I am not a baking blogger (even though I love reading them!). Nonetheless, I do A LOT of baking. I love making, from scratch, things that you would only think to buy in stores. Homemade Tim-Tams, homemade Nutella, homemade donuts, homemade five-layer German cakes, homemade Pavlovas. I don’t like to eat these things myself (I don’t really like sweet things), but my friends and family seem to appreciate my efforts.
I bring all this up because my sister asked me to make the wedding favours for her wedding this past weekend. She had 150 guests, and she wanted each one to go home with a hand-decorated, homemade sugar cookie. No worries, I said! I’m on it.
For inspiration, I went to Bake at 350, which is an awesome (and very stylish) professional baking blog.
I used her recipe for Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies, but I modified it slightly, which is to say, I did not use almond extract, and I do not have vanilla beans to store in my sugar. For the icing, I used her royal icing recipe.
For the design, my sister requested that half the cookie be decorated as the American flag, and half the Ukrainian flag (she is American and her husband Ukrainian). I think it is a bit tacky, but I do not choose the design!
If you’re interested in replicating this kind of decorated cookie, I recommend her tutorials. I am not anywhere near as good as the author of that blog, but these were a big hit nonetheless! Even the hotel staff at the reception loved them.
I made seven practice batches over the summer (and my lab devoured them cheerfully).
To make the 150 cookies, I made three batches of 50 (I just doubled the recipe above) the week before the wedding. Each batch of 50 took me about 6 hours (I had to cook and decorate through the night to complete the last batch).
I packed each cookie in a poly bag and tied it with ribbon (who knew ribbon was so expensive?!). Then I froze the cookies until I was ready to fly out. Each of my parents and myself carried a box with 50 cookies onto the plane (the airport security loved them).
At the hotel, we took them to the front desk so that everyone could receive their cookie when they checked into the hotel.