I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sugar cookies, my immediate thought process is usually something along the lines of “high maintenance cookie.” I hate trying to roll out that sticky dough (no matter how much flour I use they end up sticking to the rolling pin), keeping it cold enough to not stick while still pliable enough to work with and cut shapes from its flattened form. Annoying.
But I recently decided to give it a go with a new recipe.
It. Was. Fabulous.
Not only was it super easy to assemble, but it doesn’t have to be cold to roll out. It doesn’t stick to the counter, the rolling pin, or the cookie cutters. Amazing!
I found the recipe on a blog I follow called Bake at 350. Bridget, the author of that blog, is a fabulous baker. She makes these GORGEOUS sugar cookies, and I’ve been following her for quite some time, just so I could look at her creations. She is so good that even Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman herself, invited Bridget out to teach a cookie workshop at her ranch. (*swoon* I love PW!!!)
But for some reason, I had never attempted Bridget’s recipes.
And for some other reason, I always make cookies when a thick blanket of snow hits. Sugar cookies in fact. Maybe it has something to do with me knowing I’ll be stuck inside for days, and I’ll have the time to deal with their stickiness and the clean-up they require. (I’m quite a messy baker and cook.)
So, without further ado, here is the link to where you can download Bridget’s instructions for her sugar cookies and royal icing, which she made for her cookie workshop at Pioneer Woman’s ranch.
And here are some pictures of my process:
Coat everything in flour.
And roll it out, but not too thin. Then cut out your shapes.
I didn’t take pictures of this, but you should put the cookies you cut out on a sheet of parchment paper (or wax paper) on the cookie sheet, and pop the whole thing in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before it goes into the oven. This will help it keep its shape and not spread out or puff up too much as it bakes. VERY important!
Here is my new baby, BluBelle. (Yes, Blue minus the e. I have no idea why I like it that way, but I do. I’ve never named an appliance or even a car before, but I have some major love for my new mixer.)
She is working hard on royal icing here, already having made the cookie dough and been cleaned out. Or, at least her bowl was. Her body is covered in flour in this picture.
I didn’t follow Bridget’s instructions for royal icing because I didn’t have meringue powder. So I followed this one, and I also added some butter flavoring and Karo syrup to give it a better flavor.
I wish I was better at piping (and that I had tips for my piping bags; I bet that makes a big difference). But basically, if you follow Bridget’s rules for piping the outline and then thinning the icing her way and flooding the cookies, you can have some fun with your decorating. I didn’t exactly follow all of her rules. But here are a few of mine.
I wish I had done marbling on all of them. It was the easiest way to decorate them and by far the prettiest.
For this one, you just flood the cookie with one color of thinned icing, then take a different color of thin icing and do polka dots in a swirl pattern. Then you take a toothpick and drag it from the outside polka dot through the next, all the way around to the inside. It makes little hearts!
On this one, I didn’t outline it, which is why it looks so ick. But you should outline it and flood it with thin icing, then take another color of thinned icing and do a couple of parallel lines in it. Take a toothpick and drag it up and down the lines. It gives it a marbled effect. This would have looked much better on a bigger cookie.
Of course, I had to make Sam and Liam cookies since I had a bone shaped cutter! I didn’t share it with them though. No need to rot their teeth. (Sam’s is supposed to have a heart and Liam’s a ball. I know you can’t really tell.)
My (horrible) attempt at some snowflakes since it was so wintry outside.
Hint for clean up- if you decorate them on a cookie rack over a cookie sheet, then the icing that drips on accident gets on your cookie sheet and not your counters. Stick the cookie sheet in the sink to soak for a bit, and the icing will dissolve on its own! I only did that for one rack and wish I had for both since my counters got iced on accident. (But it’s really not hard to clean up, even if it does get on your counters.)
Try these recipes out! I bet you will love them.