P.S. Don't use my otherwise-favorite sugar cookie recipe for this, unless you overbake the cookies -- they're too soft to hold up to the pressure.
Makes 16 cookies| Hands-On Time: 25m| Total Time: 1hr 30m
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- food coloring
- mini jelly beans, colored sprinkles, or metallic dragees, for decorating
- special equipment: 14 6- to 8-inch lollipop or ice-pop sticks (found in large craft stores -- wooden skewers may be substituted, but you might need more than one per cookie)
- Heat oven to 350° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually mix in the flour mixture just until combined (do not overmix).
- Drop mounds of the dough (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 4 inches apart. Insert one end of a lollipop stick into each and flatten the dough slightly with your fingers. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 to 2 drops food coloring. Drizzle the cookies with the icing and sprinkle with the candies and sprinkles. Let dry for at least 30 minutes.
- Storage suggestion: Keep at room temperature, between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container, for up to 1 week. (Alternatively, wrap in a nonsealing plastic sandwich bag or cellophane bag and close with a twist tie or a ribbon.)
Real Simple magazine, the passer-on of this recipe, has a raftful of easy Christmas cookies -- look here for the slideshow and recipes.