The desire to create homemade sugar cookies that look spectacular has people in the kitchen these days trying to master using royal icing. Let me show a faster way using fondant as your decorating medium. Fondant is a pliable sugar dough that is rolled out and applied to cookies. It can be molded many different ways and its taste can be changed using concentrated flavors on the market. You can make your own marshmallow fondant or purchase fondant at your local craft store.
Here is my favorite sugar cookie recipe to use as the base of your fondant-covered cookies.
Basic Sugar Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (226g)
1 cup granulated sugar (198g)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (56g)
1 large egg (50g)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (5g)
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (420g)
1/2 cup cake flour (60g)
1/4 tsp salt (2g)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend the softened butter, granulated sugar, and confectioner’s sugar together until light. Scrape down the sides of bowl.
- Add egg and blend well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add vanilla extract and blend well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt. Use a whisk to blend dry ingredients together.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl until all of the flour has been incorporated. The dough should be ready to use.
- Roll out your cookie dough. If your cookie dough is extremely soft and cannot be immediately rolled out, that means your butter was too soft before blending. Refrigerate cookie dough for an hour or two before using.
- Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before rolling out dough. Cut out desired dress cookie shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Cool completely before decorating.
Makes 2 lbs 4.1 oz. of cookie dough (1025 grams).
How to Prepare Your Cookies for Covering with Fondant
Once you have baked all of your sugar cookies, look at each of them to make sure that the tops are smooth. If there is a hump on top of your sugar cookie, that lump will show up on the fondant-covered sugar cookie. You can use a paring knife or a microplaner to file down the hump and make the top of your cookie smooth.
How to Roll Out Your Fondant for Use on Cookies
Prepare your fondant for use according to package instructions. I suggest that you taste the fondant and add flavoring, if needed, before kneading the fondant and cutting out the fondant. There are a number of concentrated flavors on the market. A little goes a long way. For each pound of fondant, use only 1/2 teaspoon of concentrated flavor. Knead in the concentrated flavor with a little (50/50 mix) confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch to maintain the consistency of the fondant.
Use a rolling pin and a non-stick mat to roll out your fondant. Use a handful of fondant to start. Form a ball and then flatten the fondant into a disc shape. Start rolling out the fondant by pressing on the fondant with the rolling pin. Lift the fondant from the mat and rotate the fondant direction after each roll to make sure that it is not sticking to the mat. Use your 50/50 mix if your fondant sticks to the mat. Roll your fondant out to 1/8-inch to cut out with your cookie cutter and cover your sugar cookie.
Roll your fondant as thinly as you can to use plunger cutters for flowers or other decorations.
How to Apply Fondant to Cookies
Use a food safe paint brush to paint piping gel in the innermost part of your cookie, avoiding the edges. Piping gel is the “glue” to secure the fondant to the sugar cookie. It is important to avoid the edges to give you a professional looking cookie.
The same cookie cutter that you used to cut out the cookies is the same cookie cutter you use to cut out your fondant. Please make sure to remove any sugar cookie dough residue from the cookie cutter and use a clean cloth to clean the cookie cutter between sugar cookie dough and fondant use. This step is important.
The most important thing you have to remember when using fondant is that humidity turns fondant into a goopy mess. You can control this by having a 50/50 mixture of confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch. When kneaded into soft fondant, this 50/50 mixture allows you to roll out your fondant and use it even when the weather is humid.
Simple Tools and Products that Can Be Used to Imprint Fondant and Leave a Design
There are a lot of simple tools and products that can be used to imprint your fondant and leave a design. Here are some of my suggestions for beginning fondant sugar cookie decorators:
- Sprinkles and sanding sugar can be applied to fondant-covered sugar cookies. After applying the fondant cut-out to your sugar cookie, paint the entire fondant surface with a light layer of piping gel, and then use a bowl to hold the sugar cookie. Pour the sprinkles or sanding sugar over the entire fondant cookie surface, and then shake to remove excess.
- Pattern Rollers can be used on the fondant before you use the cookie cutter to cut out the fondant. There are different pattern rollers on the market, and they make beautiful designs no matter which area of the pattern you use.
- Plunger cutters such as flowers, circles, squares, roses or other designs can be used to make quick designs on your fondant-covered sugar cookies.
- Stencils can be used to imprint a design on your fondant, and cake paint can be used to paint the stencil, and then remove it to reveal the stencil design.
- Plastic imprints can be used to imprint the fondant before using a cookie cutter. Check your local craft store for ideas.
Using these steps, you can learn quickly how to decorate sugar cookies with fondant and impress your family and friends.