For a while now I have wanted to learn how to decorate those amazing sugar cookies you see all over Pinterest. You know, like this…
oh and these…
I mean they are incredible, those are cookies people – cookies!! And they look like little edible pieces of art.
So when a talented local baker, Sweet Baketique, posted on social media about cookie decorating classes I was all in – like front of the line, dive in head first, sign me up without reading the fine print kind of excited!!
And since I knew I wasn’t the only one obsessed with these tasty treats decided to have the ultimate Girls Night In and host a cookie decorating party – complete with snacks, sweets and alcoholic beverages!!
The most perfect workspace for a cookie decorating novice
Why yes, those are gourmet donuts!! I had been dying to try them and this was the perfect opportunity. Peanut butter & banana, German chocolate, maple bacon, cookies n’ cream, Flaming Hot Cheetos – they were all beyond delicious!
a little something to nosh on – yes I cut the cheese into hearts.
Caprese bites, because why not!?
The most epic dessert bar you have ever tasted – like EVER!! One of these days I’ll share the recipe.
For the party, Sweet Baketique brought these adorable cookie decorating kits. They were stocked with everything a beginner needs to start decorating – sugar cookies (Sweet Baketiques secret recipe), Royal icing in consistencies for both piping and flooding, extra piping bags, a cookie cutter, gel food coloring, a “boo-boo stick” to correct any mistakes and a pair of gloves.
We went through, cookie by cookie, learning the basics – the whole thing is a lot harder than it looks. The room full of 9 ladies was surprisingly quiet with every trying to concentrate.
The theme of the cookie set was ‘Life is Sweet’ and we ended up with ½ dozen cookies in shapes like a macaron, a cupcake, a donut, a jar of hearts, a conversation heart, and plaque with the message ‘Pretty Sweet’
While Sweet Baketique couldn’t share her personal recipes with us (since its her business and all) she did give some really helpful hints on how to perfect our cookie making and decorating skills on our own.
Since I am determined to get this down – it seems like such a fun hobby – I decided to try out some recipes and practice some basic decorating on my own.
First, I had to find a sugar cookie recipe I liked…
I used the tips I learned in class and actually found one I love.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter (between cold and room temperature)
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (next time I’ll use vanilla bean paste for more flavor)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cold egg
- 3 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix together butter and sugar
- Beat in extracts and egg
- Add in flour a little bit at a time – this will be stiff dough so you may need to knead by hand at the end.
- Bake for about 8 min
Then came the icing. Let me just tell you something about royal icing – its kind of the most difficult thing to work with. I put it up there in the same category as pie crust, or meringue even. It was hard to find a recipe I liked that didn’t just taste like confectioners sugar – blah.
Then figuring out the right amount of food coloring and the different consistencies and then getting it all into a piping bag – it was comical. I kind of wish I recorded it so I could laugh at myself later.
The thing is, I know it will get easier the more I practice. For the time being though here is the icing recipe I used – which was good, just not great.
My taste tester approved…
Royal Icing Recipe
- 5 Tbs. meringue powder
- 3 Tbs. warm water
- 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
- 2 lbs. confectioners sugar
- 2 Tbs.. vanilla extract (next time I’ll use vanilla bean paste for more flavor and maybe even some almond extract too)
- In a deep bowl add meringue and water
- Beat for about 1 minute or until white and frothy
- Add confectioners sugar, corn syrup and extracts and mix on medium until icing becomes thick with peaks
- If you need to thin out for flooding consistency do it now by adding a little water at a time.
- Add in gel food coloring a little at a time – remembering that the color brightens as it sits
- Store in an air tight container
I had a lot of great feedback about the party – both from those who attended and friends who saw pictures and want to be included in the next one… and there WILL be a next one because it was that fun. Sweet Baketique also offered to do an advanced class to teach us the more difficult techniques like flowers and airbrushing!!
If I can literally get that good I might actually choke on a cookie. Until then I’m having fun practicing and using it as an awesome excuse to host a fun night in with my girls!!!