Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sugar Cookies!

Sugar cookies are so fun! Pretty decorated sugar cookies are fairly easy to make, but the process is rather time-consuming. But I think it's worth it, because you can make such darn cute cookies! Cookies are a lot of fun because there is an almost endless variety of shapes you can make, and then of course you can decorate them however you please. Fun fun! So to begin, you need some sugar cookies (of course) and some royal icing. I have tried a fair few different sugar cookie recipes. My favorite is this recipe from bakeat350.blogspot.com. If you are interested in sugar cookies, I would definitely advise you to browse around that website. She makes some really, really awesome cookies, and always has great decorating tutorials. Okay, so, that other thing you need: royal icing. Royal icing is powdered sugar, meringue powder (or egg whites), and water. You will need two consistencies of icing: stiff, for outlining and decorations; and thin, for flooding. So here are my supplies, all ready to make cookies! You don't want your stiff icing too stiff or it will be difficult to pipe, but it needs to be stiff enough that it will hold its shape to make a good outline. I suggest some trial and error to decide which consistency works best for you. Then add some water to thin out your icing. When you dip a spoon into the icing, you want it to run right off and blend back in with the icing in the bowl within a second or so. For this thinned icing, I highly recommend getting some squeeze bottles. Cookie decorating will be so much easier. First thing you gotta do is pipe on your outlines using your stiff frosting. If you will be outlining one cookie in multiple colors, like the ones on top, wait for one color to dry before piping on another to prevent them from blending together. Now you wait for all your outlines to dry. I have moved on to flooding sooner than I ought to have before without any disastrous consequences, but you really should wait at least a few hours. Once your outlines are dry, the next step is to flood the cookie with your thinned out icing. You basically want to pour a bunch of icing into the middle of the cookie. Squeeze bottles are very nice for this because they're not messy, and because you can easily get icing into smaller areas. You want to put on enough icing to almost entirely cover the cookie. Just make sure you don't have too much or it will flow over your outlines and make a mess.
The next step isn't much fun. Take a toothpick and spread the frosting right out to the edges and into the corners. You can flood a few cookies at a time before going back and spreading the icing out, but be cautious not to wait too long or your icing will already have started to dry and it won't look very nice at all when you try to spread it. Now you have to wait for this to dry. Royal icing does dry fairly quickly, as I said, but you really want to make sure it is completely dry before you move on to decorating. Again, wait at least a few hours, or even overnight.
The last step is decorating! Use your stiff icing again to pipe on decorations :)
Again, wait a while to be sure your icing is completely dry before you try to package or transport the cookies.

Now the best part: lots of pictures of cookies! I haven't made a ton of sugar cookies yet, but here is what I have done :) (Go check out bakeat350.blogspot.com to see some more awesome sugar cookies!!)

Little jack-in-the-box dudes :)
Alphabet blocks! Prizes to anyone who can figure out what all my pictures are supposed to be haha ;)
And adorable little onesies :) The above cookies were all for a baby shower. I suggested onesies to the mom, but she didn't want anything too "baby" or cutesy, so she suggested ties on them. They came out super cute, and I also made some with little bowties and buttons and a cute little pocket. See why sugar cookies are so fun?
Here are all the baby shower cookies packed up and ready to go. Sugar cookies look great in little cellophane bags tied with a simple ribbon. It's a good, simple way to prepare them as favors :)
Wedding cake
Pretty ornaments and Christmas trees....
...see how nice they can look? What a beautiful (and tasty) place marker!
My husband and I recently bought our first home, so I made these to thank our realtor and our mortgage broker. The lines are a little rough, but I think they came out pretty cute overall.
And finally, some poinsettias for Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by! See ya next time! ;)

No comments: