The next time you’re looking for something fun to do with a friend or when you’re bored, head over to the grocery store for the following items:
• Sugar cookie dough (I prefer the kind that’s ready for baking)
• White frosting
• Food colors
• M&Ms or other small candies
Then come back and get ready for some serious cooking fun. You’ll be making a message out of your cookies for a friend, family member or loved one. In your kitchen you’ll need:
• Rolling pin
• Cutting board
• Wax paper
• Cookie sheet
• Cooking spray
• Cookie cutters or an empty, clean can
Before you can get to the fun part, which is the decoration, you’ll need to make the cookies. If your sugar cookie dough isn’t already prepared, follow the instructions on the box. Once you have cookie dough, sprinkle flour on a sheet of wax paper and throw a lump of dough on the paper. Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough then attack it with the rolling pin.
It’s tough at first, but as the dough loosens up, you’ll be able to roll it out until it’s about ¼ of an inch thick. Now, dig through your cookie cutters to find letters. If you have enough letters to spell your message, example “Congrats Jess!” you’re golden. If not, you have two options. One option is to make all your cookies round using a round cutter or the empty can and “write” the letters on each, or you can try your skill with a butter knife to cut out the letters you don’t have from the dough.
Whatever you decide, press the cutter (or can) firmly into the dough and wiggle it a bit to help the dough inside the cutter separate. Carefully remove the cookie cutter leaving the cut out cookie behind on the wax paper. If the cookie comes with the cutter, there’s no problem. Gently push the cookie out so that it falls onto the greased cookie sheet.
When you’ve used up all the space you have in your rolled out dough, carefully pull away the excess leaving your cut cookies behind. Use your spatula to carefully work the cut cookies free and place them on the cookie sheet. When your sheet is full, start baking that batch while rolling and cutting out the next. Cut out and cook all the letters you need first, and then use the rest of the dough to make whatever shapes you want – these will be your own cookies.
Bake all the cookies and let them cool completely. While you are waiting for the cookies to cool, scoop out some of the vanilla icing and mix it with your desired food color in a bowl. Mix it well and create as many bowls of colored icing as you’d like. Once the cookies are cool, ice each one with your choice of color – you can even use plain white if you’d like.
Next, take your M&Ms or candy and outline the letter to make the shape more distinct. If you were forced to use circles for all your cookies, this is where you “write” each letter using the candy. Finally, coat the edge of each cookie with sprinkles to make them extra enticing.
When you have all of your cookie letters ready, grab a piece of cardboard or a large tray. Line it with wax paper and then arrange the cookies in the right order to spell out your message. Use a dab of icing behind each to make them stick to the wax paper and you can even “glue” the extra candy and sprinkles on using more icing for decoration. Finally, present your cookie creation to its rightful owner and hope that she’ll share a bit of the sugary message with you. (If not, you have your own creative cookies at home waiting for you anyway.)