I've made plenty of sugar cookies that look like flowers, using my flower-shaped cookie cutters, but I wanted to play with a cookie design that went past the borders of the cookie itself. Why should I have to color within the lines?
This is the result. These little guys are so easy to make, but they just make me happy.
Start by baking up a batch of sugar cookies (here's my favorite recipe). I'm in love with this set of scalloped and rounded-corner square cookie cutters.
Whip up a batch of Royal Icing. It's amazingly easy if you use meringue powder instead of egg whites, and I particularly like using the Americolor brand meringue powder. If you're in a rush, though, Wilton brand meringue powder can be found at any major craft store.
Color a small amount of the royal icing a light pink, thin it to flooding consistency, and put it in a piping bag. Pipe ovals of the icing on waxed paper. You can see that mine were pretty irregular, not perfect at all. Don't worry about being exact; you can always pick and choose matching petals when you're assembling the cookie. Let the icing dry completely (overnight is good).
Whenever I have a bit of leftover royal icing, I'll make flower centers like these. Just circles of icing, enhanced with a bit of edible glitter or sprinkles. They'll keep forever (seriously, I have ones my grandma made that are at least 40 years old), and they're so useful to have around. But if you haven't made and stashed any of these in advance like I do, you'll also need to make some of these for your cookies. Same technique as the petals: draw the icing circles on waxed paper. If you want to add some disco dust or sprinkles, do so immediately, while the icing is still fresh and wet.
Flood the cookies with royal icing at the same time you make the decorations, and also let that base coat of icing dry overnight. You can get away with a few hours, but be careful when you're setting the decorations on top of the base coat of icing. If you push too hard before it's completely dry, you'll end up with a dent and a cracked top.
Use a little royal icing, glue the petals to the cookie, allowing the petals extend past the edge of the cookie. Squirt some more royal icing in the center, and add one of the dried royal icing flower centers.
I finished up with a light spray of PME Pearl Lustre Spray to give the cookies that shimmer.
I'm enchanted with how well these little cookies worked out, and can't wait to play with more ideas that aren't hampered by the constraints of the cookie cutter's shape.