Comments:†Some people have the vision, creativity, and ideas (and the time to develop them) for coming up with fancy party decorations, elaborate place settings, Christmas cookie designs, and more. The rest of us turn to magazines, friends, TV, books, Web sites, etc. for a little inspiration or help getting started.
Cookie Christmas Craft is an ideal example of clever people coming up with great ideas for Christmas cookies that the rest of us can put right to use. We might have thought of any of these ideas if we had put our minds to it, but with full-color pictures of every design, we appreciate the help getting started, the innovative ideas, and the thorough instructions. The cookies are all beautiful; and most are reasonably easy to decorate.
The book starts out with step-by-step recipes for sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, gingerbread cookies, and royal icing in various consistencies* for piping and flooding, a section on decorating and icing tips and techniques, and then launches into more than 6 dozen specific designs for decorating cookies (including a few for New Year's). There is also information on shipping cookies, planning a cookie-swap party, and a list of online and mail-order sources for cookie equipment (which may be necessary, because some of the cookie cutters may be hard to find).
*There is an error in the chart that gives ingredient quantities for making royal icing with meringue powder. You are to use 4 teaspoons of meringue powder for 2 cups of confectionersí sugar in both the piping and the flooding recipes, not 4 tablespoons, as printed. (There are also royal icing recipes that use powdered egg whites and pasteurized egg whites, and the quantities for those are correct.) We also thought there were one of two photographs where the color of the decorations didn't exactly match the description in the text, but who is going to complain if you use yellow instead of green icing for the balls on a Christmas tree? It will be beautiful either way.