I had THE MOST FUN making these cookies. There's a lot less pressure to make cookies that are supposed to look ugly.
These are easy-peasy, can't-mess-them-up, no-wrong-way-to-make-them, uses-a-shortcut Ugly Christmas Sweater cookies.
(Wow. That was a lot of hyphens.)
First, you'll need some pre-made icing decor. Find these at Target, WalMart, Michaels, etc. etc. There are so many to choose from!
Make up your favorite cut-out cookies. I used the vanilla almond cut-outs that I make for almost everything.
You'll also need royal icing. Make, divide, and tint.
Oh, don't forget the sprinkles. Non-pareils, gingerbread men, sugar pearls...whatever you have on hand.
Make the cookies, outline, and flood with thinned icing. To make thinned icing, add water a bit at a time, stirring gently with a silicone spatula. Thin until a ribbon of icing dropped back on itself disappears in a count of "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two." A little thicker is fine, but don't go thinner.
I like to pour this icing into squeeze bottles. Use a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.
Drop on color on top of another to make the dots and lines.
These heart sleeves were made by dropping dots of icing, then running a toothpick down the center.
These reindeer were the simplest to make, but I think they're my favorite.
I'm kind of crazy about these gingerbread elbow patches.
PS: I would totally wear a sweater with gingerbread elbow patches. Is that so wrong?
This one just has some stripes and added sugar pearls.
Add trim by using piping consistency icing and a small star tip.
A note on adding large pre-made icing doodads...let the icing rest a bit before placing the add-on. Sometimes a large air bubble can get trapped underneath if you place it on wet icing immediately.
Ugly Christmas sweater cookies, you look pretty cute to me!