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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Whoo! I finally taught myself how to make beautifully decorated cookies. Thanks to Bakerella's recommendation to buy the book Cookie Craft, I learned everything that I need to know about preparation, baking and decorating cookies. However, I must warn all of you...this was no simple process and it was very time consuming! Nonetheless, I really enjoyed trying this for the first time. Read below to acquire many tips and tricks of the trade on how to prepare to make and bake your perfect cookie!

Step 1-Making and Baking Sugar Cookies

Any recipe works. Choose the one that you love best!

In order for all cookies to be the same thickness, Peterson and Fryer, (author's of Cookie Craft), use wooden slats as pictured below. (I think this is brilliant!) You bet that the guys working at Home Depot got a kick out of my request for slats! When they asked me what I would be using slats 1/4 inch thick, 2 feet long and 2 inches wide for, and replied, "for baking cookies," they whaled with laughter! Nonetheless, they cut what I needed to assist me in creating the perfect thickness for my cookies.

I placed the dough in between 2 pieces of parchment paper and placed the slats on top. I used my rolling pin to roll out the dough and chilled it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Choose any type of cutters you like and cut away! I used the cutters I had at home...a daisy, a star, some hearts and mini hearts. Once you have removed all of the excess dough, roll it into a ball and repeat the rolling steps.

Place all cut out cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. (In retrospect, I would have spaced out each cookie a little farther apart. They were in very close quarters!)
Here is the result. Beautifully browned sugar cookies. While you may enjoy eating these plain, just imagine how much better they would be, decorated in royal icing after they are fully cooled! Mmmm....
Who wants to clean all of the dirty dishes??? Thanks Rich!
(F.Y.I. He's better than my cleaning lady!)
Step 2-Decorating the cookies with Royal Icing...A.K.A. Piping and Flooding

Choose a royal icing recipe that works best for you. Cookie Craft has 3 different recipes. The royal icing for piping, is the icing with a thicker consistency. It will act as the border around any cookie you will design. The consistency of the icing used for flooding is not quite as thick and fills in the remainder of the cookie.
Beautiful colours are created when food colouring is added to icing. Since I used such a small amount of icing for each colour I decided not to use a piping bag. I finally figured out that if I used a small Ziploc bag and filled one corner of it with icing and tied the top with a tie, I could cut a very small hole off of the end with scissors and it would be perfect to decorate my cookies!
The flooded colour is the yellow over top of the entire cookies that say "Riley" and "Mom." I had to let that dry for about 6 hours before I could write on top of it. All of the other writing is done using the icing for piping.
This technique looks nice. Take a look at the green and blue star. First, I piped and flooded the green background. Then, I horizontally flooded straight blue lines on top of the wet green flood. Finally, I drew a toothpick vertically from the bottom of the star to the top and repeated this about 6 times to create this design.
Hearts anyone?
I love the way these daisies sparkle with coloured sugar. There are two ways of doing this. For the yellow and orange daisy, I used corn syrup as "glue" to adhere the sugar to the cookie. As for the remaining daisies, I piped and flooded icing onto each cookie, dipped the wet icing into the corresponding coloured sugar and set them to dry.
Who wants a personalized cookie?
What a great a great gift idea!


  1. Melissa, I love the cookies. I'm so impressed!!! Just have a quick question...where di you get the icing and flooding (?!?) sugars from?

  2. Jordan said...
    They look great Mel !

    Adrienne said...
    ps this is my favourite blog post!!! love the Adrienne cookie!!! =)

    Naomi said...
    wow...6 hours???

    Randy said...
    Your cookies look gorgeous!!! You should make some for the holidays and sell them alongside your mom at craft shows!

    Sabina said...
    They're gorgeous! You're a professional! I love them! You're ready to start your own business!

    Marnie said...
    They look GORGEOUS and delicious!!! Wish I could have been there to help :)

    Natalie said...
    wow! beautiful!!! i see the wood borders worked well. would you say they made a difference? you know you could really sell those!!

    Alison said...
    Hi Mel,
    These cookies look beautiful! Almost too pretty to eat.

    Jacqueline said...
    You are making me feel so hungry, I probably put on 2lbs just looking at all this beautiful cakes and cookies!!

  3. Miriam said...
    Wow! Amazing!
    If you get tired of teaching, you could start a business.
    You have so much patience!!!

  4. Shelley said...
    HI melissa, loved your blog...beautifully done! The idea with the wooden boards is great! I have lots of cookie cutters if you ever need "holiday' ones they are "loanable" cuz we are neighbours!
    Great summer project!

  5. the cookies not only look amazing but taste incredible as well!!!

    I will taste test any nut-free, soy-free, chocolate-free product any day!

  6. Absolutely incredible! So amazing you almost don't want to eat them. You're a superstar! A natural Martha.

  7. Mel, I found your site because of Bakerella's blog. I came looking curious because she said that you started kinda like I did. I'm doing a food blog about food blogs. What I love is that you do the same thing that I do. Take pictures of the complete process. I was just recently telling someone that I needed to take a picture of the dishes afterwards and then I see it on yours. Keep up the great work and I will definitely be following.

  8. Hi Mel, I never would have ran across your site if it weren't for the "out of this world" marriage proposal you received. May God bless the both of you. And keep baking those apples. They are my favorite!

  9. Congratulations! As a "just retired" teacher I understand why you spend so much time grading - but - just remember that your family and friends MUST always be your first priority! (It took me a long time to learn that!) Maybe you could arrange "date night" with your honey around your baking! But on to more important things - may your life always be filled with sweet things - the laughter of friends, the love of family, the tenderness of children - and maybe a cookie or two! May you spend many days in the warmth of each other's love.
    And as a former photo teacher (yeah, there is such a thing) keep working with your camera - you are doing great. Keep your aperture low and shoot like crazy!!!

  10. Your cookies are awesome!! I just put your book recommendation on my library reading list :)
    I also have a tip for rolling cookie dough evenly: there are thick rubber bands available at kitchen supply stores that fit onto your rolling pin. You place one on both sides and you rolling pin does the rest!

  11. These cookies are so pretty! Thanks for sharing the technique about flooding with 2 colors!

  12. This is my first time visiting your blog and your cookies look delicious! I made sugar cookies for the first time last week and have grey and yellow 'dragged' hearts exactly like yours! Just thought it was kinda random :)

  13. Hi melissa! i found your website through bakeralla and hers through martha :P
    congrats on ur engagement! i hope u have a great life with rich!!
    i love your blog and all the tips you give. i have a favour to ask though! could you pleaseeee post a recipe for royal icing for flooding and piping?! i would REALLY appreciate it! thanks again love!


  14. Hi Elly,
    Stay tuned! I am baking sugar cookies for two parties this weekend, so the recipe for royal icing will be posted within the next few weeks!
    -Melissa :)

  15. Hi Melissa,

    I enjoy your blog and plan to try 2 of your recipes. I too, love baking. I bought a rolling pin and rolling pin guide rings from Michaels it will roll the fondant/dough to the desired thickness. I think might be easier for you than the parchment paper and boards, that is a great idea thought.They are a bit pricey but with the 50% off coupon they are not bad.
    Also I would like to ask where you bought the book Cookie Crafts? I see we have the same wedding cookie cutters!
    Congratulations on your engagement! I found you through Bakerella.

  16. Hi Trace,
    I bought Cookie Craft at Indigo. However, it is much cheaper to buy it is a link to buy it online.
    Melissa :)

  17. Can I have your recipe for filling in the cookies when you frost them...... I know you use a thicker one for the outside and thinner for filling in? LOve love love your blog. Found it through bakerella on the proposal. AWESOME!!!!!!!
    thanks so much!!! I try to do fun treats with my kid and for daycare treats. It's fun. I just post them on FB. don't have a blog.

    thanks Sara McCoy Brown