Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July Cookies

My father-in-law and his wife hosted an Independence Day cook-out and fireworks viewing at their house. I contributed an appetizer and a dessert. The appetizer was tasty and popular - Lil' Smokes wrapped in bacon, covered in brown sugar and baked in the oven. The dessert however is the subject of this post - patriotic-themed sugar cookies.

They are sugar cookies made with an old midwestern recipe that uses A LOT of butter and makes five dozen average-sized (about 3 in) cookies. They are thick and crumbly and really, really good. The picture is of the two dozen I took to my in-laws'.
Usually I decorate sugar cookies with cookie icing but I didn't have the time to make my own, couldn't find any blue in the store, and your hand gets really tired after squeezing a piping bag after five dozen cookies. So, this time, I decided to try something different and use fondant.
Sunday I did my actual baking and let the cookies cool before putting them in air-tight containers until Monday morning. I bought premade Wilton's brand fondant in white and primary colors. 
First, I rolled out all of the white since it would be the base color and what I had the most of. I used the same cookie cutters I used for the cookies on the fondant - for the flags I only cut out the "fabric" portion and not the pole, I used the entire cutter for the national silhouettes and the bald eagles.
Second, I very lightly brushed some light Karo syrup on each cookie as an adhesive, you don't need much at all, and laid down the white fondant.
Third, I followed these steps with the yellow fondant for the poles of the flags and for the feathers along the neck of the eagles. When layering fondant on top of other fondant, as opposed to cookie, you don't need the Karo syrup, just apply a little pressure.
Fourth, I followed these steps again withe the red and blue fondant.
It took a while because I had so many cookies to cover and I took a break to heat up some lunch for my family. However, my hands didn't hurt and each cookie looked as good as the one before it. The fondant has a very mild sweetness but I prefer that and used to go very lightly with the cookie icing. If you have a major sweet tooth, you can use a very thin layer of buttercream/whipped frosting instead of Karo syrup.

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