This story originally appeared in a December 2019 edition of inRegister@Home.
Like many families in America during the holidays, every year my family and I bake plenty of cookies so we have enough to bring with us to Christmas gatherings and leave some out for Santa on Christmas Eve. However, rather than having beautiful, Food Network-level cookies, our batches always look somewhat crumbled and misshapen and they lack true artistic vision. And sadly for my mom, who was never one of those Pinterest-y, class-mother types, the rock-hard sugar cookies smothered in Betty Crocker icing aren’t going to cut it in 2019, when just about everyone is stepping up their cookie aesthetic game.
Luckily for Santa and all of the people receiving my family’s cookies this year, Sarah Joy Hays, owner of CounterspaceBR, recently shared with us all her tips and tricks for decorating the perfect Christmas cookie:
Putting the sugar in sugar cookies:
When making sugar cookie dough, Hays likes to swap out sifted powdered sugar for regular sugar. She explains that this helps the cookies keep their shape, so you don’t have to chill the dough before rolling.
Her insider trick: For every cup of granulated sugar, use 1.5 cups of powdered sugar.
Icing with ease
When preparing royal icing, don’t make the mistake of adding all of the water the recipe calls for at once. Hays always starts with half of what the recipe calls for, then adds 1 tablespoon at a time after that. She explains that the goal is a frosting you can drizzle from the mixer attachments or a spatula that will melt back into itself in about 10 seconds–the best consistency for decorating!
Making it work
No piping bags? No problem! Hays assures that you can always use a zip top bag as a piping bag. Just add some frosting to the bag and then snip a little bit off of a corner to create an open tip. But be sure not to cut the hole too big!
Hays advises adding sprinkles while the frosting is still wet so they will stick to the frosting and stay in place better. And if you’re wanting sprinkles that are a step above grocery standards, CounterspaceBR carries a colorful selection from Fancy Sprinkles, a Los Angeles-based company founded by a Louisiana native.
Bonus decorating win: Sprinkles can cover up almost any mistake!
If baking isn’t your thing
If you don’t feel like covering your kitchen and yourself in a thin layer of flour and sugar this holiday season, CounterspaceBR is offering rotating daily special items like pumpkin spice cookies with brown butter frosting, eggnog cupcakes and ginger molasses cookies. And if you are looking to skip the baking but still want your dessert to appear homemade, the store will also have cookie kits that include a dozen cookies in holiday shapes and frosting–with a gluten-free option available, too.
To learn more or to purchase CounterspaceBR’s holiday desserts, visit counterspacebr.com or call 225-456-5002.