It’s been quite a while since I shared some cookies with you… So, today I thought I’d change all of that!
I’ve been in a bit of a cookie funk lately… I just haven’t had the time and energy to do much decorating. And, for me, it’s one of those things that the longer I wait, the harder it gets to get around do it. I’m sure you can relate! Holidays are always a great excuse to bake some cookies, though, so this week I finally found some time to whip up a batch of royal icing and do some St. Patrick’s Day decorating.
I found a shamrock shaped cookie cutter at a local craft store (for only $0.50… a bargain!), but if you don’t have a shamrock cookie cutter, don’t worry. These designs would be super cute on any shape cookie… Just use whatever cookie cutters you do happen to have on hand – squares, circles, or even hearts!
When it comes to holiday cookies (especially when you’re making them for a crowd), I recommend keeping things simple… Limit the number of icing colors you need, and keep the design manageable. That way, you won’t be ready to take a nap (or eat the blank cookies to hide the evidence!) when you’re less than halfway through the decorating. I think these shamrock cookies fit the bill perfectly, and I hope you will, too!
What You Need…
Like I said, this cookie design is pretty simple. You only need a few things…
- Cookies – Of course! I used my standard vanilla bean sugar cookie recipe, but any cutout cookie will do!
- Royal Icing – You only need three colors… White, light lime green, and a darker green. You’ll want both stiff icing and flood icing in each color.
- Pastry Bags – I prefer the reusable ones, but any pastry bags will do.
- #2 Pastry Tips – These will work for outlining the cookies and adding details at the end.
- Squeeze Bottles – You’ll want a squeeze bottle for each color of icing for filling in the cookies and adding details to the flood icing.
Once you have everything together, fill the pastry bags with the three colors of stiff icing for piping, and fill the squeeze bottles with the flood icing. Then, you’re ready to go!
Outlining the Cookies
Start by outlining each of the cookies. You can use either the dark green or light green icing… I chose to do some of each (and, I actually did a few cookies in white, too!).
For a smooth outline, try to keep the pastry tip about an inch off of the cookie and let the icing flow out naturally. It’s especially important for straight lines and round edges. For a great tutorial, check out this great post from Gail of One Tough Cookie! (And, yes, I was the one complaining about piping circles on Twitter… So glad I could inspire such a fantastic post!)
Polka Dot Cookies
Let’s start with the slightly easier cookie design, shall we? Polka dots are always fun and cute, but they are really easy to do, too!
Once you have your cookie outlined (and the stiff icing has had some time to dry), fill in the cookie with the same color of flood icing. Then, use a contrasting color of flood icing to make the polka dots. Simply squeeze small drops of icing into the wet flood icing. Try to be consistent with the amount of icing in each drop, and you’ll have perfectly even polka dots.
Once you’ve mastered the polka dot cookie, you’re ready for the plaid design. It’s really not much harder, but there are a few more steps involved.
Like the polka dot cookies, start by filling in the outline with flood icing in the same color. Then, using the other two contrasting colors of flood icing, draw straight lines in the wet flood icing to create the start of a plaid pattern. Allow the cookies to dry for at least 2 – 3 hours. Then, add additional details to the plaid pattern by piping straight lines on top of the cookies using the remaining stiff icing.