Today’s post is not about a recipe for sugar cookies. Basically, I just used another blogger’s recipe which worked really well. This is more a “if I can do it, you can do it” post. I am horrible with decorating and making things look pretty. I’m not a big fashion person, home decorator, cake decorator, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be that person. I see other people do it and am always impressed. Many of my friends are that way, which makes me both sad that I am not better, but also okay since I can always ask their advice. I am better at other things, and I am satisfied with that. Most of the time. Then there are times when I decide to stretch my limits. I am here to tell you to stretch your limits as well. You could surprise yourself with how good you are.
For instance, these cookies. I decided to not make the time or equipment investment in making the sunflower cookies that Bridget at Bake at 350 made. I didn’t have the proper cookie cutters, frosting colors, sprinkles….so I decided to use her cookie base, a flower cutter, and a basic color palette of white and yellow. I then made suns on my flowers, so that was my version of a sun-flower cookie. Haha. So, they don’t look as professional or creative as hers, but I still was very pleased. In fact, these were the cookies I made for the Fudgelet’s birthday party, and one guest thought they were store-bought when she saw them. Yay!
A few tips I picked up from making them…
- Making the cookies the day before decorating them is a great idea, and really simplified the process
- Making the full batch of frosting is handy because then you don’t have to worry about running out if you make mistakes. I used extra frosting to do some touch-ups
- Pipe the outlines (for flooding the frosting) really thick and be careful. I messed up on a few, and the flooding did just that–caused a flood! I was able to fix it on most of them, but it’s easier to just avoid the problem altogether. I was worried about having enough frosting, but I was fine.
- Have lots of room to let the frosting dry. You don’t want to move the cookies around a lot. This particular cookie recipe was a bit delicate, I found. The cookies were soft and easily crumbled, so I had to be careful.
- Definitely plan out your decorating ahead of time. I thought very carefully about what colors would go where so that I knew how much icing to set aside for each purpose. About half went to the flood icing, and the rest was for the details.
For the frosting, I ended up doing my own version because many of the ones I found talked about using the pound container of confectioner’s sugar, and I don’t always buy the pound bag. I also don’t keep it in the bag once open, and didn’t feel like weighing it. Instead, I did a volume measurement.
Here is a nice post about royal icing. And here is what I did:
- 1/4 cup meringue powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar (you might need more)
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Princess Cake and Cookie Emulsion (optional)
In your mixer, paddle together the meringue powder and water. Then, sift the confectioner’s sugar into the bowl. Beat on low until combined, then add the corn syrup, vanilla, and emulsion. Beat on medium-high until you get stiff peaks (about 5 minutes).
Now you can add colors to it. I followed Bridget’s royal icing directions for flooding and added water until a ribbon would fall back into the icing at a count of one one thousand, two one thousand.
If you’re like me and don’t have a squeeze bottle for the flood icing, I used a pastry bag with a tip that had a medium-sized opening. It was a little tricky because the frosting wants to gush out, but if you allow just some of the icing down to the tip, and make a crease above, it can slow the flow. It worked okay for me, and I will do it again if I don’t find a nice, cheap squeeze bottle.
My outline should have been a bit thicker, but I learned for next time!
They started so-so, then the icing kept flowing…
I was able to cover up some with a thicker outline, or extra details.
They were fun to make, once I got the hang of it!