Reprinted with permission from Sprinklebakes: Dessert recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist © 2012 by Heather Baird, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co. Photographs by Heather Baird.
Red and white royal icing:
Note: Wear disposable plastic gloves to protect your hands from getting stained.
Make the royal icing:
Note: Royal icing hardens very quickly, so it should not be left in the mixing bowl uncovered. Drape a damp tea towel over the mixing bowl to prevent icing from drying out.
On a clean, smooth surface, roll the fondant to a one-eighth-inch thickness. Cut the fondant with the same cookie cutters used to cut the cookie dough.
Set the cutouts aside and reroll the fondant. Continue cutting until you have 20 to 24 pieces.
Sparingly brush the backs of the cutouts with a little piping gel or corn syrup. Apply the brushed cutouts to the cookies, gently pressing the fondant and lining up the edges as evenly as possible.
To pipe the plaid, begin by piping three vertical white stripes on the fondant surface.
Pipe three red horizontal stripes very closely together in the upper half of the cookie, saving a bit of space at the neckline.
Pipe three more red horizontal stripes very closely together on the lower portion of the cookie.
Pipe two vertical lines (three if you have room) down the center between the three white lines and intersecting the red horizontal lines. Repeat this step on the other side of the cookie.
Pipe white lines horizontally across the middle and bottom of the cookie, intersecting the three vertical red lines and the three vertical white lines.
Pipe white icing dots, or place tiny white nonpareils at the intersection of each red line and at the shirt cuffs.
Fashion a little collar from leftover fondant. The neck portion of the cookie cutter can be used to cut the fondant so it fits perfectly onto the cookie. Use an X-Acto knife to cut the shape of the collar. A nonpareil makes a cute button in the center of the collar. Use a pair of tweezers to press the candy into the fondant, or pipe a dot of white royal icing instead.
Once you have the basic tartan well practiced, have fun experimenting with your own ideas in different hues and patterns.
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