A Christmas Cookie Recipe and Reflection

December 15, 2023
tricia yoder
Tricia Yoder

This may sound a little odd, but I have always secretly (or at times not so secretly) admired decorated Christmas cut-out cookies.  Not the kind you buy at the store in bulk, but the homemade kind that someone took the time to uniquely and intricately craft.  Each cookie looks so festive and inviting!  For some, the invitation is to bite right in. But for me, the invitation is to look at it and soak in the art of the creation. 

For years I have had a desire to learn to decorate professional-looking Christmas cookies, yet I’ve never watched a YouTube tutorial or taken a class– until now. A friend (who does an AMAZING job with her cookies) is teaching me how to do it!  My feelings range from excitement to, honestly, a little bit of fear.  What if my cookies turn out subpar, less than what I think they should be? What if I don’t live up to the aspiration of a competent Christmas cookie decorator? Does anyone else out there struggle with cookie perfectionism?!

Wherever you are, I pray that you will take time to reach out to Jesus and share your disappointments, desires, and gratitude for all He has done and all He will do.

As I reflect on the tension between my expectations and the reality of how my cookies will turn out, I think of my life with Jesus.  There are times I have expectations of what I think Jesus “should do.” Sometimes these expectations are not even realized until after something I expected did not happen. Or sometimes when an unexpected hardship comes, my soul cries out, “It was not supposed to be this way!”  Then there are other times when “more than what I could even ask or imagine happens” (Ephesians 3:20). Jesus is there, always there.  His love comes in the form of a friend or a stranger, or in a still, small voice when we take the time to listen.

What are you anticipating during this Advent season?  Is your soul tired? Have you lost the desire to hope because you worry you will be let down again? Or does your soul feel filled beyond what you can express? Or perhaps you are somewhere in between.  Wherever you are, I pray that you will take time to reach out to Jesus and share your disappointments, desires, and gratitude for all He has done and all He will do.  Isaiah 9:6 tells us that Jesus is our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

As for my cookies, I found out it is a two-step process. First, you flood the cookie with royal icing, and then you decorate with buttercream.  I am not sure how they will turn out, but my husband assures me that he will eat them… no matter what!

I will leave you with the recipe if you’d like to try your own hand at cookie baking and decorating. Best of luck– but remember, they don’t have to be perfect!

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

1/2 cup soft shortening (half butter)

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp. milk (or cream)

1 tsp. flavoring (vanilla or lemon or a combination of the two)

1 and 1/4 cups sifted Gold Metal flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder (or 1 tsp. cream of tartar with 1/2 tsp. baking soda)

1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Mix shortening, sugar, and egg together thoroughly.
  2. Stir in milk and flavoring.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together and stir in.
  4. Chill dough. Roll very thin. Cut into desired shapes. Place on lightly greased baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until delicately browned.

Tips for rolling dough:

  1. To prevent sticking, slip a canvas cover over board, and stockinet over rolling pin. Rub flour into the covers.
  2. Roll lightly, small amount of dough at a time, keeping the rest chilled. Roll very thin for crisp cookies.
  3. Cut as many cookies from each rolling as possible. Dip cookie cutter in flour, then shake it and cut.

Oven temperature: 425 degrees

Baking time: 5-7 minutes

Amount: Makes about 5 dozen 2.5-inch cookies

Frosting: To make things simple, I just purchase a can of royal icing from the store! Flood the cookies with this, and then decorate with buttercream frosting (click here for easy recipe, or this is also available at the store).


About The Author

tricia yoder
Tricia Yoder

Tricia is Browncroft’s Discipleship and Serve Director. She loves watching the ministry volunteer teams serve our congregation and community as ambassadors of God’s love.

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