The Oscars are coming in March and it’s going to be exciting this year. So who’s your pick for best picture? Me? I don’t know yet. I’ve got to catch up on some of these and quick so I can decide. Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, Up in the Air. Tough choices.
While I am indecisive, how about a little Cookie Award how-to?
The cookies are pretty easy to make and stand up as statues. (Recipe below.) You just need to set aside some time before the big night. You can make the cookies one day and decorate them on another to spread out the work.
Roll sugar cookie dough between two pieces of parchment paper and you won’t need to flour your surface.
Cut out one award and one circle shape for each standing cookie. Use a sharp edge to cut a section out of the middle of each round cookie. It should be slightly wider than the bottom of your statue cutter so that when the cookie bakes and spreads a little, there will be a pretty snug fit.
Bake the cookies in batches for about 10 minutes each.
If the slots on the round cookies start to narrow, go ahead and recut the straight edge while the cookies are still warm. Then you can remove the scraps easily without hurting the cookies.
You should have enough dough to make 15 large cookie award statues with bases.
When you have all your pieces, place each statue into a cookie base and score the bottom with a toothpick.
This is so you have a guide and so you don’t accidentally pipe your royal icing down too far.
After you make and tint the royal icing, pipe the outlines of the cookie statues.
Then add a little water to the remaining icing to create the “flooding” consistency.
Fill in each of the outlines. You can sprinkle them with gold sanding sugar as seen above or …
… let the icing dry completely for several hours and paint them to look metallic.
You can use a product called luster dust. It’s a powder that you can add a tiny bit of extract to and mix it together and then simply paint on the surface of the royal icing.
You can also paint directly on the cookie bases with the luster dust to give the actual cookies a metallic look.
Once the statues are dry, make some more royal icing and tint it black. Pipe outlines around all the circle bases. Pipe some of the royal icing on the bottom of each cookie statue and place in the slot. Let the cookies stand up straight to dry. The royal icing will act as a glue. If the cookie needs help to balance, you can prop it up with a toothpick. When stable, add a little water to the black royal icing and flood the inside with color. Let dry completely before moving.
Here they are all glittered up with gold sanding sugar.
And here’s what the cookies look like painted with gold luster dust. Pretty.
Feel free to use your own favorite sugar cookie recipe if you like and use the decorating and assembly instructions below or use this sugar cookie recipe.
Yield: 15 cookie statues
Awards Night Sugar Cookies
Awards Night Sugar Cookies
4 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 sticks salted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
Statue cookie cutter
Round cookie cutter
Royal Icing for Statues
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Royal Icing for Circles
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Cookies: Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add eggs and extract mixing until well blended.
Add flour in several additions with your mixer speed on low. Scraping the bowl in between each addition.
When the dough is thoroughly blended, separate it into three-four sections.
Flatten each section slightly into a disc shape. Cover in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Unwrap one of the dough discs and place between two sheets of parchment paper.
Use a rolling pin with rubber spacers attached to help you achieve thick, evenly baked cookies sturdy enough for standing.
Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and use a statue cutter and a round cutter to cut shapes for each cookie award.
Then cut an opening in the middle of the round cookie and remove the excess dough from the center.
The openings should be slightly larger than the cookie cutter bottom.
Leave the cut cookie shapes on the bottom sheet of parchment paper and transfer to your baking sheet.
Repeat rolling and cutting cookie pairs until your baking sheet is full. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. When you remove from the oven, you may need to recut the slots on the cookie bases after baking to maintain straight edges. Do this while the cookies are still warm.
Repeat with more cut cookies using a second baking sheet while allowing the first cookie sheet to cool. Repeat until all of the dough discs are used. Reuse and roll the scraps to make sure you get enough cookies.
Let cool completely. When cool, pair up the cookie award pieces and make sure the statues fit into the base. Score the bottom of the cookie statue to use as a guide for piping your royal icing.
Icing for Statue Cookies: Combine all the ingredients using an electric mixer. Beat for several minutes until thoroughly combined.
Add icing color until you achieve the desired shade. These were decorated using buttercup yellow form Wilton. Immediately cover the royal icing so it doesn't dry out. Bowls with lids are great to have on hand.
Prepare a decorator bag fitted with a #3 tip. Place about 1/3 of the royal icing in the bag. Cover the remaining 2/3 of icing while you pipe the outline of the cookie statues in yellow.
Reuse any icing that is left in the bag and combine it with the remaining royal icing that you have covered in the bowl. Add a few drops of water and stir until the icing becomes more fluid. "Flood" or fill the inside of your piped statues with the royal icing.
You can sprinkle the tops with gold sanding sugar while the icing is still wet. Or let the icing completely dry for a few hours and then paint them with luster dust to give them a metallic look. Place a small amount of super gold luster dust in a bowl. Add a few drops of clear extract (it evaporates quickly) and mix until the powder dissolves. Paint on the mixture with a brush and let dry.
Icing for Circle Cookies: Use the same mixing instructions above, using black icing color to tint. Immediately cover the royal icing so it doesn't dry out.
Prepare a decorator bag fitted with a #3 tip. Place about 1/3 of the royal icing in the bag. Cover the remaining 2/3 of icing while you pipe the outline of the cookie bases in black.
Then pipe more royal icing on to the bottom of each statue cookie and insert into the opening of each circle cookie base. The royal icing will act as a glue as it dries.
You can use a toothpick to help prop up the statues if necessary. Place one end of the toothpick on the cookie base and the other against the back of the cookie statue.
Add a few drops of water to the remaining black royal icing and stir until the icing becomes more fluid. "Flood" or fill the inside of your piped circles.
Let the icing completely dry for a several hours.
Statue cookie cutters can be found at coppergifts.com. The one used for these cookies is 6.5 inches tall and about 2.25 inches wide at the bottom. Use any round cookie cutter that is wider than the statue cutter bottom. The one used here is about 3 inches wide.
UPDATE: The statue cutter is no longer available, but you can make the project using this Mummy Cutter. It’s slightly smaller and the base is a bit different, but the concept will still work.
This movie award recipe sponsored by Hyundai and over the next few weeks, you’ll find more recipes here… Should be fun.