Tag Archives: royal icing

Teal “Thank You” Cookies

10 Apr

Omigosh, y’all. I have been so super busy lately (work, life, you know the drill)… I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I will have more updates soon, but in the meantime, here are some great pictures from my most recent baking adventure.

I made these cookies as tokens of appreciation for our volunteers. And it’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so I made them teal – the color of the sexual violence awareness ribbon.

COOKIES!

I used a basic sugar cookie recipe – this one’s the best because it’s tasty but also doesn’t spread too much when they bake. My sister and cousin stayed with me over the weekend to hang out and because my sister wanted to “learn how to cook.” It worked out great to have a team in the kitchen since this is a somewhat labor-intensive project. And it turns out my cousin is an experienced baker, so she did a lot of the rolling and cutting of the dough. And she was super resourceful! I realized I didn’t have a rolling pin (I had always borrowed Betsy’s), and she came up with the brilliant idea to use a wine bottle. Perfect.

We used a flower cookie cutter for a slightly more interesting shape than a plain circle. The rounded edges were way easier to frost than those pointy snowflake cookies. After they baked and cooled, I topped them with some royal icing that I tinted with teal gel food coloring. (Remember – a little bit goes a long way.) Last, I sprinkled them with silver sanding sugar.

Close up

Since these were gifts for volunteers, I decided to package them up all pretty. First I placed each cookie into a clear treat bag (6 x 3.75 in – I picked them up at AC Moore). I cut strips of teal scrapbooking paper into 3.75 x 3 inches, folded them in half hotdog-style, then stamped them with a “Thank you so much” stamp. I folded the top of the bag down, slid the folded paper over top, and stapled it shut. ADORBS.

Pretty Packages

We packaged up a cookie, a mini candle, and a coupon to a local restaurant and gave them out at our volunteer appreciation party. A fun project and a great little thank you gift.

Now for an inspiring photo to end this post: Cookie Monster Cupcakes.

Snowflake Cookies

16 Dec

It has been unusually cold in North Carolina, with temperatures in the 30s and snowfall in early December! Very strange, but also a perfect setting for these gorgeous snowflake sugar cookies.

Of course, after my notorious Cookie Fail, I relied heavily on Betsy’s cookie expertise for this batch of cookies. We started with a basic sugar cookie recipe.

After a lot of practice, we got in a good rhythm: Betsy is good at rolling and cutting, and I’m good peeling and placing on the pan. I usually am not big on purchasing specific kitchen tools that do fancy things because I think most baking can be accomplished with basic kitchen items, but I will say that the large spreader from Pampered Chef came in handy. It’s designed to be used to spread icing on large cakes, but it worked really well to slide delicate snowflake shapes off the counter top and get them to the baking pan. Just flour it a little and it works like a charm.

Sugar Snowflake Cookies
After baking and cooling about 6 dozen cookies (yes, it took forever), I set about with decorating (which took another forever).

We whipped up a batch of royal icing and added some whitening cream to make it extra-white, instead of kind of a dull, unappealing cream color. Betsy loaded it into an icing bag with a tiny tip for me, and I got to work. Royal icing hardens into a solid layer when it comes in contact with air. It takes a few hours for it to harden completely, but it gets difficult to spread evenly within minutes. So working relatively quickly, I did one cookie at a time. To make sure I got a neat overall cover, I first traced the snowflake outline and then filled it in. I held it still with a wooden skewer so I could move a little more quickly. Then, using a pair of tweezers, I added light blue sugar pearls. Play around with different patterns and get creative — it’s fun!

Tracing a snowflake outlineFilling in with icingAdding the pearl decorations

I made two different patterns with the white icing. Then we made another batch of royal icing and colored it with light blue dye and a little bit of whitening to lighten it to the right shade. I decorated another 2 dozen cookies with the same patterns as the white cookies, but with light blue icing and white sugar pearls.

While I worked on those, Betsy decorated the rest of the cookies with sugar sprinkles. For a dozen cookies, she used a paintbrush to coat each cookie with a layer of piping gel, which only looks disgusting. Then she poured silver pearlized sugar on top, and that’s it! Quite simple.

For another dozen cookies, we wanted them to be blue, but the blue pearlized sugar was way to bold next to the light blue royal icing. So Betsy mixed a little blue food coloring into the piping gel and then decorated it the same way — paint it on the cookie and then cover with silver sprinkles. It gave a very pale blue shine, almost like glass, underneath the silver sprinkles. Very subtle and beautiful!

After the white cookies hardened completely, Betsy used a large paintbrush (you could also use a blush brush or kabuki makeup brush) to dust on some silver pearl dust. It’s like using glitter makeup with a slight sparkle to it — it’s barely noticeable but adds a nice little sparkling sheen to the cookie.

Snowflake Cookies

So this was a relatively short post compared to the others, but don’t think this is a relatively short process. Cutting cookies takes longer than filling a bunch of cake or cupcake tins, and decorating cookies like this — especially with a complicated cookie shape — takes a long time. All in all, this took us about 6 or 7 hours. And that doesn’t count the packaging and presentation time.

When I got home, I loaded 6 cookies — one of each decoration type — into clear plastic bags I picked up at Michael’s, twisted the top closed, secured it with tape, and tied it with a blue ribbon. They made adorable gift bags!

Snowflake CookiesSnowflake Cookies

Royal Icing

15 Dec

Royal icing is that icing on top of sugar cookies that hardens to where it won’t smudge at all. But it’s great because it’s not like a plastic texture — it’s still chewable and not crunchy. It’s great to use for decorating and gifting cookies because as long as you give it a day to harden, nothing will harm your decorations. You can also use it as a glue to attach decorations.

Here’s a basic recipe for you:

In a medium bowl, we added 1 large egg white (Betsy separated it for me — I ain’t got skills like that). I added 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (look for it on the spice aisle). After Betsy sifted 1 cup confectioners sugar, I added a little at a time, beating the mixture with a hand mixer until it formed soft peaks.

The icing dries quickly once it comes into contact with air, so you really should use it immediately. If you can’t, cover it with a wet cloth and leave it on the counter (not the fridge) until you’re ready to use it. It will last up to 12 hours this way.

You can add food coloring to it to make whatever color you want. If you want it to be white, I definitely suggest adding whitening cream because when it’s plain, it’s a little too grossly cream-colored to make nice cookies. Just don’t add to much or it might get too watery and drip off your cookies.

Snowflake cookie with royal icing and blue sugar pearls

Happy decorating!

P.S. If raw eggs freak you out, there are a million other royal icing recipes on the web that use meringue powder and water instead. Just Google search it and you’ll find one!