Be Your Own Baby-shower Baker: Give em Some Sugar, Cookie!

If you're planning a baby shower and want to go that extra mile to impress your guests and show the mom-to-be how much she means to you, consider baking and decorating a plateful of tantalizing, taste-bud-pleasing sugar cookies delightfully decorated with colorful royal icing. Here's a baby shower cookie recipe that lets you roll out your baking prowess, and you'll get a chance to tap into your artistic side.

Before you pull out the mixing bowls and ingredients, check your cookie-cutter supply. Baby-shower-themed cookie cutters are essential. Many adorable shapes are out there - a pregnant lady, baby's head, a rocking horse, a ducky, a teddy bear, rocking horse, baby bottle, bootie, bib, buggy, block - be creative! Check online or at your local kitchen supply store.

Now you're ready for a Time-tested, Trusted Sugar Cookies recipe. Meet you in the kitchen…

Ingredients:

6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix well. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll to desired thickness (about ¼ inch is standard) and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely. This recipe can make up to 8-dozen 3" cookies.

Royal Icing was traditionally used to ice Wedding and Christmas cakes. It's a pure-white icing that dries to a lovely, smooth, hard, matte finish. Royal icing also colors beautifully, which makes it perfect for frosting cakes and cookies with intricate piping, lettering and decorations. Here's a recipe for Royal Icing:

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 cup water
About 2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon flavoring such as vanilla, lemon, orange or almond (optional)

Use a large electric mixer or make smaller quantities in a small bowl and just stirring with a spoon. Put confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and flavoring in mixing bowl. Start mixer and add water a little at a time until you get the desired consistency. Keep it a little stiff at first and thin it later to pipe or fill. Mix until the icing is smooth and shiny. Take out portions to tint with food coloring in the colors you require. Cover the icing you're not using with a damp cloth or paper towel so it doesn't dry out.

To decorate the baby shower cookies, thin the royal icing with water until it's a good piping consistency. Choose the color you want to start with and place the colored icing in a small piping bag that you have purchased or made yourself from grease-proof paper. Cut off the tip and insert a small piping nozzle. Fold the top of the piping bag over and push the icing toward the tip. Pipe a straight line on a piece of paper to get out air bubbles and make sure the icing flows smoothly. When the piping comes out easily and smoothly, grab a cookie and go for it!

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About The Author, Susan Hawkins
Of course, you can always serve cute cookies at your baby shower without the effort. Simply check out the line of yummy baby shower cookies at http://www.cornerstorkbabygifts.com and order a few dozen!