I think above all others, decorated sugar cookies are the quintessential holiday cookie. Cut into seasonal shapes - gingerbread men, Christmas trees, snowflakes and more - and decked out in bright reds and greens, there is no cookie that better represents this season. I'm generally not a big sugar cookie fan, but around the holidays I can't get enough of them! They represent a time of year and a season that is very merry and beloved.

Holiday Decorated Sugar Cookies

The recipe we used for these cookies has a great flavor - super buttery, not too sweet, and crispy but not brittle. If you cook them a bit less, they stay ever so slightly soft in the centers, which is my personal preference. Unlike some sugar cookie recipes, they spread a bit when baking, so they don't have perfectly defined borders - more soft edges. That's definitely a feature I love about them!

We used some fun Christmas-themed shapes from our Ateco cookie-cutter collection at Local Root, which all baked up great. The Christmas tree shape was my favorite!

Holiday Decorated Sugar Cookies

As for icing, I used a basic royal icing recipe, and used Ateco gel food coloring (also available at Local Root) to get some bright reds and greens for decorating. I was pretty relaxed with my decorations, but if you are new to icing sugar cookies and at all worried about the process, this is a great tutorial. I think often times people are a bit nervous about tackling a pastry bag and an unfamiliar icing, but if you set aside enough time for the project, it's fun, straightforward, and rewarding! Patience is definitely a virtue here though.

Holiday Decorated Sugar Cookies

We used this recipe for All Occasion Sugar Cookies - it's definitely a winner. If you give them a try, be sure to let us know what you think!