This year at camp, I was asked to make the girls special cookies as a handout to go with the speakers who were there to talk about the temples of our church. They needed to be beautiful and delicious and there needed to be about 125 of them!
The problem is that I am not a terrific cookie designer. I can decorate with the kids and have some fun, but this was a different story. In the end though, the cookies came out really beautiful, there were lots of compliments and my stress over the entire project was relieved! Here are some of the tips I learned as I worked on this project, plus another idea that I came up with for the 4th of July.
- I baked my cookies well in advance and froze them so they wouldn't become stale. There was no way I wanted to bake 125 cookies in the middle of a Phoenix June and sweat to death over them. Also, if there were any mishaps, like broken cookies or a mistake in the recipe or burning, there was plenty of time to make a new batch. ( I will not confess to any of that!)
- Use a recipe you trust. If you are doing cut-out cookies, you want them to hold their shape well. I consulted with my friend Melissa, who does wonderful cakes and cookies and she recommended this recipe from Sweet Sugarbelle.
- If you are doing cut-out cookies, use 1 or 2 special cutters for all of them. Except maybe at Christmas when lots of Christmas shapes are great. But for my purpose, the temple, I used 2 temple cutters. One of the Salt Lake Temple and one of the Phoenix Temple. I'll tell you why.
- We had some special diets, so I made a Vegan Gluten Free version of the cookie. To keep them straight, I made the Vegan Gluten Free as the Phoenix Temple and the regular cookies as the Salt Lake Temple. That way I was sure not to mix them up.
- The icing I used was simply powdered sugar, corn syrup, almond flavoring and almond milk. I made the mixture thicker to pipe an outline around the cookies and I made it thinner to fill it in. Let the outline dry a bit, and then fill in either by piping or spreading with a knife. Then, I used simple pearly white ball sprinkles and gold sugar on the tip of the spire to give the idea of an Angel Moroni on the top. This icing will harden and allow you to stack the cookies later.
- As you can see, I slipped each cookie into a bag and added a label. I am totally converted to these little bags when it comes to making things look more special! They make the cookie look so nice. I have also used them to hold a print to protect it and make it look more professional. The price is great, under $7 for 200 bags! I made the label on Avery using address labels 8160. You can click my button for a copy of mine.
- When you have a lot of cookies to decorate, start a couple of days in advance and then refrigerate them until you are ready to give them out.
Do you have any secret tips that make us non-professionals make our cookies look better? Drop a hint or 2 in the comments!