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Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday U.S.A.

I've been watching all of the cookie decorators I follow making beautiful patriotic themed cookies in preparation for the 4th of July.  I've never decorated cookies for 4th of July because, in the younger years, we were always at the lake, having a picnic, a cook-out, or ... well, heck, I didn't decorate cookies back then unless they were slice 'n' bake with sprinkles on top.  In recent years, it's too darn hot to decorate cookies in July.  However...this year, I felt the lure of the red, white, and blue royal icing.

So, I got the idea that I wanted to find one of the great chocolate sugar cookies I've seen many of the cookie decorators use.  The colors look particularly nice on the dark background and the thought of a chocolate cookie sounded really nice.  I selected the recipe I found on a favorite baker, LilaLoa's blog.  Here's the link.  It is a very, very tasty cookie...such a nice change from regular sugar cookies (although, I do love vanilla sugar cookies).

My inspiration for the star cut-outs were from
Glorious Treats and Sweet Sugarbelle - two of
my favorite cookie decorators!!!

So, I made a batch of chocolate cookie dough and wrapped it in 4 portions and put it in the fridge.  It was too stinking hot to turn on the oven.  I waited another day.  Still hot - but I decided to roll anyway.  It was unbelievably humid to boot...the rolling process was "challenging" to say the least.  I ended up rolling between parchment paper and putting the cut dough in the freezer, on the parchment paper, before removing them to the cookie sheets.  It's the same sort of texture as the gingerbread cookies I made at Christmas, and I found even a few minutes in the kitchen with a pre-heated oven made this dough horribly sticky.  So, I immediately hopped to the process I used in December...and it worked very well.  Once they were baked off, I let them cool on racks and moved them to a container, separated by wax paper, in the hopes of reduced humidity the next day.  Well... no poured buckets and was 95% humidity even when it wasn't raining.  So, I waited.

I made the base icing on Saturday night, mixed colors and began decorating on Sunday (wishing desparately that I had a food dehydrator, also recommended by LilaLoa's blog) to ensure appropriate drying of the icing.  Since I didn't have one, and the temperature was more manageable...I used Ann Smith's "turn down the a/c" trick - and everything worked out pretty darn well!

I learned I'm not all that good at piping straight lines...for stripes.  I can NOT pipe a star free hand worth beans.  I can pipe a bunch of dots thanks to my PME 1 and 1.5 tips... and I enjoyed playing with colors to obtain two different shades of blue.  I messed up a few (but the beauty of cookies is you get to eat the mistakes!) and only rolled about a dozen for this project.  Pictures below of how it all came together.

Cut out mostly squares and circles and then cut some stars
from the middle of some circles - I was ready to decorate!
The first set the second morning
The second set after layering on some more detail
I tend to enjoy feathering - and these reminded me of fireworks
Happy 4th of July U.S.A.!


 Creations by Kara

Sweet Sugar Belle
The Bearfoot Baker

Our Delightful Home



  1. I'm glad you fell to the lure of the red, white and blue. Your cookies are wonderful. Happy Independence Day!

    1. Thank you Paula - and Happy 4th to you :-)

  2. Replies
    1. I guess it didn't...just the comment that you hoped the comment went through :-)

  3. I am having so much trouble commenting, lol! If this is the fourth one, I'm so sorry! Anywho, my friend Nicole told me that when it's humid she uses her oven on warm but turned off. That way it warm but not hot. I tried it and by golly, it works!!! I love these colors so much! Thank you for linking up. So glad I got to see these beauties :-)

    1. Yay...your comment made it! I have actually tried this oven method before - and it did work. I forgot about it though - because all I could think of was how hot and humid it was!!! It was probably way more expensive turning the a/c down to 70 than it would have been to warm the oven (but I must say I reeeaaallly enjoyed the a/c being cold!). Your kind words fill my heart. I have enjoyed all of your tutorials on youtube and really love your cookies and reading your posts. You inspire me!

  4. Those are some beautiful cookies! Sooo pretty.


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