I enthusiastically said “of course!” And then realized I was in for quite a bit of work. Being stubborn and particular, I turned down help from quite a few of my lovely friends (Jenn, Kim, Jame, Nicola to name a few). So I decided to break up the madness into 3 phases, over 3 nights.
Dough Making. Since you have to chill rolled dough anyway, I decided to make all of the dough in one night, then chill it until Phase 2, on Wednesday: Rolling and cutting. I wanted to class-it-up a bit for the wedding, but still use a recipe I was really comfortable with, so I tweaked my favorite sugar cookie recipe a bit….
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
¾ cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 orange
2 cups flour
I decided, for the sake of being systematic, that I would measure out everything first. That way I could just plow through batch after batch without fussing with a measuring cup or spoon. I zested all five oranges at once, which was the opposite of fun. My wrist was killing me! Then I packaged all the zest in little individual packets of citrusy goodness.
I didn't want to let these oranges go to waste, so I squeezed them all into a glass and added a little vodka. Fresh squeezed screwdriver. Yum.
After all this prep work was done, I stacked all my ingredients neatly and decided to bang out some of the packaging details…
First I stickered all my little treat bags with my new “Cookie Monster” stickers. Check ‘em out!
I’m kind of a big deal. Well not really. Maybe someday.
Then I cut up little ribbon sections that I used to tie the bags with. Once I was tired of fussing with packaging, I started making the dough by the usual process: Creaming the butter/shortening, adding the sugar and zest, scraping down the bowl, adding the egg and vanilla, then finally the flour.
Eventually, your dough will look like so.
Divide this dough into two equal parts.
Wrap each ball with plastic wrap. Then, repeat all steps. Until you have 10 dough balls taking over the fridge.
Once I got all of the dough into the fridge, it was time for bead. The next day, I began phase 2: rolling, cutting, and baking the cookies.
First I started rolling out the dough, one ball at a time. My goal was to get at least 11 cookies out of every ball. I was able to make quite a few extra cookies this way, so I could pick out the prettiest ones to use for the wedding. I busted out my super cool cookie cutter.
....and started cutting out the cookies.
I baked them at 375 for about 7 minutes, until the edges were starting to brown.
Once I had baked all the cookies (about 120 total) I let them cool on a wire rack and packed them for the night. Phase three of this project started thursday night, when I set out to frost/decorate all the cookies. I made up a batch of royal icing, and used a combo of food coloring to get this purple shade, the same color as the bridesmaid dresses.
With a round tip on my pastry bag, I decided to draw little bows with the purple icing, and decorate the bows with these pretty little sugar pearls.
This actually didn't take as long as I feared it would. I cranked right along.
Until I had 105 decorated little beauties.
These were the reject cookies. I actually had a couple of them for breakfast this morning. They may not be pretty, but they taste really good.
My next task, and this was actually the most time consuming part, was to bag and tie each cookie in their little favor bags.