The Best Traditional Christmas Cookies

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I love to make sugar cookies so today I am sharing my best traditional Christmas cookies. All of them use my basic sugar cookie recipe!

I like to use two different kinds of frosting to decorate my Christmas sugar cookies. One tastes better and one looks better. I will share the difference between the two and which one you may want to use when you decorate traditional Christmas cookies.

Christmas Baking Ideas

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Making Traditional Christmas Cookies

A Christmas Cookie Jar

I love making Christmas cookies. I make them every year and my favorite type of cookie I make is traditional sugar cookies. They taste wonderful and I have been baking these for years.

As in 50 years. My brother sisters, and I made these cookies every year with my mom. I love that the traditional Christmas cookie-baking tradition has continued in our home every year since.

Christmas Cookies Homemade

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Traditional Christmas Cookies Recipes

As you can see below, I like to use the same recipe for a lot of different types of traditional Christmas cookies. One of my most important tips is to bake the cookies and freeze them, and then frost them at a later date.

Just tap on any of these links for recipes and instructions.

Tools to Make Traditional Christmas Cookies

There are so many fun tools that will help you bake traditional Christmas cookies. From baking pans to cookie cutters to decorating tips to cookie tins, we have found everything you will need.

Buttercream Frosting vs. Royal Icing

There are two basic ways to frost sugar cookies. You can use buttercream frosting or royal icing.

So which one is better?

Actually, it depends on what you want to do.

There is no doubt that buttercream frosting tasted the best. It has lots of butter in the recipe and tastes a lot better.

But if you want beautifully decorated cookies you should make Royal Icing. Don’t get me wrong, you can also decorate cookies with buttercream frosting. But they just don’t look as pretty.

Buttercream Frosting

Because Buttercream frosting is made from butter, it tastes a lot better than royal icing. But the butter doesn’t hold its form too well so it is a lot harder to decorate your cookies in a fancy design with buttercream frosting.

There is no reason why you can’t frost the top of the cookies with buttercream frosting and then decorate them with royal icing. The two won’t necessarily mix too well but I have done it.

Ideally, buttercream frosting is best when you are adding edible dust as I did with the metallic leaf cookies I made. But the last cookie pictured above was decorated with a stiff buttercream frosting. So you can decorate with buttercream frosting! Click here for the recipe for buttercream frosting.

Royal Icing

Royal icing is what all of the professional cookie decorators use.

Ideally, you need to make two different types of icing consistency to decorate your cookies. Both use the same recipe but one has more water. The first is called Flood Icing. This is what I call the base coat. There is a trick you can use to get the right consistency to be able to use the flood icing for the outline and to fill in the outline with icing. It’s called the 10-second rule. Once your icing is mixed, take a sharp knife and cut about an inch down and count how many seconds it takes for the icing to come together and the “cut” to disappear. For the right “flood icing” the “slice” in the icing should disappear in ten seconds. The consistency of the frosting is determined by the amount of water added to the Royal Icing mix.

The second consistency is what I call the decorative icing. This is the icing you will pipe on top to decorate the Royal Icing cookies. It’s the icing I used for the dots in the tree cookies, the outline of the stamped cookies, and all of the detailed decorating in the other cookies.

Typically I use double the amount of water for the flood icing than I use for the decorative icing.

For more details and the recipe for royal icing, head to this blog post here.

Royal Icing Cookies

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The Best Traditional Christmas Cookies

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  1. There are so many distracting ads that I could tell the post from the ads. Do you even read your post to see that? And are your posts old ones? You have so much repetitive posts. I find your blog so difficult to read

    1. Donna,
      The format of this post is a round-up where I am linking to older cookie posts. So yes, it is old content. I blog seven days a week and during the holidays I do share some of my previous posts because the content is worth re-sharing. The ads are unfortunately part of blogging as they are one of the few ways that afford me the ability to do this full-time. I am doing the best I can and most people love my blog. I am sorry you are unhappy.

      1. I’m sorry but I totally agree. I’m a retired editor and it’s so distracting that I can’t even follow it. Please try to be objective and take a good look at the content. Way too much advertising.

        1. I’m very sorry to hear that it’s distracting for you Kelly- right now we can’t do much about it since it’s free content but hopefully in the future it can improve. I hope you continue to read despite the ads 🤗❤️

  2. Leslie, I love your blog, but today I have to agree with Donna. It was difficult to read. I think there were too many links to product between the text that made it confusing. Most bloggers save all of their picture links for the very end, so I am going to have to go back and see if I can find the end of the post. It seemed to just stop? Maybe I’m supposed to go to one of the older blog posts for the rest of the information I was looking for?

    1. Yes, this is a round-up post of all of my Christmas sugar recipes. You can tap on any of the links for recipes and specifics. Sorry if it was confusing.

  3. Leslie, I thought your blog today read like normal, My fav Christmas cookies was featured and the ads telling us where to buy items used in demo was quite helpful. I love the ornament cookie cutters which I have never seen before. We sold our house in Anaheim and now living in Texas, what an adventure it has been.

  4. I have admired your unique Christmas tree cookie cutter for several season. Are they still available anywhere?
    I feel ALL blogs have lots of advertising
    these days! Life’s too short to whine about them.

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