My stepdaughter Cindy had her 15th birthday in February. She wanted to have a small quinceañera birthday party with her closest friends and family. We were glad that it would be small because these parties can sometimes take on a life of their own and seem more like a wedding than a birthday party. Yes, with maids of honor in big puffy dresses, cakes that involve indoor plumbing, and useless expensive favors and a full mariachi band with sombreros. She made it very clear that this is definitely not what she wanted.
As all the planning got underway she checked out some party favors in a few places to give her guests and discovered how expensive and really useless these were. Wanting to save a little money and to give her guests something they could really enjoy, Cindy asked if I would help her bake and decorate cookies to give as favors. Being that I am Cindy-rella’s wicked stepmother,(its too perfect, I just can’t resist) I loved the idea and we got started immediately.
We ordered a copper prom dress cookie cutter from
www.fancyflours.com. We decided on 2 decorated cookies per bag and 70 bags which, if you can do math in your head, means 140 cookies plus we had to make extras to cover breakage. There were 65 invited guests but you never know and we would rather be safe than short on cookies.
Cindy made the batches of dough (after homework, of course) and then cut out and baked the cookies. I think it was something like 10 batches of Betsy Cukla’s sugar cookie recipe. This recipe makes a very soft dough that is real easy to work with. Good when you’re making 140+ cookies. It does not puff out during baking so the cookies maintain their shape nicely. I made the last few batches because Cindy-rella did not want to see or smell or touch cookie dough ever again as long as she lived. And I felt the same way after I finished my batches too. We looked through a book called Cookie Craft for some decorating idea. We came up with a design that was simple but elegant. We didn’t want to get carried away with the decorating since there were so many to make. If it’s one thing I’ve learned about decorating cookies it’s to keep it simple or go absolutely crazy.
We used the Rose Ateco food gel color for the base and piped the outline in plain white and dusted it with sugar. To lighten the load we used the All Natural Royal Icing Mix from Sweet Domestics. One 18 oz bag (all you do is mix about 6 tablespoons warm water and beat to the consistency you need) iced about 22 cookies. The cutter was pretty big too, about 6×5.
The entire dining room table was covered with cookies all at different levels on doneness. It was a little tricky keeping track of which ones were still wet or which ones needed to be dusted with sugar, but we came up with a system that worked. We moved all of the chairs out of the way and moved around the table decorating as we went adding finishing touches where needed. It was also difficult keeping away all the little thieves that took mini bites out of the finished ones or the little hands that were constantly creeping up by the edge of the table ready to snatch an unsuspecting cookie. By the end we had 140 unbroken beautifully decorated cookies (+ 6 extras). We let them all dry overnight then we packed them into clear cellophane bags and tied them with pink ribbon (of course) to be eaten up by all the guests.
It was great fun spending time with Cindy-rella while we made the cookies late into the night for several nights straight. At the party in her pink puffy dress she really did look like Cinderella.