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Traditional Decorated Christmas Cookies Recipe

Makes 48 cookies


  • Cookie:
  • 3/4 cup butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon peel, finely grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cup flour, all purpose, unsifted
  • 1 tbsp water (use 2 if required)
  • Icing:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 lb sugar, powdered
  • 2 tsp water (use 3 if required)
  • Food colors, sprinkles, etc


1. Beat together butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in egg, lemon peel, vanilla and salt.
3. Gradually beat in flour until thoroughly incorporated.
4. Add water, a few drops at a time, only until dough starts to come away from side of bowl.
5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap.
6. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 350F.
8. Lightly grease 4 cookie sheets.
9. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8" thickness.
10. Cut out various shapes using cookie cutters or homemade cardboard patterns, or freehand.
11. Reroll scraps and cut out.
12. Make small holes with wooden pick if planning to hang cookies up as ornaments.
13. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until beginning to brown around edges.
14. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool before decorating.
15. Prepare icing by beating egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until foamy.
16. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar.
17. Continue to beat until thick and creamy.
18. Add just enough water to get a good spreading consistency.
19. Tint with food coloring, if you wish.
20. Spread evenly over cookies.
21. Decorate with glitter, sprinkles, dragees and cinnamon red hots, if desired.


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