By Ann Pittman
December 13, 2011

We’ve been invited to another virtual potluck! and their blog, FN Dish, asked us to participate in a virtual cookie swap. For this sweet get-together, I’m bringing our Iced Sugar Cookies, with two fun variations—Gingerbread Cookies and Pecan Cookies. The sugar cookie recipe is a classic: buttery, short-textured cookies with icing for decorating. I am a bona fide cookie decorating junkie—I love finishing a brown-hued reindeer cutout with red “sugar pearls” or dragees to turn them into Rudolph cookies! Oh, and my kids and I get giddy over stringing sprinkles or sugar pearls along a Christmas tree cookie to look like garland. This recipe includes a great secret for icing that sets up firm: stirring in a little egg white powder, available in craft stores or on the baking aisle of larger supermarkets.

With just a few tweaks to the basic dough, you also get fragrant Gingerbread Cookies (think beyond the classic gingerbread people and do gingerbread pets, trees, and stars) and Pecan Cookies, which are something like nut-flecked shortbread. Those are my favorite to eat—crisp, not too sweet, and perfect with a cup of coffee… or that glass of milk left out on Christmas Eve.

Check out what some of your favorite food sites are bringing to the virtual cookie swap:

All You Magazine: Pecan and Honey Sugar Cookies Gilt Taste: Momofuku Milk Bar's Holiday Cookie Recipes Drink in the Holidays Cooking Light: Iced Sugar Cookies Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Cookies Food52: Ginger Spiced Molasses Sugar Cookies Cooking Channel: The White House’s Molasses Spice Cookies “Gingersnaps” BlogHer: Triple Chocolate Almond Cookies CafeMom: Marvelous Mini Apple Crisp Cookies The Daily Meal: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesFood Republic: Gingerbread Cheesecake Cookies EatingWell: 5 Tips for Perfect Gingerbread Cookies Redbook Magazine: Candy Cane Cookies Gourmet Live: Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies  AP/ J.M. Hirsch: Ginger Fig Crumb Bars Fox News: White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies Epicurious: Italian Almond Cookies Big Girls Small Kitchen: Cowboy Cookies FN Dish: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon CookiesFood & Wine: Chocolate-Espresso SnowballsYumSugar: Coconut Date BallsYahoo! Shine: Nutmeg Rosettes