It’s amazing how much your life can change in a year. It wasn’t long ago that I was able to bake whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I had time to roll out sugar paste and make fiddly little flowers. And I didn’t have to worry about leaving them on the table to dry for a day or two. I could take my time playing around creating new recipes, and then take pictures of the finished product for you all to see. I could make pretty things. I had the time.
As a result of my lack of time I’ve been sticking to relatively simple projects, and have found myself resorting to using boxed mixes as the base for some of recipes in order to save a bit of time. I don’t have anything wrong with boxed mixes. Quite the contrary actually, but I just prefer to bake things from scratch in an attempt to tick off another recipe from my ever growing “to bake list”.
But as much as I enjoy whipping up quick and delicious desserts, I enjoy making pretty things even more. But making pretty things can be time consuming, so I’ve had to learn to adapt and make them over a few nights, rather than on a Saturday afternoon.
I’ve been on a bit of a cookie decorating kick lately, so I wanted to use one of the new cookie cutters I’d bought during a recent trip home to Canada. I’d also been wanting to experiment with some of the decorating techniques that I’ve seen online, and at cake shows.
I thought these bow cookies would be the perfect project. I made the cookies on the first day, iced them the next and let them dry over night. Then, on the third day I painted them with a mixture of lustre dust and alcohol. If you don’t have small kids running around demanding your attention, you could probably combine all the steps into one day. I actually liked coming home from work knowing that after I finished the daily bath, bottle and bed routine that I could sit down and relax and just focus on decorating my cookies. Some people may find the whole process extremely tedious, but I find it really relaxing. Is that weird?
If you want to know how I made these pretty pink bow cookies, then follow the steps below. If you don’t care, then scroll down quickly and just look at the pictures. I won’t be offended.
Shimmery Sugar Cookies Bows
You will need:
Bow Cookie Cutter
Pink Lustre Dust
Purple Lustre Dust
Piping Bags – fitted with no. 2 & 3 tips
Sugar Cookie Dough – recipe is in this post
Pink Royal Icing – recipe in this post, although I used a boxed mix to save time
1. Prepare your dough according to the recipe in the link above. Roll out the dough, cut out, and bake your cookies according to the directions in my sugar cookie post here. Let your cookies cool fully (or over night) before you start decorating them using royal icing.
2. To decorate the bows, use a number 3 decorating tip to pipe around the edges in pink royal icing that’s thick enough to hold it’s shape, but not too dry. You should be able to tell if your icing consistency is right if you run a knife through your bowl of icing and it comes back together in about 10 – 15 seconds.
3. Next it’s time to flood your cookies using the same number 3 tip – you can do this in two ways: fill them immediately after you’ve piped the outline, or allow the outline to dry for several hours and then fill. I prefer it when the outline blends in with the rest of the icing, so I flood my cookies immediately after I pipe the outline. Give the cookie a gentle shake from side to side a few times to help smooth out the icing. Set the flooded cookies aside to dry for an hour or two so they’re dry to the touch, and then use a number 2 tip to pipe the outlines of the bows. Leave the cookies to dry fully over night.
4. Mix approximately 1/4 teaspoon of pink lustre dust together with 1.5 teaspoons of vodka, or other clear alcohol in a little dish (I use alcohol because it evaporates quickly). Using a paintbrush of an appropriate size, dip the brush into the pink lustre dust mixture and brush over top of the royal icing to give it a pearlised finish. Let dry for 15 – 30 minutes.
While your cookies are drying, mix together 1/8 teaspoon of purple lustre dust and 1/8 teaspoon of pink lustre dust together with 1.5 teaspoons of vodka or other clear liquid. Use your paintbrush to coat the lustre dust mixture around the piped edges, and then set aside another half hour until fully dry.
Aren’t they pretty?
So next time you feel like it’s been a while since you’ve taken some out time for yourself, do what I did and choose a project that you can make over a few days. Unlike cakes, cookies are fine to sit out for days, and they won’t go bad.
You can even divide the dough in half and use one half straight away, and freeze the other half to use later for another project.