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Baking for Japan

Last week, the Asian Student Association at my school was having a bake sale to raise money for Japan and I was asked to bake cookies and cupcakes for the event. The bake sale was a success! They sold everything they had and raised almost $300 :).

For the cookies, I used Martha Stewart’s Ideal Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing recipe and I used a square and heart-shaped fondant cutters to cut out the cookies with. For the cupcakes, my original idea was to bake vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and dye some of the frosting red to add to the top of the cupcake (to look like Japan’s flag). But unfortunately the cupcakes were a bit last minute and CVS didn’t have food coloring (who would have thought?!) so I ended up buying cherries which I cut in half and placed on top of the cupcake.

Ideal Sugar Cookies

Martha Stewart

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Royal Icing (Doubled)

All Recipes

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 bottle red food coloring
  1. In a bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in 2 beaten egg whites for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape
  2. Set aside half of the icing and mix with the food coloring until bright red. Use this for the dot on the flag cookies and the icing for the heart cookies

Vanilla Cupcakes (Quadrupled)

Adapted from Joy of Baking

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (3.4) ounce packages instant vanilla pudding (use 1 package for each double batch)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 containers store-bought vanilla frosting
  • 1 jar cherries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line muffin cups with paper liners
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a small bowl. Set aside
  3. In the bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla
  4. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes and cool on wire rack


The heart cookies. Obviously made with the heart fondant cutter

The “with love” cookies, made with the square fondant cutter and black icing

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