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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not Your Grandma's Sugar Cookies!

Nothing against a plain old sugar cookie or one with a few coloured sprinkles. There is no such thing as a bad sugar cookie! 

But, with the use of Royal Icing, Fondant, Gumpaste and a few little tools, you can step it up a notch this Christmas and wow your guests. Trust me, these little cookies are time-consuming, but well worth it.

Start by selecting a variety of cookie cutters. They are inexpensive and many are dual-purpose. The little snow people (faces) are made from an ornament cutter. 

Don't overlook the plain or scalloped round cutters, or the square or rectangle cutters. They may not seem "Christmasy", but it's all in the decorating. A rectangle cutter can easily become a cute little edible gift tag.

Shine and sparkle come from sanding sugar, petal dusts, glitter and finally, disco dust or 24k gold dust. (Note: Some glitters are "edible" but tend not to be as sparkly. Others, including disco dust are really sparkly and "non-toxic", meaning that you probably won't die if you eat it because it travels right through your body undigested. They are recommended for items that will be removed from a cake, cupcake or cookie before eating.)

A bulk food store is a great source for cookie cutters, fondant, dragées, non-pareils, jimmies and sanding sugars.The petal and disco dusts are more commonly found in a cake decorating supply shop.

Also have a look at a cake decorating supply shop (or look online) for impression mats. That is what gives the texture to the mitten and to the the hats on the snow people. You may already have items in your home that will also give texture to a fondant-covered cookie. The red stocking in the picture to the right was actually embossed with a stitching wheel. 

Fondant cutters and punches are great for small details such as holly leaves on a wreath. Tappits or silicone moulds are great for lettering. Here are a few great sources for decorating tools in Ontario. Have fun!

Golda's Kitchen
Icing Inspirations 
Flour Confections 

(Tutorial on Snowflake cookies coming soon!)

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