require very simple techniques that anyone can do.
It's only been about a year and a half since I started experimenting with royal icing. I try to fit in as much practice as I can but I still consider myself a beginner. Mainly, because I have the worst trouble with keeping lines straight. Maintaining a steady hand? Forget it.
If you Google images of decorated cookies, you will be blown away by the talent that exists, but remember, everyone starts somewhere! That's why I wanted to share two SUPER EASY decorated cookie ideas for Christmas.
When you are starting out with decorating cookies, you need to make sure that you have an excellent sugar cookie recipe and royal icing recipe. Obviously, those are crucial elements. Both of my recipes are tried and true and I get so many rave reviews!
Anyway, back to these Decorated Christmas Cookies
I wanted to share two very simple Christmas cookie designs so that even if you are a beginner, you can easily dazzle your friends and family with decorated cookies! Plus, for these designs, you don't have to make a ton of different icing consistencies and colors. Not only are the designs easy, but so is the prep and clean up. Perfect for the busy holiday season!
Here are the tools you'll need to complete this project:
- A tree cookie cutter
- Linzer cookie cutter (or regular round)
- 1 batch of sugar cookies
- 1 batch of royal icing
- Piping bags
- Small round piping tips
- A scribe
- Decorating brush
- Food coloring
- I used Americolor White and Moss
- Red sugar pearls/sprinkles
- I actually found these sprinkles in a mix from the grocery store.
- Thickened red royal icing can also be substituted here!
The first design is a simple wreath
This cookie uses what is called, a wet on wet technique, because you add a different color of wet icing to the base icing while it's wet. You can manipulate the icing into different shapes by moving it around through the base icing.
This is my favorite way to decorate cookies because it always looks SO impressive. It makes the perfect wreath design.
I used a Linzer cookie cutter for the sugar cookie. That gave me the wreath shape with the center cut out. I've also made this design simply with a circle cookie cutter and that works fine too!
Cover the cookie in white flood icing, using a scribe to bring it to the edges.
Flooding the shape of this cookie was very difficult. The first few times, I tried outlining the entire cookie and filling it in, as I would anything else. However, the icing kept drooping off the sides.
Since this cookie has very little surface area, I had much better luck just making a thick line in the center and bringing it out to the edges with the scribe. It took a little longer, but it worked out perfectly!
Once your white base is on, use green icing (same flood consistency) to add drops of green all around the cookie.
Take your scribe and slowly drag the sharp tip through the dots.
Once the icing has had a moment to set (about 4-5 minutes) I add 3 red sprinkle balls. I find that if the icing dries just a little bit, then the dye from the sprinkles has less of a chance of bleeding into the icing.
Allow the whole cookie to dry overnight.
Looking for more Christmas cookie ideas? Check out my Holiday Book for everything you need to plan out your holiday baking!
It's time for some snowy trees
Let's start off with flooding the trees. Grab your green flood icing and outline the cookie. For cookies with lots of angles, I find it's easier to draw out the outline in stages, versus outlining the entire cookie in one action.
As mentioned, I don't have the steadiest hand so this has helps me!
Use the scribe to refine the edges.
After the tree is flooded, allow to dry fully overnight.
On the next day, take some of your white flood icing and add more powdered sugar until it is the consistency of toothpaste.
Pipe squiggle lines (gettin' real technical here...) across the segments of the tree.
Using a damp brush (with a bit of water, not soaked!), brush the edge of the icing away from you, up the tree.
After a few swipes, wipe off your brush and repeat until all the lines are brushed out.
Dip the brush in a bit more water in order to smooth out some of the brush lines.
Allow to dry overnight.
And there you have it! Two easy ideas for decorated Christmas cookies that you can make even if you're a beginner working with royal icing.