Wanna know how I decided to start making sugar cookies?  I saw Martha Stewart do it and thought to myself, “That look easy enough for me to do!”

So I went out and bought a bunch of supplies and baked cookies and started to prepare all the frosting for the cookies and I realized…this is a lot of work!

And NOT easy.

And then to top it off, they were not very tasty and they looked like baby poo with barely legible words on it.

Fast forward 3 years and I am still in learning stages, but now, you can sometimes read what I am trying to write and occasionally, they even taste good.

Thought I’d share how I have been doing things thus far, and if you have any tips or recommendations that would make my life easier, please tell me immediately just leave a comment whenever you get a chance.

This is the recipe I use.  It’s the kind that yields a thicker, more chewy cookie.  I am not a huge fan of the paper thin ‘crispers’ some grandmas I know try to pass off as sugar cookies.   You know who you are Grandma.

Now, to the fun part.

I use a version of Royal Icing…

1cup powder sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon milk
1 drop lemon juice

Except I usually make about 8 cups at a time.  Really thick, then I can just add milk if I need it to be thinner for ‘spilling’ and stuff.  Just grab a bowl, take about a cup of frosting out and then add the food coloring of your choice.

I always do the ‘line and spill’ method.
I make a thin outline of the cookie with a thick frosting (just use less milk).  Then I can go back and ‘spill’ in with a thinned out frosting.


I fill up some cheap pastry bags I get at Michaels and throw on the smallest tip I can find.

*When not using frosting thats in a bag, place bag in a drinking cup with a wet paper towel stuck in the bottom.  Your frosting and tip won’t get all hard and icky.

See that tiny little tip?  The harder your frosting the harder it is to use.  If you’re a beginner, use a really thin frosting.  You won’t have as much control over it, but you also won’t develop carpal tunnel.

Once you have filled in or ‘spilled’ your frosting, and let them sit for a few minutes, you can start decorating.

It was July 4th recently, so I had a pretty specific color pallet.


If you are a brave soul you can use fondant.  I adore this cookie…


…but I cannot stand how fondant tastes, so I don’t dare serve it to anyone.

I will have many more pictures in the next two weeks, as I have 2 very big projects coming up!  Wish me luck!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Thank You!! I found another supply store a bit further away and they had 1s and 2s so I got a few of both! Hoping they turn out as well as yours!

  2. I don’t like the way fondant tastes either so I make my own with marshmallows, powder sugar and water.
    It comes out pretty good. See recipe and instructions here.
    The only other ingredient needed is Crisco and that is for your hands to help on the kneading.
    Everyone loved it.

  3. Wondering how much your recipe makes? I always want mine to be soft and wonderful like Target’s cookies, but they end up tasting more like ‘grandma’s’ cookies!

  4. First of all, love your cookies! They are great, and have inspired me to give it a try! 🙂 I have tried making sugar cookies in the past, and just can’t get them thick enough. About how thick do you roll out your dough. And about how many cookies does your recipe yield. Thanks for sharing!

  5. The recipe yields about 24 cookies (2 dozen) depending on the size and shape of your cookie cutters.  I prefer a thicker cookie, so I roll mine out anywhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick!
    If you do try to recipe, be sure to take pictures and then submit them to the flickr group… there are going to be some fun and different prizes in store for that!
    God bless!

  6. Thank you so much for the quick reply. I’ve got a cookie exchange next week and your decorating has inspired me. Thank you so much for sharing both cookie and icing, as well as the rest of your blog! 🙂

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