Decorated Sugar Cookies ~ The Epic 300

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Decorated Sugar Cookies ~ The Epic 300

Much like the movie “300”, I too had my EPIC cookie “eggstravaganza” (sorry, couldn’t pass that up).    I think mentioned in yesterdays’ post that I thought it’d be great to make 300 sugar cookies and decorate them for Easter Sunday for everyone at church. Let me set this up by saying that I work outside the home, I am also in an Easter Passion Play so all my evenings are full of performances and there are a few other things going on in my life.  Not a good time to be baking giant batches of anything. But…. I had visions of stunning cookies decorated with amazing and artistic designs.  Oh, did I mention that I’ve not actually decorated sugar cookies before…you know the kind with royal icing that looks gorgeous.  I’ve made plenty of sugar cookies and plenty of royal icing (usually when making gingerbread houses at Christmas time) but never put the two together!  I thought I’d make some cute little chicks much like one of my favorite bloggers Pasta Princess who posted gorgeous decorated cookies recently (I bow to you Oh great one!).   Reality, however can be cruel! My decorating efforts  looked more like Angry birds than cute chicks.  My Tulips looked like flowers after a hail storm.  What was I thinking?  I learned a lot though.  When you make 300 cookies, by cookie number 200 you begin to figure a few things out, especially at 2 in the morning.  Guess what? I also had to make a few extra because some got eaten along the way….

The Sugar cookie recipe is one of my old standbys.  It’s delicious and works great.  The Royal Icing is also an old recipe that’s been around for a long time and is very versatile.  If it’s too stiff, add a little water, if it is too runny add a little more powdered sugar, darn near idiot proof.   What I really had to learn was all about decorating.  I’m a little embarrassed to post my efforts since they are so amateurish but at least they’re colorful!  Happy Easter everyone!

Cream butter, sugar and flavorings

Add flour slowly so you don't turn into the abominable snowman

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use, instead of using flour use powdered sugar to roll out, this keeps the dough from getting tough.

Essential Royal icing ingredients...meringue powder and powdered sugar

Mix royal icing for at least 7 minutes to get the nice glossy soft peaks

Line edges of cookies with a thin line of royal icing in the color that you wish to have the cookie surface to be (this creates a little dam), the smoother your piping job the nicer the end product...as you can see I had issues

Using a squeeze bottle "flood" the cookie with watered down royal icing, use a toothpick to get to all the corners.

Before putting the watered down icing in the squeeze bottle be sure to get all the air bubbles out by letting it sit for a little while, this way you get a smoother surface.

When piping the royal icing make sure the consistency is smooth (add a little water and mix well) so it flows smoother

I know they are amateur efforts, but at least I know they taste good!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 eggs

3 cups flour

½ tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

Pre-heat oven to 350o  In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugar and flavorings together.  Add in eggs and mix well.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.   Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until everything is well incorporated.  Divide dough into two balls, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.  This makes the dough easier to roll out.  When ready to roll out dough, dust the dough with powdered sugar so it won’t stick to the rolling-pin.  This allows the dough to keep its integrity without adding any more flour. Cut out desired shapes and bake for about 9-12 minutes depending on oven.  It should be light golden color, if you want it crisper, bake it the full 12 minutes.

 Royal Icing:

4 cups sugar

2 tablespoon Meringue powder

5 tbsp water

Gel based food coloring (this is a must, it is true color and doesn’t alter taste)

If meringue powder is not available(you can buy them at any bakery or restaurant supply store) then 2 egg whites can be used in its place.  To make sure that it is safe to eat it has to be tempered over a double boiler.

Mix meringue powder and sugar together and add the water.  Use an electric mixer on low-speed and mix for 7-10 minutes until icing is nice and glossy and soft peaks form.  If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and let it mix for about 7-10 minutes.  Put it in an air tight container until ready to use.

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31 responses »

  1. Your cookies are GORGEOUS! I’m glad to see you used the gel based food colors too – they are so much easier to use, and you get such a great color with a teeny tiny addition 🙂

    If you are interested in a little more almond flavor, whenever we make our holiday cutout cookies, we also add 1/2 tsp of almond extract to the icing, and it tastes so yummy!!

    • That’s a great idea to add flavoring to the royal icing! I will have to try that next time, which at this point will be a little while, I don’t want to see another sugar cookie for some time! LOL

  2. Tahmina, the cookies all look very professional to me!!! And I bet not one person complained about your decorations as they ate them all up!!

  3. Oh my goodness! You don’t give yourself enough credit! Your cookies turned out beautiful and colorful! You did a fantastic job!! And … WOW … 300+ cookies now that is amazing!! GIve yourself a pat on the back for a job fantastically done! 🙂 (I was kind of hoping to see the angry birds) 😉

    Thanks for the nice compliments and link! Happy Easter!!

    • I’d post the Angry Birds but everything got quickly passed out and eaten. They ate them so fast, I was hoping they’d savor them and gaze lovingly upon the decorations….didn’t happen!

      • I agree! Those do NOT look amateur! Your cookies look professional!

        And I am so impressed that you made 300 of them on top of everything else on your plate, figuratively and literally speaking. You are a superwoman!

      • Thank you for being so kind. I’m not super woman but in this case I wish I could sport forearms like Gerard Butler from the movie 300 from all that piping!

  4. I’m impressed. They look great. I think after baking all of them, I would have decorated a dozen or two, then given up. Kudos for sticking to it. Have a great Easter!

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