Back in October, I made missionary shirt cookies for the farewell party we had for my son. They are easier than you think and are ridiculously cute. I’m going to show you step-by-step how to recreate them for your own missionary. These would be easily adapted for Father’s Day, a retirement party, primary activity, or any other occasion where you might need a shirt and tie cookie. (Stay tuned – we are in the process of creating something fabulous for our sister missionary parties, as well. Tutorial and pics coming soon.)
To download and print the cookie and icing recipe, click here.
First, mix up a batch of the dough following the recipe above. Place the dough in a large ziploc bag (one batch per bag) and flatten. Refrigerate overnight, or at least one hour. The dough freezes really well. Oftentimes, I will make a few batches and leave it in the freezer so I’ve got dough handy when I need it. You know, for all those sugar cookie emergencies that come up.
I am nothing if not prepared, people.
Roll the dough out to desired thickness, cut with cookie cutter, and bake according to the recipe directions. (The cookie cutter I used is this one). Once your cookies are cooled, you are ready to begin decorating.
Mix up a batch of royal icing using the recipe above (I make one batch of icing for every batch of dough). For every color on your cookie, you are going to need two different consistencies of icing – outline and flood. [Meaning, for these cookies, I needed six pastry bags, six couplers and six tips. I used Wilton tip #3 for the flood, and Wilton tip #2 for the outline.]
Once you’ve made your icing, divide it into bowls. Then add food coloring. You do this first so both flood and outline will be the same color.
Once you have colored your icing, divide each color again into two bowls. Add water to your first bowl of icing until you reach outline consistency. I like mine to be a little runnier than toothpaste. If you are piping lines and they keep breaking on you, chances are, you need to add more water. You need this icing to be strong enough to hold your flood, but yet malleable enough that it’s easy to pipe onto your cookies.
I like my flood consistency to be on the runny side. I always try to get it pretty close to the consistency of Elmer’s Glue. You want it to spread and flatten nicely, but not be so runny that it drips off the side of your cookie. If you add too much water, you can always add more powdered sugar to thicken it up. It’s just kind of an experiment of adding water or powdered sugar until you get what you need.
Once you’ve got your flood and outline icing ready, you can put it into your piping bags. I like to put the bag into a cup, with the edges folded over. Then after you add the icing, you simply pull it off the cup, tie it off, and it’s virtually mess-free.
The other handy tool I love are these little piping bag stands. I got mine at Michaels. They’re not super expensive – maybe $11 each. I make sugar cookies all the time, so for me, the investment was worthwhile. I use two stands so that I don’t get mixed up as to which icing is which consistency. The little green plastic caps on the tips of the piping bags are also a lifesaver. They prevent the icing from spilling all over the counter and making a huge mess. But you could use a damp paper towel and plastic cups instead. No need to spend a fortune on any of it.
Now you’re ready to start decorating. First, outline the edge of each shirt, staying as close to the edge as possible without going over.
Let the cookies dry until the icing is hardened (maybe 20 minutes), then using the white flood icing, fill the inside of each cookie completely. You will need to let them dry after this step for at least an hour or two.
Then it’s time to outline the tie. Don’t stress if they’re not perfect. They will look so cute as a whole that no one will notice any individual flaws.
Then fill the tie with blue flood icing.
After that, it’s basically lather, rinse and repeat. Outline the white collar.
Then once it’s dried, flood it with white.
Lastly, outline and flood the black missionary tag.
And that’s it! They need to sit at least 7-8 hours before you can stack them. You can freeze them, but I think they’re best if you make them a day before your event and let them sit overnight. By then, the icing is completely dry and you can stack them easily on a platter without any problems.
Ridiculously cute and easy.