Browsing the archives for the cookie decorating tag.

Sturdy Cut Out Cookies – Ghosts & Tombstones

Domestic, Kids

Happy Halloween!!!

There is so much going on today for us that I have no idea where to begin. We ended up spending most of the day on Monday dealing with long distance house selling issues. Please note, however stressful irritating maddening ahem troublesome you think selling a house may be, imagine for a moment that you are about 2600 miles away from it and all cleaning, packing, moving and signing of official documents will be done long distance. Yeah, so that was Monday.

Yesterday was a fun meeting with Wee One #2’s teacher, I really like homeschooling this way. Support from the teacher, freedom to accomplish it our own way and most important the time we all get to have together! Amazing, really. So instead of Twinkle Twinkle’s Halloween party on Monday, we are going this afternoon and the kids are really, really hyped for it. I’m not going to lie, I’m super hyped for it too. It’s my favorite place to take the kids for some fun (and too many Caffe Americanos for mommy).

Today, we attack a stack of cookies and turn the kitchen upside down. It seems the best days around here end in a destroyed kitchen that I then spend a good hour after they’re done cleaning – but it’s totally, undoubtedly, absolutely worth it. <3 This recipe is from a book of activities to do with preschoolers, so you know this cookie is sturdy! They are not horribly chewy, which would be a really weird texture for a cut out cookie, but they are not so tough they're really crunchy either - just perfect. Especially perfect for handing over half the batch to an eager 3 year old and 6 year old with royal icing covered aprons, an arsenal of sprinkles and a whole lot of imagination. They didn't break a single cookie! This is officially my new go-to recipe for cut outs. The only thing to note about them really is that they are not as white as a traditional sugar cookie and the cinnamon and ginger give them a spice cookie taste without being overwhelming. Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones

Sturdy Cut Out Cookies – via The Preschooler’s Busy Book

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup liquid honey
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones
Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones
Super super simple, just mix all the dry, then the wet and then the two together! I found they rolled out and baked best when I followed this method: Divide the dough into four balls and roll each one between two sheets of parchment and pop in the freezer for as long as it takes to roll the rest out between their own sheets of parchment. Then take out the first one you put in and cut out the shapes, pop it back in the freezer and repeat that until all four balls are rolled out and cut into shapes. Follow the same process for lifting the shapes onto a baking sheet lined in parchment and rolling and cutting new shapes. Bake at 375 for about 7 minnutes.
Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones
Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones
Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones
Sturdy Cut Out Cookies - Ghosts & Tombstones
The beauty of these is you can cut out whatever shapes you want (or whatever shapes your kids want) and then decorate them in any way you (or more likely your kids) choose – or even better, both! Win-win! I chose ghosts, Wee One #2 chose tombstones (the other two were totally uninterested in what shapes we used). I made my standard Royal Icing (2 large egg whites, 3 cups icing sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice). I tinted a little bit black, a whole lot gray and left the rest of it white.
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Snazzy Sugar Cookies – Daring Baker Challenge Sept 2010

Domestic, Kids, Small Town

In this post, I’m participating in The Daring Kitchen, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

This was my first official Daring Baker challenge and I was so excited to do it, and now I am so excited to show it off!! The theme for this challenge was ‘September’, it was pretty easy for me to figure out which way to go with that when I am surrounded by these beautiful September colours! The first photo was taken in my backyard (it’s part of the view from my kitchen window), the second photo was taken in my front yard. With these colours as daily inspiration, I used brown, green, orange and red on my cookies.

I’m jumping ahead here, I actually baked them on Sunday afternoon and spent wee one #3’s nap on Monday decorating them. I prepared them exactly as Mandy instructed. Sugar cookies are pretty basic, but it’s the most basic recipes that are the easiest to mess up. In this case, whatever you do, DO NOT overmix! As soon as you’re combined, stop.


This recipe was a total winner and was explained so well, I can’t wait to make more. And more and more and more. Amazing. Kneading the dough into three balls and then rolling between parchment paper to reduce both chilling time, and the necessity to re-roll was genius. I have made a zillion sugar cookies, and these are by far the best.

Also, this is just the second time I’ve used my Granny’s rolling pin. It’s so weird and sometimes feels so wrong that I reference her so much more since she’s passed than I did when she was alive. It makes me feel both like a terrible granddaughter, and somehow really connected to her. Ever since we traded city for country I’ve been thinking of her a lot – she was certainty an old fashioned country girl making the city work for her. Anyhoo, her rolling pin is very, very heavy – it’s marble with wooden handles and I love, love, love it. In this case specifically, where I’m rolling out soft dough on parchment paper, it makes the job come together in a snap.


I really think the rolling, chilling, cutting, chilling, baking procedure makes the cookies hold their shape so well and make them so easy to handle. Which doesn’t matter much if you’re just going to eat them plain. However, if you’re, oh I don’t know, about to attack them with a kilo of royal icing, it would be so nice if they were sturdy cookies that didn’t fall apart when handling!

Ahem. Excuse my baggies, I need new piping bags desperately. My birthday is less than a month away and pretty much everyone knows I’d love a refresh of my baking gear. 😉

Decorating these cookies was so much fun! Wee one #1 was at school, wee one #2 was home from school with a cold (as much as she wanted to go the poor thing) so she was in the other room playing Mario Kart and wee one #3 was blissfully napping. A quiet, (mostly) uninterrupted stretch of time?? Really? I took it! LOL


I had intended to also pipe out our initials (we planned when we named everyone to not repeat any initials!) but I got so wrapped up in the magic of dragging a toothpick through the icing, I had attacked all three dozen! Next time I make these, that’s the plan, but in brighter colours I think.

These cookies are destined to be in our neighbour’s tummies tomorrow afternoon. As I mentioned earlier, I have been here for 3 weeks and have only met two neighbours, so I will rectify that situation after wee one #1 gets home from school. Hmm. Maybe we should give some to the school bus driver as well!