Sugar Cookie Ornaments

Sugar Cookie Ornaments by Wood and Spoon. These are a fun way to spruce up ordinary cookies around the holidays. This tutorial with photos shows how to hang sugar cookies on a string or ribbon to use as a decorative ornament. A soft butter sugar cookie is topped with royal icing makes a cute and decorative way to eat dessert. Learn how just in time for Christmas on

These sugar cookie ornaments are strong enough to hang and delicious enough to eat!


For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract 

For the royal icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water

Additional things:

  • Gel food coloring
  • Sprinkles
  • Thin ribbon or string
  • Plastic straw


 To prepare the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and extract and cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low just until combined. Dump the dough crumbles out on to a lightly floured surface and work together into one ball with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until about ¼” thick and use a medium sized cookie cutter to cut shapes. Use the end of a plastic straw to cut out holes in the dough for the ribbon- be sure the circle isn’t too close to the edge or the cookie may break. If the dough ever gets too soft, refrigerate briefly. Place shapes on a baking sheet and freeze briefly for about 5 minutes. Once chilled, bake in the preheated oven for 10-11 minutes. Use the other end of the straw to reinforce the hole if it closed up too much while baking. Cool on a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely prior to icing.

To prepare the royal icing:

  1. Combine all three ingredients in a large bowl and use a hand mixer to blend together on medium speed until glossy and slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Add additional water a teaspoon at a time to thin out or add additional powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time to thicken up. Stir until combined.

To decorate the cookies:

  1. Add water or powdered sugar to your icing to get the desired consistency. I typicaly prefer a thick icing to pipe the border of the cookies and then fill in with a slightly thinned version. Fill piping bag halfway with the icing. Pipe borders around cookies, being careful to not get too close to the edge. Using a paint brush, “paint” frosting into the center of the cookie, filling in to the outside border. (For a good tutorial on this method, check out the Ina Garten video here) I typically will border and fill 4-5 cookies at a time. Continue this process until all of the cookies are iced. Set aside for 6 hours, or until icing is set and dry. If you’re in a humid climate, you can use a small fan pointed at the cookies to help expedite this process. Allow the cookies to cool and set completely prior to tying the ribbon on. Hang, gift, or enjoy within 4 days!