Cookie decorating is the perfect activity to bring friends and family members together. So when a friend asked me for ideas, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. My suggestions are:
Baking the Cookies
|A pinch of salt|
|Vanilla or lemon extract||1 tsp|
|Granulated sugar||3/4 cup|
|All purpose flour||2 cups|
- Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine eggs, salt, vanilla or lemon extract, and sugar in a large bowl. Use the Swiss whipping technique to whisk the mixture until it has cool and increased in volume. Draw a line in the egg foam with your fingertip. If it holds its shape, it’s ready.
- Gently and gradually fold in the flour with a rubber spatula.
- Fit a pastry bag with a ¼-inch plain tube and stand it in a tall glass. This will free your hand and make it easy to fill the bag. Make sure that you leave enough room at the top so that you can twist the bag closed without spilling out the batter.
- Pipe the batter onto prepared cookie sheets into any letters, numbers, or geometric shapes, spacing about an inch among them. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on top of the piped cookies.
- Allow cookies to dry, uncovered, at room temperature for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Bake until cookies are firm to touch and light golden in color, about 15 minutes. Then slide parchment papers with cookies on them to wire racks to cool.
Cookie Decorating and Assembling
|A piece of Styrofoam of your choice|
|Egg whites||2 large|
|Confectioners’ sugar||2½ cups|
|Lemon juice or distilled white vinegar||¼ tsp|
|Cookies that you have just baked|
- Combine egg whites with confectioners’ sugar until the sugar is evenly moistened.
- Add lemon juice or white vinegar. Then mix, using an electric mixer, on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep the icing from drying.
- Spread enough icing all over your Styrofoam canvas.
- Carefully arrange cookie letters, numbers, or shapes. For a finishing touch, generously sprinkle decorating sugar over your cookie decorating project. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and keep it in a cool, dry place.
You can prepare the decorations many days before your parties because these cookies keep a long time at room temperature. It is, however, not meant to be a way of serving cookies.