Remember my Clown Cake Pops? Well if you thought those were cute, I’ve got a real treat for you.
Meet Simcha, my favorite clown cookie:
(Simcha is Hebrew for Happiness, something which there’s a lot of on Purim. Name yours as you see fit.)
I’ve been considering doing a royal icing/sugar cookie post for a while, and finally, today I am going to take you behind the scenes to discover how to make your own little clown friend.
First, let’s start with the dough. I use the King Arthur Flour decorating cookie recipe, and people really like it. If you have one you like, go for it.
Scroll past the recipe for decorating how-to.
Sugar Cookies for Decorating:
From King Arthur Flour Cookie COmpanion
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten with
2 Tablespoons water
3 1/2 cups flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter/margarine, sugar and corn syrup until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract, salt and egg/water combination. Beat until combined. Add flour and stir until flour is incorporated and a smooth dough is formed.
Place dough in fridge to cool for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Cut parchment paper to fit your cookie sheets.
Spread a bit of flour on the cut parchment paper and roll out the cookies. For ordinary cookies, roll them about 1/8 of an inch or thinner. For cookie pops, they need to be a little thinner (in order to hold the sticks- see below.) Rolling the dough directly on the parchment will ensure that the cookie shapes don’t get damaged when being moved from the rolling surface to the baking tray.
Cut the cookies out with your cookie cutter. Remove the extra dough and put back in the fridge to re-roll at the end. If desired, place a lollipop stick in the center of the bottom side of the cookie.
Bake the cookies at 350 for 8-12 minutes, until edges are just turning golden brown. (Length of time depends on the thickness of the cookie. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Royal Icing For Decorating Cookies:
From Brown Eyed Baker’s Tutorial on Cookie Decorating
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
6 Tablespoons water
Combine confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the water, (starting with Tablespoons and add additional tablespoon if needed.) and beat thoroughly. Mix for about 8-10 minutes, until icing no longer looks shiny.
How To Make Clown Cookie Pops
Once you have your rolled, shaped, baked and cooled cookies, it’s time to decorate.
There are many comprehensive tutorials on decorating cookies on this wondrous world wide web. This isn’t one of them. I am going to show you the basics, but if you’ve never done it before, I urge you to check out some of the experts, such as Bake at 350 and Sweetopia. And of course,check out my incredibly talented friend Paula, AKA Vanilla Bean Baker, who just happens to be one of my favorite blog readers/blogging pals, in addition to being an extraordinary cookie decorator.
In the directions below, I am going to give you some basic guidelines, and also show you how to make some friends for Simcha the clown.
First, my amazing brainstorm: if you can’t find a clown shaped cookie cutter, fear not. I used a…get this – ice cream cone shaped cookie cutter! Yep, I turned it upside down, and made the cone into a hat for my little clown friend. The scoop becomes the head, and the little bits on the side are perfect for his hair. If you want to make a cookie pop instead of an ordinary cookie, roll them a bit thicker, then stick the lollipop stick into the middle of the bottom of the cookie. It’s not as confusing as I just made that sound. I promise.
Before you start, let’s discuss tools. You will need:
5 piping bags (disposable will make your life a lot easier.)
Thin piping tips- Wilton #1 or #2 tips
Thicker piping tips – Wilton #3 or #4
Squeeze bottles for flooding icing (useful, but not necessary. I was too lazy to wash mine, so I didn’t use them.)
Toothpicks for spreading icing into tiny crevices
Next up, let’s talk dividing the icing. You need 5 colors:
Yellow, White, Red, Blue, Green
You will need the most of the yellow and white, as those are your background colors, some red, for the noses, and a bit each of blue and green for decorating.
Note: Be creative! My pictures are just a suggestion- but have fun decorating these! Make sure, however, to plan your icing accordingly.
Now let’a talk decorating. There are three main components to decorating cookies:
First up: outlining–
In this step, you pipe a thin line of thicker icing around the edge of the area you will be decorating. When you flood the cookie (step 2), this line acts as a dam to hold the icing in place. It is probably considered “correct” to outline the entire cookies, wait till it dries, then flood it. I didn’t do it that way.
Start by outlining the clown’s hat. I used yellow icing:
Next up- flooding:
In the flooding step, you add a bit of water to the icing, making it easier to fill in the outlined area. Add the water a few drops at a time to ensure you don’t make it too thin. If you have a squeeze bottle, use it to pour icing into the center, then spread with a toothpick.
For these cookies, we are going to repeat steps 1 and 2. First, outline the clown’s head:
Then fill it in:
Now let it dry. Completely. Don’t make my mistake. Mine weren’t dry enough, and the colors bled on many of my cookies. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “learn from other’s mistakes; you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
Once your cookies are completely dry, it’s time to move on to step 3: decorating.
First, let’s give our little clown friends a big clown nose:
And some hair. At first I outlined and flooded this section, but then I discovered that it was too small an area, so I piped the thicker icing over the entire area.
Now you can decorate however you please! Give him a mouth, some eyes, don’t forget to decorate the hat!
Not to promote myself or anything, but I just made a Facebook Page for this blog, and if you make these cookies, or my cake pops, or really any of my recipes, I would love for you to upload pictures and share them with me!
Hope you found this helpful! And if you’re sick of purim treats and decorating how-to’s, fear not. I have some amazing
real food recipes to share with you soon. -Miriam