Baking homemade goods has quickly turned into a Christmas tradition when I attempted to make Anthony gingerbread cookies last year. This year I tackled making sugar cookies with the help of my mother-in-law where we made use of her drool-worthy kitchen and complete baking equipment. We baked the cookies first using this Martha Stewart recipe, which came out perfectly: crisp with golden edges. I used four different cookie cutters that are fun but easy to decorate. The royal icing was a bit tricky because we were looking for the correct consistency that is ideal of outline and flooding (the texture should resemble toothpaste). This was my first time making these so icing the cookies took a couple of failed attempts but got the hang of it after a couple of tries. My secret is to do it slowly, concentrate and not breathe!
The whole process took about 3-4 hours starting from the dough, chilling it and making different colored royal icing. It was labor intensive but we made a fun event out of it where the Nicolet clan gathered together, played music, poured some drinks and had an impromptu dinner afterwards where we sampled the finished sugar cookies for dessert. We were high on sugar at the end of dinner.
P.S.: I recommend breaking the process of making the dough first and chilling it overnight then bake the cookies and make the royal icing the next day.