Courtesy of Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

Holiday Sugar Cookies from Vancouver’s Up-and-Coming Pastry Chefs

With these directions from the up-and-coming chefs at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, you can bake and decorate your own Christmas cookies this year. (Or, if baking really isn’t your thing, you could order something equally festive from PICA’s Blue Hat Bakery.) For a festive treat that even the most rudimentary cooks among us can make at home this season, here is a simple recipe for holiday sugar cookies.

This recipe makes 12 medium-sized cookies.

PICA Sugar Cookies


For the cookies

320 grams all-purpose flour

1 gram salt (a pinch)

145 grams sugar

160 grams butter

40 grams eggs (approximately 1 egg depending on size)

30 ml milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

For the icing

Icing sugar, as needed

Water, as needed

Food colouring in assorted holiday colours


Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F.

Sift flour with salt and set aside. Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.

Combine the milk and eggs then add alternately with the dry mix to the butter-sugar mixture. Once cookie dough comes together, wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator until firm.

Roll out dough to a thickness of approximately 6mm (1/4 inch). Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake until cookies are lightly golden on the edges (approximately 8-12 minutes depending on cookie shapes and thickness).

For the icing

Place icing sugar in a bowl and add a drop or two of colour. Add a very small amount of water and stir. Add a few more drops of water and stir until the paste thickens to an almost toothpaste-like consistency. This paste will be used for the outline of your shaped cookies. Fill pastry bag with some of the paste and pipe along the outline of the cookies. Make as many batches as required for different colors.

Once the cookies are outlined, add a few drops of water to the remaining icing until it is the consistency of honey. Flood spaces between the outlines. Once hardened, pipe on any additional details as desired.

This recipe from our archives was originally published on December 19, 2019. Taste more from our recipe archive.

Post Date:

December 17, 2020