I made a rather large batch of short dough the other day and here's what I did with one small portionof it yesterday and today...
First, I rolled out a piece and cut out 6-pointed star shapes and then, since I was originally intending that they become snowflakes, I kind of squeezed the points so they'd be skinnier. I laid them out on a baking sheet and chilled them for about half an hour.
Then, right before baking, I brushed the tops with egg white and sprinkled them with sparkling sugar.
I baked them at 350 for about ten minutes.
I also took out my big copper snowflake cutters.
I cut out two of each shape, and then used the little tiny cutters to make little holes here and there within each cookie. I baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes as well.
While the cookies cooled, I mixed up a batch of royal icing (using meringue powder) and colored it with royal blue food coloring. I colored it in two stages - first to get a base blue color, and then the next stage was to create a swirly look to it. I kept the icing rather loose and piped it onto all my large snowflakes.
See the swirls?
I left the cookies to dry overnight. Had to keep chasing the kids away from them. You can't rush cookie art!
This morning I filled another piping bag with white icing and, using a smaller tip (a #3, I think) and firmer icing, I piped my snowflakes onto their swirly blue "sky" backgrounds.
I also planned to sprinkle the white piped icing with very fine white sparkling sugar, which meant I had to pipe quickly and sprinkle sugar while the icing was still wet, otherwise it wouldn't stick.
So, one at a time, I piped icing and sprinkled sugar and made my snowflakes....
You get the idea. It's tremendous fun, at least for me. And they don't have to be perfect because, as we all know, no two snowflakes are alike. So there's no reason why the cookies should be perfect copies of each other.
And finally, the kids were each permitted to have a big snowflake cookie.
They go really nicely with a mug of hot chocolate, too.