Ugly Christmas sweaters used to be the curse of the holiday season. Yet, the tacky, colourful jumpers have somehow become the hottest holiday fashion statement. Holiday parties are planned around who can wear the most hideous sweater, and it’s always surprising to see who can find the most ironic and hilarious cardigan.
Meet the coolest holiday cookies around, wearing … you guessed it: ugly Christmas sweaters. Sure, you can always make gingerbread men, but we love how cute these iconic Canadian animals look dressed up for the season. You’ll have as much fun designing them as you do wearing them. Bring these to your next ugly sweater party and put everyone in a festive mood.
Chill time: 1 hour. Cooling time: 30 minutes. Drying time: 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses, vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
Gradually add in dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Divide the dough into 2 portions. Wrap them in plastic and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Remove 1 dough portion from refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface into a ¼-inch thick sheet. Dust rolling pin and surface of the dough with flour to avoid sticking.
Using desired cookie cutters, cut various shapes out of the dough and place them on prepared baking sheets about 1 ½ inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough portion.
Bake cookies until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely before decorating, about 30 min.
To make royal icing, whisk egg whites with lemon juice. Gradually add in icing sugar and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be thick enough that when you pull the whisk out of the mixture, the ribbon that runs off stays visible on the surface for a few seconds. You can add more icing sugar to achieve a thicker consistency or conversely, add small amounts of water to thin.
Divide the royal icing into 3 separate bowls. Dip the tip of a paring knife into red food gel and add colour to one bowl of icing and stir. Continue to add more gel until desired colour forms. Repeat with green food gel and one of the remaining bowls of royal icing. Leave remaining icing white. Transfer various icing colours to small piping bags. Pipe ugly sweaters onto your cookies using various colours, patterns, sprinkles and sanding sugar. Let dry for minimum 1 hour before serving.