I hope you and yours had a very Happy Thanksgiving. Ours was a wonderful one. My family and Grandparents joined us for my first Thanksgiving. Everything was delicious and I’m certain everyone left with a happy heart and a filled tummy. That was my goal! We then joined my in-laws and spent the day with them on Friday. It was so nice to see everyone.
Here is a real life snap of me with my oven roasted turkey. I am tired and sweaty after cooking all day Wednesday and my kitchen is a mess but my heart was happy and I was so proud of my turkey.
Now that Thanksgiving is over I can start thinking about Christmas. Christmastime is a wonderful time of the year but I won’t start thinking about Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed. I hate the holiday creep. It is officially December so that means Christmas cookies!
There is this movie that Disney released about a year ago. It takes place in the winter, everyone seems to be wearing their winter jackets throughout most of the movie, there is even a very cheeky snowman in it by the name of Olaf. This movie is called Frozen in case you haven’t heard of it.
Do you want to build a snowman? I made a batch of these cookies for the school bake sale back in September. Let’s just say they lasted as long as a snowman would last in the heat of the summer.
Decorating sugar cookies is so fun. However I am not an expert (sure wish I was though!). Since I am not an artist and could not trust myself to freehand a snowman that would resemble Olaf I went to the internet for help. I found a coloring page image of Olaf, printed it out, and cut off his head. I only had room on my cookies for the head.
Place the cut out on top of your cookie, using a toothpick dot around the features so you can trace them with the icing, lastly I traced the outside of the head and mouth and the outside of the cookie with icing first. Letting that harden before flooding it in. They were so fun to make and my girls loved the snowman surprise when they got home from school.
Making the icing has a bit of a learning curve, but don’t fret! You can do it! The icing you pipe around the shapes needs to be thicker so it will hold up. The icing you use to flood the shapes will be thinner but not thin. Think like syrup or honey. It will spread out slowly. I have linked below to a very helpful tutorial about decorating.
OLAF SUGAR COOKIES
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the icing:
recipe from Sweet Sugar Belle
4 pounds powdered sugar
3/4 cup meringue powder
1-1/3 cup warm water
2-4 tablespoons flavoring extract like vanilla, almond, lemon, mint, etc. (not oil based)
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and baking powder.
2. In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, beat together unsalted butter and sugar.
3. Once mixed well, add in egg and vanilla.
4. Add in flour mixture about a cup at a time.
5. Mix until dough forms and begins to clump together. If it appears crumbly keep mixing it will come together.
6. Roll dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and allow to chill in fridge for 30 minutes before using.
When ready to use:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. To roll dough place between lightly floured parchment sheets. I like the cookies between 1/8 -1/4 inch thick.
3. Place cut out shapes on parchment lined cookie sheet.
4. Put cookies sheet in freezer for about 5 minutes.
5. Bake for about 8 minutes. Let sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two to set before placing on cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating.
For the icing:
1. In stand mixer with whisk attachment add the dry ingredients. Stir on low to mix sugar and meringue powder.
2. Combine water and flavoring extract and SLOWLY pour into the sugar while mixing. At first icing will be very liquidy.
3. Mix on medium-high speed until icing is fluffy and stiff peaks form about 8 minutes. Stop mixing as soon as icing becomes stiff.
This icing will keep for 1 month
At this point you can add color to your icing. Sweet SugarBelle does such a fabulous job of explaining everything so PLEASE read her great tips! Plus she has videos that show you way better than I could explain it. Plus she makes some of the best looking decorated sugar cookies I have seen!
Read more about adding color to your icing here
Read more about outlining and flooding your cookies here
I love to use AmeriColor food gels when I color my icings.
DECORATING THE COOKIES
First you pipe the outlines with thicker icing. Let set until hardened. I used a small fan to help speed this process along.
Once the outline is hardened you can flood your cookies with thinner frosting. Do it in steps. Allow to harden. Then fill in another color.