Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Adventures in Cookie Decorating

I love the idea of a decorated sugar cookie! And since becoming a Pinterest addict, the desire to do all things crafty has been forcing me to try things I once would have never dared! Don't get me wrong, I have tried to decorate sugar cookies before and swore to never do it again. It's not the decorating that scares me, it's the rolling out and cutting of the cookie dough that makes me want to scream!

I was determined to try my best to get it right this time for the love of my children! I spent some time researching ideas on the best ways to roll out that sticky dough and cut it into shapes that are eye catching and think I have finally got it down to an art. 

Here's some of what I learned while making these "parrrrrrrty" treats!

I don't know about you, but every time I've tried to make sugar cookies in the past my cookies always turn out hard and tasting more like "flour cookies" than sugar cookies! Instead of using flour to gain control of your dough when rolling it out, sprinkle your wax paper surface in powered sugar...
this eliminates the taste of hard, floury cookies!

Once you've mastered the art of rolling out the dough, stick it in the freezer for awhile before you cut the cookies. Place the rolled out dough (already on your wax paper) on a cookie sheet and pop it back in for an hour or 2 to allow it to firm back up.This makes cutting and placing the dough on the cookie sheet
(to go in the oven) much easier!

Waaaaallllaaaaaa!!! Perfectly baked cookies! And by the way, when the recipe says bake for 8  minutes, bake for 8 minutes! Leaving them in too long browns the edges and makes them hard!
Royal Icing works best for these cookies... there are tons of recipes online if you need one! This stuff not only tastes great but it's really easy to work with (it's very forgiving)! Start by outlining your cookies and make sure you let the icing harden before you go to fill the cookies in.

Now it's time to begin filling in the lines! Make sure the consistency of your icing is that of Elmer's glue... it works the best! If you need it to be runnier, add a tiny bit of warm water till you get it right. I found that a spoon and a toothpick work best for this technique! PLUS, if you have any baby food containers lying around, they make the best little tubs for coloring your icing! A little bit of this stuff goes a long way!

Here's my skull cap "filled" in. I pour a little icing directly on the cookie and move it around with the spoon and the toothpick to even it out all along the surface. Once this stuff hardens it looks nice and smooth even when your cookies have cracks (like mine)! Here's an extra tip: I prefer Wilton's gel food coloring for all my "parrrrrrrty" treats, it doesn't change the consistency of the frosting the way liquid drops do! 

Here are my boys' initials made into cookies... later you'll see how I matched them to go  w/ my pirates!

After the red icing hardens you are now ready to add the white dots. I used a  frosting bag and a tip to do these and make sure you keep the white icing a little thicker so it doesn't run!

Here's the fun part! Get creative w/ your decorating!


Colored sugar sticks really well to this stuff for a different textured look!

"Initial" cutters are a great buy since you can use them over and over again! 
Don't go out and buy copper colored food coloring to make flesh tones. Just mix a little (and by a little I mean a tiny amount) of yellow and red to white frosting.... waaaaalllllaaaaa... flesh toned frosting!!!

ALMOST DONE! All you have left to do now is to finish up with a cute face! Make sure you add an eye patch... every pirate needs one plus it's a great way to cover any unsightly mistakes!

There you have it... decorated sugar cookies!

Time consuming YES... worth it... I think so!!!
Happy decorating!!!

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Awesome, matey! I have had similar experiences with sugar cookies. I prefer cookies that are fine all lumpy looking. I think I'll have to try the powdered sugar/freezer technique though. Maybe I will be singing a different tune.