They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. Today, Seton Rossini shares festive cookies for the holiday season from her cookbook Sweet Envy: Deceptively Easy Desserts, Designed to Steal the Show.
Edible sugar cookie gift tags. (Photo: Seton Rossini)
Makes 18 tags
If the gift you’re giving isn’t edible, then at least the tag should be. (The giftee won’t even care what’s in the box once she tastes the gift tag.) To make them, simply decorate a classic sugar cookie with royal icing and a few sprinkles. A punched hole and a decorative ribbon turn them into gift tags. They could also double as place cards or Christmas ornaments, just make sure to hang them high enough so your four-legged friends don’t eat them all.
Sugar Cookie Dough (see recipe below)
Gift Tag Template
Royal Icing (see recipe below)
Assorted sprinkles and crushed candy canes
Small, flat cellophane gift bags (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, or lemon extract
Gel food coloring
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until incorporated.
Beat in the milk, then add the flour mixture. Mix until dough just comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours,
or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a liner or parchment paper and cut out the gift tag templates.
Roll out the chilled dough on a floured work surface to about ¹⁄8-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut around the template, and carefully place the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Gather and re-roll scraps to make more cookies. Use a straw to punch a hole in the top of each tag.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Let cool.
Combine the sugar, meringue powder, water and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until icing is shiny and soft peaks form.
The consistency is right when you remove the whisk attachment and the peaks falls onto themselves. If icing is too thick, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. If it’s too runny, add more confectioners’ sugar.
Depending on how many colors you want, divide the icing evenly into small bowls and color with food coloring. Once colored, scoop icing into piping bag fitted with a size 3 tip.
Use a small offset spatula to spread royal icing on the top one-third of the cookie, then cover with sprinkles or crushed candy canes.
To personalize, pipe a name or message in royal icing and set aside to harden.
Once dry, carefully loop a ribbon through the hole and tie the tag to a wrapped gift. If your gift will be handled a lot, place the cookie in a flat cellophane gift bag before attaching.
Reprinted with permission from Sweet Envy: Deceptively Easy Desserts, Designed to Steal the Show