This year, Dan and I have gone all out in terms of celebrating Christmas. At least more than we have in the past. Earlier this month, we picked out a fresh Christmas tree, which you can read about here. Now I want to share the sugar cookies that we baked and decorated from scratch the other day!
We bought new cookie cutters from Michael’s but you can probably find them in any store during the winter time. We used a snowflake, pine tree, sweater, and mitten cookie cutter! Maybe next year, we’ll adopt a reindeer to our collection.
So I decorated a majority of these cookies, however, can you guys pick out the one cookie that Dan decorated?
If you guessed the green flannel patterned cookie in the top left corner, then you deserve our whole platter of cookies for knowing him so well! Dan has an obsession with flannel! See his post on wearing flannel on flannel here.
Not trying to toot my own horn, but I’m really proud of how I decorated the blue mitten cookie! The swirls and snowflakes turned out pretty good for a beginner. This shade of blue is my favorite because it reminds me of our bird son, Shiloh!
We have made cookies before, but they always turn out deformed, burnt, and just plain ugly! This time around, we wanted to put more love and care into the cookies, so we studied up on some techniques to baking and decorating cookies. Below is a list of what we learned from our own experience that helped us make prettier looking cookies. These tips might be common sense to you guys, but we are such newbies when it comes to baking, so any bit of detail really helped us, and so I hope it helps you!
Tips for decorating cookies when you’re a newbie
- Some people say to chill the dough beforehand, while some people say not to chill. The debate. is. real. We happened to chill our dough overnight and it turned out just fine. My advice here is not to stress about what decision you make. Baking should be fun!
- Resist the urge to roll out your dough too thin! I kept rolling it out because I wanted more dough to make more cookies, but it’s just not worth it. The thinner your cookies are, the easier they’ll get burnt up in the oven.
- Stand by the oven while you’re baking the cookies and check on them often. Our sugar cookies crisped up SO quickly! Just a minute could make a big difference in how soft or crunchy your cookies will turn out. By the way, soft cookies are THE BEST.
- Pour your homemade icing into a flat container (we used tupperware) up to a centimeter deep. That way, you can DIP the face of the cookies to make a base color layer. Let the extra icing drip off before flipping it over flat to harden. The icing should fill in gaps and harden smoothly, so don’t worry if the icing looks lumpy at first.
- Once the base icing has hardened, you’ll want to start icing the little details! Unless you’re Betty Crocker, you probably don’t have a designated piping bag. Instead, we poured the remaining icing into a ziplock bag.
- Cold icing is WAY easier to decorate with, so place your bag of icing in the fridge (or freezer if you’re impatient like us) to cool before trying to decorate with it!
- Once you’re ready, cut a small hole at the corner of your ziplock bag. Not too big. A smaller hole is much easier to control while decorating. My first cut was too big and everything oozed out at once. What a disaster!
- The warmth of your hand might warm the ziplock bag of icing, so you might have to re-freeze during the decorating process. In the meantime, why don’t you turn up the Christmas jingles and dance around some more? There’s so much to celebrate!
Do you have any baking tips that I hadn’t mentioned?
Again, we are FAR from experts in the baking realm, so be easy on us. Feel free to share your baking knowledge with us below!