Don't fancy yourself as a fancy cookie maker? Check out these Easy Decorated Christmas Cookies, they're one-bowl, no-mixer and simply delish!
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove cookies from refrigerator and bake for 12-16 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Rotate pans halfway through for even browning. Cool completely before icing.
Combine powdered sugar, half and half and ¼ teaspoon peppermint (or other flavored) extract in a medium-size bowl. Mix until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable. Add a little more half and half if too thick. Taste the glaze and add more peppermint extract, if needed (see the note above in the post).
Dip the tip of a small knife into the blue food coloring and swirl some of it into the icing. Stir well and add more food color until desired shade of blue is achieved. Transfer the glaze to a shallow bowl.
Holding onto the edges of a cookie, dip the top surface into the glaze, being sure all of the surfaces touch the glaze. Pull cookie up and out of the glaze. Allow excess glaze to drip back into a separate bowl.
When the glaze stops dripping, quickly flip the cookie right side up and give it a gentle jiggle to allow the glaze to flow evenly over the surface. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow glaze to dry for 15-30 minutes.
Place butter in a medium-size bowl and stir until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1½ tablespoons of half and half and the mint extract and stir vigorously until smooth, adding a bit more half and half, if needed to achieve a fairly thick but spoonable consistency.
Place buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a small round icing tip (I used a Wilton #3 round tip). Starting at the upper edge of one cookie, pipe the Christmas trees by making increasingly wider lines, stopping about ¼-inch above the lower edge of the cookie (see pictures in the post). Immediately sprinkle trees with a few more white nonpareils. Set aside to dry.
See Café Tips above for lots of extra tips and instructions.
Half and half is an American convenience product often used in coffee as a creamer. If half and half is not available where you live, you can use a combination of half milk and half cream, just milk or just cream.
The recipe makes 16 large (3-inch) or two dozen smaller (2-inch) cookies.
Once cookies have been dried for 4-5 hours or overnight, they can be stacked in an airtight container.