Dan and I volunteer at Sophia's Heart, which is a transitional housing shelter for families who have lost their homes through unfortunate circumstances. There are young children and adults living there. This year, I wanted to make Easter baskets for the children and cookies for the adults, just so they would know that someone was thinking of them. I asked the boys if they wanted to help bake cookies and told them who they were for and they were all for it!
They were so much help to me. I made the dough and refrigerated it overnight. They came the next day and rolled and cut all the cookies for me and placed them on the baking pans. I put them in the oven and removed them since the oven is hot. After the cookies cooled, I iced and packaged all of them for delivery. The boys and I had a blast! They learn cooking skills as part of their school curriculum and they were amazing help! It also teaches about giving back to the world around us and give back they did.
Making cookies is hard work!
Rolling dough takes concentration - notice there is flour everywhere - lol
I iced them with royal icing and then piped on the embellishments with butter cream icing. They take a little time, but look so pretty and went so much faster with 4 extra helping hands.
Here is what you need for the cookie dough:
3/4 cup shortening (I use butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2.5 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in sifted dry ingreients. Chill at least 1 hour.
Roll dough out about 1/8 inch thick (I like mine just a tad thicker). Cut into desired shapes. Decorate with colored sugar before baking if you are decorating the cookies that way. Otherwise, decorate after baking and cooling.
Use an UNGREASED baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees 6-8 minutes or until delicately brown. Depending on the size cutters used, you will get approximately 4 dozen cookies. I double this recipe when baking.
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 TBSP meringue powder (I use Wilton's - don't like using raw egg whites)
3 TBSP water
1 tsp corn syrup
Mix all ingredients in a bowl with mixer. I then separated into 4 small containers and tinted the color I wanted.
Flood the tops of the cookies with the royal icing using the back of a spoon to spread icing and let dry.
1 stick butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
milk added 1 tbsp at a time until you have consistency you want - for these cookies, make it fairly stiff
Mix softened butter until light and fluffy, add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time. Will be rather crumbly. Add 1 TBSP milk and mix, continue a little at a time until you have consistency wanted.
Separate icing into smaller containers and tint with food coloring, making colors you want to use. I then use gallon sized storage bags and clip the corner at an angle (make a tiny clip), place a decorating tip in a different design in each clipped corner. Fill the bag with icing and pipe onto the cookies as you desire.
Here are some of the finished cookies on paper plates ready to be packaged.
Try this recipe and use any shape cutters you like for any occasion. The recipe is easy and delicious - fabulous with coffee. Of course, I kept some for us and for the grandsons to enjoy which they did! Our two year old grandson likes to lick the icing off first, and then eat the cookie! He's a little cookie monster.
Making these memories with our grandsons is one of the most precious and wonderful times of my life and I hope there will be many many more. Make some memories, you won't be sorry you did.
Things to remember: