Several people have asked me how I make the homemade sugar cookies I recently shared on Facebook so I decided this would be the easiest way to share all the links and details on creating these sugar cookies.
The Cookie Cutter Company is my favorite place to buy cookie cutters. They are made of tin, hold up really well (even to lots of pressure), and they are very affordable. They have tons of designs you can choose from too. They also have design ideas on their site too.
The dough recipe I use does not require you to chill the dough or chill the cut out cookies. Using this dough, once you cut out the cookies and bake them, they retain their shapes very well too. Here is the link to the dough recipe I use: Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe. I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer that David surprised me with about 6 years ago and I use it to make my cookie dough. Using a stand mixer, it will mix the dough well even after you add the last of the flour. I also love the flavor of this dough and it makes lightly sweet cookies. I do prefer to make thicker sugar cookies when I cut them out. That way they hold the icing well and don't fall apart.
For the icing, I have always preferred to use Wilton's Royal Icing Recipe. It is super easy to make and it is easy to work with too for outlining the cookies, flooding them, and then decorating them. I buy the Meringue Powder at Michael's and use their 40% off coupon to get it cheaper. You can find it at Walmart too but it is usually cheaper at Michaels if you use a coupon. You can find lots of recipes for royal icing on the internet but this is the one I have stuck with for several years now. This type of icing also needs time to harden. You can't just pipe it and then go onto the next step. You must allow time for the icing to "harden" on each step.
DECORATING THE COOKIES:
Again, there are lots of tutorials and videos on the internet for outlining, flooding, and decorating sugar cookies. To be honest, I watched a lot of tutorial videos I found online to learn how to do this a couple of years ago. I would bake cookies and practice. There were LOTS of flops and failures (but the upside was, we had yummy cookies to eat anyway even if they weren't pretty) and then gradually I began to get it and they started turning out. So you have to be willing to experiment and try until you feel comfortable with it. Plus, you will score "Mommy points" for all the cookies you're making too!
You can go to the internet and type in "outlining sugar cookies" to learn how to outline cookies, "how to flood sugar cookies" to learn how to fill the cookies, and I just go to Pinterest and type in whatever kind of cookie I am making to get decorating ideas for the cookies. Most of the time I just look at how a cookie is decorated and then just try to copy the design somewhat myself.
I have also acquired my cookie baking supplies over the past few years also. Most of it comes from Michael's or Walmart. In fact, I have got most of it at Michael's and would use their coupons to get the best deals. I have a large Wilton decorating tip set but for these cookies I mainly use Wilton tips 4 or 6 for outlining and Wilton tips 1 or 2 for decorating. For flooding, I use the Wilton mini decorating bottles. They are super easy to clean and work great for flooding. I use Wilton gel colors or Americolor Soft Gel paste for food coloring to make the cookies. Basically, I buy either brand depending upon what color I am looking for and which brand has the prettiest color. Both of these brands work really well and the colors go a long way.
1. Make a batch of sugar cookie dough.
2. Cut out your shapes and bake them.
3. Allow them to cool completely on cooling racks.
4. Pipe the outline for your sugar cookies and let the the outlines harden for at least 2 hours.
5. Flood your sugar cookies and let them dry overnight (yes, overnight...if you don't let them harden at least 8 hours, they won't be set well).
6. The next morning, you can decorate your cookies with all the fine details. Let them harden for at least 2 hours.
SERVING/TRANSPORTING THE COOKIES:
When I am serving them, I like to put them on platters so each cookie is clearly displayed. If I need to deliver them somewhere, I will put them in deep dish aluminum foil pans. I will put down a layer of cookies and then put a piece of wax paper over them and put another layer. The wax paper helps protect the cookies from breaking or losing decorations. Then when I deliver them, the person can serve them however they want.
These also make great baby shower gifts, birthday gifts, party favors, etc. You can make a batch of sugar cookies for any occasion and then put a cookie in a clear party bag and then tie some curly ribbon around the top with a little gift tag and it makes a cute and delicious favor.
Hopefully this wasn't too confusing for you and please don't be overwhelmed. I know it sounds like a lot but I promise you that once you've done it a few times, it will get easier. It's really not that hard but it is just time consuming so make sure you plan ahead when you want to make these. However, the end result is so worth it and to be honest, I love making them even though it does take so much time. It's fun to play around with decorating ideas, try new things, and see people's excitement when you make these type cookies.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me: bamagv at aol dot com and I will gladly help you in anyway I can.