Spring is the perfect time to bake cookies for a celebration. I had the good fortune of creating a small batch of festive treats for my dear niece’s fifth birthday this past weekend that I’d like to share with you, because they’re very appropriate not only for a birthday party, but for a spring lunch, dinner, wedding shower, anniversary or family gathering. The best part about these cookies is that I kept the designs quite simple in order to make the baking project fun for all of you.
While going through my collection of cookie cutters I thought about what my niece would appreciate and adore. From two sets of spring-themed cutters I created a flock of lilliputian bunnies, chicks, eggs and butterflies that bespeak the season. I have a good feeling she’s going to like them. In fact, cookies from my kitchen are the first thing she requests whenever I ask what she wants for her birthday. It's a sweet thing to be sure!
After making two separate recipes of my beloved cookie doughs, I set out to roll, cut and bake a myriad of adorable cookies. Then it was all about tinting the colorful icings in pastel shades to evoke spring. Sugars, candies and other embellishments were taken out of my baking pantry and placed in individual bowls so that I could work efficiently. With all of this completed, it was time to start decorating.
You can well imagine that a baking project like this takes time and patience. However, with a bit of planning and forethought cookie decorating can be as enjoyable for you as it is for me.
Create Beautiful Cookies!
As you may know, my Heirloom Sugar Cookie Dough and Heirloom Chocolate Cookie Dough make such great tasting cookies. For my niece's cookies I decided to add vanilla beans to the doughs for extra flavor, straight from the bean and not out of a jar. With my collectible Martha by Mail cookie cutters all set out and ready to go, I then rolled out batch after batch of cookies.
Not all of the cookie cutters were collectible. I used an Ateco cookie cutter as well as an antique tin daisy cutter to create flower cookie pops. You can see from these photographs that I always cut my cookie shapes as close together as possible, so that I get as many cookies from the first roll out. One wastes less dough this way.
Always have a plate of flour nearby to dip the cookie cutters in between each cut so that the shapes release easily.
Bake the cookies according to my recipes and let them cool completely.
Create the royal icing and divide them into bowls for tinting. Either use squeeze bottles or piping bags that have been fitted with appropriate piping tips. For my cookies I used #2 & #3 piping tips.
The photographs above show you how I like to work whenever I set out to create cookies. I decant all of my sanding sugars, candies and other embellishments into small bowls. Tools that help me drop and spread the decorations are all kept on a platter. Everything is within easy reach.
Working on a rimmed baking sheet, I ice and flock my cookies. Any excess sugar that doesn't adhere to the icing gets put back into the appropriate bowl. Nothing is wasted.
If I'm not flocking the cookies, I like to ice each one on top of a cake turntable. This allows me to turn the cookies and ice at different angles. For me, it makes icing fast and simple.
These flower pop cookies were so adorable! I outlined and flooded each cookie in pastel colors and dropped pearl candies onto each petal. Some had extra pearls in the center, while others were treated with alternating color petals.
The jadeite pots filled with fresh snowdrops and daisy cookie pops, while having chicks and bunnies hopping and bopping around the 'meadow' make for an enchanting tableau.
As I said before, simple icing and one pearl candy for an eye makes these little creatures so special and cute.
Chocolate bunnies and pastel-colored peep cookies are bound to be loved by both the kids and adults.
Create something similar this spring!
Since these cookies were bound for the west coast, I made sure to package each into a clear cellophane bag that was tied with a pretty ribbon. Colored Easter grass was used to line and cushion the box for mailing.
Happy Birthday Audrey!
What I hope is that you take an idea or two from my Spring Birthday Cookies and apply them to your next baking endeavor. With many of you celebrating milestones this season why not take the opportunity to bake and ice some beautiful cookies? You don't have to get elaborate with your icing decorations to make them wonderful. Remember to have fun when creating your cookies!