These easy sugar cookies keep their shape and don't require any chilling. They are then decorated with icing and M&M's to make strands of Christmas lights!
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, cubed while cold
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
For Royal Icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4-5 tablespoons water
- M&M's or M&M's Minis
- Black Icing Writer (or black gel food color to add to Royal Icing)
FOR THE COOKIES:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until completely incorporated.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder one cup at a time.
- Split the dough in half. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll both halves of dough out on a prepared surface to a thickness of 3/8 inch. No need to chill the dough. The cookies will bake better if the dough is at room temperature.
- Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Arrange the cookies between two cookie sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are a very pale golden color. Do not over bake.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the royal icing.
FOR THE ICING:
- Add the powdered sugar and meringue powder to a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix.
- Continue to add water a tablespoon at a time until the icing runs off the beater in ribbons.
- Transfer the icing to a piping bag then snip the end off to make a small opening. Pipe the icing on top of the cooled cookies, then use a toothpick to even out the icing. When dry, use the black writing icing to pipe two lines onto the cookies for the light’s string, add mini M&M's on either side of each line for the lights.
- Depending on the size of your cookie cutters, this recipe will yield 2-4 dozen cookies.
- These cookies will not spread during baking therefore you do not have to have a lot of space between them when baking.
- To test if the royal icing is at the right consistency, pick up some of the icing from the bowl with a spoon and drizzle it back into the bowl. It should take about 5 seconds to settle flat. If it stays in a mound add a little more water.
- To ice the cookies, it is easier with a piping bag, however, if you don’t have one you can dunk the cookies into the icing or use a spoon to carefully drizzle the icing on top.
- Storage: store in an airtight container at room temperature. The cookies will keep for several days.
- Category: Dessert
Keywords: Christmas Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Royal Icing, M&M's, Decorated Cookies