It’s no secret, I have an absolute obsession with Pinterest. I can idle away hours scanning through the images and picking up inspiration for recipes, tips and ideas. Back in September it was Jemima’s first birthday, so I began searching party ideas on Pinterest in the July… I was a rather excited mother. After all, it was her very first Birthday. I happened across this teddy bear picnic idea and I actually knew someone who had hosted this type of party before, so the idea was cast and I embarked on two months of party planning.
Who knew planning a party for a one year old would be so fun? Obviously from a food point of view the pressure was off as a traditional teddy bear picnic would mean everyone bringing their own lunch along. This meant that I was able to decide what food to offer without the pressure of having to provide a huge variety of sandwiches, meats and sweets etc. And, I didn’t have the worry of catering for exact numbers.
Having seen the adorable teddy bear picnic ideas on Pinterest I just had to decide which ones to run with. I’d never attempted iced sugar cookies before so it seemed a fitting time to try. I’ll be honest and say this is by no means a quick task and it requires a certain level of patience – the kind of patience I don’t normally have. However, it being Jemima’s first Birthday it warranted all the time and effort.
Everyone seemed to be greatly impressed with the effort . The food on the day turned out great and everything was so fitting with the theme. Richard’s niece Emily is an amazing baker and made Jemima a wonderful teddy bear Birthday cake – she’s also a blogger so you can check out her amazing creation here.
If teddy bears are not your thing, you could of course make any design you like. With Christmas just around the corner I’ll certainly be trying my hand at some festive designs. Most of us have made biscuits before right? So we know about making a dough that won’t spread in the oven meaning we lose the desired shape? Well, if you are shaking your head, don’t worry… there are a couple of super simple tips that will guarantee your biscuits are perfect every time.
Top tips for perfect sugar cookies
- Don’t use baking powder – even if a recipe states you should
- Don’t open the oven – even if you’re really tempted to check
- Roll the dough out so it’s no thicker than a one pound coin
- Place the cut out biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
- Chill the dough for 45 minutes in the fridge/freezer
Chocolate teddy bear sugar cookie recipe
- 230g softened butter
- 200g granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g coco powder
- 300g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl
- Add the egg and vanilla, mix to combine
- Add the dry ingredients and bring together using a wooden spoon
- Turn the mixture out on to a floured work surface and knead until you have formed a smooth dough (try not to handle it too much).
- Flatten out the dough, wrap in cling and place in the fridge for a minimum of 45 minutes
- Remove from fridge and roll out to the thickness of one pound coin
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookie shapes
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet
- Place in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 8 minutes
To make the flood icing
Outline the biscuits using thinned royal icing mixed with food coloring of choice (I actually used coco powder for my teddy bears), use a thin piping nozzle. Once you have piped the outline, immediately flood the rest of the biscuit with icing using a slightly thicker nozzle. Use a wooden skewer (or a scribe if you have one) to evenly distribute the icing. Gently tap the biscuit to settle the icing. . If using other colours such as the black and white you can add these after the initial colour has set for about 30 minutes. Allow 8-12 hours for the icing to thoroughly set
I found YouTube a great help when learning how to flood the icing.