These are the Cutest Christmas Lights Cookies and they’re so easy to make! I have all the step-by-step photos and a great video to show you how to make them with royal icing and mini M&M’s. You’ll impress all of your friends, teachers at school, your kids… everybody, with these pretty and fun cookies!
These Christmas Lights Cookies have been floating around the internet for a few years and I’m so excited to be sharing my version with you! They’re just so stinkin’ cute and fun!
The best part for me is… no major cookie decorating skills are required. I consider myself to be a mediocre cookie decorator at best (cakes are my thing!), so I’m all-in for any cookie decorating that is for beginners but still impressive!
These cookies are perfect for that!
What’s the best Sugar Cookie Recipe?
Well, that’s up for debate, but you can truly use any recipe that you like for these cookies. I prefer a no-spread recipe so that the cookies aren’t too puffy. That makes them much easier to decorate with royal icing.
So if you want my recommendation, go with either this roll-out cookie dough recipe (my all-time favorite, go-to recipe), or go with this one I’m about to share.
The upside to this new recipe that my friend Heather shared with me is that you don’t have to chill them before baking. And they still don’t spread!
Here are the ingredients for my newest sugar cookie recipe:
Scroll down below to find the full recipe.
Now, let’s talk Royal Icing.
Small-Batch Royal Icing
Royal icing is not the easiest medium to work with (in my opinion) but for these cookies, you don’t have to have master skills! Also, we’re going to make only a small batch so you won’t have tons of it leftover.
The key with royal icing is consistency. You’ll want to add the water one tablespoon at a time until you get it right – so that it comes off the spoon in ribbons. If it’s too stiff, it won’t spread out and be smooth. If it’s too runny, it’ll run right off the cookie.
Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to get it right, but for these cookies, perfection is not necessary! Just have fun and make cute cookies!
Alrighty… let’s get started!
How to Make Christmas Lights Cookies
Start by lining two cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheating your oven to 350°F. See my favorite cookie sheets here.
Add the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
Sift in the flour and baking powder about one cup at a time.
Mix together until fully combined then bring the mixture together with your hands.
Lightly flour a work surface, turn out the dough and knead it briefly until it’s smooth.
Split the dough in half. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll both halves of dough out to a thickness of ⅜ inch.
Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Arrange the cookies between two cookie sheets.
Bake for around 8 minutes or until the edges are a very pale golden color, being careful not to over bake.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the royal icing.
To make the royal icing, add the powdered sugar and meringue powder to a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix. Continue to add water a tablespoon at a time until the icing runs off the beater in ribbons.
Transfer the icing to a piping bag then snip the end off to make a small opening. Pipe the icing on top of the cooled cookies, then use a toothpick to even out the icing.
Decorating the Christmas Lights Cookies
When dry, use the black writing icing to pipe two lines onto the cookies for the light’s string. Add mini M&M’s on either side of each line for the lights.
Allow the icing to completely dry, then enjoy!
You can use regular M&M’s or mini M&M’s for these cookies. You can see that I also had some Easter M&M’s on hand and made some pastels. Mix and match them however you like!
These Christmas Lights Cookies are SO much fun and so festive for the holidays! And they’re tasty so kids and adults alike can enjoy them!
Get the printable below and make some cookies!
These easy sugar cookies keep their shape and don’t require any chilling. They are then decorated with icing and M&M’s to make strands of Christmas lights!
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, cubed while cold
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
For Royal Icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons meringue powder
- 4–5 tablespoons water
- M&M’s or M&M’s Minis
- Black Icing Writer (or black gel food color to add to Royal Icing)
FOR THE COOKIES:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until completely incorporated.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder one cup at a time.
- Split the dough in half. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll both halves of dough out on a prepared surface to a thickness of ⅜ inch. No need to chill the dough. The cookies will bake better if the dough is at room temperature.
- Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Arrange the cookies between two cookie sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are a very pale golden color. Do not over bake.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the royal icing.
FOR THE ICING:
- Add the powdered sugar and meringue powder to a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix.
- Continue to add water a tablespoon at a time until the icing runs off the beater in ribbons.
- Transfer the icing to a piping bag then snip the end off to make a small opening. Pipe the icing on top of the cooled cookies, then use a toothpick to even out the icing. When dry, use the black writing icing to pipe two lines onto the cookies for the light’s string, add mini M&M’s on either side of each line for the lights.
- Depending on the size of your cookie cutters, this recipe will yield 2-4 dozen cookies.
- These cookies will not spread during baking therefore you do not have to have a lot of space between them when baking.
- To test if the royal icing is at the right consistency, pick up some of the icing from the bowl with a spoon and drizzle it back into the bowl. It should take about 5 seconds to settle flat. If it stays in a mound add a little more water.
- To ice the cookies, it is easier with a piping bag, however, if you don’t have one you can dunk the cookies into the icing or use a spoon to carefully drizzle the icing on top.
- Storage: store in an airtight container at room temperature. The cookies will keep for several days.
Keywords: Christmas Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Royal Icing, M&M’s, Decorated Cookies