the shower this weekend was fantastic! it was so nice to spend time with good people and get away for a few days.
my sole contribution to the shower were these cookies. pretty cute, right? i first saw baby shower cookies on Homemade by Jill - a great blog and resource for this project.
i don't know why i've never worked with royal icing before, but i will use it EVERY TIME i decorate cookies from now on. Here's how I made the cookies and some tips I learned along the way.
make your dough. it is important to use cookie dough that is made to be used with detailed cookie cutters. i originally thought i'd just try the pillsbury pre-made stuff, but it makes puffy cookies. i used this dough and was very pleased. the cookies keep their form, but aren't hard or poorly flavored. i don't like dealing with huge amounts of dough so i made three half batches.i used the suggestion in the recipe to roll the dough between sheets of wax paper - OMG what a difference! took all the frustration out of using a rolling pin.
my cookies were about 1/4 inch thick before baking and i ended up with 62 cookies.
(excuse these photos - it was dark out)
cut out your cookies. use a cute cookie cutter that is 3-4 inches or larger. at first i tried a stroller that was about 1.5 inches and it was really hard to "draw" defined details with the icing - just not enough room. leave that for the pros and make it easy on yourself - use a big cookie cutter. i got mine here.
bake your cookies - i found 7 minutes at 350 to give the best results
make royal icing. i used the recipe discussed in this video. i love the woman in the video - doesn't she just make you feel good? part 2 of her royal icing video is good too - it discusses how to pipe it.
to spread your initial layer of icing use a small spoon. spread it all the way to the edge with the back of the spoon. keep your unused icing under a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
let the bottom layer dry at least an hour before adding any other layers. to pipe the icing outlining the shoulders and leg holes of the onesie i used a #3 piping tip. there are tons and tons of examples of how to decorate onesie cookies on the web. i went with the simplest version i could find.
i went back and added a green monogrammed M and a few dots for buttons. to color the frosting i recommend using a concentrated tint like those made by wilton. a little goes a long way so its worth spending a little more money and getting richer colors
one thing i missed while reading up on royal icing was that it takes 12 to 24 hours to fully dry. this posed quite the problem when i finished icing my cookies 1 hour before i was to drive 8 hours to the shower. thankfully gift boxes from dollar tree allowed me to transport them without having to stack them. also, don't worry about leaving them uncovered during the dry time - the icing will keep the cookies from drying out.
these served as favors for the shower so i finished them off by putting them in individual bags like these.
and in case you are wondering how much time to budget: from start to finish it took me about 3 hours to make the dough, roll, cut and bake all 62 cookies and an additional 4 hours to ice all 62 cookies. not too bad for how cute they are!