Unicorn sugar cookies are delicious and so much fun to bake as well as eat. Just bake, glaze, and sprinkle with decorations to your heart’s desire.
Help me out with something: are my child-like cookie decorating abilities precious or just pathetic? I can’t decide.
So I sit here desperately hoping that none of my graphics/visual communications/design and layout professors are avid food blog readers because I know they’ll regret every minute they wasted trying to teach me some semblance of artistic ability. And even though this is my first post of 2017 (!!!), most of this post will be dedicated to bashing myself for this personal shortcoming.
You know, instead of being friendly and kind and asking how your Christmas was (mine was great) or if you made it till midnight on New Years (not even close on my end). Because I really do want to know! How were your holidays? Amazing? What did you do? More importantly, what did you bake?
I spent Christmas at home in Oregon and I had so much fun with my family. Cookie had a reindeer outfit (pictures to come—promise) and I spent most of my time either binge-watching Sister Wives or playing Drawful with my sisters. (Best game EVER.)
Then on the plane ride home I caught one of those dreaded airplane colds and woke up on December 31 with my throat so sore that I gagged trying to swallow my cold medicine. And then I fell back asleep, and so went the next two weeks of my life. Wake up, medicate, walk Cookie, sleep. Repeat. Hence the lack of posting.
And hence this post. During one of my few bouts of wakefulness during that awful fortnight (yep, I used that word), I came across this post over on popsugar. How completely and totally cute is that unicorn bark? And have you even seen the pictures/recipes floating around for unicorn hot chocolate? I die. DIE. The swirling pinks, purples, and blues topped with sprinkles and sugar and all types of wonderfulness sooo appeals to the little girl in me. I swoon with every new recipe I come across.
So I knew I had to jump in on the unicorn trend. And in my Nyquil-induced haze I was unable to talk myself out of attempting to unicorn-ify a batch of unsuspecting sugar cookies.
My normal, healthy brain has this conversation with itself whenever I get the idea to decorate cookies: Kelsie. Come on. You can’t decorate a cookie to save your life. Remember the great gingerbread man debacle of 2002? Your scary, melting-face gingerbread men made children cry. They were crying, Kelsie. Just don’t even try.
And that’s usually enough to get myself to move on to something else. But this time, fueled by cold medicine and a powerfully hacking cough, I believed I could really do something special. Something colorful and bedazzled and beautiful enough to be called unicorn sugar cookies. Even the name is special.
The resulting unicorn sugar cookies were more like a unicorn nightmare, like a unicorn exploded in my kitchen and died a slow, painful death. Instead of the lovely swirls of color with thoughtfully placed assorted baubles on top, I ended up with pink blobs and scatter-y sprinkles with no apparent thought behind them at all. This, after remaking and tweaking my glaze no fewer than five times.
My cookies ended up as something that not even a 5-year-old would want to claim, and I don’t have enough time to start over (or better yet, do something else) if I want to post this week. And I do want to post this week.
But rest assured these cookies are delicious. This is my favorite cut-out sugar cookie recipe because the dough is really easy to work with. It’s not too soft and if you just let the dough sit at room temp for 15 minutes, it rolls out like a dream—especially if you roll it between sheets of parchment.
And I’m certain your cookie decorating skills are far superior to mine so your unicorn sugar cookies will be both attractive and delicious.
If somehow you’re the one person on earth less skilled than I am, just use lots of sprinkles. Extra sprinkles make everything better.
Happy New Year!
- Unicorn Sugar Cookies
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- powdered sugar, for rolling cookies
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4 to 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- food coloring and assorted sprinkles
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for 30 seconds more. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined, taking care to scrape the dough up from the bottom of the bowl so everything is mixed properly. Divide dough into two portions, pat each portion into a disc, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Lightly dust your workspace with powdered sugar and roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. (Alternatively, but less environmentally friendly-ly, roll out dough between sheets of parchment paper.) Cut into desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets one inch apart. Gather scraps and replace in the refrigerator. Repeat process with other half of dough. Bake until the cookies’ edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before making glaze and decorating.
- Combine powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons water, and corn syrup in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Stir vigorously until glaze is completely smooth. Add additional water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Divide into four separate bowls and add food coloring. Transfer glaze to plastic bags or squirt bottles and decorate cookies as desired. Serve and enjoy.
- I used large squeeze bottles, one for each color (pink, white, purple, blue), but I think you could use zip-top plastic bags and achieve basically the same thing. Place glaze into the bag, seal the top, and snip off a tiny bit of one of the bottom corners.
- I squeezed a circle of glaze around the perimeter of each circle, then allowed the circle to harden. Then I squeezed several blobs of color inside the circle and swirled the glaze around with a butter knife before topping with sprinkles.