12 Days of Cookies: Holiday Sugar Cookies from luckybites

For the seventh day of 12 days of cookies, we’ve got a recipe for iced sugar cookies from Michele at luckybites that you can decorate however you like!

Holiday Sugar Cookies
Michele loves to combine her passions for baking and design, so check out her website and Instagram to see more of her gorgeous creations!

From Michele: The only limit to the possibilities with these sugar cookies is your imagination! And maybe deciding whether to eat them before you get to decorating. These cookies make wonderful ornaments, holiday party decorations, or even a next-level gift wrapping addition. That’s assuming you don’t indulge in them first, of course.

Holiday Sugar Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies


For the cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2.5-3 cups all-purpose flour
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
Wax paper

For the royal icing:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar (about 1 lb.)
5 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons meringue powder*
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla powder (optional)
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

What to do:

To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until well-combined. Add baking powder, salt, and vanilla and mix one minute more. Add egg and mix until well-combined.

Stir in flour just until incorporated and smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed (do not over-mix). Dough should be firm and hold together well, but not sticky, and should easily fall away from sides of bowl and paddle—you may need to adjust flour quantity.

Divide dough in quarters and place each quarter on a sheet of wax paper. Shape each into a flat disc. Cover discs with another sheet of wax paper, sandwiching the dough between the two sheets.
Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness, smoothing any creases that develop in wax paper.

Peel away & replace one sheet of wax paper (this will prevent dough from sticking when cutting cookies, and keep work surface clean). Flip “sandwich” over and remove top sheet of wax paper, leaving other sheet underneath dough. Cut out cookies and place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Roll out scraps & repeat, until all dough is used up (you may need to refrigerate the rolled out scraps if they become to warm and sticky). Repeat these steps with the other discs.

Bake in preheated oven until cookies are golden around the edges, 8-10 minutes (bake time may vary depending on the size of the cookies). Cool two minutes on baking sheets. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the icing and decorating: If a lemon flavor is desired, substitute up to two tablespoons of water with lemon juice. In the bowl of a mixer, mix water, lemon juice (if using), meringue powder, salt, and vanilla powder (if using) until combined.

Using an electric mixer, add powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time, pulsing until just incorporated.
Stir at low speed until smooth. Do not overmix.**

Add food coloring to icing if desired and apply to completely cooled cookies.

*I like Wilton brand.

**You can make a thicker consistency if you want to do decorative piping. Simply increase the proportion of dry to wet ingredients. Store any unused icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.

Show us what you’re baking this holiday season! Use the hashtag #FD12DaysOfCookies on Instagram.

And don’t forget to enter the 12 Days of Cookies giveaway for the chance to win a $100 FreshDirect gift card. Head to the giveaway post on the @freshdirect Instagram and tag a friend in the comments to submit your entry. See the full contest rules here.