Tag Archives: decorated cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Happy New Year’s Eve!!!  I won’t be posting NYE recipes until mid-January.  I hope everyone has a healthy and happy New Year!  More importantly, I hope every has a safe and fun filled night.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Now, you may be asking yourself why I’m still posting Christmas cookie recipes a week after after Christmas.  As a Catholic I’ve always learned about the 12 days of Christmas, which occur AFTER December 25. So really I am 100% completely still in the Christmas season!  Technically Christmas doesn’t end until January 6, which is fine by me.  I’m going to rock the Christmas Cookie series for as long as I can.  I hope you don’t mind!

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

I made the Santa cookies two years ago and I loved them!  I don’t know why I didn’t make them last year, they are the absolute cutest.  The idea was completely inspired by Bakerella, baking genius, hopefully I did them justice.  These cookies are not as difficult as they look, they just require some planning and time, and the kids love them.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Chocolate sugar cookies are delightful!  The rich cocoa flavor is nicely offset by the sweet royal icing.  A chocolate sugar offers a nice alternative to the traditional sugar cookie.  These cookies hold their shape perfectly and stay moist and fresh for days and days.  For this batch I made the Santas, candy canes, and ornaments.  By the time I started decorating the ornaments, I was exhausted, and they were ugly, hence no pictures.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Chocolate Cut-out Cookies
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Yield ~ 50 cookies based on size

6 cups flour
1 1/4 cups dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugars until pale yellow in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and beat together until well combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowing add the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Add in the vanilla and mix together.
  6. Divide the dough in half and gently knead each half into a ball.  Wrap each half in plastic and press into a disk about two inches thick.  Wrap the dough well in plastic.
  7. Chill the dough for at least 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper until 1/4-inch thick.  Cut with your cookie cutters.  Place your cookie filled baking sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Once cooled completely, I stack mine and freeze until I’m ready to decorate.

Royal Icing
Adapted from The Decorated Cookie

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup warm water
10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Americolor gel Bright White + desired colors

  1. Whip the meringue powder and water with the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, and corn syrup until you reach a piping consistency.  Add a squirt of Americolor Bright White and mix in.
  3. Divide into bowl and color as desired.  Use drops of water to thin the icing into flooding consistency
  4. Decorate the cookies and let dry uncovered overnight before stacking and storing.

Note – This is a thinner royal icing, add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

And this is why I make cookies! (Stacey’s niece with permission from Stacey’s sister – Isn’t she adorable!?!?)

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Gingerbread Snowflakes

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

Gingerbread is such a classic holiday flavor, yet I can’t always decide if I like the flavor or not.  I guess I am just neutral when it comes to gingerbread.  I enjoy the gingerbread flavor, especially the spiciness, but it is definitely not my favorite.  However, gingerbread cookies still feel like a requirement on the classic Christmas cookie tray.

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

This past week in Michigan has been fantastic!  I’ve eaten, drank, shopped, met up with plenty of old friends, and held so many adorable milk filled babies.  I’ve even ice skated, something I haven’t done in years.  Guess what?  I didn’t fall once!

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

Whenever I am back in Michigan I become a bit nostalgic but I also remember why I love Brooklyn.  Michigan will always be the place place I grew up, but it’s no longer the place I live, I’ve made a new home for myself.  Regardless, I love coming back to hang out and visit.

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

So about the sprinkles on these cookies.  I bought some really cool chunky gold sprinkles but there was so much dust from the gold sprinkles the entire cookie became coated in gold dust.  Cool look, but not exactly what I was going for.  I wanted a mostly naked gingerbread cookie with some gold sparkles.  Even though the final product wasn’t exactly what I wanted, the variety of yellow, gold, and gingerbread was pretty cool!

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Sweetopia
Yield ~ 36 cookies

1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
3 1/3 cups (800 grams) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed.
  2. Add in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, eggs, and molasses.  Beat on low and then increase the speed to combine.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt onto wax paper.  Add to the mixer and beat until just combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough between sheets of wax paper to 1/4-inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets.
  7. Place the cookie sheets in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Royal Icing
Adapted from The Decorated Cookie

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup warm water
10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Americolor gel Bright White + desired colors

  1. Whip the meringue powder and water with the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, and corn syrup until you reach a piping consistency.  Add a squirt of Americolor Bright White and mix in.
  3. Divide into bowl and color as desired.  Use drops of water to thin the icing into flooding consistency
  4. Decorate the cookies and let dry uncovered overnight before stacking and storing.

Note – This is a thinner royal icing, add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.

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Sugar Cookie Trees & Wreaths

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

Decorated sugar cookies are the reason I got into food blogging.  I was amazed by the talent I found out in the world and I wanted to start creating my own cookies.  Unfortunately, it is hard, really hard!

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

I’ve been decorating sugar cookies irregularly for about three years and I still don’t feel super confident in my technique or decorating skill.  I try to remember simple is best, but more often than not I get carried away.  The wreathes are adorable – simple and sweet.  I need to focus all my effort on creating designs that are simple and well executed.

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

Trust me, these sugar cookies are as delicious as they look!  The royal icing keeps the cookies fresh and soft for several weeks and softens the cookies so they stay moist.  The actual cookie isn’t overly sweet so the icing is a pleasant addition.  Yes it takes a lot of time to create lovely sugar cookies, but they are just so pretty and look great on your cookie platter!

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Sugar Cut-out Cookies
Adapted from The Decorated Cookie
Yield ~ 40-60 cookies based on size

5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Sift together the flour and the salt onto wax paper, set aside.
  2. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until pale yellow in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat together until well combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowing add the flour.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 balls and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Briefly knead and roll out one ball of dough at a time.  Roll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutter.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Once cooled completely, I stack mine and freeze until I’m ready to decorate.

Royal Icing
Also adapted from The Decorated Cookie

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup warm water
10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Americolor gel Bright White + desired colors

  1. Whip the meringue powder and water with the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, and corn syrup until you reach a piping consistency.  Add a squirt of Americolor Bright White and mix in.
  3. Divide into bowl and color as desired.  Use drops of water to thin the icing into flooding consistency
  4. Decorate the cookies and let dry uncovered overnight before stacking and storing.

Note – This is a thinner royal icing, add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

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Vanilla Cake Pops

I have a love-hate relationship with cake pops.  There cuteness is universally adored, yet they are a lot of work!  I often wonder if the cuteness is worth the effort.  But alas, I made these as a special request, and I have to say, this was one of the easiest batches I’ve made.

I’ve promised my student monitors I would make them each a treat for their half birthdays and this student requested vanilla cake pops with light blue candy melts.  As I’ve discussed before, these girls are amazing!  They keep my grades up-to-date, my room clean, and my bulletin boards beautiful!  Making cake pops was the least I could do!

One of the many things I love about these girls is that they make cake pops at home!  I made a batch for their class last year and the girls asked for the recipe.  Ever since then, we are now able to openly discuss where to buy the best candy melts and the trials & tribulations of making cake pops.  It’s kind of awesome being a teacher!

As a double bonus, I sort of owed my homeroom, so there were enough cake pops for a two-for-one!  We went to Fun Time America on a field trip and I told them if they chipped in and used their tickets to buy me something, I would bake them cake pops.  This is what they got me.

A little ridiculous, especially when they brought it on the bus to go back to school!  The kids deserved some cake pops after that.  When the students are doing group work, I usually bring it into the middle of the room and bounce around, it’s kind of awesome!

They also spontaneously wrote and performed this rap on the bus.  It started on the way there and after several rounds of practicing, I made the recording on the way back.  BTW, they are referring to the Oreo Cupcakes and Tie Dye Cupcakes I made them for raising the most money for Pennies for Patients!

Students rapping about cupcakes!

The one thing I really hate about cake pops is how heavily most instructions rely on boxed mix.  I don’t want to sound like a food snob or anything, but I really don’t like cake mixes and I can always taste when one is used.  It surprises me how many commercially sold cake pops use boxed mix.  To make these cake pops as delicious as they are adorable, I relied on my favorite vanilla cake recipe.

The cake is moist, full of vanilla flavor, and easy to prepare.  I made and cooled the cake the day before I planned on making the cake pops.  The frosting was quickly and easily thrown together and provided what was needed to hold everything together.  I definitely recommend using your stand mixer to break apart the cake, it makes everything so much easier!  These were probably the best cake pops I’ve ever had, definitely worth the extra effort making the cake and frosting from scratch.

Print the recipe.

Vanilla Cake Pops
Yield – 50 cake pops

Vanilla Cake
Adapted from Cupcake Project

1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup cake flour
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 1/4 tea. baking powder
3/4 tea. baking soda
3/4 tea. salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour a 11 x 9” pan.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer add the sugar, flour, powder, soda, and salt, mix slowly with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes nice and crumbly.
  3. While the mixer is mixing, whisk together the sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour this in the mixer and combine.
  4. Slowly add the milk in and turn on high for a few seconds.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely, overnight is best.

Simple Buttercream
Yield – a cup, plus some extra

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until well combined and fluffy.  Scrap down the bowl.
  2. Add in the milk and the vanilla and again beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Remove from the mixing bowl and set aside.

Assembly
2 bags candy melts
1-2 tablespoons shortening
50 lollipop sticks
sprinkles
3 x 4 plastic bags
ribbon

  1. After making the frosting, do NOT clean out the bowl.  Remove the frosting and set aside.
  2. Break up the cake into large pieces and put in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, start mixing on low.  This is a good time to use the batter guard.  Keep mixing and gradually increase the speed until the cake is reduced to fine crumbs.
  3. Add in about 3/4 cup of frosting to the cake crumbs.  Add more frosting if needed.  Mix until the mixture sticks together well.
  4. Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the cake mixture.
  5. Roll the scoops into balls and refrigerate 1 hour.
  6. Set up a double boiler with a heat proof bowl over about 1 inch of simmering water.  Make sure the bowl is not touching the water.
  7. Add the candy melts and stir until they are all melted.  Add the shortening if you prefer a thinner coat of candy melt coating.  I think it is easier if the candy melts are less viscous.
  8. Dip about 1-inch of a lollipop stick into the melted candy melts and push into the cake ball.  Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the cake pops from the fridge 10-15 at a time.
  10. Fully submerge the cake pop into the candy melts and then tap to shake off the extra.
  11. Let the cake pop dry in a styrofoam block.  If you want sprinkles, add them right away before the candy melts harden.
  12. Once the cake pop dries, about 5-8 minutes, place in a small bag and tie with a ribbon.
  13. Try to not refrigerate because that often leads to cracking.

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Don’t get your Panties in a Bunch – {Decorated Sugar Cookies}

Friday night Cinnamon had a Girl’s Night In Party.  I’ve made naughty cookies before, but never ones I would post on the Internet…  These are fun sugar cookies perfect for a girl’s night, bachelorette party, or shower.  I think pantie cookies are a classier, but fun way to make naughty cookies!

The inspiration for cookies came from this site via Pinterest.  I wanted to make cookies with more frosting, so I went the boy short or granny pantie route.  Plus, this left more room for decoration.

I used the frosting and cookie recipe from the decorated Valentine’s Day Hearts.  The cookie cutter is a boob-shaped cookie cutter.  It came in a set with male parts.  I told you I’ve made naughty cookies before, I’ve been a bridesmaid several times now!

To make these even simpler, and because I ran out of disposable pipping bags, I pipped everything with decorating bottles.  The outline is done with a thicker consistency purple and then left to try for about 3o minutes.  The blue, pink, and yellow were all thinned to flooding consistency and then I filled the cookies two at a time.  The polka dots, stripes, and hearts were added with contrasting flooding icing and toothpicks were used to drag the icing.  I added the purple swoop “lace” at the end with leftover outlining icing.  All in all, the decorating took less than an hour, which is a record for me!

I’m sure the girls will love these!  I packaged in clear baggies with a silver ribbon.

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Valentine’s Day Decorated Sugar Cookies

About two years ago I found the desire to start decorating sugar cookies, like really decorate with royal icing and all that jazz.  In my quest for knowledge I stumbled upon many blogs highlighting this hobby.  I was hooked!  On decorating, on food blogs, on expanding my baking skills, and on wanting to start my own blog.  I have tried a lot of different recipes and techniques over the past two years.  I doubt I am done experimenting, but currently I am hooked on the recipes from Sweet Sugar Belle, she produces AMAZING cookies and I appreciate her simplified approach to both cookies and icing.

I’m not going to give step-by-step directions because I am most definitely an amateur who mimics the work of others.  For better directions, inspiration, and sheer magnificence, visit some of these sites.  These are some of my favorites and where I’ve learned everything I know.  I hope you get hooked too!

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle

Bridget at Bake at 350

Meaghan at The Decorate Cookie

A Dozen Eggs

Cookie Crazie

I made this cookies for my homeroom as a Valentine’s Day treat.  I have been a little short with the class the past couple of weeks, so I thought it was about time I baked for them.  These are a fantastic, simple decorated cookie.  The dough does spread a little, but for most cut outs, I don’t find that to be a problem.  If you notice from the pictures, the icing was definitely too thick, but I was too lazy to thin it out more.  I always bake my cookies one day and decorate the next.  The making, dying, and bagging of icing takes a lot of time!  The set up before the decorating actually begins is about an hour for me.  To keep these cookies simple, I outlined about five cookies and then flooded.  I let the cookies dry for about five hours and then piped a second outline and dipped that outline in sprinkles to match the icing color.  Let the cookies dry a full 24 hours before packaging, stacking, or storing.

Print the Recipe!

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Yield – 4-5 dozen 2-3”: cookies
Adapted from Sweet Sugar Belle

Sugar Cookies
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla
5 – 5 1/2 cups flour, start with 5 cups, add more as needed
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Whisk together the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and then add that to the butter beating until combined.  Sift together the dry ingredients onto parchment paper and then add into the butter little by little.  The dough is finished when it is combined but not sticky.

The dough does not need to be refrigerated unless you are not using right away.  Divide into 4 sections and cover in plastic wrap until you are ready to roll out.

Roll out dough to 1/4″ and cut into shapes.  Use powdered sugar to dust the rolling pin and surface.  Bake at 400 °F for 7-8 minutes.  Do not brown the cookies.  Cool on a wire rack and then decorate.

Royal Icing
Yield – A lot!  Fills a 5 quart mixing bowl, enough to decorate about 9 dozen cookies
Or half the recipe, in parenthesis
Adapted from Sweet Sugar Belle

4 pounds powdered sugar, 2 big bags (2 pound)
3/4 cup meringue powder (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons meringue powder)
1 1/3-1/2 cup warm water (2/3-3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons vanilla or other oil free extract (1 tablespoon)

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment mix together the sugar and the meringue powder.  Slowly stream in the water and the vanilla.  At first the mixture will be liquidy, but increase the speed to high and beat for 7-10 minutes.  The royal icing will become thick and smooth.  Test the icing by spooning out sample over the bowl and creating a line, the line should disappear in about 12 seconds.  I use this consistency for outlining and detail. Add more water as needed to get to the right consistency.  I find this icing to be really thick, but that is always preferred because it is easy to thin with water.

Separate the icing into bowls and color with gel color.  Fill your piping bags as needed for outlining, thin the rest of the icing a drop of water or two at a time for flooding purposes.

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Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

When I saw these cookies in the December issue of Everyday Food, I was excited!  They looked pretty awesome, yet deceptively simple.  I love chocolate and rich desserts, but I do recognize that not everyone shares my taste.  When putting together my Christmas cookie list, I wanted a cookie that was simple, sweet, and non-chocolate.  These stained glass sugar cookies fit the bill perfectly!  They received a lot of positive feedback from the non-chocolate lovers and chocolate lovers in my life!  I feel like you could use any hard candy to make them peppermint flavored, cinnamon flavored, or even butterscotch flavored.  The bright color and flavor of the Jolly Ranchers really made me happy!

Warning – I did ding up my wooden rolling pin pretty badly trying to crush the Jolly Ranchers!  I know I need a better quality rolling pin anyway, but I love that I bought that rolling pin at Meijer when I was in college.  So many good memories together!

Print the Recipe!

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies
Everyday Food, December 2011, page 103

Yield – 3 dozen

3 cups flour
3/4 tea. baking powder
1/4 tea. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 table. vanilla extract
Finely crushed Jolly Ranchers

Sift together the flour, powder, and salt onto parchment paper.  Beat the butter and sugar on high speed in a mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy for about 3 minutes.  Add in the egg yolks and the vanilla and beat to combine.  On lowest speed, add in the flour and beat until everything is just combined.  Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap to be refrigerated for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.  On a floured surface, roll the dough into a thickness of 1/8″ and use a medium cutter dipped in flour to cut out your shape.  Use a smaller cutter to cut out the middle shape.  With a small offset spatula, place each cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Crush the Jolly Ranchers in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel using your rolling pin.  Bake each cookie tray for about 4 minutes and then pull out of the oven to sprinkle the crushed Jolly Ranchers in the centers.  Bake for another 4-5 minutes until the cookies just begin to brown and the candy is melted.  Let cool on the cookie sheet and then finish cooling on a wire rack.  You need to use parchment because the parchment allows the cookies to peal off very nicely!

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