I have long been a fan of Sweetopia's beautiful iced cookies, and I recently decided to give them a try in the form of Christmas cookies since I got a huge tub of wilton christmas cookie cutters on Black Friday.
Making cookies with royal icing was a bit of a time consuming process, and overall ended up spanning three days. None of the individual steps were too hard, but there were a lot of steps to do/prepare, so I used a lot of the tips and advice on Sweetopia's website. These are the ones I thought were most useful.
I started by picking out the cookie cutters I would need, and decided what colors I wanted to use to decorate them. I ended up making eight colors of icing, and in the future I'd probably try and limit it to 4 or 5 because of lack of equipment.
Traditional Christmas colors
All the other colors. The pink is supposed to be burgandy, and I would have liked a slightly darker brown.
I used wilton gel colors. You can't use regular food coloring because the liquid changes the consistency of the icing.
Before I made my cookies, I made a batch of icing. It was pretty challenging to get the right consistency, and I'm convinced it could have been better, because my white and yellow were a bit runny while red and green were a bit too thick. It was recommended to make and color the icing a day in advance because the colors darken with time, but I didn't see much change. I probably will skip the waiting there in the future.
I decided that I wanted a soft, fluffy cookie instead of a denser standard sugar cookie, so I used a soft sugar cookie recipe from Annie's Eats. Some of my cookies spread a bit too much, and I found out afterword that leaving out the baking powder helps prevent spreading, so I'll definitely try that next time. I also wasn't very consistent with the thickness of my cookies so some of them got a bit to crisp in the oven.
Practiced some piping on parchment paper first to get the hang of it.
The first round of icing just filled in the cookie.
My white icing was a bit too runny so some of my snowflakes and snowmen had drips falling down the sides.
I used two colors of icing here and a toothpick to make a really cool marbling effect, and these were some of my favorite cookies.
After the cookies dried, I added all of the details to the gingerbread men, candy canes, and snowmen.
I didn't give my little snowmen any noses because I didn't want to make up orange icing for such a small detail.
After I got done icing all my cookies, I still had plenty of icing left, so I decided to make an icing floodout, which is icing piped straight onto parchment paper instead of a cookie. I copied the general shape of the snowman from sweetopia's floodout tutorial. I thought he turned out really cute, but he was very fragile and broke into four pieces after it dried completely.
So that was my christmas cookie experiment, and I definitely think I'm going to make more cookies!