Sugar cookies are fast and easy. However below are some ways to dress them up. My grandson Jonah just loves to bake cookies of any kind with me! Below is the SPIDERMAN cake that I made for his fourth birthday – I bought a decal on line of Spiderman ( edible) and baked a simple lemon cake, covered it with bought cream cheese frosting and black sprinkles – and he loved it!
Back to the Decorated Cookies:
First here is a very simple sugar cookie recipe:
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- Sprinkles or colored sugar, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the buttermilk to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.
- Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. Or you could use cookie cutters to make specific shapes if you are going to decorate with fondant below.
- With a brush or fingers, moisten the top of each cookie with the remaining buttermilk and slightly flatten the top of each cookie. If you decide NOT to decorate in a fancier way, then sprinkle with raw sugar or colored sprinkles.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.
- OR use your new skills below to decorate the cookies when cool.
1. Decorate them with fondant.
Thin sheets of fondant were cut to be the same shape with cookie cutters and then decorated with additional pieces of fondant. You can buy fondant at The Prepared Pantry my affiliate partner – just click on the links .
2. Decorate the edges. For intriguing cookies, consider decorating the edges. This is usually done with refrigerator cookies—the “log” is rolled through the decorations—but most sugar cookies can be baked as refrigerator cookies. Roll the log through decorations and then slice the log into cookies.
3. “Spread and sprinkle.” Usually you’ll “spread and sprinkle.” That is, you’ll use a spreadable icing, either premade or from a recipe, and sprinkle the tops with decorations. The magic is usually in the decorations. Most decorations are pretty but don’t add much flavor—colored sugar crystals and jimmies are typical. (Prepared Pantry have excellent selections with unusual colors and combinations.) The icing can be colored in 27 different colors using food color gels. You can buy white colored sugar crystals and tint them with food color gels in any of these colors.
Candy bark adds flavor as well as color. It’s a combination of crushed candy—usually intensely flavored candy—and white chocolate. It costs more but tastes much better.
Don’t forget the meringue powder. Meringue powder is basically sugared, flavored dry egg whites. A little will make your frosting firm so it will not mar and smear so easily. We typically add two tablespoons when we make cookie icing. The royal icing used to make cake decorations—like the flowers and leaves on a wedding cake—is hardened with meringue powder.