Ugly Sweater Gingerbread CookiesDecember 11, 2017 By Cathy — 34 Comments
Ugly sweaters have become as synonymous with Christmas as mistletoe and stockings. But it’s even more fun to eat them (in gingerbread form) than wear them!
This is the beginning of an all-cookie week for me. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I actually got the party started on Saturday with some holiday snowflake cookies, then posted a sneak peak of my kitchen sink cookies yesterday that will debut here later in the week (and trust me, you aren’t going to want to miss those).
But the real highlight is today, with a virtual cookie exchange organized by my friend Lynn (the consummate hostess) at The Road to Honey. While I was drooling at the possibility of a real cookie swap, all the gorgeousness crafted by my fellow food bloggers has (almost) satisfied my cravings (and I’m pretty sure brandy-spiked Mexican hot chocolate doesn’t ship well). Needless to say, I’ll be spending the rest of the week in the kitchen trying my hand at these delicious bites (and sips).
Okay, so I’ve gotten ahead of myself, because first I need to introduce you to my contribution to the cookie exchange madness…the ugly sweater cookie. The ugly sweater gingerbread cookie to be exact. It’s a firm, but not overly crisp, well-spiced gingerbread cookie, cut into sweater shapes, and decorated as minimally or over-the-top as your tacky holiday taste permits. Mine runs the gamut of bright colors, holiday shapes, cheesy vests and lumpy cardigans. The possibilities are infinite…snowflakes, a string of lights, candy canes and snowmen. They’re pure silliness and a great opportunity to hone those piping skills since imperfection is welcome.
So even if you’re a costume/theme party scrooge (like me), you can still get in on the ugly sweater fun with these cookies. But the cookie fun does not stop here my friends (said in my best 90’s infomercial announcer voice). Nope, because if you hightail to my IG or FB pages, you’ll receive a new cookie photo a day all week for the low, low price of five seconds of your time. Pretty good deal if you ask me.
I hope you’ll join in the cookie fun by checking out these fabulous recipes below, or maybe piping your own ugly sweater cookie, or sharing your favorite cookie recipe in the comments. Now, get out of here…we’ve got baking to do!
The Sweet Nerd – Gingerbread Cookies – All Spruced Up
Girl Heart Food – Orange Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
The Beach House Kitchen- Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
Beyond Mere Sustenance – Brandy-Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
Seasons & Suppers – Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Ciao Chow Bambina – Lemon Drop Italian Cookies
Contemplating Sweets – Hedgehog Cookies
The Busy Spatula – S’mores Cookies
Salt & Lavender – Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Bars
Meg Is Well – Bradshaw Cookies: A Sour Cream Cookie with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 12 oz unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 pound confectioners sugar - SIFTED
- ¼ cup meringue powder
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp clear vanilla
- Red gel food coloring
Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.
In another bowl, cream the the butter and sugars together with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 mins.
Add the egg and molasses and mix until well blended.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined.
Divide the dough into two balls and wrap them in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper and cut out cookies using a 3 inch sweater cookie cutters. Gather and re-roll the scraps for remaining cookies.
Place the cookies on baking trays lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for about 10 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are set, about 10-12 minutes (depending on the shape/size of the cookie). Cool on wire racks before icing.
Combine confectioners sugar, meringue powder and cream of tarter in large mixing bowl. Add water and clear vanilla and beat on high speed with paddle attachment until stiff peaks form, but the mixture is not dry. Add water to reach desired piping consistency (tsp or two at a time), mixing after each addition of water.
Separate the icing into bowls (for flood and piping) and add drops of colored gel food coloring to the bowls to reach the desired color, but keep in mind the color will deepen and darken as the icing dries. Be sure to keep icing covered so it doesn't dry out.
Fill piping bags fitted with round metal #2 tips and flood the cookies.
Let completed cookies dry for several hours before piping ugly sweater designs and decorations. Store the cookies in an air-tight container. They will keep for several days stored at room temperature.
Special equipment: 3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter