Christmas cookies: From simple to spectacular

Make beautiful cookies even if you don't have time to fuss

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Christmas cookies: From simple to spectacular

Wreath cookies are bright and festive, whether bejeweled or simply frosted.

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

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Everyone is pressed for time during the holidays, but that shouldn't stop you from making a lovely batch of Christmas cookies. Our treats look great whether unadorned or dressed to the nines, so you can tailor them to suit your interest (and schedule). They're all made with the same sugar cookie dough and frosting, so you can mix and match. And even the most basic versions are pretty enough to decorate a tree or window.

You'll find sources for the special equipment and decorations, plus packaging ideas. Or try different cookie cutters and add your favorite colors and decorations. Just get baking!

1. With a floured cookie cutter, cut ornament shapes from cookie dough (recipe at left).

2. Make an imprint in the center of each cookie by lightly pressing a star-shape cookie cutter into dough, making sure not to cut all the way through.

3. Use a drinking straw to poke a hole in each cookie. Transfer to baking sheets lined with cooking parchment.

4. Bake in a 300° oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.

5. Serve when cool, or thread a ribbon through each hole, tie, and hang from a tree or in a window.

To make them special: Prepare cookies as above, but skip step 2. With a small offset spatula, spread a thin layer of tinted icing on each ornament.

To make them spectacular: Follow directions above for special version; let icing dry. With a pastry bag fitted with a #2 plain tip and filled with icing, create raised accents. Sprinkle sanding sugar over the still-wet piping, then tilt and tap cookie to remove excess. Add dragées.


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