Cactus Cookies

Hey hey! How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?! My Thanksgiving was so different this year! We always have Thanksgiving at my parent’s house but with three two new babies and a toddler in the family mix now, there was no short of squeaks, spit ups, tantrums, and mayhem. What’s a Thanksgiving without drama, right?

Still, as much as I love Thanksgiving food I was SO SO ready for the day after Thanksgiving! That’s right, and not because of Black Friday either- but because that’s when the Christmas music goes on blast, the tree goes up and Christmas Cookies make their debut!

I’ve always loved making Christmas cookies but I didn’t get the chance last year. This year though, I opted for a fun Southwest theme: enter Cactus Cookies!

This Sugar Cookie recipe is seriously amazing. It’s foolproof and if you follow a few tips, you can make sure to have cookies that don’t spread out during baking! This is key for when you add the icing.

Cactus Sugar Cookie Recipe:

  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • optional- Vanilla extract


  1. Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer just until it becomes creamy in texture. Don’t overwork this or the cookies will spread when baking.
  2. Beat in the egg then add the flour on low speed until a dough ball forms.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap it in saran plastic and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Place the dough on a floured surface, and knead it with your hands until you can roll it out to an even thickness with the rolling pin.
  5. Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters, transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet then place the sheet back in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will ensure your cookies stay the perfect shape!
  6. Bake 6-10 minutes, depending on the size, at 350 F. Once out and cooled you can begin to decorate them!


Cookie Icing Recipe:

Ever since I started making sugar cookies I’ve always used this Sweetopia Recipe for my icing. It’s the easiest and always comes out great! I use gel food coloring to tint my colors.

The key to this is to have two types of icing. The first is a stiffer icing for piping the outlines. This icing keeps its shape and doesn’t melt down. The second icing is the filler icing. This is what will fill in the outlines and is a lot runnier than the first. Sweetopia also has a great explanation of this here!








The key to making sure that every little hole is filled and every area is settled is to take your just filled cookie and shake it! Yes, shake it sideways to completely let the icing settle into all the little areas and create a smooth look. The above photo shows the cookie before I shook it out.

Then, just let them dry before extra layers and add all your details and voila! Great decorated Christmas Cookies!


Can’t wait to make other shapes this season!


About Cari

Generation Y child with a love of gummy worms, rainy days, and kids books with lots of pictures.

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