I usually make sugar cookies only in December. I’m not the kind of person who busts out the cookie cutters for every celebration, although I really wish I were. When faced with a large batch of cookies to decorate, I sometimes feel a little daunted. However, this occasion I had a patriotic design in mind, so I didn’t mind the detailed work.
From my meager sugar cookie experiences, I have learned a few things. Here are my tips for the cookie decorator:
-Plan ahead for what colors you will need, and in which order you need to use them.
-Use a very small amount of water at a time to thin the icing, and mix well before adding more. To outline the edges, you want a consistency that flows easily, but still holds its shape. To flood with color, you want a thinner consistency so the icing spreads out after piping.
-Wear gloves when adding coloring.
Hope these tips help. Happy Independence Day!
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe
- In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and mix until thoroughly combined. Shape dough into a flat disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and let chill for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dust a large surface with flour. Unwrap the dough, and roll out to ¼ inch thickness, dusting generously with flour. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Re-roll out the scraps to cut more shapes.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies are golden. Cool cookies on a wire rack and decorate.
- Place ingredients in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium until fluffy but still dense, about 7-8 minutes. Thin with water as needed.