Cookie Fever!

October 30, 2008 at 3:52 pm (Of interest to Foodies)

So lately I’ve had cookie fever.  And not just any cookies. Sugar cookies with pretty decoration. Sugar cookies that are soft and thick. That don’t spread on the cookie sheet as you bake them, so a snowflake cookie cutter will beget a snowflake cookie, not a sort of lumpy-flower-looking cookie.

I think this began the mania:

Click on them to see more of her things. Note the “Cookies” category for more of her neat stuff.

Anyhow, those blue cookies got me really jazzed about cookie decorating. I mean, Snowflakes are one of my favorite motifs, so this was like a perfectly tailored Sy-jazzer.

I’ve always associated this type of icing with the name “Royal Icing” – – Which I’d always assumed was basically just water and powdered sugar. In fact, I’m positive that someone actually TOLD me that one time. Long time ago. Well, it’s not, It’s egg whites and powdered sugar. Whipped egg whites.

I looked up on a good recipe for Royal Icing, and chose a Sugar Cookie Recipe as well.

The first time around, baking the cookies, I realized something rather mortifiying. I’d completely forgotten the leavening, (Baking powder) and I’d also forgotten the salt. Also I didn’t grease the cookie sheets, or use the parchment paper I had sitting within arm’s reach.  -_-

The first round of cookies spread like gangbusters, which irritated me, because I wanted the cookies to retain their cookie-cutter shape perfectly. (The second batch, where I followed the recipe exactly, also spread like crazy. Hmph.) Here’s a photo of just how much they spread, I used the cookie cutters on the AGAIN after I baked them to further illustrate how much they spread.

I frosted them with the royal icing, and it turned out ok. They didn’t taste or feel the way I wanted them, but they were quite pretty, for a first try!

One thing I learned was that very thin Royal Icing, while pretty when first applied, tends to soak into the cookie as it begins to sit there for a few minutes, making it very unsightly. I will not be making egg white frosting that thin ever again. A bit thicker is what I used on the above plate of pumpkins and leaves. The green icing you see here never did set up, it was tacky.

I used the “Spoon dribble” method for all the lines, and the “Dip” method for all the backgrounds.

My goal now is to find a cookie recipe that won’t spread much, if at all, so my shapes can be sharp without ruining the edges by cookie-cuttering them after baking. Also it would be nice if it tasted good. =P

I got a couple of potentials rounded up today, as follows:

Gluten and Dairy-free Sugar Cookies that won’t spread

Sugar Cookies that won’t Spread

I think I’ll try the latter first.

ALSO: today I learned of yet another awesome way to frost cookies in a neat and clean manner: Fondant.

Now, fondant and I have had an interesting relationship. In general, I’d say I don’t like it. I made it a lot during a specific time of my childhood, and it contained wheat germ. I have no idea why, but it did. It was ok. Even as a kid, I decided it wasn’t really all that, and I stopped making it. The next experience I had with it was seeing it all over the trendy wedding cakes they make these days that are fully encapsulated in the stuff. Being a huge buttercream frosting fan, these looked fakey, tasteless, and chalky to me. I can’t remember actaully trying it, though.

After watching this video, though, (I’d start watching at 1:40 if you just want to get a gist)

I have begun to think of giving fondant another chance. Particularly when I make it myself from scratch with this recipe. Rolled Fondant at

This is intriguing. I am imagining Candy Cane shaped cookies with nice sharp peppermint fondant stripes. Mmm.  I have yet to successfully imagine how a cookie topped with fondant would taste, however. I need to try it out, see how good/weird it is.

More updates as I make more cookies!



  1. spring said,

    wonderful blog! ummmm delicious!

  2. Karen Joy said,

    I’d be really interested in your opinion on my gluten-free cookies, especially since you (apparently) don’t have to be gluten-free, both for their non-spread properties and for their taste…

  3. kathy said,

    Martha Stewart recommends meringue powder instead of the real egg whites in the icing. She says it doesn’t taste as good so you should also add some vanilla. She did a demo using thick icing to pipe a dam around the edge of the cookie, then drizzle the thinner icing on the cookie…the dam stops it from running over the edge. Yours are very pretty, but I’m sure it was frustrating to have to cut them after baking.

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