Fleur De Lis: Decorated Cookies

There are few better things in life, than a cuddling with a cute little puppy. Let’s be honest, puppies have the power to melt even the hardest of hearts. I have previously written about my little Maltese, Versailles. She was one of the greatest joys in my life. Sadly, she lost her battle to a congenital liver defect, when she was only 1 1/2 years old (last April). I was devastated by the loss of her, and felt her absence everyday. To this day, I still greatly miss her playful and loving nature.

I have finally gotten another puppy. I decided to get another female maltese, in honor of Versailles. It has been wonderful hear the pitter patter of paws and playful barking again. My new pup, Stasia (short for Anastasia), came all the way from Louisiana. She is 1 pound & 5 oz. of pure energy. I searched long and hard for the perfect dog, to prevent the another heartbreaking outcome. I was inspired to make some New Orleans Saints “fleur de lis” cookies, since Stasia is clearly going to be a Saints fan. ūüėČ Even though the team has been in the news lately, for their “bounty program”, they still have an unbelievable quarterback, and all around solid team (minus coach Sean Payton, and a few defensive players).

Anyway, back to the cookies. I decided to decorate the cookies with royal icing, for a nice hard and shiny look. I’m not going to lie, the taste of royal icing does not come close to a French buttercream. The look; however, is much sleeker and more refined. Royal icing is really not hard to make. It can be a little fussy (do not expose it to air very long, or it will get hard). Also, try not to use plastic utensils when making the icing, because it is sensitive to ANY grease or oil (that includes touching it with your fingers). The thing about royal icing¬†is that it makes the prettiest decorated cookies.

You will need:
For the Cookies:
Start with a basic cut out cookie dough. I recommend:
Williams Sonoma Easter Cut-Out Sugar Cookies 
(Recipe from Taste of Home)Royal Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp. plus 4 tsp. water
9 tsp. meringue powder
1/2 tsp.cream of tartar
   It helps to refrigerate the
dough for at least one hour, prior to rolling it out. Use a floured cookie
cutter to cut dough into desired shapes. Freeze unbaked cookies on a cookie
sheet for ten minutes, to prevent the cookies from spreading. After all, we want
them to hold their shape so that they can be decorated.
 Bake until cookies are lightly golden on edges
(you do not want them doughy for decorating. Allow to cool completely)
Beat royal icing ingredients on low until everything is combined.
Increase speed to high, and continue to beat 4 to 5
minutes until STIFF peaks form.
 Divide frosting into bowls, for each color you plan on using.
For black, add enough to create a graphite color, and allow it to sit
for an extended period of time. The color will deeply progress over time, and
will not taste bitter from too much food coloring.
   < After 30 minutes             After  >24 hours
For gold: add 10 parts yellow to 1 part brown food coloring. This
color will become more vibrant, as well. For storing: press saran wrap
directly¬†into frosting and cover with press n’ seal or an airtight lid.
Put the different colored icings into pastry bags or squeeze bottles.
You may need to use a pastry bag, to squeeze the icing into the bottles.
For flooding, I recommend using a squeeze bottle. To make
flooding icing: reserve some royal icing (which will be icing main
color), and start adding water by the 1/2 teaspoon. Be careful not
to add too much water. Only add enough to make a somewhat thick
syrupy consistency. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, and pop any air bubbles
(which will form from adding water, and stirring the icing) with a toothpick.
Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a glass, and store bottles/pastry
bags face down, to prevent a crust from forming in the piping tips.
 Outline the cookies with royal icing.
Flood cookies, by squeezing flood icing throughout the cookies.
Be careful not to add too much, or it will run off the sides of the cookies.
Gently use a toothpick, to spread the icing, and fill any empty spots. Pop any air bubbles,
and dry on cooling rack, for at least a few hours.
   Cool tip: Combine luster dust, and a few drops of vodka. It will not alter the taste
of the cookie or the icing. It works as an adhesive for the luster dust. I used gold luster dust, mixed with a little pearl luster dust.
Use a paint brush to apply the luster dust to the cookie. Allow it to dry,
before adding the finishing piping decorations to the cookie.
 Pipe details onto cookie using the alternate colored icing.
 Allow the icing to dry completely before serving.

¬†Stasia’s Fleur de lis bow
Her Saints’ cheerleading dress
 Little Stasia taking a puppy nap!