One of the organizations my mother is involved with hosted a tea party luncheon this past week, so of course, they needed some delicious cookies to nibble on! We decided to go with the theme and make decorated sugar cookies in the shape of tea pots, tea cups, and hats.
I used Dorie Greenspan’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookie recipe, which I’ve found holds up nicely for decorating and has a chewy, but firm texture. For the royal icing, I went with Alton Brown’s highly-rated recipe.
First, I outlined and flooded each cookie with its base color. Since I prefer a seamless look, I did these two steps relatively quickly, usually outlining and flooding a group of five at a time before starting another group. Alternatively, you can outline the cookies with a thicker consistency icing, let it set, and then flood the cookie with a thin icing. This will help you keep a clean outline, but you will see the outline in the final product. Purely a personal preference.
After each cookie’s base layer was done, I let them set for about four hours in the refrigerator so that the icing would harden enough for me to be able to pipe on top of it without denting or cracking the first layer. Once that was done, I mixed up a thicker batch of royal icing, filled a pastry bag with a thin round tip and began adding the details to the cookies. I also used sprinkles, non-pareils, and other decorating “doo-dads” to fancy up these cookies. The end result was a pretty, whimsical tea party trio!