These treats are as cute as can be, and their taste is just as memorable. Because they're made with sorghum syrup, ginger, vanilla, and cardamom, their flavor is a change of pace from the usual sugar cookies. Serve the light bulbs separately, or thread several of them on a decorative ribbon or string as a party favor or gift.

Ivy Odom
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Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

55 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
Makes 5 dozen




Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Cookies: Beat unsalted butter with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar and light brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add fresh ginger, sorghum syrup, and vanilla extract; beat until combined. Stir together flour, salt, and ground cardamom in a small bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until well blended.

  • Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide dough in half, and pat each half into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. Wrap each dough disk in plastic wrap; chill 2 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Unwrap 1 dough disk, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to about 3/16-inch thickness (between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick). Using a 3 1/2-inch light bulb-shaped cutter, cut shapes from dough, rerolling scraps once. Using a straw or metal piping tip, cut a small hole toward bottom of each light bulb for stringing them together. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between them. Repeat with second dough disk, rerolling scraps once. Freeze 15 minutes.

  • Bake in batches in preheated oven until light golden on edges and centers are set, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  • Prepare the Royal Icing: Combine all icing ingredients in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until thick and glossy, about 3 minutes.

  • Divide icing into small bowls, and stir in desired amounts of food coloring gel. (If not using icing immediately, cover with plastic wrap.) Transfer 1 color of icing to a piping bag, and pipe a small line around edges of Cookies to create borders. Thin remaining icing with a couple drops of water. Using a wooden pick, paintbrush, or offset spatula, cover Cookies with thinned icing, spreading all the way to piped border. Repeat with other colors and remaining light bulbs as desired.

  • Decorate with sprinkles, and brush bases of light bulbs with Luster Dust. Let stand until icing is dry, about 2 hours. Thread on decorative string or ribbon, if desired.