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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cookie Monsters

Cookie monsters...that's what we were, all 25 of us. Last week we had a little cookie decorating class in the women's organization at my church (Relief Society in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). It was taught by a darling girl (Cherie) who was so talented. She shared her recipes and also some great tips for decorating, then we each decorated 4 cookies (a bunny, egg, sheep and butterfly). You can see many of the cookies she made to demonstrate and teach us right here. Aren't they beautiful?!

Here is Cherie giving some great cookie decorating advice:
Here she is again. How cute is she?

I shared my sour cream sugar cookie recipe here a while ago. Cherie's is similar. The cookies tasted exactly the same to me, but hers were easier to roll out. I know because I came right home from her class and was so excited to make them and see that I made a batch the very next day. Also, the frosting that she uses is a cream cheese frosting. I have never cared for that for cookies. I LOVE the way cream cheese frosting tastes, but I never thought it was the best consistency for decorating cookies. Hers is the exception. I think it's because it has cream cheese and butter in it. The butter makes the consistency great for spreading on cookies.

Cherie's recipes and tips:

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies (makes about 5-6 dozen cookies)
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. butter (don't substitute margarine or shortening)
3 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. baking soda
6 1/2 c. flour

Mix all ingredients except flour. Add flour last, 1-2 cups at a time. Roll dough into 2 balls. Refrigerate about 30 minutes before rolling out. Roll out, cut out, and bake at 400* for about 8 minutes on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
2-3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Warm or soften butter and cream cheese to room temperature. Mix together until creamy. Add vanilla and mix again. Add powdered sugar to taste and thickness you want. Color as desired. Keep unused frosting in the fridge. If frosting an entire batch of cookies at once, you may want to double the recipe.

Some of Cherie's Decorating Tips:
  • Use toothpicks (dip the tip in frosting to make it sticky) to pick up and apply beads, to fix piping mistakes, to add texture (see the sheep in the top photo here. For the swirls, we just used the end of a toothpick to swirl them).
  • Don't bother with piping bags and homemade frosting for the decorating. It's so much easier, less messy, and just as cute if you use writing icing or frosting with tips for piping (that you can buy in any grocery store, the cake decorating aisle at Walmart, craft stores, or Williams-Sonoma). Don't use gel ones! Cake Mate and Wilton brand writing icing are available in most grocery stores).
  • Print off pictures (google - Christmas Sugar Cookies, Valentine Sugar Cookies, etc) for decorating ideas
  • Colored sugars add sparkle (can be bought almost anywhere you buy writing icing...see above)
  • Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting.
  • Allow frosting to dry completely before packaging in clear bags as gifts
  • A great way to apply colored sugar to a concentrated area is with a baby food spoon.


cnelson said...

Yummy!! THanks for sharing these tips!

Wendy said...

How cute are these? Thanks for sharing Karen!

Lori said...

Thanks for sharing. I have always wanted to learn how to make beautiful cookies. And, especially ones that taste good.

Kim Harper said...

They are so beautiful. Too pretty to eat! Thanks for sharing.

Jamie Harder said...

Oh my gosh....YUMMM!!!!!! thanks for the recipe:-)

Melanie said...

Thanks for sharing. They are yummy looking cookies!!! I will have to compare the recipes, too, because I KNOW how awesome yours are!!! :)

Sheila Wilkerson said...

Here's a little tip I learned from the Church cannery for sugar cookies. Make your dough and then put enough dough into 1 gallon ziploc freezer bags so that the dough fills the bag when spread out, and is about 1/4 inch thick or however thick you like your cookies. Flatten the dough in the bag and get it into the corners. I use a rolling pin on the outsides of the bag to make it smooth. Zip shut and store in the fridge or freezer. When you're ready to cut cookies, Open the zipper and cut right along the sides of the bag with scissors aor sharp knife, but not the bottom of the bag. Cut your shapes. With the excess dough, you can form another ball right inside the bag, pull the top piece of the bag over the dough and roll it out again. It won't stick to your surface or rolling pin.

You can also roll your dough out between two equally thick cutting boards resting your rolling pin on the edges, with the dough under the rolling pin in between the cutting boards. This will give you evenly rolled dough.

One last tip (phew!) is to use confectioners sugar rather than flour to coat your work surface to keep your dough from sticking. That way you're not drying out your cookie dough with more flour.

Brenda said...

Oh gracious - how fun is that! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have one with sour cream, but it's just a bit different. I'll try yours next time I make sugar cookies.

Karla Kroese said...

Yummy! Thanks so much for sharing the tips and recipes!

Amy said...

Um....okay so now I'm craving a yummy sugar cookie, wow those look amazing. Good job. Can't wait to see you tomorrow, woo hoo!

Sandy M said...

Yum!! The cookies all look great!


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