If you love a good Christmas cookie, these festive cookies will absolutely light up your holiday season. Thick sugar cookies (the best kind!) are topped with white royal icing and then adorned with sweet strings of chocolate candy lights. You'll be filling decorative cookie tins, boxes, and jars with these Christmas treats as wonderful gifts for friends, family, and gracious hostesses throughout the holidays. These pretty little bites might even inspire you to host your own Christmas cookie swap. You’ll end up with an array of wildly different, equally delicious (fingers crossed) cookies in your Santa jar.
At Christmastime, of course you can make a showstopping white cake or silky trifle, but it is the cookies that everyone begs for. We just love the touch of whimsy and creativity the DIY strings of lights give on these yummy cookies, and we think they will be a hit with your crowd this season. If you'd like to switch up the mini chocolate candies on your cookies, try swapping in chocolate-covered sunflower seeds as light bulbs. Their oval shape and array of colors make the perfect accent on your strand of lights.
Christmas Lights Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 (32-ounce) package powdered sugar (about 7 ½ cups)
4 teaspoons meringue powder
10 to 12 tbsp. warm water
Black cookie icing
Mini M & M’s or Candy-Coated Sunflower Seeds
- Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until blended.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Shape dough into 2-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.
- Bake at 325˚ for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden (do not brown). Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Beat powdered sugar, meringue powder, and 10 tbsp. warm water at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using whisk attachment, 5 minutes or until glossy. Stir in up to 2 Tbsp. more warm water, 1 tsp. at a time, until mixture reaches desired consistency.
- Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted with a thin round tip. Pipe a thin border around the edge of the cookie. Fill in the center of the cookie with an even layer of icing. To smooth the surface, swirl a wooden pick in a circular motion around the entire pool of icing, starting at the edges and moving toward the center. Allow icing to dry completely.
- Using the black cookie icing and a thin round piping tip, pipe along the outside of each cookie, creating loops and curves to emulate tangled holiday lights. Decorate with mini colored candies.