“Back to School” Cookies

DSC_6612I have always been fascinated with the art of cookie decorating and these days been obsessed with it. It’s about 3 years since I started baking and never in my wildest of dreams would I have imagined that I would bake sugar cookies and decorate them. I am inspired by many blogs and follow them religiously such as SweetopiaSweetapolita, Sweetsugarbelle, The Bearfoot Baker, One tough cookie, Sweetambs and the list goes on.

I volunteered to bake these apple cookies for a teacher “back to school party”. I needed 65 cookies  but ended up making 80 in case a few didn’t turn out as expected. I did lots of reading and research on all my favorite cookie blogs. They all said to be wary of the color red. Apparently it can be a decorator’s nightmare.

Sweetsugarbelle  suggested using Americolor Tulip Red Soft Gel . Tulip red doesn’t leave a taste while some said Americolor super red works great too. I chose the nerdy cookies from sweetsugarbelle’s site and the bitten ones from bekicookscakes. Since I was going to make 80 of these plus a couple of other desserts, I decided to make them a few weeks in advance and freeze them undecorated. Bridget of Bake at 350 has a great post on how to freeze decorated cookies too.

The cookies were loved by all and I had an awesome time making them. Really, while making these cookies  I felt I was transported into another world of happy “Cookie-Dom”. I have to admit cookie decorating is addictive! To view the pictures of the “back to school party” held at my daughter’s school, click here.

Things needed to bake these:


Roll out the dough and cut into shapes.



Use a small flower cutter to get a bitten look.
IMG_4312Bake and cool. After the cookies have completely cooled, put them away in an airtight container. I usually like to bake the cookies a day or two in advance and then start with decorating them.

Royal Icing:

Prepare the royal icing. I also follow sweetopia’s 10 second rule while decorating cookies. One icing consistency for piping and flooding. Saves me a ton of plastic bags and work. Clean up is easy too.

Divide the royal icing in bowls depending on the number of colors required. I made the royal icing a day before I started decorating because I wanted to mix the color red. Red usually takes time to deepen in color. If not using royal icing right away, store in tupperware by pressing a cling seal on top and cover with a lid. Royal icing dries very fast.

Royal Icing Transfers – If using templates, you need to make those in advance, a day or two before. It takes a long time for them to dry and make lots of them as they are delicate and break easily. Make and keep them in an airtight container. Click here for a more detailed explanation on how to make them.

Apple cookies–  I outlined the cookie in red using the 10 second rule and then immediately filled it in. Shake the cookie for a couple of seconds so the icing smoothes over. If using the templates, drop them onto the wet icing.  Sweetopio has a great video on the icing consistency.

For the bitten ones, I waited for 30 minutes before adding the white icing. I did not want the colors to bleed or get mixed up. Also, while outlining them in red , leave a little room for the white icing to be piped to give them that bitten into look.

If you like a white reflection line on the apple, add the white line while the red icing is wet. This is called wet on wet technique.IMG_4566

I let the iced cookies dry for 30 minutes to an hour and then started piping the stems followed by the green leaves.DSC_6591

If you want to write on the cookie, do so after the cookie has dried completely which takes 8 to 12 hours at least depending on the humidity. While drying the cookies, always have a fan on. You can store the dried cookies in an airtight container or put them in clear bags with a matching ribbon tied on top.

Here are some more fun “back to school” cookie ideas

Pencil cookies by Sweetambs

Notebooks by Bake at 350

Apple royal icing transfers by The bearfoot baker

Chubby pencils by sweetsugarbelle

School Bus cookie by notyourmommascookie

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