These patriotic star cookies are the perfect Fourth of July cookies to help you celebrate, with their vivid red, white and blue coloring and delicious sugar cookie base. Using royal icing, you can create a marble effect that is sure to make these a great addition to any patriotic party.
There’s something about patriotic desserts that I love.
It combines the joy of baking with the fun of a special event that celebrates pride in your country, and using these stars for your red, white, and blue cookies is a cool way to try out some new royal icing techniques as well as keep it simple enough for even the beginning baker.
Seriously, they look intricate and amazing, but the marbling effect is super easy and literally anyone can do it, even kids.
In this patriotic star cookie tutorial, I’ll show yow how to make the patriotic star cookies, how to decorate the patriotic star sugar cookies and how to achieve the marbling effect for even more fun.
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What Ingredients Do I Need for Patriotic Star Cookies?
To get started, you’ll want to gather all of the ingredients to both make and decorate the patriotic star cookies.
The cookie base is a sugar cookie cut-out base, as opposed to a normal sugar cookie base.
This is fantastic because it prevents the dough from spreading due to the chilling required and the interactions of the ingredients.
You don’t want to put them in the oven and find that you have blobs instead of stars.
For the dough, you’ll need: icing sugar, granulated sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and baking powder.
The next step is royal icing, which you can make while the cookies are baking.
This is made up of meringue powder, icing sugar, water, and vanilla extract for flavoring.
I like to make my royal icing with meringue powder as I find it easy to use and store, and it can be consumed by everyone without any fear unlike egg whites which can be unsafe for pregnant women.
Must-Have Baking Tools (seriously)
- Silicone baking mats – I use this brand and my cookies slide right off without burning!
- a cookie scoop – get this one. It makes the perfect rounded cookies every time!
- silicone spatula – try this set. It’s the best way to get the most out of your dough and batters
- rolling pin guides – I use this one. Genius way to roll your dough out evenly!
Tools You’ll Need for Patriotic Star Cookies
You’ll also want some baking tools for the patriotic star cookies, which include:
- star cookie cutter – these are the best
- red and blue food coloring – gel food coloring is much better than liquid food coloring
- rolling pin guides to roll dough – these are the best ones
- toothpick or scribe for adjusting the icing – I use this one
- baking tray
- baking paper or silicone baking mat – try these for easy clean up
How Far Ahead Can I Make Patriotic Star Cookies?
Many people want to make cookies ahead of time for a special event, and you can make these up to 2 weeks ahead of time and store them at room temperature in an airtight container.
To refresh when it’s time to eat, put a piece of bread in with them for a bit – sounds weird, but it works!
If you want to make them further than that, you can make the bases and freeze them for up to 3 months.
I don’t recommend freezing royal icing or fully decorated stars because the royal icing can freeze a little bit funny and in general I find that the chances you’ll ruin your decorated cookies are much higher than if you just freeze the bases.
Why Royal Icing?
Royal icing can be intimidating to people who haven’t used it before, but it’s one of the best icings to get a smooth finish and marbles beautifully.
Buttercream is an option for some people who just want basic icing on top of the cookie, but you won’t get the crisp lines and the control you get with royal icing.
When you’re making royal icing, use the royal icing recipe and make sure that you get the consistency you want.
I prefer to use a single consistency, about 12 seconds, which is measured by the time it takes for the line to disappear after you draw one in the icing with a knife.
Seriously, just count it out!
If it’s less than that, you’ll find it too runny, and if it gets a lot more than that, the icing may not be thin enough to also use as a “flood” which is the base of the cookie.
Use piping bags to disperse the royal icing, or you can even use a sandwich bag with the tip cut off if you’re really desperate.
Always cut the tip small at first, as you don’t want a large opening like you do for other icings.
Smaller gives you more control, and if it’s too small, you can always cut more off – but you can’t cut less off!
Pipe by keeping the tip about an inch off of the cookie and letting the icing drip down slowly, rather than keeping the tip right on the cookie.
It sounds counterintuitive, but keeping the piping tip further away really does give you more control.
Tips on the Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough
The sugar cookie recipe you should use for these patriotic star cookies is the cut-out sugar cookie recipe, which is formulated to allow for the cookies to keep their shape and not spread.
If you don’t follow it and chill your cookie dough, then your cookies will spread in the oven and no longer be stars.
When you’re cutting out the cookie dough, make sure to lightly flour your cutter and try not to pull on the dough too much – this can cause warping that you won’t see until the cookie is baked.
How to Decorate Patriotic Royal Icing Star Cookies
There are so many options when it comes to decorating patriotic star cookies.
You can outline them in one color, fill it in with the same color, and then wait for it to dry for 6 to 8 hours.
Then, pipe some dots on top and outline the star in a different color, or pipe stripes on top.
However, my favorite way to do these cookies is to do the marbling effect.
To do this, outline the cookie in one color and flood it with that same color.
Then, taking the other two colors, draw alternating lines of the icing on the still wet cookie, straight across the star.
Using a toothpick or scribe, pull it through the icing, creating parallel lines and ultimately creating this marbling effect that looks absolutely amazing when it dries.
I like to alternate the way that I pull the toothpick through, so start at one end, pull through, then move over about a centimeter on the same side, and pull back in the opposite direction.
You can let these dry for 6 to 8 hours and add an outline on top if you want, or just leave them how they are as they look amazing!
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated into red, white, and blue
- 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 red, white, and blue and put into piping bags
- Outline the star in one color
- Immediately flood the cookie with the same color.
- Using another color, pipe horizontal lines across the cookie.
- Using a scribe or toothpick, drag a line vertically through the lines you piped. Repeat about 1cm away from each other.
- Let dry for 12 hours.
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