For as much as I love making decorated sugar cookies, I often wish the process could be shorter. It takes several hours (not all hands-on time, thankfully!) to even get to the point where you have cookies to ice. Icing then takes a minute or so per cookie and they have to rest for at least four hours (!!!) before you can pipe anything on top. I get exhausted just thinking about it.
So when I saw this recent cookie pop project in a Fancy Flours e-mail, I knew I had to give it a try. The cookies were so cute, but they didn’t have any icing. I am completely in love with my regular cookie recipe (No-Fail Sugar Cookies), so I decided to use my usual recipe with their technique.
I have made hundreds and hundreds of sugar cookies over the last five years, but I had never colored the dough before. Talk about an easy way to dress things up! I used Wilton’s gel paste food coloring in rose, and I added it after the butter and sugar were creamed but before the egg, vanilla, and flour mixture. Once the dough was chilled and firm, I rolled it as usual and cut it with a 2-inch heart cookie cutter. I put each heart on top of a popsicle stick (my stash of white candy sticks is MIA, so I used what I had) and pressed the dough gently so it would adhere. Fancy Flours suggested silver dragées in the corner of each heart but I had pearl ones; again, I used what I had.
My perfect baking time for 2-inch cookies was 8 minutes at 350°F. I cooled the cookies for five minutes on the baking sheets before carefully transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
Pretty cute, huh? And I loved that they were done once they were cool… No additional decorating necessary! Here are a few notes for any of you who want to give this one a whirl:
- Based on the scale of dragée to cookie, I’d say Fancy Flours used a 1 1/4-inch cookie cutter. I used a 2-inch cutter.
- I think the white candy sticks look nicer, but the popsicle sticks will provide better support for a larger cookie.
- I experimented with dragées around the entire perimeter of the cookie, but the results weren’t good. Some of them dissolved a bit and shrunk during the baking process, which was really obvious when there were 10 or so per cookie. One is perfect (and less time-consuming to place).
- You could make a really cute Valentine’s Day “bouquet” with these if you stuck the bottom of the sticks into craft foam (maybe shaped like a heart and painted red or pink?). They’d make great gifts individually wrapped and tied with a bow as well.
Update 2/15/11: I baked some mini (1 1/2-inch) heart cookies yesterday afternoon and the dragées held up beautifully. I think the shorter baking time (5 1/2 – 6/1/2 minutes for the minis) made all the difference. Heart-shaped Red Hots worked well as decorations for both the mini and larger cookies.
Recipe link: No-Fail Sugar Cookies