When it comes to holiday parties at school for the girls, I usually have really grandiose ideas and plans, but I generally don’t plan well and end up doing something different in the long run.  This year, for Valentine’s Day, though, I planned ahead.  I wanted to make decorated sugar cookies for them to take to their classrooms.  I didn’t want to use the traditional multi-colored butter cream frosting, though, I wanted to try something new – something I had never tried before.

I am part of a group called Post-A-Day 2011, and today’s topic was share something you learned recently, so the next two paragraphs are excerpts from that post I wrote earlier today:

First, I have to give a plug to THIS book.  The Best Recipe Book by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine.  Not only does it have great recipes, but it details the processes the test kitchens went through to get to the end-recipe result.  I used their rolled butter cookie (basically a stiffer sugar cookie dough) recipe.  It is FANTASTIC!  It is easy to work with , rolls nicely, and best of all, it tastes really really yummy!

Until this weekend, I had never made Royal Icing before, so I was a bit intimidated because I knew it could be troublesome.  Luckily for me, though, I follow The Pioneer Woman’s blog, and before Christmas, she had a post detailing how to make and use Royal Icing.  She had Bridget from Bake at 350 over to demonstrate at her ranch, so I used all the information from their two blogs.  Also part of the post was learning how to use Royal Icing to make flood icing, so I did that, too, and that is what I used for the colors on the hearts.

Bake at 350’s Royal Icing Recipe

Pioneer Woman’s Decorated Christmas Cookie Blog Post

I made my sugar cookie dough earlier this week and let it firm up in the fridge until I had time to actually bake the cookies.  Sunday morning, I made the Royal Icing and Flood Icing.  After I outlined all the hearts with Royal Icing, Harley helped me fill in the centers with the color.  First, you squirt the icing on the cookie with a squirt bottle, then you use a toothpick to spread it around and smooth it.  I thought it would take a lot longer than it did, but it was quick and easy.

 

We used four colors for the flood icing – red, pink, green, and turquoise.  After the flood icing dried and became solid, I piped the phrases on in Royal Icing.

Each of the girls now has a container of cookies for their class parties.

This picture is just for fun.  I had no idea my little point and shoot would take pictures using a selective color technique, and I accidentally stumbled upon it when taking the picture above so I thought I would try it.  It looks pretty cool, but I’m generally not a fan of selective color, so I probably won’t ever use it again.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Amy

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