So I think I’ve already shared that my Mom has contributed to my love of cookie making. One of our special traditions together growing up was decorating sugar cookies for every holiday. Even when I was younger I was obsessed with decorating cookies. The tradition slowly progressed from slapping some icing and sprinkles on the cookies, to me begging my Mom to make me a few more colors of icing so I could painstakingly decorate each cookie. We still laugh about the one Halloween when I declared that I was going to make each pumpkin cookie into a unique jack-o-lantern. I spent HOURS making sure that no two cookies looked the same! Even though we don’t have the chance to make them together anymore, my Mom still makes sugar cookies at every holiday. Last fall it was fun watching the grandchildren getting in on the pumpkin face decorating. This Easter she made bunny shaped cookies with little marshmallow tails, and sent some home with us.
I resist making sugar cookies too often, mostly because it is still a time warp for me and I spend WAY too much time decorating them. I just can’t seem to help myself. I tell myself starting out that I will keep things simple, but it never quite happens. But my son fell in love with the bunny cookies my Mom sent home. This was a major break-through getting my son to eat a cookie! I know I shouldn’t be excited about him eating cookies…the health care professional in me is quite happy that he doesn’t eat much junk food or many desserts at all. But the baker in me wants to share my love for sweets, and couldn’t help but get a little excited about finally being able to make a cookie that he could enjoy as a special treat. So after he declared that cookies with M&M’s are yucky last week, he proceeded to ask for “just a cookie” and I promised him I would make him some sugar cookies (minus the marshmallow tails, which he was a little disappointed about).
The recipe I used was from Allrecipes.com for a soft sugar cookie, which I have made before with pretty good results. This time around I used some vanilla bean paste (one of my new favorite things!) instead of vanilla extract for some extra flavor. I did have some problems with over-baking them though, and I think I’m going to blame my oven. I ended up having to throw out one pan of cookies because they were way over-baked despite the fact that I baked them for the same time as all the other pans!? Anyway, I started out simple, using hearts (which my son requested) and the scalloped circle cutter from my Linzer cookie cutter set. That’s when things started to get a little carried away. I saw the little inserts from my Linzer cookie cutter just sitting there looking lonely…and decided to make some tiny little cookies to help decorate my bigger cookies. So I baked a pan of tiny little hearts and flowers too.
Because it is delicious, I decorated my cookies just using melted white chocolate. If I was doing things right I would have got some melts in the colors I wanted, but since I didn’t think that far ahead I just melted some white chocolate chips in the microwave and tinted them with my gel food colors. It seemed there was somewhat of a limit of how bright of colors you could get doing it that way, but it worked to have some pastel springy-looking cookies. Then I started decorating to my heart’s content, mostly piping with ziplock baggies although I will admit I did decorate the little flower cookies with toothpicks. A few hours into it I remembered why I don’t do this very often….but I had a lot of fun. Best of all, my son loves them! Success!