I remember growing up and my mom would always have a Poinsettia plant (or two) in the house at Christmas time. I love going to the floral shops and looking at all of the different shades of Poinsettias, especially the ones that shimmer! So, these Poinsettia Christmas cookies are a little piece of nostalgia for me.
Let’s get right into the tutorial. I start with sugar cookies that are about 4 inches in diameter. (See cookie recipe below.) Once they have cooled down, mix up red, green and yellow frosting using your favorite food coloring. I then used Wilton tips #366 (large leaf tip) and #3 (small circle).
Tip: Keep it simple and use a circle cookie cutter. Don’t have one handy? Use a glass!
Using the large leaf tip and the red frosting, pipe 5 leaves in a star shape. Make sure to bring the petals all the way to the edge of the cookie.
Tip: Release pressure on the piping bag before you get to the end, then pull away from the cookie to achieve the pointed end.
Once you have all five petals piped, start the next layer, alternating between the petals on the first layer. This will create a ‘dome’ in the middle, that’s okay! Now add the yellow dots for the yellow stamen. Once you are finished, go back and add the green leaves to the flower. You can add these wherever there is empty space. I prefer to have an odd number of leaves, but feel free to add as many as you’d like.
These Christmas cookies are sure to leave your family and friends thoroughly impressed! They might look too pretty to eat, but if you use my favorite Christmas cookie recipes below, you will want two! For more cookie decorating ideas, see our instructions for Snow Globe Cookies and Snowflake Cookies.
Sugar Cookie Recipe (from Sweetopia.net)
Yield – Makes about 30-35 cookies, but it will also depend on the size of the cookie cutter and how thick you make your cookies.
2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder (*take this out if you don’t want your cookies to spread)
1 tsp salt
1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Over-mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
2. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
3. Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Add to mixing bowl. Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
4. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder and salt).
5. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready. It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
6. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
7. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
8. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
9. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
11. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!
1 cup shortening
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 Tbs milk
Pinch of salt
1. Cream shortening until fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and milk; blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional milk if necessary (up to 2 tablespoons). Beat until frosting is fluffy.
Enjoy and happy baking!