I have a soft spot for birthdays. I myself take the entire month of January to celebrate Katiepalooza ending the month on my birthday with something big. So when it comes to other people’s birthdays I always push to make them a little bit more magical than they expected. It might just be sending them a card in the mail with stationery that makes them smile, or perhaps my favorite, to make them a special dessert that adds a little magic to their day.
I’ve become passionate about making specialized sugar cookies for special events, finding way too many fun cookie cutters from my new favorite brand, Brighton Cutters. It’s the combination of playing with color, line, and painting techniques on an edible surface that brings me joy. And the looks on the faces of those celebrating their birthdays always make it extra special.
Bringing magic to a birthday doesn’t have to be as extensive as this. It could simply be making your favorite cookies with no extra decorations. Or maybe it’s finding a local bakery you love and support to help you create the magic. It might even be a simple card in the mail letting your loved one know they’re being thought of (Who doesn’t love snail mail?)
I believe that being intentional with our time and gifts is the best way to show someone you care. Spending time creating something from scratch or going out of your way to have something you know they’ll love always makes a gift mean more. If you’re looking to try and make your own sugar cookie creations (complex like this, or simple with just colored frosting and sprinkles) here are my go-to recipes and tools to make the magic happen.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 1 C. Butte
- 1 1/2 C. Sugar
- 2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 3 1/2 C. Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and chill for 30-minutes. Roll out flour to 1/4 inch thick +cut. Cover a stone cookie sheet with parchment paper + bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (I live at altitude and still find that they need to cook for 10 minutes on a stone). Let them cool completely (on the stone) before adding icing. (Cooling on the stone will make the bottoms of the cookies a little more crispy and stable).
Royal Icing Recipe
- 4 C. powdered sugar
- 5 T. warm water
- 3 T. meringue powder
Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix for 7-10 minutes or until you start to see peaks in your icing. Depending on the consistency you want will decide how much water you should add. For a very stiff icing (Used to make 3D decorations) you’ll want to add 1 T less of water. For a thin consistency (for flooding or filling in the whole cookie) you’ll want more water and to add about 4 tsp more of water to your mix.
NOTE: add the water slowly so you can decide how you want your icing to form. You might start with 3-4 T of warm water and then separate the icing into different batches to create different consistencies for your cookies (that’s often what I do).
Like I said earlier, my favorite place to buy cookie cutters is through Brighton Cutters. They have a variety of shapes and packs to get you started and to inspire new creations. Of course, if you’re going for just basic shapes you can always find a good starter pack at your grocery store or at Michaels. But if you want something your loved ones haven’t seen before, go to Brighton Cutters.