Happy Independence Day to America!!! In all honesty this one kind of snuck up on me. I was planning to make an easy tutorial for 4th of July and I kept thinking in my head that I have more time and I shouldn’t start yet and then “boom” it is three days before and I haven’t even baked the cookies yet. Then when I do bake them my cookie monster toddler kept stealing them all off the table and instead of having 3 dozen I am left with 2. I want to scold her but seeing her nibbling cookie after cookie in the corner trying to hide from my sight is just too cute. I guess I will let her win this one and be a kid.
Since I had procrastinated badly I thought I could squeeze in the quick decorating while the cookie monster was nibbling away without getting bothered too much. Boy was I wrong! The second she saw my frosting containers she knew its time to decorate and she wanted to make a mess…I mean help. Of course I made a spot for her at the table and let her hold the bottle as I piped the icing into the lines and dots I needed to make the cookie look like a firework explosion. Some came out great, others were a bit messy but that is perfect because not all fireworks are the same when they explode and this gave the cookies character. It also made me realize that these cookies should not just be marketed for adults that don’t want to spend too long decorating cookies but it is also a great way to spend time with your kids on the holiday making a patriotic treat. These are easy enough that adults won’t get stressed and kids can have fun making them with you.
As I was sitting with my daughter watching the joy on her face as she squeezed a blob of frosting onto a cookie I was no longer frustrated that she wanted to help but rather I embraced the moment and didn’t want to finish the last cookie that seemed to creep up on us way too fast. Far too often I am in a rush to get things done thinking the faster I get it done the faster I can focus on my daughter but I end up missing out on opportunities to do just that. Luckily I didn’t miss this one and it meant a lot to me since I know this fall I will be returning to work and I won’t be able to spend all day with her. It has been weighing heavily on my mind lately as I have pretty much been a stay at home mom almost the entire time since she was born and I feel really guilty leaving her at home. I guess I will have to set up more mommy-daughter baking and decorating dates.
What I like most about these cookies is they are completely customizable. They can be made with any color scheme and you can use any patterns you like that you feel represents what an exploding firework looks like. I used a sand dollar cookie cutter to give a unique shape that would help support the look of an explosion and falling particles but you can use any cutter you like. If you have a regular star you can use that or if you only have a circle you can also use that too. As far as colors go I used tulip red, white, and baby blue for Independence Day but you can pick any colors, especially if you want to recreate them for another holiday such as New Years you could do gold and black. As always I use my favorite sugar cookie recipe and decorate with royal icing tinted with gel dye but you are welcome to use your own approach. The sky is the limit with these. They are designed to be easy and fun for all the family. So go enjoy the holiday and celebrate your freedom if you are an American and if not just celebrate your family by spending time together making a batch of cookies and promoting your children’s creative expression.
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
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