First gather your ingredients for the icing. I use a glace icing instead of a royal type icing. Royal dries really really hard and it puts some people off and can sometimes have a funky taste because of the meringue powder. This glace dries firm and set but not rock hard and does not have the meringue powder taste.
I got this recipe from www.cakecentral.com as well - it is not an original recipe of mine.
So, now its time to color your icing. I'm pretty passionate about this. I love COLOR! I love deep full color! To get that color you MUST use a gel food coloring. The liquid stuff that you buy in the grocery store is NOT GOING TO WORK. It will water down the icing and change the whole consistency, you will not get the color saturation that you want. So, definately go to your local craft store and buy the Wilton gel - it lasts forever and you get great color.
4 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons light corn syrup
4 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon clear extract flavoring (I used almond)
Mix all ingredients together. If it is feeling too stiff add more corn syrup or a little more milk.
When thinning your icing make sure that you go slow - too much and then you have to add more powdered sugar etc... vicious cycle (not that *I* would know about that! haha!)
This recipe gives you a slightly clear looking icing. To make it have more color and body add 20 drops of White food color. Wilton makes a white that you can get at your local craft store - I use A LOT of white so I purchased a BIG bottle.
Next you will want to thin the remaining icing. To do this you can just add a little bit of water and stir. Check for consistency by dropping a glob back into the bowl - if the glob disappears by the count of 3 you should be good. Quicker than that and it might be too thin, longer than that and it might be too thick.
Outline your cookies. I like to outline them all at once.
Now you want to grab a toothpick and drag the pick from the top of the dot all the way through to the bottom and you get a great heart - CUTE!
Here is another version of the same technique - use 2 (or more) colors of flood consistency icing and make stripes (any direction that you want).
Grab a toothpick and drag the pick through the icing back and forth (picking up the pick at each end) in the opposite direction of your stripes. (stripes are vertical, drag pick horizontal). You will get this really cool effect:
Make sure to let them dry completely before trying to move them - usually takes about 12 hours. Plan ahead!
I think they look fantastic and tomorrow morning I am going to be Rock Star Wife #1 at my hubby's work!
I hope these tutorials have helped you move past stress and fear of sugar cookies - they can be so much fun - and YUMMY!!! Let me know if you use any these ideas - I would love to see your crafty cookies! (If there are any left to take pics of!)