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My kids love to bake cookies. And they LOVE to decorate them.
I love to bake cookies. And I DO NOT LOVE my kids to decorate them.
See, I have this little problem. It's called I WANT MY COOKIES TO LOOK GOOD. I hope for my cookies to look like they came from a professional bakery, while my children prefer them to resemble multi-colored blobs with tiny bites missing. I've tried to explain to them that snowflakes are not purple and that the Santa cookie will not be able to see anything with an entire bottle of nonpareils dumped on his face, but they don't seem to care.
I've tried to let it go because they have so much fun flinging icing all over the kitchen, but every time I watch them mix all the different colored sprinkles together in one bowl (which is always their go-to strategy), a small piece of me dies inside. This is something I'm working through.
So this past Easter I tried a new approach.
And I may never buy sprinkles again.
The packaging claimed they could also write on toast or cheese. At first I was like, "Why would you want to write on cheese?" And then I thought, "Why WOULDN'T you want to write on cheese!!" FOOD and ART. My TWO FAVORITE THINGS!
They were SO excited to be helping with the meal and they proudly showed off their masterpieces to anyone who wandered through the kitchen.
It kind of warmed my cold, perfectionist heart.
|Ahh, a bunny that is the color of an actual bunny. This girl gets me.|
|How stinkin' adorable are these cookies??|
|My only note: Make sure the icing is completely hardened before coloring on the cookies to avoid "bleeding"|
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And they were delicious!
Ok, so maybe we'll give sprinkles another go after all.
Here is the sugar cookie recipe I use. It's my mom's recipe that she has tweaked over the years and it really is perfect.
Start with 2 sticks SOFTENED butter. Do not try to microwave the butter, just let it sit out at room temperature for an hour or so.
|Note: The assistance of a superhero is not required.|
Now add the flour and a pinch of salt.
I like to wrap my dough in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
When you're ready to bake, cut off a slice of dough and roll out on a floured surface.
I was able to get 16 cookies out of this batch of dough.
The icing spreads beautifully on the cookie.
|Also, do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself spreading icing on a cookie??|
I had to get creative with this one.
Confession: Sometimes I get lazy and just dunk the whole cookie in the bowl of icing. I find it a lot easier to spread that way.
Perfect Sugar Cookies
I can usually make 15-20 cookies per batch of dough, however, it varies depending on the size of the cutter.
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp orange juice
2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
pinch of salt
Blend wet and dry ingredients together.
I like to roll the dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with flour. Sprinkle top of dough with flour and roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick (I use the width of my pinky as a guide, but if you have giant pinkies, that might not work for you. When it doubt, err on the side of thickness!) You may need to flip the dough around to roll it out. While rolling, check underneath the dough frequently to make sure it is not sticking (if it is, sprinkle with more flour). Cut into desired shape and place on a COOL baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until cookies are set and barely brown on edges, about 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
NOTE: In order for the cookies to keep their shape, the dough needs to be COLD. If you overwork the dough it will become too soft and the cookies will not hold their shape. You can even place your cut-out cookies on a plate or cookie sheet and pop the whole thing in the freezer for a few minutes to guarantee a perfect shape after baking!
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp light corn syrup
The icing should be the same consistency as shampoo: thick, but still a little runny. If the icing is too thick, you can add more milk. If it is too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.
Add food coloring to tint the icing! Let cookies sit overnight to let the icing harden.
A few other ways I've used this recipe:
|Martha Stewart's Fireworks Cookies|
|Icing and sprinkles for a "MOPS" event|
|Christmas cookies, of course!|