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....
(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.
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.