Decorated Cookies For All Occasions

Yup, summer is just around the corner...or is it? Here it is the middle of April and it's snowing again. At some point it's got to stop, right? In the meantime I'm thinking of summer sweets and these cookies fit the bill. There's nothing better than a great sugar cookie that's decorated to the tee for special occasions like holidays, birthdays, graduations and just every day. My watermelon cookies were frosted with buttercream frosting. I've included the Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe and both Buttercream Frosting and Royal Icing recipes in this post. 

Recipes included in this Post...
Rolled Sugar Cookies
Buttercream Frosting
Royal Icing
Summer is almost here...I say almost as I look out the window and see snow, snow, snow. But, it's April and summer is not too far away. I've said many times in many of my other posts that I was a cake decorator in a previous life. I also loved decorating cookies. It's so much fun to design your own cookies, or use other decorator's ideas. Many years ago I came across a wonderful sugar (cut-out) cookie recipe. I found it on All Recipes.com. The contributor was Jill Saunders. After making this recipe many times, I threw away all my other sugar cookies recipes. This one is the BEST!
I've used decorator icing on cookies along with just plain old buttercream.  Some decorator icings get really hard and I'm not a fan of hard icing. For Christmas sugar cut out cookies I use a thinner buttercream frosting, more like an icing. It doesn't harden up, it just gets a nice shell on the top and keeps the icing on the inside soft. It actually keeps some moisture in the cookies which makes a softer sugar cookie.
You can make sugar cookies any time of the year. They are great for special occasions, holidays, picnics, graduations or just for the fun of it. I made some cookies for my granddaughter's graduation along with cake pops and cupcakes. It was a very fun project. I added different kinds of candies and some flower pots filled with Dum Dums. You could say it was a sugar extravaganza!!!

Let's Make Some Watermelon Sugar Cookies...
Here are the ingredients you'll need for the cookies and the frosting. I bet that most people have these ingredients right in their pantry. A simple recipe with very simple ingredients, but a big, big taste.

Cookie Ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder and salt. 
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients: shortening, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla (optional: you can use almond extract also)
Use room temperature butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and sugar and vanilla to the creamed butter and mix again until combined.
Add flour, baking powder and salt to butter mixture and beat until combined and a smooth texture.
Place cookie dough on a piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk or rectangle. Wrap securely. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to about 1/4"-1/2" thickness on a floured surface. I used a scallop round cutter, but you can just use a biscuit cutter if you would like. After cutting out the circles, cut them in half.
Place cookies on a cookies sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 400℉ for 6-8 minutes.
For this batch I cut the recipe in half. This recipe makes a lot of cookies. The half recipe made 48 cut out watermelon cookies.

Let Make The Buttercream Frosting
Buttercream is the easiest frosting to make. Once again, place the shortening and room temperature butter in your mixing bowl and start whipping it until it is light in color. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time. Then add vanilla or whatever extract you would like to use. It will be pretty thick at this point. Start adding milk a little at a time until you reach the consistency that you desire. For cookies, my buttercream is about medium. You will be piping this frosting, not spreading so you want it not to thin or not to thick.

I put about 1/2-3/4 cup of frosting in two bowls and left about 1/2 cup of white buttercream in the mixing bowl. Add a few drops of pink coloring in one of the bowls and a few drops of leaf green and 1 or 2 drops of yellow together in the other bowl of frosting. With a spoon mix until the color is incorporated in the frosting.
Now the fun part. I used star tips for the piping. It's the easiest way to decorate cookies. Pipe the green frosting around the edge. Fill in the center with pink. I used a Wilton #7 tip for the white frosting. Then I topped each with mini chocolate chips for the seeds.
And that's it! These cookies are so easy and with the buttercream and the great sugar cookie recipe you have not only created beautiful cookies, but great tasting cookies. Some cookies look good but don't taste very good. These cookies are the best...your family will love them!

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipe...
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened                        
  • 2 cups white sugar                                     
  • 4 eggs                                                           
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract                                                                  
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely before frosting.
For my watermelon cookies, I used a biscuit cutter to cut the circles and then cut them in half.  I then used a star decorating tip to put the frosting on each cookies. The seeds on the watermelon cookies are mini chocolate chips.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe...
Buttercream frosting is made to be used with decorating tips. It's consistency is medium, but not stiff. This frosting needs to be covered between uses so it doesn't dry out. The frosting will set up at a medium pace. This frosting is used to also decorate cakes.
   Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
  • 4 C. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C. stick margarine or butter
  • 1/2 C. Crisco shortening
  • 1 tsp. clear extract of your choice
  • 1 T.- 5 T. milk
Directions:
  1. Place butter or margarine and Crisco shortening in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and mix until light in color.
  2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Add milk 1 T. at a time until you have reached the desired consistency. Start with one tablespoon and add additional tablespoons as needed.  Remember you can always add milk, but you can't take it away if the frosting becomes to thin.
  4. Add clear extract of your choice and beat until you have the consistency of a thick whipped cream. It should be flexible, not stiff.
There Are Many Ways to Frost Your Beautiful Cookies...

You can flood the cookies with thinner icing that makes them smooth and shiny. You can use a little bit thicker icing and then put seasonal sprinkles on the cookies, or you can use a buttercream frosting like I did for these cookies and pipe your decorations on them. There are many ways of finishing off your cookies. You don't have to be a professional to get uwwws and awwws...for your beautiful cookies.

Working with Royal Icing on your decorated cookies Video...
I've also included a few video tutorials on how to work with royal icing on cookies.  This icing is very thin, but sets up pretty fast.  It also has a semi-gloss to it. So it gives a very smooth finish.
After watching this video, please check out her website. It's loaded with everything a decorated cookie enthusiast would want. 

How to Flood Cookies (Video)...
This video is how to make and use Royal Icing for both piping and flooding...

Royal Icing Recipe...
Royal Icing is a thin consistency. It is used to flood cookies when decorating. This frosting dries relatively fast and needs to be kept covered in between uses so it doesn't dry out. It dries to a satin finish.
                  
Royal Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons meringue powder
  • 3 tablespoons water and more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear extract (your choice)

Instructions:   

  1. Combine the sugar and meringue powder in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or you can use a regular mixer. 
  2. Mix on low speed until well combined. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the water.
  3. Next, add a clear extract (of your choice) to make your frosting take on different flavors.
  4. If your mixture isn’t thin enough, add more water…1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes.
  6. Color icing with desired food colors by blending a drop of coloring into the icing. Gradually blend additional drops until you achieve the desired color.
  7. Immediately cover the icing with plastic wrap covering the surface of the icing. This icing dries fast, so plastic wrap will keep it pliable. Store in your fridge for up to 10 days.

    This recipe makes will make 1 cup of icing, enough for 12 cookies. If you are going to be making a lot of colors and cookies you will want to double, triple, etc. this recipe.


    Cookie Cutter Companies on the internet...
    You can find cookies cutters just about anywhere. But if you are looking for a certain cookie cutter the companies below have a wide variety of cookie cutters that are very reasonably priced. I've used all three to purchase cookie cutters that I need. I give all three companies 5 stars for their efficiency and great customer service...just click on the logo and you will be redirected to their websites.
    Decorated Cookie Pinterest Pins...
    There are so many decorated cookies to make. I love making different cookies for different seasons or events. The recipe that I use to make sugar cookies truly is the best. These cookies also freeze well. I used butter cream icing for the watermelon cookies, but most of these cookies use the flooding method with royal icing.  Either way, you'll love the way they turn out.

    Below are a bunch of samples from the internet for decorated cookies. Just click on each picture to be redirected to each website.
    Christmas, Valentine's Day
    St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July
    Mother's Day, Father's Day
    Easter
    Halloween, Thanksgiving
    Spring, Summer
    Autumn, Winter
    Graduations
    Baby Showers
    Birthdays




    So many beautiful cookies. I love checking designs out to get new ideas for myself. Maybe one of these cookies will work for you for a birthday, a holiday or a graduation. Have fun with this post!

    Always remember..."Life's short, eat dessert first!"...words to live by