My Nemesis, The Decorated Sugar Cookie

I’ve been baking cakes and cookies for a long time. But decorated sugar cookies? The kind that you roll out and use a fancy cookie cutter to create? And then use royal icing for fancy decorating? Those have always been my arch enemy. I could not get it. I burned them, they spread into unrecognizable shapes, they tasted awful, they held their shape but then were like bricks. So frustrating.

Last Christmas I decided to try again. The last few years I’ve had a get together with friends and their kids with some really tasty snacks. I bake a bunch of slice-and-bake cookies, give the kids tubs of icing and sprinkles and they go at it while the adults eat and visit. This is mostly possible because we have a sunroom that has a concrete floor and I can throw down plastic tablecloths and then wad it all up and do a quick sweep when the kids are gone. I mean, we find sprinkles for months after, but it’s not like they’re embedded in the floor. Anyway, I wanted some pretty decorated cookies for the party.

I started googling in November. I had lots of design inspiration on my Pinterest page, but not so many recipes for the cookies that didn’t sound horribly complicated. Because that’s the other part. I don’t have a huge space for baking, I don’t have a ton of special tools, and my oven is pretty small. I also didn’t want to spend a million hours waiting for dough to chill and didn’t have the fridge space anyway.

Then it happened! I found Bridget Edwards’ site, Bake at 350, via a project she’d done with The Pioneer Woman. Bridget’s perfect cutout cookies are so easy and taste so good! Her recipe was my breakthrough. I still messed up a ton, and I’m still getting better. But, yeah, her recipe allowed me to feel confident in creating decorated sugar cookies! Thanks Bridget!

So, my first actual batch of decorated sugar cookies were the Christmas Miracle of 2018. I haven’t stopped baking them since and I’m a little obsessed. I hope you try Bridget’s recipes, I haven’t found one yet that I don’t love!

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