Monday, February 22, 2010

Animal Sugar Cookies

These were featured on food network by the lovely Giada De Laurentiis
for her daughters first birthday party.
The frosting is fantastic and kids love to cut out and decorate their own cookies! Try using the Pillsbury dough, it is quick and easy. The frosting sets very well and small cookies can be used as eco friendly cupcake toppers your child will be proud to display. Gently press our bamboo picks into unbaked cookie before baking if you plan to use as a cupcake topper.


* 1 (16.5-ounce) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough (recommended: Pillsbury)
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting


* 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 pound powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup water, plus extra, as needed
* Assorted food coloring (see Cook's Note)


Special Equipment: assorted animal-shaped cookie cutters, about 4 to 5-inches long

Decorating suggestion: multi-colored sprinkles, colored decorating sugar, mini chocolate chips, small candies, mini marshmallows

For the cookies: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough and flour until smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Using animal-shaped cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and arrange, about 2-inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Form the scraps of dough into a ball, roll out to 1/4-inch thick, and continue to cut out animal shapes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

For the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 1/4 cup water. Beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is smooth, adding more water, as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is spreadable. Divide the frosting between 3 small bowls. Color the frosting by mixing in 1 drop of food coloring at a time, until the desired color is reached. Spread the frosting over the cooled cookies and decorate.

Cook's Note: If using natural food coloring (such as Select brand), be sure to shake the bottle before adding the coloring to the frosting.

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