2017 Meme Cookies
Decorating desserts has never really been a priority for me as a home cook. For one, I don’t really like desserts. For two, if I am making desserts, I want something delicious but I don’t really care much about if it looks Pinterest worthy or whatever.
That all sort of changed now that I have two kids. Especially with the near three-year old, I realized that if I’m going to be baking their cakes and stuff, they have demands. Nothing crazy, but I need to be able to, for example, make a cupcake look like basketball. This should be doable!
So I’ve been practicing without the pressure to try to improve my decorating. I recently did a deep dive on royal icing decorating and practiced by making these fun MEME cookies!
As a quick shout out, Lindsey from Follow the Ruels has the absolute best walkthrough on royal icing. The post is great, but also she has a great video that shows the different consistencies of icing and technique. I very much recommend it if you want to try to improve your decorating game!
For sugar cookies:
- Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer or with a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix until light and fluffy. Then add egg and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a small bowl and slowly add them to the creamed butter. Try not to overmix.
- When dough comes together divide it into two flat discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 90 minutes but overnight is best.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough out until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.
- Remove cookies and let cool completely before frosting.
- Add meringue powder and water to a bowl and mix together until smooth (I like to use a stand mixer with paddle, but you can also use a hand mixer). Add vanilla extract and then add powdered sugar by the cup until the icing comes together.
- For flooding cookies, the icing should turn smooth and flat after about 10 seconds if you drizzle some on itself. For lettering and designs it should be thicker and just hold it’s shape once drizzled. Add water to the icing in very small increments (by the drop or with a spray bottle) until you get the right consistency for it. Feel free to divide the icing into smaller batches and work with each one until you get the right consistency. Add color after the consistency is right.
- Use piping bags or decorating bottles to decorate cookies!
Let’s Talk Icing
I made pretty standard sugar cookies for these because I wanted to focus on the icing.
Turns out the key to making really great royal icing for decorating is this business: Meringue Powder!
A few tablespoons of this with some water and powdered sugar makes a really silky smooth icing. By adding more water (literally by the drop) you can adjust the consistency for a wide range of decorating goals.
Mostly, I used a “flooding” consistency and one that was slightly stiffer than that. For my base flooding consistency I would drizzle some icing in the bowl of icing and count to 10. Ideally it will reform a flat surface in about ten seconds. If it’s sooner than that your icing is too runny and won’t stick to the cookie. If it never reforms a smooth layer than it’s too thick for flooding.
I also finally bit the bullet and bought some legit icing tips and colors. These colors are above and beyond what you’ll find in the grocery store (link above below the recipe). They are really bright and full and don’t change the consistency of your icing.
I kept my cookies simple: A base flood level with one color and a design with a different color.
I tried to make the colors really bright.
A quick talk on cookies. These sugar cookies are about as easy as it gets. Most importantly, just make sure you give your cookies time to chill before rolling. Otherwise they will be hard to shape and transfer.
Here’s my advice on decorating: Have a drink. Seriously. It’s sort of tedious but can also be mindlessly relaxing once you get the hang of it. Don’t do it if you are pressed for time.
The key to making a nice layer on your cookies is to outline your area and then fill it in.
You can use a little decorating needle or just a toothpick to fill in the gaps and connect all the icing.
Here were some of my finished “flooded” cookies. Not perfect, but pretty decent!
When it comes to adding the detail, I bought some of these tiny decorating bottles which are washable (although a pain to wash). They work okay, but after using them some I actually went back to just using a pastry bag.
Okay! Let’s talk designs!
Disclaimer: I spend a lot of time on the internet. If you know what all of these mean, then so do you.
Disclaimer two: Some of these are mildly political. I just tried to pick ones that reflected the year a bit and I thought were funny. Don’t overthink it.
The Salt Bae meme was one of my favorite of the year, because it’s so random. Here’s the original video but basically a dude cuts a steak and weirdly sprinkles salt on it and the Internet exploded.
Bitcoin was one of the biggest search terms of the year this year. It’s incredible how much it has grown and how much it has completely flabbergasted old world financial institutions. I’ll keep my personal views on it a secret. Ha!
Okay. This one is kind of hard for a 34 year old white male to explain. The important part is that I saw it a lot. In short, it means that you’re aware of the current atmosphere of the country. People use it in different ways though.
Okay. Technically SLAY was as 2016 phrase thanks to Beyonce, and again maybe not one that a 34 year old white dude should be commenting on, but hey… I listen to Two Dope Queens so there ya go.
Say want you want about the political atmosphere in America, I just thought this meme was hilarious. Basically, people would photoshop words over President Trump’s Executive Orders. It gave me the opportunity to make a two-cookie meme!
What would you meme?!
What was your favorite meme of 2017? Leave a comment! Would it be worth a COOKIE?!