Arguably the most fun part of Christmas parties is pulling out your beloved ugly Christmas sweaters . The more puffs, decor, and sequined appliqués, the better. However, take things a step further by icing cookies, inspired by these notoriously bad Christmas sweater designs. Gaudy snowmen? Check. Bright, blazing Christmas trees? Check. Naughty or nice? Check (the latter one). Glean some awesomely bad decorating tips from these cookies. Then bake up a batch of sugar cookies  and get to work!
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
One of a Kind
The beauty of ugly Christmas sweaters is that they are one of a kind, so make each cookie unique. Candy, snowmen, snowflakes, candy canes, Christmas trees, and holly all look lovely piped upon a sweater cookie.
To get started, you're going to need a sweater cookie cutter  ($14). As for the decorating, attach a coupler  ($5) and a small round icing tip  ($5) to each decorating bag  ($7) before filling it with icing.
Don't skimp on the sprinkles. They'll add color and texture to the cookie's appearance and will make the cookie crunchy with every bite. Holiday nonpareils  ($8) are the multicolored sprinkles featured here.
With the hectic holiday season, sometimes there simply isn't time to dip the cookies in royal icing. Instead, pipe on the colored buttercream icing  to give the cookies an enticing texture.
Small Piping Tips
If there is more time, dip the cookies in royal icing , allow them to dry, then pipe on the details. Create dots, zigzags, sweater collars and cuffs, and even letters, which will pop against the smooth, glossy royal icing.
For those who aren't piping geniuses, edible-ink pens  ($14) can be of great service. Once the royal icing has dried, draw on the details like little hash marks and "X"s, which look like stitching on this Rudolph sweater cookie .
Inject Some Humor
Follow the example of that peeping snowman, devilish Grinch, and Santa stuck in the chimney. Make your ugly sweater cookies utterly grin-inducing. In fact, gather your friends for an ugly sweater cookie decorating party. It will make it all the more hilarious to see everyone's masterpieces.
Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit
If you don't want to gather all the equipment on your own (the holidays are stressful enough as is!), this Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit  ($15) comes fully loaded with cookie dough mix, icing, decorative sprinkles, and the essential cookie cutter.
Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit in Action
The kit is too fun to pass up. But here are a few words of advice: The dough is somewhat sticky. Mix in a few tablespoons of flour until it reaches perfect cookie dough consistency. Also, don't forget to flour the work surface, the top of the dough, and your rolling pin before attempting to roll out the dough.
The kit comes with red and green frosting, but the same sugar-to-butter-to-milk ratio can be used to create a white frosting. I piped around the border of each cookie, filled it with icing, and used a mini offset spatula  to smooth out the icing. On the green cookies, I used the narrow side of the spatula to create lines in the icing to make them look like knitted sweaters. Many of the decorations are extremely easy to pipe on.
What truly makes these cookies shine are the small details. Don't forget to pipe on cuffs and necklines. The sprinkles can be used in so many different ways. Disinfect a pair of tweezers, then use them to apply the sprinkles oh so carefully. Even if you don't buy the kit, all of the sprinkles can be purchased online! Lastly, add some shimmer to a few sweaters with the help of edible gold dust and clear sparkle flakes.
Sprinkles and other decor:
- Candy cane sprinkles  ($6)
- Holiday jimmies  ($5)
- Snowflake sprinkles  ($7)
- Jumbo rainbow nonpareils  ($6)
- Edible gold dust  ($4)
- White sparkles  ($4)
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts