Growing up, I always loved baking or anything to do with getting in the kitchen with my mom. From a young age, she always let me bake or cook with her, which I absolutely loved. She even let me make our families entire Thanksgiving dinner one year. I still think that's one of my favorite memories. I remember watching the Food Network for weeks, typing out my menu, trying to set the perfect table and everything else that goes along with Thanksgiving. I guess it's pretty fitting that's I have a lifestyle and entertaining blog now.
Okay, back to baking...I typically only make sugar cookies at Christmas time, and I remember the last batch I made actually didn't turn out that well. Thankfully I've learned a few things about how to bake at high altitude.
I recently was asked to do a DIY campaign for an app called TikTok. I started thinking of ideas, but my creativity was not really flowing. I had to come up with 20 DIY ideas for the campaign. I decided to head to Michaels and walk around to see if anything stuck out to me. When I first walked in the store, I saw a giant blow-up unicorn, which I seriously considered buying for about 20 minutes. I have a slight obsession with unicorns. Once I finally talked myself out of purchasing the giant unicorn, I started wondering the aisles looking for some DIY crafts.
I turned to walk through the baking aisle and what did I see, a unicorn cookie cutter on sale. It was perfect. I had to get it. It was also a little more logically than buying a $60 blow up unicorn.
Okay, now that I had the idea of doing a DIY about how to make unicorn sugar cookies, I need to learn how to make them. It took a few tries to get a good system down, but once I did, they actually turned out great!
First, you have to start by making a delicious sugar cookie. I put some thought into the cookie itself considering I wasn't a fan of the last batch I made. I came up with a few rules that you have to follow when you are making the sugar cookie.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SUGAR COOKIE?
Make sure your cookies are not too thick or too thin. I think how thick or thin you roll out your cookies makes a huge difference. If their too thin they will cook quickly and get hard. I tried to keep them all at about 1/8th of an inch.
Make sure you keep their thickness consistent.
Pay really close attention when you are baking them. I took them out of the right at 10 minutes.
Keep it simple. I used a basic tried and true recipe from Wilton that honestly came out so good. See below for the recipe.
SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE:
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine butter and sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer until fluffy. Add in your egg and extracts.
In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients.
Once both mixtures are combined, slowly add your dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Keeping the mixer on low.
Once combined roll out your dough on a floured surface. I rolled mine I about a ⅛ of an inch thick.
Using your cookie cutter cut out your cookies and place them on a nonstick cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Wait for cookies to completely cool before icing.
Now while you are waiting for your cookies to cool, let's talk about the icing.
I used royal icing to frost my cookies. This is what I typically use a Christmas when I make cookies, but I usually don't do any fancy designs. This time it was a little more work to frost unicorns, but much easier than I initially thought. First things first let's talk about how to make the icing. I have used a few different recipes in the past that had more ingredients, but I find the one below to be quick and easy. I found this recipe on Sally's Baking Addiction. The hardest part of the whole process is getting the right consistency. You really have to just play with the water to get it exactly how you want it. Sally actually has a great post showing the perfect texture, which you can read HERE!
HOW TO MAKE ROYAL ICING
4 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbsp meringue powder (you can pick this up at your grocery store in the baking aisle, at a craft store like Michaels or if you use Amazon Fresh like me you can also order it online.)
8-12 tbsp room temperature water
Gel food coloring
Combine confectioners sugar, meringue powder and water using a hand or stand mixer. I found that mine took about five minutes to get to the proper consistency, but this may vary based on the amount of water you used.
Now that you have your icing made, you will want to grab a few bowls and dole out a few scoops of the frosting into each bowl. Then, take your food coloring and make your desired colors for the unicorn. I used pale pastels for mine.
HOW TO MAKE PASTEL COLORS WITH GEL FOOD COLORING
Pastel Pink - use a small amount of red food coloring gel
Pastel Blue - use a small amount of blue food coloring gel
Pastel Green - use a small amount of blue food coloring gel
Pastel Yellow - use a small amount of yellow food coloring gel
Pastel Purple - combine a small amount of pastel blue and pastel red. You will need to use more red than blue.
WHAT SUPPLIES WILL I NEED FOR DECORATING SUGAR COOKIES?
Gel Food Coloring
Wilton piping tip #5
6 Wilton 16 inch disposable bags (this number will vary based on the number of colors you use)
Black gel icing (for the unicorns eye)
If you are looking for a more extensive list make sure to check out Semi Sweet's blog post about the exact supplies you need for making sugar cookies and frosting them.
Now that you have your colors made up grab your piping bag. Follow the instructions on the packet about how to put the tip on the bag. I use Wilton 16 inch disposable bags with a Wilton piping tip #5. I found this worked really well for the outlining and flooding. Then, take each of your colors and place it in its own piping bag.
HOW TO FROST A UNICORN SUGAR COOKIE
Start with your white frosting to create the body of the unicorn. You will want to make sure you leave room for where you will frost the mane. See the photo below to see where the white icing should stop.
Then, take one of your colors and start filling in the mane. I started at the very top with the green.
Work your way down the unicorn's mane using different colors and creating a wave in the unicorn's hair to make it look like it's flowing. See photo below.
To make the unicorn's horn and nose I mixed edible gold dust with white frosting. Then, I used a small food paintbrush to paint it on.
Once the horn and nose were finished, I left the cookie out to dry.
Then, once it had dried, I grabbed the black food gel and added an eye. I used a small curved line, but you can also add eyelashes if you would like.
There you have it! That's exactly how I created these unicorn cookies. You can also use these same steps to create any sugar cookies. If you do make these cookies make sure to send me photos or tag me on social.
If you are looking for more DIY ideas, make sure to head here to check out the rest of my DIY posts. You may also want to check out my blog post titled how to clean your kitchen in 10 minutes, I know my kitchen was a mess after making these cookies.