Boughs of holly aren’t just for decking halls―they’re cute on cookies, too. For a wintry wreath, edge a round sugar cookie with white icing, then sprinkle with India Tree’s red and green Boughs of Holly Decoratifs, shaking off the excess. For detailed accents on gingerbread houses and sugar cookie trees, use tweezers to set individual “leaves” and “berries” in place.
Add some fashion flair to your gingerbread men and women. The one-inch King Arthur Flour Mitten Sugar Decorations, which come in a package of 12, are almost too cute to eat. Almost. Also, check out the delightful Ornament Sugar Decorations.
Add razzmatazz to cookies with coarse colored sugars. Free of artificial dyes, Nature’s Colors Decorating Sugars by India Tree get their vivid hues―think spring green, periwinkle blue, and raspberry red―from natural sources like paprika, turmeric, and vegetable juice. Tip: Before sprinkling the sugar, brush your dough with a wash of egg whites to help the granules stick and to add extra shine.
Confectioners’ sugar and water make serviceable icing, but for truly impressive results, try this King Arthur Flour White Icing Mix. Put it in a piping bag to outline a Santa or a reindeer (it also works as gingerbread house “glue”). The professional-grade product gives cookies the smooth, glossy glaze that makes gourmet shop treats so special.
Children may sing of dreidels made of clay, but gingerbread ones will be mighty welcome. This Crate & Barrel 3-Piece Hanukkah Set includes cutters in the shape of the Star of David, a menorah, and a dreidel. Serve the cookies unadorned, or fancy them up with white icing and glittery blue and white sanding sugars.
For the most intense icing colors, skip the supermarket food coloring and try gel paste Ateco Spectrum Food Colors. They’re highly concentrated, so just a drop or two goes a long way to create saturated colors. The set includes six basic colors in easy-to-squeeze bottles.
A step above jerry-rigged icing bags made from sawed-off sandwich bags, these sturdy Wilton Disposable Decorating Bags let you embellish cookies with enviable precision. And with 12 to a pack, there are enough for a rainbow of colors. For fancy icing, add a metal tip to the bag. Use a no. 2, the best all-around size for cookies.