It’s the holiday season and time to nibble on sweet treats like these cute little wholegrain sugar cookies. Not only are they delicious but decorating them is a great holiday activity for the family! Although this is the time of year for sweets, be mindful when you’re eating them. Enjoyable as they are, a little goes a long way!
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. With an electric or standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and continue to beat until well blended. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture just until combined.
3. Form the mixture into a dough, then divide and shape into two discs for easier handling. Cover with plastic wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
4. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Return to the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Cut the dough using desired cookie cutters. Transfer back to the lined baking sheets and chill in the freezer until very firm, about 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until the edges are lightly golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
8. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer on low, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, water and meringue powder until smooth, about 5 to 7 minutes.
9. Divide the icing into separate bowls if using multiple colors. Add the food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired shade. Pour the icing into pastry bags or into resealable plastic bags with a corner snipped off. Once cookies are completely cooled, decorate with icing.
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (see Ann’s Tips)
- ⅓ cup water, plus more if needed
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- Gel food coloring
Ann's Tips and Tricks
The icing recipe is a perfect quantity if you are going to divide it up to make several colors, but if you are just going to use one color to ice your cookies, try making half the recipe.
If you don’t have confectioners’ sugar on hand, it’s easy to make from regular granulated sugar. Just whiz an equivalent amount of regular sugar in a food processor or coffee grinder until it turns to powder.
Eat all sweet, sugary treats in moderation. A little bit of sweetness can make you feel good, but don’t overdo it! High calorie desserts are best as an occasional treat, never a habit.