These star cookies are easy to make and super colorful, ready for any special event. Made with royal icing and sugar cookie dough, they are the perfect mix of soft and firm to give you a chewy cookie with no crumbles.
When it comes to making decorated cookies, sometimes, simple is the best.
These star cookies are really fun to make, allow a lot of creativity if you’re making these with your kids, and can be personalized with designs or colors to fit the event.
Star cookies go great with birthday parties and graduation party ideas, so get out your rolling pins and piping bags and let’s get going!
In this star cookie tutorial, I’ll show you how to make star cookies, how to make the dough for star cookies and how to decorate star cookies with royal icing.
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Tips for Making Star Cookies
Making star cookies is super easy even if you’re a beginner, but there are a couple of things you should know about making them to not go off the rails.
Firstly, when you follow the sugar cookie dough recipe, follow it to the letter.
Baking is a science, and you need to make sure you measure your ingredients correctly (weighing is the best)and chill as instructed.
Chilling the dough prevents it from spreading in the oven, as you don’t want star blobs, but star cookies with crisp edges!
The other thing to keep in mind is that when you go to cut out the star cookies, try to be gentle and not tug on the stars too much as it can misshape the dough so they will bake wonkily, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it until you bake it.
What Dough Do I Use to Make Star Cookies?
Make your star cookies using this cut-out sugar cookie recipe.
I really love this one because I find that my cookies always come out with no spread and are even in the oven.
You don’t want to just use any cookie recipe with this one, as the point is to make sure that your cookies have clean edges and remain the shape that you cut them out at.
This recipe uses both granulated sugar and some powdered sugar, which gives the cookie a chewier base and a bit softer than straight granulated sugar.
How to Make Royal Icing for Star Cookies
Making royal icing is really easy.
Use this royal icing recipe, which uses meringue powder, vanilla extract, water, and vanilla extract.
I like to use meringue powder instead of egg whites as it’s easier to store and it’s safe for pregnant women to eat.
Keep mixing the royal icing until you get the kind of “peaks” you want.
There are different types of royal icing you can make depending on what you’re doing with it.
If you want to make outline icing or icing to make leaves or flowers that need to hold their shape, you’ll want to beat the icing until you have “stiff” peaks that don’t move much.
For the flood, you’ll want medium peaks which means that the icing will hold a slight peak, but folds over and then disappears back into the icing.
The great thing about royal icing is that you can always adjust it by adding more water or powdered sugar, so all is not lost if you don’t get it right at first – just scrape off the cookie and keep trying.
Tips for Using Royal Icing
When using royal icing, it’s important to go slow at first if you’re a beginner.
Make sure that your piping bag is closed at the end so you can create a sort of tension within the bag to make the icing come out smoother and then put your tip about an inch above the cookie and let the icing drop down.
You don’t want to have the tip right next to the cookie, even though that sometimes seems to make the most sense intuitively.
You’ll have less control, I promise!
When you “outline” the cookie, that means to draw an outline on it.
When you “flood” the cookie, that means to fill in the outline with icing, which will then settle down and be that smooth base we love on royal icing.
You should also know that you need to be careful about letting things dry, as if you try to pipe details onto a wet cookie base, it will soak into the existing icing and be messy and not defined.
There is a “wet on wet” decorating technique that you can use, but this should be on purpose, not because you got impatient!
How to Decorate Star Cookies with Royal Icing
Decorating star cookies is incredibly easy due to the lack of detail needed.
All you need to do is outline a cookie in one color icing, then flood it immediately after with the same color icing.
If you want to do any “wet on wet” icing technique, do it now, otherwise give it a couple of hours to dry and then pipe any details you want onto it like stripes, polka dots, or another outline on the star.
Another option you could take is to outline the cookie, flood it in one color, then do the marbling technique where you use wet icing to draw lines across the star.
Using a toothpick or scribe, pull it through the lines, up or down, about a centimeter apart, and you’ll create a beautiful marbling effect.
You can also create stripes on the star by outlining and flooding each color section separately.
Get creative, and add sprinkles at the end for some flair if you want!
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate
- Bake the star cookies using the sugar cut-out cookie recipe
- Make a batch of royal icing using the royal icing recipe
- Separate out the royal icing into as many colors as you want to decorate with and put into piping bags
- Outline the star in one color
- Immediately flood the cookie with the same color
- Wait 2 to 3 hours and then decorate the star using an outline, dots, stripes, or anything else you can think of
- Let dry for 12 hours
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