So one of my favourite ways to celebrate at themed parties is themed cookies. I love love love sugar cookies. First of all they’re delicious, second, almost everybody I know loves them, and third, they’re so customizable! No wonder this recipe was one of the first I perfected in all my party-planning prep, and one of my all time favourites. After all this practice I’ve managed to get it down to a science!
If you’ve ever seen our food table set ups at parties then you’ve probably seen some sugar cookies somewhere in there, generally in fun shapes and elaborately decorated (but okay, we aren’t artists so it’s elaborate if you have low standards…). Anyways, we thought it would be fun to share the cookie recipe so you can give it a try too, and of course we added in our favourite Royal Icing recipe as well, so you can practice decorating 🙂
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
2-3 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 (start with that and add more if dough is too wet/stick)-2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2.Cream together softened butter and icing sugar. If you’re using a mixer, use the paddle attachment for this recipe.
3. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the vanilla. Add that to the butter sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. You’ll start noticing the dough sticking to the paddle in chunks. When you give it a little poke it should have a bit of flex but not too much.
5. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 an inch thick (use flour for dusting if you need it!) Cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Keep an eye on your oven because of course there’s room for error in the cooking times. This version makes 2-2 1/2 dozen.
1 lbs icing sugar (2 cups approximately)
3 tbsp meringue powder
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla
1. Begin by stirring the vanilla into half the water in a separate bowl.
2. Using a paddle attachment, gently mix the icing sugar and meringue powder in your mixer.
3. With the mixer on it’s lowest setting slowly add the water/vanilla mix to the dry ingredients. As the water is added, the icing will become thick and lumpy.
4. Continue to add the remaining water (you might not even need the whole amount) until the mixture reaches a thick, honey like consistency. At this point, turn the mixer to medium speed and whip 2-4 minutes until this icing is thick and fluffy. Mixing time can vary greatly so watch carefully and stop mixing when the icing is this enough to form a soft peak.
In terms of decorating, I think our skills have developed as we’ve started using cookies more and more as table decor (the best kind of decorations are the ones you eat afterwards!). Definitely the first time (the One Direction cookies for a birthday party we featured a while back) took a lot longer.
The thing about royal icing too is that you’re making white icing. Any colour you want you have to dye. You can get some good deals on Wilton dyes at Party City and Michaels in little packs of different colours, and those are definitely our favourites because the colours come out really true to what the dye advertises, so it saves you some time playing with food colouring and mixing.
As you get more familiar with your recipes, your dyes, and your tools, you’ll find you get more confident in the types of cookies you can do for each theme, and it opens the door for a lot of really fun interpretations! Our favourite so far were probably the Easter cookies we made, featuring carrots, rabbits, and easter eggs. 🙂
So that’s that! We loved the idea of sharing some of our favourite recipes, so stay tuned for more of our party menu successes!