We love the aesthetic of homemade tie-dye—but why stop at clothing? These swirly sugar cookies are a fun way to mix up your usual holiday cookies. And with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, they’re just spiced enough to fit in with the rest of the crowd.
Get the recipe for Tie-Dye Sugar Cookies:
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For the cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the tie-dye glaze:
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 7 tablespoons (or more) milk
- 2–4 colors of food coloring gel or liquid coloring
- For the cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together salt, spices, and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, 2-3 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and pulse until dough is fully combined, scraping the bottom with a silicone spatula to make sure everything is incorporated. Add remaining flour and repeat.
- Turn dough onto a work surface and knead a few times until the dough comes together. Split the dough in half and form two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with one disk at a time, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until about ¼-inch thick. (If the dough is cracking, let it rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes). Punch out circle shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Reroll any scraps once and repeat with the second disk of dough. Chill cookies for 5-10 minutes until firm.
- Bake cookies until golden brown, 10-14 minutes. Let cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the tie-dye glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. The glaze should be slightly thicker than heavy cream, so add more powdered sugar if too thin or more milk if too thick. Split the glaze into smaller bowls depending on the number of colors you are using, reserving at least ⅓ of the glaze to remain white. Mix in a few drops of gel or liquid coloring into the smaller bowls to reach desired colors. Stir to combine
- Add 2 tablespoons of white glaze onto a plate and lightly drizzle a small amount of the other colored glazes on top. Use a toothpick to swirl the colors. Dip one cookie face down into the glaze and lift to allow the excess to drip off. Then, transfer the cookie to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat glazing 2-3 more cookies, then wipe off the plate and start again. (This ensures that the colors don’t mix too much and you result in beautifully tie-dyed cookies every time.)
- Let glaze set for 2-3 hours before enjoying!
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