I don’t know about you, but my favorite kind of gift to give is a homemade one. Specifically a delicious homemade treat. That’s why my tradition every year is to make these holiday treat boxes. I fill them up with a variety of cookies and candies and deliver them to all my friends. The best part about making your own treat box is the presentation. It’s fun to find festive ribbons and bows as well as a pretty box to put them all in. These details make all the difference when handing out your gifts!
In this post I have the details on how to make my cut out cookies with royal icing, (the snowflakes in the pictures) but I also included links to the other recipes I used! If you’ve ever wondered how some people get their cookies iced in such a detailed, perfect way, royal icing is the answer. It uses just a few ingredients, and dries quickly for a beautiful finish.
RECIPES IN MY HOLIDAY TREAT BOX
- Cut Out Cookies with Royal Icing (recipe below)
- Molasses Cookies – filled with spices and extra chewy
- Spritz Cookies – (aka press cookies) in festive holiday shapes!
- Cranberry Chocolate Shortbread – buttery and melt-in-your-mouth good. (Just fold in your favorite mix ins like the chopped cranberries and dark chocolate I used!)
- Dark Chocolate Truffles – two varieties, Peanut Butter and Mint
- Meringue Kisses – light and airy puffs
The key to frosting your cookies with royal icing is going slow and steady. It can seem like a tedious task, but they only have to be as detailed as you’d like! You pipe the stiffer outline first, and then flood the cookie with a watered down version of the same icing. I found these tutorials on Youtube to be super helpful when first starting out. Just practice, and stick with it!
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- 1 c. butter (soft)
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 3 c. flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Royal Icing
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp water
- With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in egg and extracts and mix until well blended.
- In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt, and then slowly combine with butter mixture.
- Pat dough out into a rectangle between two sheets of parchment paper, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick, and cut out desired shapes. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes until just starting to turn golden on the edges. (don't overbake!)
- To make the royal icing, combine sugar, cream of tartar and egg white in a mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Mix until combined on medium speed and then increase to high speed for 2-3 minutes until icing is very thick and very stark white.
- Scoop about a 1/2 c. of icing out into a small bow. For outlining consistency, stir in about 1/4 tsp of water, and any food coloring desired. Spoon into a piping bag and slowly outline cookies.
- For flooding the interior of the cookie, add about another 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of water to the icing until it runs off a spoon easily. Pour into a piping bag and pipe the inside of the cookies. If icing doesn't flood to all of the edges, use a toothpick or a cookie needle to push it into place.
Store for 3-5 days inside an airtight container.