Thursday, September 9, 2010

College Football Kickoff Sugar Cookies

Football season is upon us. Yippee! For me and my husband that means providing tailgate food for about 6-10 people every weekend there is a home game for the Clemson Tigers! With my new mission to expand my cooking horizons in full force, I have decided to use my fellow tailgaters as guinea…I mean a taste testers for my some of my first attempt recipes. Muahahaha! This past weekend I made rolled sugar cookies for the first time (royal icing and all). What a pain in the tushy! It was way too time consuming of a task for my schedule last week and before it was over…wait…what am I talking about!? It’s not over! I still have 2 dozen un-iced football shaped sugar cookies in Tupperware on my counter Beware, this recipe makes a lot of cookies folks! (About 3-5 dozen depending on the size of your cookie cutter). I am not sure what to do with them. I’ll probably procrastinate doing anything with them until they’re stale and have to be thrown away. Anyway, I ended up taking a few short cuts with the icing on the 20 or so that I did ice that made the cookies look less than perfect, but I do think they tasted pretty good. So with out further ado, here is the recipe:

Rolled Sugar Cookies
From Jill Saunders


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Royal Icing
From: Martha Stewart Living 2006


  • 1 lb box of confectioners sugar
  • 5tbsp meringue powder or 2 pasteurized egg whites (I used meringue powder because we had a pregnant lady attending the tailgate)


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle. Use gel food colors to create the desired color for your icing

I was quite surprised at how hard it was to get the cut cookie from the counter to the pan. As you can see these cookies did not all turn out the same size. I was thinking next time I might will try to roll the dough out on parchment paper and remove the excess dough from around the shapes so they don’t have to be picked up and moved. The whole parchment paper could just be moved to the pan. I am not sure how it would effect the baking of the cookies though. We’ll try one day!

So after these cookies are completely cool you must ice them. The cookies themselves are not very sweet and the icing really makes the cookie. You are supposed to use a piping bag to pipe around the out line of your shape and then when the out line dries you are supposed to then thin your icing and fill the middle. This is where I started to cheat. It was about 11:00pm at night when I started this process (like I said busy week) and I do not have a steady hand. So not wanting to completely destroy the cookies beyond recognition by attempting fine decorating techniques I’ve never tried in the last hour of the day, I used a short cut suggested to me by my mother-in-law (Thanks Colleen!). I made my icing according the recipe above, colored it to as close to football brown as I could get them and then dipped the cookies top side down straight in the bowl of icing to coat them. The icing really smoothes itself out evenly over the cookie on its own while it dries. I let them dry on sheets of wax paper overnight and then woke up at 4:00 am to finish them the day of the game (I told you I was cramming this project in to my already busy week). First I had to take a paring knife to cut the cookies loose from the wax paper. Due the unorthodox way I iced these cookies, there was a lot of excess icing dripping over the edges. However once cut free, most of the cookies looked pretty good. Then I had to make another batch of the icing with no color in it for the laces. It was at this time that I discovered I did not have enough powdered sugar to make even half a batch of the icing. Luckily it was 4:00 am so I didn’t care anymore. I made what I icing I could (which turned out to me too thin) and gave laces to as many football cookies as the small batch would allow. The icing came out too thin and the laces did not hold their shape at all. The laces looked more like amoebas. Oh well. I served them at a football game so I figured if people didn’t know what I intended them to be it wasn’t me who would be the dummy. I will try these again, but I’m going to take a break for a while. These are a lot of work and not a good idea to make when you’re in a rush.


  1. I thin they look pretty good! I could tell they were footballs! This is definitely an area of cooking and baking that I do not excel at! It frustrates me to no end, but I just don't have a knack for it (yet!). And I agree with the comment on FB that having the "right" or best tools for a job make it way easier! A silicone mat is a must, for any baking job, especially one that requires rolling!

  2. Re the baking, what if you roll the dough out on silicone baking sheets, use cookie cutters and then just pull away the unwanted dough? This way no footballs have to be moved and you can guage the correct space needed inbetween the cookies?

  3. I though the same thing Steph. I also thought it;s going to be a while before I find out because I;m not making rolled sugar cookies again for a long time. ;) Haha