This was such a fun project to do! One of my best friends is getting married in May and I am doing her wedding cake, cookies, and being a bridesmaid…lets just say it is going to be a whirl-wind of an experience, but I am so excited! She is such a talented graphic designer and of course did all of her announcements and invitations, which had the silhouette of her and her fiance on them. As you can see by her invitations, her colors are gray, green, and white, which is not your typical wedding colors, but it works out fabulously here! I added some other color designs, like the pink girl, just so I could see how other color combos worked. These cookie cutters were custom made to match their silhouettes by the Victor Trading Company. They are quite large cutters, around 4-5″ in height and cost around $35 each. The quality of the cutters are amazing and the precision of the cutter is flawless…highly recommended. Well, in this posting I am going to try to show you how I make my decorated sugar cookies. Since photos and words can’t always show you the whole process I am working on trying to do video postings, which would hopefully be a better visual for you.
Here is the actual wedding invitation! You can also check out more of her designs at her blog Karrie Pyke Designs.
The first thing you need to do is make your sugar cookie dough. Here is a link to one of Martha Stewart’s sugar cookie recipes. She also has some great technique tips and helpful hints for sugar cookies and royal icing. Once your dough is made and thoroughly chilled then you need to lightly flour your working table and the dough itself, so that the dough doesn’t stick to the table or rolling pin.
Next you need to roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thick. I like my cookies to be thick, so that they will hold shape well when packaged and also so the customer knows they are getting a good size cookie for their money. Once the dough is rolled out, use your cookie cutters to cut out the shapes, trying to get as many shapes out as you can. You can put the scraps together and gently knead them into a ball and roll out again, but be careful because the more times you do this, the tougher the cookies will be. Place the shapes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Place the cookie sheet into the freezer or refrigerator until the cookies become thoroughly chilled again; this will help with the cookie keeping its shape. When the cookies are chilled, bake them as instructed. After baking let them cool on the pan and then transfer them to cookie racks so they can cool completely.
Now it’s time to make the royal icing. You can also find a recipe for royal icing at the same Martha Stewart link I gave earlier. Your royal icing consistency needs to be medium-stiff so that you can pipe the outline of your cookie. Place the royal icing in a pastry bag that has a #2 tip in it. Now carefully trace the outline of the cookie, while trying to be as accurate as possible. Make sure and hold your pastry tip above the cookie, not directly touching it while you pipe, so that the frosting flows out easily and neatly as it follows the guidance of your hand. The mistake that most people make is to hold the piping tip so close to the cookie that it creates uneven lines and bumps of frosting instead of one continuous line of straight frosting. Practice makes perfect though.
After the outline frosting has dried (about 5 minutes) you can now fill the center with the flooded frosting. Take your leftover royal icing frosting and continue adding small amount of water (1 teaspoon) until the consistency is like a thick milkshake. Another visual sign is that when you pour a spoonful of frosting into the bowl that the lines disappear within 5 seconds. You want the frosting to be thick enough to not spill over the frosting outline, but thin enough that the frosting will dissolve into one solid finish. Place this frosting in another pastry bag and either snip off a little of the tip of the bag or put a slightly larger tip than the #2 in it. Now fill the cookie with the frosting, while using your tip to direct the frosting to the places you want it to go. You can also use a toothpick to direct the frosting, like it says in the Martha Stewart article. Once you have finished filling in all of the cookie, let it sit out uncovered overnight so that it can fully set.
When the frosting is completely set you can add the final touches. On one cookie, I piped on small dots of medium/stiff royal icing onto the bun of the bride and then placed pink dragees on top. On the other cookies I tied little bows and attached them to the girl’s hair with a dot of royal icing. Be creative and the possibilities are endless!
These cookies will keep for up to 1 1/2 weeks in a tightly sealed container. Well, I hope I inspired you to make your own silhouette cookies and if you do, I would love for you to send me a picture so I see how great they turn out!