The Fourth of July has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember! Smack dab in the middle of the best weather of the year, family and friends gathering outdoors, and fabulous food. While browsing Pinterest for my contribution to the barbeque potluck table, I came across these beautiful Firework Cookies on MarthaStewart.com. In my continuing education and practice with royal icing and cookie decorating- this is a perfect fit!
Royal Icing Ingredients:
• 3 tablespoons meringue powder
• 4 cups powdered sugar
• A small bowl of lukewarm water
• Blue food coloring
• Red food coloring
What You’ll Need:
Hand-mixer with whisk attachment (or stand up mixer)
4 pint-sized ziplock bags
3 cups or mugs
A dozen toothpicks, give or take
(Adapted from MarthaStewart.com)
I started the night before and made my favorite sugar cookies using the same recipe as I did for this post. Roll them out and use a large round cookie cutter, bake, and allow to cool overnight (or at least a few hours before icing).
For the royal icing, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and sift with a fork. Add 7 tablespoons of lukewarm water, and mix with hand mixer until the icing becomes very firm. Place one of the ziplock bags open into a cup or mug, and fold the sides around the rim. This helps in loading the bag with ease. Scoop ½-¾ cup into that ziplock bag, this is your outline bag. Cover the large bowl with a damp paper towel. Leave the ziplock open, and twist to create some pressure in one of the corners. Cut the tip of this corner off, no larger than a millimeter, to use as an icing tip. I found it more effective to hold each cookie in hand, and slightly turn as I pipe this icing as the outline of the circle, about 1/8-1/4 inch from the edge of each cookie. Once each cookie is outlined, set aside and allow to dry.
For the white flooding, this time scoop out another ½-¾ cup into a bowl, and add 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water and mix, continue to add ½ tablespoon increments or less, until you achieve desired consistency. When you lift the spoon from the icing, the drip from the spoon will remain for 4 full seconds before melting into the rest. Set up the ziplock bag in the same mug, seal it, and move on to mixing your colors. Use the same principals that you used to create the consistency of the flooding icing, but mix the food coloring into the icing base first, enough to arrive at your desired color. I’ve seen these cookies done with a very pretty navy blue icing, which you can get by mixing a teeny-tiny bit of black with the blue. Perfect for the Fourth of July! Seal each bag.
Prepare your workspace with enough room to set each cookie level, and be able to leave them there for about 2 hours. Have three separate folded and dampened paper towels available on your space. Set your pile of toothpicks nearby. The idea is to cut down the time between using each color, in order to keep wet while doing the detailed toothpick work. I suggest planning on doing one cookie at a time— learning and creating different designs as you go.
Open the top of the flooding ziplock, twist the bag in order to create pressure in one corner, and cut a millimeter piece from the tip. Pipe this icing in circles on the cookie, and use a toothpick to move in shallow circles, to guide the icing to meet the piped outline. Once this is done, set that bag down on one of the dampened paper towels. Swiftly, choose the blue or red bag, open the seal, twist, and cut the tiniest bit off the corner. Start by placing one dot in the middle of the cookie, and drawing circles, larger and larger, until you reach the edge. You can choose to leave enough room to then add blue in between, also in circles, or keep this one duo-toned. When laying down each color, always place on the damp paper towel, and as you lift them to use, do a test squeeze onto the paper towel, to rid yourself of the plug that inevitably forms at the tip, when it has been left for any amount of time. Now for the fun part, with the toothpick at a 45-degree angle (or so) drag from the inner dot, all the way out to the edge of the cookie. Continue this in equidistant portions on the entire cookie. You’ve made your first firework cookie! Continue with each cookie, starting with flooding, but definitely try swirls, outside-in, alternating, and then, possibly, only dragging certain portions of the circles, be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment!
More 4th of July Ideas:
4th of July Party Printables Caprese Kabobs Patriotic Bubble Favors Sparkler Favors