Cowboy Boots & Hats Sugar Cookies

I spent last week making an array of cookies and desserts for my best friend’s daughter’s graduation–Oreo Truffles and Walnut Pillows, to name a couple.With a festive event like graduation, I can’t let the opportunity slip by to try out some sugar cookie designs. Last year I made graduation cap sugar cookies for her oldest daughter’s graduation. This year, however, they chose a country theme for the party. Hence, I got to try a couple new designs: cowboy boots and cowboy hats (thank goodness for google images; I found tons of designs to inspire me).

I’m pleased with the way they came out, especially the tricolor design going on with the boots. I opted for the maroon to imitate her school colors. I think a lighter color would have created much more contrast with the boot’s swirly design, but it still works with the darker maroon.

Here are a few things I learned this time about making and designing sugar cookies:

  • Rolling the dough between plastic wrap makes it sooooooooooooooo much easier to roll–no mess, no dough sticking to the rolling pin, no flour everywhere… It even works if the dough isn’t as chilled as it needs to be.
  • Once the dough is rolled between plastic wrap, it does wonders to place it back in the fridge to chill before cutting out your cookies–plastic and all.
  • Rolled dough that has been placed in the freezer for a short time, like 10-15 minutes, cuts even more easily and lifts from plastic more easily than refrigerated dough.
  • Because I dip my cutters into flour before every cut, my cookies have excess flour all over them. A little dusting with a pastry brush before baking takes care of removing that in a snap (I know this is probably common sense, but I sometimes take awhile to find my common sense :  )
  • Americolor Gels are my number one choice for icing colors: lots of choices, richer colors, squirt spout…
  • When mixing icing, colors will darken overnight (so mix the icing ahead of time). That maroon color was looking extremely pinkish the night before, but it turned out that nice dark shade of maroon that I was aiming for by the next day.
  • A butter knife works far more efficiently to mix icing colors than a spoon does (again, that common sense thing is a little slow).

I used Americolor Chocolate Brown, Maroon, and Ivory for these cookies. Since the store only had a dark brown, the clerk suggested I used Ivory with a touch of the brown to achieve a light brown. I could have achieved that without the ivory, by the way (I tested). I also used a very small drop of Black to achieve the grey, which I also painted with a bit of silver luster dust to give it a subtle sparkle. Oh, and I used both  #1 and  #2 piping tips.

Please pretend I chose a boot cookie that had the icing design complete! Didn’t notice the incomplete zig zag (missing its zag!) design until cookies were long gone after party.

I took pics along the way to show you my steps. But first, here are links to my sugar cookie posts that will lead you to sources for sugar cookie recipes, royal icing how to’s, vanilla bean info, etc:

Okay, here are my steps. Please pardon the poor-quality photos; some of these were shot at night with my shaky hands.

  • Outline boots using #1 piping tip. I filled in heel since it was a tiny portion, but they all caved a bit when they dried. I should have used flood-consistency icing for that part.

    A bit more outlining to make multi-color boots. Flood the square at the top.

    After outlining has dried, about an hour, start flooding the icing within the outlined design. Use a toothpick to drag around and eliminate air bubbles.

    Flood boots with second color.

    After filling has dried overnight, use #1 piping tip to add designs and outline. I wasn’t going to outline again, but I really liked the way it looked on my tester boot.

    Add spurs and rivets, again using a #1 piping tip. When dry, paint on silver luster dust, if desired.

    Outline using a #2 piping tip. Allow an hour or so to dry before flooding.

    Outline in darker color; can use #1 or #2 tip, depending on how thick you want the outline. I meant to use #1 but used #2 on half and #1 on other half. Both looked fine.

    Outline band on hat in brown, then flood with maroon. Allow to dry overnight. Use #1 piping tip to pipe on design on band (notice I made it match boot design.)

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