Tuesday, 18 December 2012
I've been so inspired by Laura's amazing decorated cookies (here and here) during this series, that I thought I would give it a go myself. I've never decorated cookies before, (I know?! I think I'm the only one) but in the middle of the night I got the idea for a Cookie Puzzle and had to give it a go!
This makes a fun little gift, just make sure that if your cookies feel fragile you pack the pieces very carefully. You can also serve this as part of a Christmas dessert buffet. Set the Cookie Puzzle out all put together and guests can take a piece of the puzzle to eat!
I iced my pieces in 2 sessions, first doing the green of the tree and then doing the decorations on top.
I used this recipe for my cookie base, using up the leftover dough I had in the freezer from making the Stained Glass Cookies. You can use your favourite sugar cookie recipe for the base.
Christmas Tree Cookie Puzzle
Royal icing - I used the powder mix
Food colouring (I used gels)
Piping bags and tips
Start off by making a Christmas Tree template. Fold a piece of paper in half along the length and then draw a tree outline on one side. Cut it out. Play around until you're happy with the shape.
Roll out your cookie dough to about 6mm (1/4"). I made mine fairly thick so that the pieces will hold strong.
Lay your template on top and then cut around it. Remove the scrap pieces of dough. I did the puzzle pieces free hand on the dough, but you could also draw them on your template and cut the template up into pieces.
Carefully separate the pieces on the tray and bake according to your recipe.
I found this great tip from University of Cookie. As soon as you take your cookies from the oven, trim the edges of the cookies carefully with a knife. I had to tidy up some of my pieces so that the puzzle would fit together. While the cookies are hot, they're still soft so you can trim them without breaking the cookies up. Great tip!
Allow to cool completely.
Make up royal icing and tint green. Do the borders along each cookie and then thin the icing just enough for flooding. Fill in the icing on each piece. Allow to dry and set. See how my cookies looked at this stage in the photo above left.
Make up more royal icing as needed to decorate the top of the cookie. I used a leaf tip to do the tinsel first. While the icing was still wet I sprinkled it with edible glitter.
I was feeling lazy and did the yellow 'tree lights' first then the red baubles. I was trying to only use one batch of royal icing and tint it darker as needed. I think the Cookie Puzzle would have looked more balanced at the end if I had done the baubles first and then the lights.
Once the icing has set hard, package up your pieces.