Save time by using food coloring to dye sugar cookie dough, so you don't have to cover each cookie entirely with icing. Red, green, white and blue hues create a festive palette for the holidays.
Think beyond icing! Stamping cookies with design details before baking is a great way to add visual interest. Additionally, try decorating them with edible pearls for an elegant touch.
Don't fret if you're not the crafty type -- almost everybody loves chocolate. Melt high-quality chocolate pieces on the stove over low heat, then dip half of a baked cookie or macaroon in the chocolate. Refrigerate to set the chocolate.
Sprinkles can elevate plain cookies to a new level. Clear ones provide just the right amount of sparkle to a snowflake- or star-shaped cookie, and colored ones showcase the shades of the season. Try red and white for a peppermint theme.
Make a design by first covering a cookie with icing. Before the icing has dried, add a dot of a different-colored icing in the center of the cookie. Use a toothpick to drag a design, such as a zigzag or sprial, on top. These festive patterns look great on ornament-shaped cookies.
Use crumbled candies as an alternative to sprinkles. Peppermint pieces make a lovely and delicious garnish for chocolate cookies. Alternatively, try rolling the exposed edges of ice cream sandwiches in the peppermint pieces for a festive frozen dessert.