Relay for Life

A few weeks ago I participated in Relay for Life. My sister started a team 5 years ago when our grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and our family and friends have been participating ever since. It always amazes me how many people are willing to donate their time and money to the event - it shows how many people have been impacted in some way by cancer and want to do what they can to find a cure.

Since this year's theme was birthdays, I decided to make cut out cookies shaped like birthday cakes and birthday presents. I didn't want sugar cookies so I tried making chocolate chip ones using the recipe from the Toll House chocolate chips bag. Unfortunately, they turned into big blobs so I tried using decorating icing to show the shapes. I've made cut outs with chocolate chip cookies before and they worked, so I'm guessing you need a recipe that's more of a sugar cookie base with the chocolate chips added.

I also made some ribbon cut out cookies, using a sugar cookie recipe and royal icing to decorate. For the royal icing, I bought Wilton's meringue powder and used the recipe included, but added a little bit of vanilla extract for flavor.

Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies

3c unbleached all-purpose flour
2tsp baking powder
1c sugar
1c butter
1 egg
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour and baking powder then set aside. Cream the sugar and butter, then ass the egg and extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Roll on a (heavily) floured surface and cut into shapes. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

With the royal icing, pipe the outline of the cookies. For the icing filling, thin the icing with water, 1T at a time, until it reaches the consistency of syrup. See tips here.

I chose to color mine purple since it's the color of the ribbon for pancreatic cancer and also the color of Relay for Life. I used a purple gel food coloring. Since the icing is initially white, you can divide it and color it however you like. Once the filling is added, let sit overnight or until completely dry.

And now the finished product - royal icing is hard to work with!


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