Ah sugar cookies. With Valentines’ Day just around the corner, these are the perfect gift to bring to your loved ones! Make heart and flower shaped cookies, wrap them in ribbons, little cellophane bags or pipe sweet little messages on them. They are incredible versatile and this recipe can be used for a whole bunch of occasions, birthdays, Christmas and all kinds of other holiday celebrations. I’m sure if you baked a tray or two of them and took them to the office the next day, nobody would be complaining either πŸ˜‰

I used Bridget from Bake at 350’s recipe for sugar cookies, but i’ve seen it around other blogs, so it seems like its been around for quite awhile. This is the first time I’ve ever made sugar cookies but the results were excellent. The biscuits were deliciously soft with a strong flavour of vanilla. I also liked the combination of the crisp royal icing on the soft cookie. Next time I’ll try adding some lemon zest, juice, essence or oil (depending on which I get my hands on first). I’ve heard that royal icing with some lemon added in is quite commonly used and judging from my memory of tasting a friend’s Chrissy gingerbread with lemon royal icing, it’s pretty delicious.

You can try all sorts of cute romantic designs out on these cookies. I used my heart and flower shaped cookie cutters for this time around, but I would love to try and experiment with different cookie cutters. I’ve built up quite a collection of Christmas cookie cutters last year; I’ve got Chrissy bauble cookie cutters (still unused! Oh Christmas sale at David Jones, how you tempt me,). My grandmother gave me a set of Christmas tree cutters for my birthday in November, I collected a set of snowflake cookie cutters from Alfresco Emporium (one of my new favourite cake decorating stores). I also got a metal ring of more Chrissy DJs sales that includes a santa with a bag, a shooting star, a star of David and other assorted Christmas cutters. *Sigh* I wish it were Christmas now! The only non-Christmas cutters are a set of hearts and a set of stars from Chalet. I’ve been seeing a lot of gorgeous cookie designs online, like cake, ice cream cone, high heels and other adorable cutters that I would looove to pick up. All in good time, I guess! Getting back to the main topic, the only cookie cutters I used for this were the heart and star shaped sets.

I tried some pink royal icing on a white background. I tried out;

Polka dots (Easy – just outline and flood the background with white royal icing. Then when the white background is still wet, apply some thinned out pink royal icing in a plain tip, just pipe dots the size you want onto the cookie.)

Also very easy – just follow the steps for the polka dot cookie and then drag a toothpick through the dots from top to bottom (while the icing is still wet) to drag the royal icing into the shape of a heart. You can pipe a few dots in a line and then drag the toothpick through them creating a chain of hearts πŸ™‚

Squiggly lines (Just piping pink royal icing in a squiggly line on the white background. I piped this onto a wet background and the pink icing was a little bit too runny, so you can see that it bled a little bit into the white.. oh well, no matter.)

Vines and berries (I saw a cookie, I’m not sure where with adorable vines and berries piped onto it. I wanted to try and recreate something similar here. Unfortunately it did not work out as I had planned… The green icing for the vines was too thin so it spread out on the cookie too much resulting in fat vines. I then made the icing for the berries too thick so they did not pipe as well as I had planned either. Ah well. Practice makes perfect!) Basically for this cookie, I outlined/flooded the cookie with white icing, then piped on green vines with a plain tip with royal icing and Wilton’s paste gel, then piped on small berries with a pink Wilton’s colouring paste. Then I practiced piping dots around the border in the pink and green colours. This was fun to do and a lot easier than I thought it would be (but of course as is with everyone, could do with a little more practice ;))

Wrapped up with a little ribbon, they make the sweetest little gifts!