It's time for another art party project post: Paint Pallet Sugar Cookies!
A few days before Boo's Art Party, I came across a post by J at WhatHappensAtGrandmas.com. She posted about a fantastic Clothesline Art Show that she organized for her grandchildren. Not only was the entire Art Show idea fantastic, but there was this great little treasure hidden toward the end of the post--paint pallet cookies! I knew they'd be perfect for Boo's party. I contacted J and found out that she used a cookie cutter to shape her cookies. Since I didn't want to spend more money, and I didn't have time to wait for the cutter to come in the mail, I had to get creative! Here's what I did:
- Prepare your favorite recipe of sugar cookie dough, and roll it into a tube. (I used a cookie mix from Betty Crocker--it was the night before the party, and I still had tons of projects to finish! Turns out that Betty Crocker makes yummy sugar cookies!) Refrigerate the dough for about 10 minutes so that it will keep its shape as you work with it.
- Use some type of rod (I wrapped my knife sharpener in paper towels) to press a dent into the top of the dough. This dent will mimic the notch in the paint pallet. Make your dent much larger than you think it should be. I made mine just the right size--but it shrank when the cookies baked. I should have made it deeper. Refrigerate the dough again so that you can cut it.
- Slice the dough into ¼" cookies and lay the shapes on a cookie sheet. (Grease or don't grease the pan--depends on your recipe.) Use a wooden skewer (the kind for grilling) or a flattened straw to poke a hole into the dough just above the notch. Again, this hole will shrink. Make it bigger than you think you will need.
- Bake the cookies according to your recipe, and allow them to cool before you remove them from the cookie sheet. If your holes have disappeared, you can quickly make a new hole if you do it immediately after removing the cookies from the oven. If they start to cool, it's too late to use the skewer. You may be able to punch a hole with an unflattened straw, though!
Now the fun part--frosting!
If you have fancy bags and tips for frosting . . . thicken your frosting with powdered sugar and go to town. If not, read on. You will need zip-top bags, gel food coloring, homemade or store-bought frosting, and powdered sugar. (I used funfetti frosting because I wanted the sprinkles for the cake.)
Divide the frosting into five bags (about ¼ cup/bag). Add a large squirt of food coloring and several large scoops of powdered sugar to each bag. Seal the bags--letting as much air out of the bags as possible. (If there is a lot of air in the bag, it will be harder to mix.) Squish the bag to mix it all up. (My kids loved this part.) Continue adding powdered sugar until your frosting is pretty thick. You could mix the frosting outside of the bags, and then add it when you're ready to frost, but where's the fun in that? (Besides, then you have more bowls to wash!)
Cut a very small notch in one of the bottom corners of the ziplock. It's easy to make it bigger, but impossible to make it smaller!
Be sure that your cookies are completely cooled, and lay them back out on the cookie sheet or large plate. Beginning at the top or bottom corner of a cookie, gently squirt a dab or swirl of frosting. Continue with each cookie, and then move onto the next color. Repeat with each color, and you are done!
I am kicking myself that I forgot to take a picture of the finished plate of cookies. (I'm certain there is a computer memory card hiding somewhere that includes pics of the finished cookies and of the frosting process.) They definitely did not turn out perfectly like J's, but the kids loved them anyway, and I thought the homemade, imperfect look was just fine. They matched the kid's art aprons perfectly!
Thank you, J, for the inspiration, and for answering my emails. Your grandchildren sure are lucky to have you! Be sure to check out whathappensatgrandmas.com for this fantastic Clothesline Art Show. Here's a little preview:
Want to see my other art party posts so far? (Images are linked.)