I write in different genres; I like different kinds of cookies. Today I was in a frivolous mood, so to celebrate Spring I made some little decorated sugar cookies. These are tiny, about one inch across, so one cookie has only a few calories. (Go ahead and have another!)
If you don’t have tiny cookie cutters, for heaven’s sake get some! Tiny cookies are wonderful and always delight guests. They’re great for tea, or as a decorative addition to a dessert plate. If you decorate cakes, the cookie cutters can be used to cut shapes out of fondant. Plus, shopping for tiny butterflies, flowers, stars, moons, cats, etc. is such fun!
While you are shopping for cookie cutters, pick up some paintbrushes of different sizes that you will only use for decorating food, and I highly recommend professional food coloring (the kind you can get from the cake-decorating section of your favorite craft supply store). The colors are concentrated and come in a wide range of shades. You can have black cats for Halloween (though they will turn your guests’ tongues black…which can be amusing). I bought a set of twelve colors, and they’re great fun
I use an almond cookie dough (one of my favorite flavors) as a base. Anyone with nut issues can skip the almonds, replacing the almond flour with regular flour.
Iced Almond Sugar Cookies (makes about 100 tiny cookies; recipe can be halved)
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t almond extract
1/2 c almond flour
1 ¼ c unbleached flour
¼ t salt
3 c powdered sugar
1/2 c water
¾ t almond extract
Beat softened butter until fluffy. Blend in powdered sugar, then almond extract. In separate bowl, combine almond flour, flour, and salt. Add dry to creamed mix and stir in. Gather into ball, cover and chill about one hour.
Make icing while dough is chilling: measure powdered sugar into medium bowl. Gradually stir in water until icing is thick and smooth (might not need all the water, might need more). Stir in almond extract.
For different colors, place 1 T of icing in each of several small dishes. Using a toothpick, take a tiny amount of coloring and stir it into one of the small dishes of icing. (If using grocery food coloring, make sure the icing is very thick because the coloring is liquid and will thin it.) Repeat for each color you want.
Preheat oven to 350° Grease cookie sheet. Roll out dough, cut cookies, and use an icing spatula to transfer to cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely before icing.
To ice, place cookies on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Have a glass of water and a selection of paintbrushes handy. Use a large paintbrush to apply base color, spreading from center to edges. Dip brush in water as needed to thin icing (but you’ll want to keep it fairly thick). Let base coat dry, then use smaller brushes to decorate.