National Sugar Cookie Day!

Hello Cookie Decorators!

Have you baked, iced, eaten, gifted, or crumbled a sugar cookie today??  It’s National Sugar Cookie Day!  Yea! It’s like Christmas/New Years/ and The 4th of July to all of us cookie bakers and decorators!  I’m so excited about it…..I made and gave cookies away yesterday!  (Photos to be posted this week on a new cookie tutorial).

So…..you have the recipes, go bake some cookies.  Give some away……..It makes you feel so happy!

Really Happy Baking!

Decorating Party!

As I’m getting ready to teach a cookie decorating class this week, I started thinking about all the different steps needed to make a class fun and successful.

The same preparation steps I use to teach a class are the same steps you would use to bake and decorate cookies with your kids.

First, make your cookie dough and chill for several hours. While the cookie dough is chilling, decide what cookie cutters you want to use. I like to make cookies similar in size so they will bake evenly. If you really must have a ‘giant butterfly’ cookie then bake this cookie on a baking sheet all by itself. You will be much happier with the results. Remember always use parchment or a Silpat liner on your baking sheets. (Plan on 3 to 4 cookies for each child to decorate.)

Once your cookies have been baked and cooled, it’s time to make the icing.

I would limit your icing colors to five or less. Make several double batches of royal icing and place it in a covered bowl to keep it from drying out.

Take some of the white icing and place it in a medium size bowl. Place a very small amount of color gel or color paste into the icing and mix well.

Pour the colored icing into a quart size freezer zip lock bag. Or place it directly into a prepared pastry bag fitted with a #3 or #4 tip. You can also place small amounts of the colored icing into pint size zip lock bags. Nip a small hole in one of the points and use this as your pastry bag.
Seal the bag(s) well. Repeat with the other colors you make.

If using pastry bags, keep the tips moist by placing them in a tall glass with a damp paper towel in the bottom of the glass.

You are now ready to start your cookie party! Be sure you get out all the sprinkles, jimmies and other candies in the cabinets. Most of all , have fun by turning a dull summer afternoon into ‘arts and crafts time’ that you can munch! Yum!

Royal icing: 1 lb powdered sugar, scant ½ cup water, 5 tbls. meringue powder, 1/8 tea. real vanilla. Beat all ingredients until smooth. Keep covered.

Happy Baking!
-Cathy

Chill that (cookie) dough!

Wow! It’s hot out there! One very important thing in rolling out any cookie dough, is to be sure your dough is well chilled.  This makes rolling out the dough and cutting cookies out so much easier!  Remember, if your dough is too warm, it will stick to the mat and your rolling pin.  You will end up using more and more flour to keep it from sticking and your cookies will be tough and will grow to giant-size!  So always freeze or really chill dough.

Another tip: place several ice packs on your counter top.  Place the wrapped cookie dough on top. This way as you roll out small amounts of the dough, the rest of the dough will stay chilled.  I use to re-wrap my dough about every 10 minutes to chill it over and over.  Now I can leave it on the counter (on top of  the ice packs). It stays nice and cold.

Happy Baking!

-Cathy

Valentines Day "Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial

Melt the heart of the one you love with these adorable cookies made fresh from the comfort of your kitchen.

To get started you will need:

  • Baked and cooled sugar cookies in any heart shape.
  • 2 colors of medium thin royal icing

Step 1: Outline cookie with white royal icing. Flood in outline with the same icing. Completely fill in the cookie.

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 1

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 1

Step 2: Working quickly, add 7 or 8 evenly spaced small dots of a contrasting color to the just iced cookie.

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 2

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 2

Step 3: Immediately take a toothpick and drag it through the small dots while the icings are still very wet.  This should be done in one slow motion.  Do not pick up the toothpick until you are finish with the last dot. You will have created “flying hearts”.  Let cookie completely dry.

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 3

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 3

Step 4: Add small dots of white to the outside edges, starting at the top of the heart and working way your down one side.

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 4

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 4

Step 5: Finish working your way down the other side. Let dry for about 2 hours. 

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 5

"Flying Hearts" Cookie Decorating Tutorial - Step 5

Alternatively, you can run a small outline around the outside of the cookie and sprinkle with  sanding sugar. 

You’re done! Package cookies in clear cellophane bags and tie with a beautiful ribbon for gift giving to your favorite Valentine!

Happy Baking!

Cathy

Bonus Tip: This same technique may be used for creamy soups or dips.  Just use a contrasting liquid.  (Sour cream works well in soups.)