Show Your Creativity With Decorative Holiday Cookies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (November 2010) – The Holidays are a time for sweet memories, a time when home bakers pull out their "go to" cookie recipes to make, decorate and display on holiday platters for family and friends to enjoy. This year, White Lily® has ideas to take your cookies and creativity to the next level.

"I love the holidays because you can really have a lot of fun with desserts, especially cookies," exclaims baking expert Dede Fuson. "Use cookies as place cards at dinner, ornaments for your tree or toppers for an iced cupcake. Beautifully decorated cookies always shine no matter how you use them!"

Try adding your own creative touches to two traditional recipes – gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies – for a new twist on a holiday tradition.

Gingerbread People Cookies, made with molasses and spices, are a favorite among cookie lovers during the holidays. For many, gingerbread brings back happy childhood memories of decorating these characters with friends and family. Try using the recipe for Royal Icing (recipe below) to decorate and serve them as the centerpiece while sharing time and memories with others. The icing hardens when dry, making it a favorite for durable decorations and ornamental writing.

Decorative Sugar Cookies combine the cozy flavors of butter, sugar and vanilla. Decorate these cookies with Shiny Sugar Cookie Frosting, a slightly thinner frosting that produces a shiny glaze effect. The always popular Butter Cream Frosting is also a classic topper because it spreads on thickly so decorations can be added with ease.

"There are three key points to remember when making decorative cut-out cookies," Fuson adds.

  • Chill your dough until it is easy to handle before cutting into shapes.
  • After baking, move your cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing them so your icing doesn’t melt.
  • Add decorations – such as sparkling sugars, candy bits or colorful sprinkles – while the icing is still wet so decorations can set.

The holidays are the perfect time to showcase your creative talents with decorative cookies – at the table, on the tree or to accent a dessert buffet. But the best part of all is sharing these delicious cookies with family and friends.

For more holiday cookie recipes, please visit www.whitelily.com.


Gingerbread People Cookies

3 1/2 cups White Lily® All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
Royal Icing

  1. Whisk together flour, ginger, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until combined (dough will be sticky). Divide dough into thirds. Spoon each third of dough onto plastic wrap. Shape into disks and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm (may refrigerate up to 2 days).
  2. Heat oven to 350° F. Using one disk at a time, place dough on floured surface and roll out to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Dust with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut out cookies with floured cutters. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for soft cookies or 11 to 12 minutes for crisper cookies. Remove immediately to cooling rack. Cool completely. Make Royal Icing. Decorate cookies as desired.

Makes 18 cookies approximately 5-inches long


Royal Icing

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.

Decorative Sugar Cookies

4 1/2 cups White Lily® All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 cups sugarv 2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting or icing of choice and cookie decorations (recipes for Royal Icing above, Shiny Sugar Cookie Frosting or Butter Cream Frosting below)

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and shortening in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as possible with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Spoon each half onto plastic wrap. Shape into disks and wrap tightly. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight until dough is easy to handle.
  3. Heat oven to 375° F. Using one disk at a time, place dough on floured surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with floured cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugars, if desired.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are slightly golden. Remove immediately to cooling rack. Cool completely. Frost with Royal Icing, Shiny Sugar Cookie Frosting or Butter Cream Frosting, if desired.

Makes about 3 dozen 2-inch to 3-inch cut-out cookies


Shiny Sugar Cookie Frosting

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


Butter Cream Frosting

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 2.5 dozen cookies

©/® The J.M. Smucker Company.

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