Holiday Cutout Cookies and Royal Icing

Here’s an easy cookie recipe to get everyone in the holiday spirit.  Whether you are making them in the shape of Christmas trees, Hanukkah dreidels, Solstice stars, Kwanzaa candles, or all of the above, time with family or friends making and decorating festive cookies is a great holiday project that is fun for people of all ages!

I had a request to come up with an alternative cut out cookie and so these were my project last night.  I was surprised at how workable the dough was and how sturdy the cookies.  It’s easy to roll out and cut, then once you’ve cut out the shapes, you can put it in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to firm up a bit and you should have no problem transferring the cut cookies onto a baking sheet.

Of course, as soon as my kids saw cutout cookies, they tasted them, declared them yummy, then asked for icing to go on top.  Since coconut butter is my go-to for easy frosting, I just spooned out a bit of that and sweetened it very lightly with the powdered coconut sugar left in the blender from the cookies.  It came out with a beautiful sheen, nice and spreadable when warm, then firm and shiny when cool, just like royal icing.  It’s really best for spreading on the cookies, but we did pipe some onto some stars and gingerbread men and that worked for simple designs (sorry, no frosting roses:).  It stays firm at about 70 degrees and below, which most houses and offices are.  Be sure not to store the frosted cookies too near a heat source!  Other options are to decorate with a dusting of cinnamon-coconut sugar, dried fruit pieces, chocolate chips, or if you really want to get crazy, the colored decorating sugar from Whole Foods.

For the Cookies:

  • 2/3 cups coconut oil, softened
  • 2/3 cups coconut sugar, powdered
  • 2 Tablespoon of ground flax
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½-2 cups flour (I used sprouted buckwheat, but a combo of amaranth and quinoa would be great, or any gf mix you love!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Measure the coconut oil, then soften it by placing the measuring cup in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Measure the coconut sugar and process in a blender to powder it.  Set aside.
  3.  In a small bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a larger mixing bowl, cream together the softened coconut oil and powdered coconut sugar.
  5. Mix in the flax, water, and vanilla.
  6. Add the flour mixture about a third at a time and mix until incorporated.  Add additional flour if needed until you have a smooth dough that you can knead lightly with your hands without sticking.
  7. Divide the dough in 2 and roll each half out between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper or on a silicone mat to about ¼ inch thick.
  8. Place into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or so.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Lightly oil 3-4 cookie sheets.
  11.  When the rolled dough has firmed up a bit, cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes and place on prepared trays.
  12. Bake for 6-9 minutes, or until just lightly browned on the edges.
  13. Allow to firm up for a few minutes on the pan before removing them to a cooling rack.
  14.  Decorate as you wish and enjoy!

For the icing:

  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered coconut sugar, or more to taste
  1. Measure the coconut butter into a glass measuring cup.
  2. Place measuring cup in a pot of warm water and stir until it’s creamy and spreadable.
  3. Stir in coconut sugar and remove from heat.
  4. Spread or pipe as desired.
  5. Enjoy!
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