Firsts are my favorite. I have had a couple of firsts in the kitchen recently: shaped sugar cookies and royal icing. I offered my time and committed to baking cookies for a graduation party. It was quite a bit of experimenting laced with a lot of adventure.
The adventure part started the moment I agreed to bake. Excited, I immediately went to Hobby Lobby to look for a graduation cap cookie cutter. Without success, I proceeded to Party City, sure I would find one there. Again, I left without a cookie cutter. Three days prior to party time, I ended up ordering one from Amazon, crossing my fingers in hopes it would arrive in time. Thankfully, it showed up on my doorstep Friday afternoon.
The next adventure came Saturday, when I went to bake the dough I had just rolled out and cut, and my oven would not heat up. After a few phone calls, and seven cookies baked individually in the toaster oven, my boyfriend and I packed up and headed to my mom’s house to finish the baking. The last adventure came around midnight when, back at my house, I was making the icing and my red was a pale shade of pink. This was after half a container of red gel coloring, and half a bottle of liquid food coloring (read: do not attempt a mostly red cookie again). Thank goodness Wal-Mart carries such a strange array of items, including cake decorating supplies, and is open at all hours. As the first layer of icing needs at least two, but up to twelve, hours to set, it could not wait until morning.
After skimming through a couple of recipes and reading some reviews I found the cookie and icing recipe I was going to take on. The cookie recipe had been tried, tested, and successful. This was my saving grace. The cookie recipe was delicious, and the directions were detailed. Both recipes called for lemon extract, which I omitted, simply because I did not have it. The cookies and icing still turned out tasty. The recipe ended up making about 46 graduation cap cookies, though if I did it again, I would make the cookies thicker. Also, I halved the icing recipe and still had plenty and left overs.
The finished product:
Congratulations, class of 2012. I expect great things from you.