Monday, 27 September 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge September 2010: Decorated Sugar Cookies

Ta-Daaa! My completed DB Challenge - Decorated Sugar Cookies!

Now this is what I call a challenge, certainly for someone who's never played with decorating cookies before. I was blown away by all the amazing creative art that can be done with coloured royal icing and cookies.
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Unfortunately it became quite late when I started baking the cookies, so I don't have photos of the whole process.

Mandy wanted us to really get our creative juices flowing this month and decorate amazing cookies with the theme of September. September is the month of two of my friends' birthdays so what better than to give these little beauties as gifts. They came out very pretty and dainty and will look adorable once wrapped up in a box with a ribbon.

I made Lemon sugar cookies (my favourite!) and the top is made with white fondant circle cut-outs stuck on with royal icing and some were outlined with the royal icing too (who knew outlining would be so hard?!) and then made some ribbon roses and embossing. I really enjoyed making them and I'm sure my fellow Daring Bakers will agree when I say that it really was a great challenge! I will definately be making these again as gifts.

Thank you very much Mandy for hosting such a fabulous challenge!

Lemon Sugar Cookies:

Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies

200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour

200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar

1 Large Egg, lightly beaten

5ml / 1 tsp Lemon Juice

5ml / 1 tsp Lemon Zest


Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture.
• Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape.
• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
• Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.
• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
• Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
• Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
• Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
• Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated cookies can last up to a month.


  1. These are so incredibly pretty! I love the embossed design on the icing.

  2. I definitely was a really enjoyable, fun, and stress free (are challenges ever stressful!? lol!). Such a dainty design. I'm really impressed that you made the roses and leaves.

  3. Adorable work of art! Congratulations! Looking forward to your lemon cookie recipe! Yum!

  4. Gorgeous cookies! What a wonderful gift for the lucky recipients! The embossing is great - I must look around for that sort of thing. Also did you make your own flowers and leaves? They are beautiful!

  5. What fabulous cookies! I've never worked with fondant but those roses are just perfect! I'm so impressed! Well done! x

  6. Your cookies are really gorgeous. Those roses are perfect. I've never tried fondant and now know I need to get comfortable with that.

  7. Gorgeous roses.

    P.S. I get my boxes from

    Really decently priced (you won't find cheaper, I've tried), they come with inserts included in the price and they have lots of other really good cupcake paraphernalia.:)

    P.P.S. Sorry, I have no good coconut/lime recipe for ya.

  8. love those pretty rose cookies =) great presentation

  9. Those are lush! And the photography is really good! well done yu daring baker ;)

  10. Oh my! These cookies are gorgeous! I'm literally salivating right now! Beautiful roses! Presentation is adorable too! Shame we dont get to try these cookies :( Never mind...i am aesthetically pleased :) Well done!! x

  11. @ Thea: Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

    @ Claire: Stress-ful?! Depends what you call guarding the dining table from two toddlers trying to grab the delicate fondant roses off the table!! :)

    @ Renata: Love love your cookies! I just used the cookie recipe Mandy gave and altered the vanilla for lemon zest and juice

    @ Marcellina: I can't wait to give the gifts, I find it so satisfying! I embossed the cookies with patchwork cutters, they're brilliant!

    @ fuzzytime: Aww thank you, so sweet x

    @ Aparna: Thank you. You really have to give fondant a go, its gorgeous accents for cupcakes too!

    @ Ewa: Thank you for your help, have just checked out the website and it has loadsa fun stuff. Definately will need a long browsing session and gonna order some stuff!

    @ Tamanna: Thank you very much hun, presentation is just as important as taste, don't you think?

    @ HerSwaggProfile: Lol - daring baker I am! Ta x

    @ Bephasha Khan: :)) Aww, thank you for a lovely comment. Some henna-inspired icing would look amazing on the white fondant of the cookie! Hopefully you will get to try them one day!

  12. very beautiful cookies! I bet they tasted even better :)

  13. Your cookies are amazing!
    Just perfect!
    You have a lovely blog!

  14. Sooo pretty!!! I bet your friends were amazed with your creativity!

  15. Very cute cookies, delicate and pretty!Love the embossing on the icing, fondant is great isn't it?

  16. The cookies are so beautiful. I love the embossing and the pretty roses.I found your site through daring bakers.

  17. Waow, these cookies are so cute and very beautiful! Is there a special kind of tool for embossing on icing or can you use the same than for scrapbooking? (maybe a silly question, but where I live the available tools for cookies decorating are scarce...)

  18. Thank you all for such lovely lovely comments. I used a sugarcraft cutter for the embossing and you can actually get embossing mats from Wilton for fondant but there are loads of card craft items that you could use for different effects such as the metal stencils (for imprinting and then go over with royal icing) or the cuttlebug embossing sheets - just need to improvise!

  19. Those are the prettiest cookies I've seen in awhile. I especially love the cute little rosebuds.

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  21. Your cookies are absolutely gorgeous! So dainty and pretty, perfect gifts :)

    I'm really glad that you enjoyed the challenge, thank you for taking part :)

  22. Thank you Mandy for such a lovely challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would not have thought about it as a gift if not for the challenge! :)