Friday, March 21, 2014

Big Batch Cookie Tips

About a third of my recent big batch of clover cookies.

Sugar cookies are not something you whip up last minute.

It takes time to make the dough, roll out the dough, cut the cookies, bake the cookies, make the royal icing, color the royal icing, fill the piping bags, decorate and finally an average of 8 hours for the cookies just to dry.

Don't get me wrong, I love making and decorating cookies and consider it my fun artistic outlet. It's just not something you should jump into without careful thought.

This is especially true when you want to make a really big batch of decorated sugar cookies. I recently agreed to make 250 clover cookies for a concert and decided I should make a list of tips in case you find yourself in similar circumstances.

I hope this helps.

Big Batch Sugar Cookie Tips

1. Make sure you have the time — It took me two full days just to bake and decorate the 250 clover cookies and one day for them to dry and I work fairly fast. You don't want to feel rushed when you are making decorated cookies because that's when mistakes happen and you get frustrated. If you over estimate the time you need by a full day, you won't regret it.

2.Make a few extra cookies — I always make an extra dozen cookies because things happen like your finger touches the wet icing or your husband snitches one from the counter. In the end, you don't want to be short.

3.Choose a doable design — Some cookie designs are just not suitable for a big batch. Designs that are overly intricate, have too many colors or too many steps will drive you insane. Save these tricky little buggers for small batches and pick something simple when you have to make hundreds. The clover cookies were a good choice since they require only two colors and come together quickly.

4. Get your supplies together before you start — When you have a big project ahead, you don't want to be making multiple store runs while you work. Figure out the quantity of everything you'll need and get it before you start. For 250 2-inch cookies I needed 5 batches of dough and 3 batches of royal icing — That's 2 1/2 pound of butter and 3 pounds of powdered sugar.

5. Clean and clear up space —Making and decorating cookies is always more pleasant if you start with a clean kitchen. You are going to need a lot of clear open counter space for the decorating and drying so you want to have this space ready for all the cookies before you start.

6. Stay positive — A good attitude is important when you are making the same cookie over and over and over again. Don't rush and think of how great they'll look when they are done. Playing some happy music while you work also helps keep your spirits high.

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