Decorating Cookies Basics Part 1: Shortbread Cutout Cookies

If you happen to follow me on Instagram, then you probably know that I am OBSESSED with cookie cutters. So last year, while spring cleaning I realized that 95% of my cookie cutters still had tags on them! So I decided to figure out the art of decorating cookies, step one was finding the prefect cookie base.

I went through quite a few recipes, some too soft, some were hard as rock and some felt like I was just swallowing  spoonfuls of sugar. Then I came across a shortbread recipe, that it thus the right amount of sweet, so that decorating it just not send it over the edge.
(before baking)
It has very basic ingredients, that are usually in any pantry and if you don't want to decorate them, they taste just as good. Lazy to cut them out individually? Just roll it into a log shape, freeze it for 10-12 mins, slice into discs and bake!
(after baking)
And if you are like me and love to have cookie dough on hand, cause you just never know when you might need to bake, the dough can be stored for up to 3 months in the fridge, and even longer if you freeze it. The cooled cookies can also be frozen, for up to a month. Especially if you are planning to transport them long distance, freezing is recommended!

Once your cookies are cooled, the decorating possibilities are endless!

Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Joy of Baking

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
(yep, that's it!)

extra tools:
rolling pin
DoStix (they help in rolling out the dough evenly)
cookie cutters of choice
wax or parchment paper
baking trays

1. Sift flour and set aside.
2. Beat butter until smooth and add in sifted sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add in vanilla essence and slowly add in sifted flour.
4. Once all the flour is incorporated, flatten dough into disks and wrap into plastic wrap and chill dough.
5. About 15 mins later, roll out and cut into shapes.
6. Place on baking tray about an inch apart. Chill cut cookies for 10 minutes while preheating oven.
7. Bake at 350*F for about 8-10 mins. Cool on tray for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack.


Decorating Idea: Football Brownies

Seahawks WON THE SUPERBOWL! Yeah I know it happened more than a week ago, but I still can't get over it! And I have been wanting to blog a football themed dessert, since they made it to the play-offs, but school took over :( But I had a homework free weekend to catch up with friends and try to revive this blog. So today I'll share a super easy way to jazz up the basic brownie.

I know the Superbowl as come to pass, and that we won't be seeing another football game for months, but these brownies can easily be made as a birthday treat for any football lover!

Football themed Brownies
What you'll need
1 batch basic brownie
1 batch nutella frosting
football theme cupcake liners and picks (I got mine at Michaels)
piping bag and witlon 1M icing tip
circle cookie cutter

What to do:
1. While the brownie is baking, make the frosting. Let the brownie cool on a wire rack and chill the frosting.
2. Once the brownies are cool, cut them with a circle cookie cutter and place each piece in a cupcake liner.
3. Attach the icing tip to the piping bag, fill it with frosting and swirl on to cut pieces.
4. Stick a pick into each brownie piece and you are ready to serve!

(Yep its that easy! Make it easier by using a store bought brownie mix and frosting!)