This was my first time making sugar cookies and decorating them with icing. I have a feeling this will not be the last… because I have already done 3 more sugar cookie projects since I discovered this versatile new medium of edible art! This was for a christmas cookie exchange, so I was looking to make many packages of very portable cookies. I selected stars, snowflakes, and circles (for ornaments).  I made the sugar cookie dough the day before and let it cool in the fridge overnight. Then I kneaded and rolled only a bit at a time, leaving the rest cool in the fridge. It was easy to roll out and cut shapes from. I wanted to make sure that the cookie would keep their shape and not bloat or puff too much, so once each tray was covered in parchment paper and filled with raw cookie shapes, I put them back in the fridge to keep cool until I put them in the oven to bake. I let the baked cookies cool completely as I mixed the sugar cookie icing ingredients, coloured different batches of it, and put it into piping bags. Decorating these was a new creative challenge, but turned out to be easier than I thought it would be… Using sugar cookie icing, you can carefully pipe the edge of the shape that you want to cover, and then “flood” the rest of the space with some more icing– I didn’t fill the whole shape, but rather filled about 50% of the area, and then used a small flat sculpting tool to drag the icing around and fill in the gaps (see gallery image). This helps to keep the icing layer thin, so that it dries faster, and doesn’t overflow over the cookie’s edges. Gravity helps to settle the icing to a nice flat finish. Once the bottom layer is mostly dry (an hour or more), you can add more detail layers on top. The icing does take several hours to dry completely though– Ley dry at least overnight is ideal if you want to stack or travel with the cookies before they are going to be eaten. Sugar cookie icing dries hard to the touch, but not too hard to eat (like royal icing can be). You can flavour it with vanilla, almond, or whatever extract you like!


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