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As a lover of baking and eating delicious treats, one of my favorite things to do with the grandkids is whipping up a batch of cookies or brownies, which allows for some quality time together and a quick cooking lesson. Whether or not you enjoy baking, I highly recommend trying it with the grandkids and allowing them to measure, stir, and pour.
While you may already do this, I wanted to share my easy, tried, and true sugar cookie recipe and tips for making the experience even more special and unique! As always, I hope that sharing this “sweet” idea helps you grow closer with your grandkids – they really are the most important thing!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Powdered sugar for rolling out dough
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light in color.
- Add the egg and milk and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, and beat until the mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap it in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the surface where you will roll out the dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from the refrigerator at a time, sprinkle the rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick.
- Cut into the desired shape, and place at least 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat.
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Let sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from the oven, and then move to complete cooling on a wire rack.
Royal icing recipe
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 5 tablespoons water (more for thinning)
Mix all ingredients on low speed until it reaches a smooth consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. Divide icing into smaller bowls to mix different colors with food coloring.
Cookie Decorating 101
- Royal icing (recipe below)
- Food coloring (various colors)
- Piping bags
- Small round piping tips (sizes #1, #2, or #3)
- Squeeze bottles
- Edible markers
- Sprinkles and other edible decorations
- Outlining: Use a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and filled with royal icing. Outline the shape of your cookie, this will act as a barrier for the next step. Let this dry a bit before moving to the next step.
- Flooding: Once the outline is dry, it’s time to flood the cookie. Take a squeeze bottle filled with thinned royal icing (thin it with a little bit of water until it’s a honey-like consistency) and fill in the outline. Use a toothpick to guide the icing to the edges and pop any air bubbles.
- Adding Details: Let the base layer dry completely. Then use your piping bag with royal icing to add details. You can draw, write, make dots, lines, or whatever your heart desires.
- Adding Sprinkles or Other Decorations: If you want to add sprinkles, edible glitter, or other edible decorations, you should add them while the icing is still wet so they stick.
- Drying: Let your cookies dry completely. This can take a few hours or overnight, depending on the thickness of your icing and the humidity in your environment.
Cooking themes and designs
- Garden Theme: Think flowers, bees, butterflies, and ladybugs. Create a variety of different flowers with multi-colored petals, add some bees with cute stripes and delicate wings, butterflies with colorful, intricately designed wings, and don’t forget the red and black spotted ladybugs!
- Animals: Create cookies shaped like your grandkids’ favorite animals, including pets or wild animals. You can even create cute faces on the animals and add intricate details like fur texture or feathers.
- Tea Party: Cookies shaped like teacups, teapots, and mini sandwiches can be a lot of fun! For the teacups and teapots, you can use various colors and patterns to replicate traditional ceramic designs. The mini sandwiches can be decorated to look like they have cucumber, tomato, or any other fillings.
- Family Portrait: Make cookies shaped like each family member, and decorate them to match each person’s features and favorite clothes.
- Seasons or Holidays: Depending on the time of year, you can make cookies that reflect the season or upcoming holidays, a la leaves and pumpkins for fall, snowflakes and snowmen for winter, flowers and butterflies for spring, or suns and beach balls for summer. For holidays, you can do hearts for Valentine’s Day, eggs for Easter, trees for Christmas, and so on.
- Outer Space: Make cookies shaped like stars, planets, rockets, and astronauts. Use various shades of blue, purple, and black for the space background and bright colors for the planets and stars.
Cookie decorating supplies
You can find a cookie cutter for anything- I like this set because it includes so many different themes and pieces!
Decorating supplies do not need to be overly fussy or expensive, as demonstrated by this straightforward, easy-to-use set of piping bags and tips.
No time to bake cookies and make icing? No problem 🙂
Remember, the goal is to have fun and enjoy the time together while baking and decorating cookies with the grands. Don’t worry about making them look perfect, the memories you make are the most important part. Enjoy, and, as always, let’s talk again soon!