Tag Archives: sugar cookie

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

Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

16 Dec

There are a million sugar cookie recipes out there, and it’s a challenge to find the recipe that will live up to everything you need in a cookie: doughy enough to work with, firm enough to hold cutout shapes, and — most important — delicious! So here it is: Betsy and I tried this recipe out last weekend and it was perfect. (The original recipe came from Better Homes & Gardens.)

Mixing the Dough

In a large bowl, beat 2/3 cup butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Beat until combined. Then add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix that in. Beat in as much of the 2 cups of all-purpose flour as you can with the mixer, then stir in any remaining flour.

Dough Pile

Divide the dough in half, seal it in a large plastic zip bag, and chill it in the freezer until it’s easy to handle — about 20 minutes.

Dough Ball

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Flour the surface your working on (Betsy and I just flour the counter itself and roll the dough out there), and roll half the dough out at a time until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into shapes of your choice and place them on a cookie sheet.

Bake until the edges are lightly browned. You’ll have to guess on the time, depending on how big your cookie cutouts are. If they are average — about 2 1/2 inches wide — it will take probably 7-10 minutes. Cool them completely on a wire rack. Frost them with royal icing and decorate with sprinkles and candies.

Plain Snowflake CookiesSnowflake Cookies

Cookie Fail

23 Nov

Last week, I had the brilliant idea to make fall-themed cookies to take to a work party so people could decorate them as a fun fall craft. I had the office party planner purchase sprinkles and different colors of gel icing. And the night before, when I got home from a late evening at work and remembered at 9:30pm that I was supposed to bake a couple dozen cookies, I went ahead with my cookie plan anyway.

Since I was in a rush, I went with prepared sugar cookie dough. Maybe this was in itself the entire problem with this plan, but I’m not sure. I rolled out the cookie dough using Betsy’s borrowed rolling pin and got it nice and thin. I had adorable leaf, turkey, and acorn cookie cutters. I tried to cut the dough and move them to a pan, but they were wayyy too mushy. I eventually got frustrated and threw some flour around in an attempt to make the dough more workable. This only resulted in mushy dough and flour everywhere. I managed to get a few cookies transferred to the pan.

This is supposed to be a turkey:"Turkey" Cookie

This is supposed to be a leaf: "Leaf" Cookie

The acorn actually came out looking half decent:"Acorn" Cookie

I grew frustrated enough with the results by 10:45pm — only minutes until my bedtime and I was still in the kitchen — that I gave up with the cookie cutters, rolled the dough back into a log, and sliced it into round cookies. I was worried that the batch with all the extra flour in it would no longer be sweet enough, so after I put them on the pan, I pressed a few orange M&Ms into each of them.

For all my trouble, I ended up with a few misshapen fall cookies and a couple dozen nice-looking, thin, crispy, delicious sugar cookies. A few people enjoyed decorating them at the party, even though they were round.

Fall Cookies... More like Fail Cookies

How Sue Sees It:

  • If I may say so myself, I am fantastic with dessert — cakes, cupcakes, pies, cobblers, anything chocolate-covered. However… I SUCK AT COOKIES. I have a few more cookie plans coming up with the winter holidays, and I will most definitely be waiting until Betsy has some free time. The lady is a whiz at cookies.
  • Give people some sugar cookies and icing, and they will be happy. So… cookie kind-of-fail.