Decorating Christmas Sugar Cookies

Do you know I have famous sugar cookies? Well, I do. I  made a bunch of batches for a friends’ Buck and Doe and they were the best selling item of the whole bake auction! I used to make them all the time before I had kids, but they’ve been one thing that gets pushed to the side, so the only time I really make them now is at Christmas. And, as Christmas rolls around again, I know it’s time to break them out! We set up our Christmas Tree on Saturday, and in the afternoon we decorated sugar cookies as a family. I made the dough on Monday, baked half of it, put the rest of the dough in the fridge and finished baking them on Saturday. Breaking it up like this really helped with the ease of baking. 


  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups of flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup icing sugar (for icing)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (for icing)
  • a bit of milk (for icing)
  • sprinkles and food colouring (optional- or are they??)



I have had this sugar cookie recipe for as long as I’ve been making sugar cookies in my own house. I got it online, but I couldn’t tell you where, and I have adjusted it a bit to reflect what I actually do. I hope you like it!

  1. Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs vanilla and milk and cream until just mixed.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients with a fork and add to the bowl (really I pour the dry ingredients on top of the rest, and just mix them together before mixing the whole bowl.)
  3. Mix with a mixer until well mixed (haha).
  4. Form into two balls, wrap in saran wrap, and place in the fridge to cool for two hours. 
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (If you don’t bake with parchment paper yet it’s time to start! It changed my life.)
  6. Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin until it’s between 1/8th-1/4 inch thick. Using cookie cutters (or a glass if you’re in a pinch) cut out cookies and place them on the cookie sheet to bake. They don’t spread out too much, so they can be close-ish together. 
  7. Bake 8 minutes, then leave on a cooling rack until…wait for it…cool.


  1.  Mix the icing sugar and vanilla. 
  2. Add a little bit of milk at a time so it combines, but doesn’t get runny. To test it lift the spoon from the icing. If it runs off easily it’s too thin, if it starts to descend very slowly then it’s perfect. 
  3. Grab an empty, washed milk bag, or sandwich bag. Cut off the corner ever so slightly to make an icing bag. You can also kick it old school by using a knife. Ice the cookies and decorate them to your heart’s content. 


  • As your kids ice the cookies take away each completed one. This prevents them from getting eaten or licked any more than they probably already have been.
  • Use a different knife for each colour to prevent mixing.
  • This is a great opportunity to teach kids about what colours are made from mixing!
  • Make different sized stars, ice them in green, and stack them, biggest to smallest, on top of each other to make a Christmas tree. Break a star in half and ice it yellow on all sides. Stick it, points up, to the top of the tree to make the star tree topper.
  • Write your children’s names on cookies.

How did they turn out? Even if they’re ugly- as they are likely to be if you’ve allowed your littles to decorate them!- they are still delicious, and definitely a source of Christmas cheer!


8 thoughts on “Decorating Christmas Sugar Cookies

  1. Martha Murray says:

    Oh my goodness I was going to call you up for this recipe this weekend. I have been CRAVING your cookies ever since the first snow fall!! There is none other that compare, your sugar cookies are delicious!


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