And The Oscar Cookie Goes To…

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The Oscars are coming up next weekend and I am beyond excited. It is my most anticipated televised event of the year (sorry, Superbowl). Michelle and I are hosting a small viewing party, for which we made ballots for guests to bet on the winners. Download our ballot here —> oscar-ballot-2017 if you would like to print it out for your own party! We also will be serving these Oscar statue sugar cookies and of course, what’s an Oscar celebration without a little champagne?

I make it my mission to see every movie nominated for the biggest awards so that I can formulate an honest (and passionate) opinion. I can’t speak for you all, but I don’t remember the last time I saw a bad movie… the contenders aren’t messing around this year! After much deliberation and a whole lot of crying at the movies, I’ve settled on MOONLIGHT as my favorite. The performances were so powerful and so believable, and I really admire the director’s choice in camera movements. It has been weeks and I’m still thinking about it. But that’s followed by a close second tie between HELL OR HIGH WATER, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, and LION. Oh and maybe LA LA LAND and HIDDEN FIGURES…. See, I have a lot of trouble deciding.

Who are your picks for the Oscars this year?

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Ingredients:

  • Sugar cookie dough (find our recipe here)
  • Cardboard, scissors, and a pencil (for the shape cutout)
  • Royal icing (find our recipe here)
  • Yellow and black food coloring
  • Ziplock baggies
  • Gold sprinkles (we used Wilton gold pearlized sugar, which also be found on amazon)

Use a pencil to draw an Oscar statue that is approximately six inches in height. Cut it out with scissors. Now you can use it to carefully cut the shapes out of the dough by tracing it with a sharp knife.

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Use a spatula to place the cookie cutouts on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 400º F oven for 6-8 minutes and then allow to cool.

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Max a batch of stiff royal icing (meaning, do not add any water and make sure it forms stiff peaks when you lift it with a spoon). Divide your stiff royal icing into thirds, 1/3 for the black, and 2/3 for the yellow. Thoroughly mix your colors. Then divide those colors in half so that you can add a pinch of water to make a slightly runnier version of each color as well.

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Spoon the stiffer icing into plastic ziplock bags or piping bags and cut a tiny hole at the corner.

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Use the yellow icing to trace the statue with thick lines and make sure there are no gaps. Allow to dry for a minute or two.

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Use the runnier yellow icing to fill the border lines. You want them filled as much as they can without spilling over the edge.

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Cover the cookies in gold sprinkles. You may need to add a second coat since the sprinkles tend to sink into the icing. Once they dry, dust off all of the loose sprinkles and move the cookies to a clean surface.

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Now use the black icing to pipe the border of the statue’s stand.

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Fill those borders with the runnier black icing and allow to dry.

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And… ACTION! No shame in using your cookie to pretend you’ve won your own Oscar for a little while…

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Autumn Leaf Sugar Cookies

glu-logo-copyApparently we are 54 days into Fall, but here in L.A. it has been above 90 degrees for more days than we can count. Instead of cozy sweaters, knit hats, and hot lattes in hand, we’ve been trekking to class in shorts and t-shirts, wiping the sweat from our brows before downing iced drinks. While we try not to ever take the endless sunshine for granted, we do miss the seasonal changes that really help transition into the holiday spirit.

In an effort to fix this, we made these autumn leaf cookies for the apartment, a simple reminder that it is indeed Fall. They are a nice break from the meticulous detail that we tend to lean towards when decorating cookies.


Ingredients & Materials:

  • Sugar cookies (you can find our recipe here)
  • Royal icing (you can find our recipe here)
  • Food coloring of your choice (we used copper, red, orange, yellow, and green)
  • A cooling rack
  • Paper towels or newspaper (anything you don’t mind ruining with icing)
  • A spoon

_mg_6569Roll your sugar cookie dough 1/4 inch thick and use a maple leaf cookie cutter to cut your shapes. Bake them for 6-8 minutes at 400 ºF and then set aside to cool.

While the cookies bake, make your royal icing. Be sure to add a little bit of water. These cookies don’t have any detail in them and rely on the icing being able to run off the cookie. However, it should still be very thick and goopy. Divide the icing into as many colors as you want to use, and mix in the dye. Try to look at leaves for inspiration; you want the colors to be more natural looking and less neon, otherwise the cookies will look more like rainbows than leaves.

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Evenly distribute the cookies on a cooling rack with a thick layer of paper towels underneath. Using a spoon, pour the green icing over the cookies until they are covered.

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Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then pour the next shade (in this case a greenish yellow) over most of the cookie, leaving one end the initial green color.

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Again, allow them to sit for 10 minutes, then pour the next color (in this case golden yellow) over the cookies, leaving the previous colors still exposed on one side. Keep repeating this process until all of the colors have been laid down.

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The cookies should gradually transition from green to yellow to orange to red. Don’t worry if the icing looks messy and is mixing together. The imperfections are what give it the marbled ombre look. You also may need to clean up with edges with your fingers or a toothpick since the multiple layers of icing is so thick and slightly deforms the leaf shape. Allow to cool completely and enjoy, whether you are in warm weather or cold!

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Happy decorating!

Michelle & Kirby

Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

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We love to bake, which might be obvious considering this blog. And by bake we mostly mean decorate. While our families might argue that eating our sweets is the best part, we love coming up with creative ways to decorate desserts for specific holidays, seasons, or celebrations.

Sugar cookies with royal icing are a staple in our lives. We make a batch at least once a month. Though simple in flavor, their decorating possibilities are endless. This cookie recipe holds its shape so well, unlike many recipes we’ve fiddled with in the past that turn into formless blobs once baked. Once we discovered this one, we haven’t gone back. Pair them with royal icing and your design possibilities are endless.


Sugar Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Once smooth, beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until the dough is formed. Don’t be afraid to use your hands. If it feels too sticky, add a little more flour.

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Wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic and chill for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF (204 ºC). Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut the shapes that you want and then using a spatula, carefully place the cut outs onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving an inch between the cookies.

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Now the next step may seem pointless, but it is THE #1 SECRET to perfect cut out cookies. Place your sheets in the fridge for a few minutes before baking. Once the sheet is cool and the cookie dough is cold to the touch, remove them and immediately place them in the oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the edges are barely brown. The extra few minutes of refrigeration is the key to keeping the shapes that you so carefully cut out.

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Cool your cookies on a cooling rack and then onto the fun part – decorating!


Royal Icing Ingredients 

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sift the powdered sugar and cream of tartar together, then set aside. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Pour them into the powdered sugar mixer and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the icing forms stiff peaks.

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Divide the icing in half. Leave one half as it is, the thick icing is what you want to use to make outlines and details.

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Add a tiny bit of water to the other half until it is smooth and slowly pours from a spoon. It is always better to add too little water than too much! The runny icing is what you will use to flood your cookies. From here you can mix the colors that you plan to use and distribute them into your piping bags.

 

Happy  baking!

Michelle & Kirby