These Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies are actually adorable and a fun, unique addition to your holiday festivities! Made with a buttery vanilla and anise-infused spiced cookie dough.

How fun are ugly Christmas sweaters? I love them all—from the feline-furnished ‘Meowy Christmas’ ones to the 3D and light-up varieties.

I never thought of making them into a cookie, though. That is until 3 years ago when the Mayor of Portland asked me to make cookies for the annual #UglySweaterPDX campaign. Each year around the holidays, the statues and art around downtown Portland get adorned in ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s as fun as it sounds, and it supports a good cause. See:

ugly sweater christmas cookiesPhoto Credit: Regional Arts & Culture Council

And make Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies I did! But I’ve only made them once, and I haven’t made them since then. So I think it’s about time they make a comeback.

The annual Cookies with Rodelle is the perfect opportunity for them to make an appearance!

I’m creating delicious holiday cookies alongside 21 other amazing food bloggers to bring you Cookies with Rodelle. I’m a very, very proud Rodelle ambassador. I do not get paid to be an ambassador and I do not get paid to say this (I do receive product), but I trust their vanilla more than any other. I’ve used it throughout most of my culinary career, and I can say without doubt that it’s the purest and most delicious vanilla out there. It truly makes a difference in your holiday baking. (And, bonus: you can order it on Amazon!)

Be sure to check out all of the other amazing recipes for Cookies with Rodelle. It’s a perfect way to get some festive inspiration. It’s just starting, but it will go throughout December, with a new holiday cookie recipe nearly everyday.

Including, of course, these Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies.

Instead of using a regular vanilla or chocolate dough, I decided to make a buttery, spiced cookie dough infused with vanilla and anise. It’s spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice, and heightened with molasses-y brown sugar, anise, and pure vanilla. It’s Christmas, in cookie form.

It also holds its shape perfectly and rolls out nicely. It’s a lovely roll-out dough for any of your favorite Christmas cut-out cookies, even if they’re not in the unsightly knitwear variety.

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

I have to admit that I haven’t used a recipe for royal icing in ten years. I’ve made so many frosted cookies in my life (my first real Pastry job was just making these cookies…hundreds a day!) that I could probably make royal icing in my sleep. However, I will add a loose recipe below, but please know: royal icing is nothing to be afraid of. I’ve made it the same way in every single one of my jobs: powdered sugar and pasteurized eggs. That’s it. No meringue powders, nothing fancy. Sometimes I’ll add in lemon juice or vanilla if I’m feelin’ crazy.

Beat the icing until stiff peaks form and the icing is a crisp, bright white. This stiff icing is used for decorating, fine details, and outlining. To make the flooding icing, simply add water (teaspoon by teaspoon) until flowing consistency, but not too thin.

Then decorate, decorate, decorate. That’s the best part. One of my top 5 favorite things in this world is to decorate cookies. (To get super specific, it would be to decorate Christmas cookies while drinking wine and having Elf on in the background.) I almost always try to host a Gingerbread Decorating and Wine Drinking Party every year. Yes, that’s the correct, proper name.

As far as these cookies go, get creative with it! Take inspiration from your ugliest of ugly sweaters. Turn it into a party. Decorate Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies while wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. (!!)

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

I hope you enjoy these Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies! Click the button below to check out over 20 holiday cookie recipes from Cookies with Rodelle! The recipes will be updated throughout December, so check back for tons of tasty inspiration.

rodelle

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Vanilla Spice Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies are actually adorable and a fun, unique addition to your holiday festivities! Made with a buttery vanilla and anise-infused spiced cookie dough.
Author:
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 20-24
Ingredients
For the Cookie Dough:
  • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon anise extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Royal Icing:
  • 3 pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • Gel food coloring
Instructions
Make the Cookie Dough:
  1. Using the paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter with both the white and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and all of the spices. Set aside.
  3. Add the egg and both the extracts to the mixer. Mix until combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add in your flour/spice mixture in a few additions, beating until just combined and being careful not to over-mix. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl in between additions.
  5. Form the dough into two square disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.
Roll Out the Dough:
  1. Let the chilled dough sit out at room temperature for a bit. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to your desired thickness (usually about ¼" to ½"). Cut out your cookies using a cutter. (If you don't have a sweater cutter, see notes below.*)
  2. Place your cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheets** and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 17-18 minutes. Let cool.
Make the Icing:
  1. With a paddle attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar in additions until all of the sugar is added and the mixture is combined. Beat the royal icing on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the icing is a bright, crisp white, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Transfer the icing into individual bowls to color using gel food coloring. Make sure whatever icing you are not working with is covered with plastic wrap (placed directly on top of the icing, touching), as stiff royal icing dries very, very quickly. Transfer the icing into piping bags.
  3. To thin the icing to make "flooding" icing, add water to the stiff icing, teaspoon by teaspoon, and stir until you have a nice consistency. The icing should not be too thin, but it should flow easily.
  4. See the notes for more decorating tips.
Notes
*If you don't have a sweater cookie cutter, simply made a 'stencil' and cut the cookie out free-hand. Draw a sweater shape on a piece of cardboard (a clean pizza box works) and cut it out. Place the cardboard on the cookie dough and trace around it with a sharp knife. All of your cookies will be exactly the same shape and uniform.
**If your dough softens too much while handling it, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking so it keeps its shape.
Decorating tips: I like to outline my cookies with stiff icing before flooding the cookie. This is not necessary, but it ensures that the icing does not pour over the edges and keeps the look clean.
I love to put my flooding icing in small squeeze bottles when decorating the cookies. This makes flooding cookies a breeze, and squeeze bottles are much easier to refill than piping bags.
When flooding cookies, bring the icing just to the edge but not quite there. You can use a toothpick to 'push' the icing to the edges, without it spilling over.
Keep a toothpick handy for several uses. Pop air bubbles that form in the flooded cookies (as soon as you see them and before it starts to dry!). You can also use the toothpick to prick and clear holes of pastry tips or squeeze bottles where icing has started to dry.
For decorating, I use a 2 or 3 tip for most detailing and a small star tip for the wreath or tree to give it a more, well, "tree" look!
 

Here are some things you may need or want for this recipe:

This post includes affiliate links which just means that P+P receives a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you. These links are always only products that I highly recommend. Thank you for supporting P+P!

 

ugly christmas sweater cookies

{ ^ Click to Pin It! ^ }

still-hungry

 

Thank you for stopping by! Please stay in touch. If you'd like, connect with P+P on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and e-mail. And, remember: you are worthy, and you deserve chocolate.