Of all the years of baking, I’ve never made something that I thought was too pretty to eat. I tend to keep it pretty simple with my cookie decorating. Mostly because by the time I’ve made the dough, baked the cookies I am ready to move on. All that changed this year, when Katrina sent me a picture of an iced sugar cookie with a beautiful wreath design. I immediately agreed that we had to bake this cookie. I was so blown away by the final result, thy turned out even prettier than the cookie in the picture!
These cookies would make great favors for a holiday party, or they could be used as place cards with guest names pipped in the center. These cookies are so elegant and beautiful, I just wanted to sit and admire them. Eventually I did end up eating one, and they taste as good as they look!
These cookies are definitely worth the time and effort it takes to make them. I am already looking forward to making them again next year.
The cookie is a pretty standard sugar cookie recipe. We prepared the dough in a stand mixer. Starting with creaming the butter and sugar, than adding the dry ingredients until it all came together.
Once the dough was made. We divided it in half and wrapped each half in plastic wrap and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes. Once the dough was chilled we rolled out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. The picture we saw used a plane circle cookie cutter. We went with a scalloped edge cookie cutter instead, which I think made the cookie look better. We cut out the cookies placed them on a baking sheet and baked them for six minutes just until they began to brown around the edges.
While the cookies were cooling on a rack, we prepared the royal icing. Some royal icings require the use of egg whites, we used a recipe that calls for meringue powder instead of egg whites. I like using meringue powder, because it gives the icing a really fluffy creamy texture. Once the icing was ready. We put a small amount in separate bowl and using food coloring dyed it green. We put the green icing in a piping bag fitted with a small circle tip.
We dipped the cookies in the white royal icing to completely coat the cookie. While the white icing was still wet we pipped green dots in a circle around the cookie. To create the wreath design we used a toothpick and gently dragged it through the dots to connect them and give them appearance of leaves.
The original cookies stopped there with the decoration. Katrina and I started talking about how cute the cookies would be if could add little holy berries and leaves to the wreaths. That’s when Katrina remembered she had confetti that was in the shape of holly berries and leaves. so while the cookies were still wet, we placed one berry and two leaves on each cookie. This little touch, took these cookies to the next level of cuteness.
This cookie exceeded my expectations. These wreath cookies have inspired me to make more decorative cookies in the future. What made this cookie even more special was creating great baking memories with a good friend.
1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in extracts and egg.
In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand. Separate dough into two flat discs & wrap in plastic wrap to chill (at least 3 hours).
Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low-speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water; if too thin, beat icing 2 to 3 minutes more or add more confectioners’ sugar a tablespoon at a time. Use icing immediately, or store in an airtight container up to 2 days (icing hardens quickly when exposed to air). Beat well with rubber spatula before using.