Ugly Christmas sweaters were once the curse of the holiday. Somehow, through irony and sheer laughs they became cool. Holiday parties are based purely on who can wear the most hideous sweater, and it’s fairly surprising how ugly they can actually be. Introducing the coolest holiday cookies, wearing… you guessed it: ugly Christmas sweaters. You will have as much fun decorating them as you do wearing them. Bring these to your next ugly sweater party and put everyone in a very apropos festive mood.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. 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. Pour in molasses, vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
Gradually add in dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Divide the dough into two portions. Wrap them in plastic and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Remove one dough portion from refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface into a 1/4-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 8-10 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 pairing 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.