This Father’s Day celebrate dad with a tasty treat that’s dressed to impress!
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.
- 1 recipe cookie dough, enough for approximately 20 cookies
- 3/4 pound ready-made white fondant icing
- Confectioners’ sugar as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon moss green gel food coloring
Red and white royal icing:
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/2 cup warm water, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon clear extract (lemon, orange, almond)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Christmas red gel food coloring
- Shirt-shaped cookie cutter
- Small flat-head paintbrush
- Corn syrup or piping gel
- Small X-Acto knife
- Tweezers and large white nonpareils (optional)
Make dad a matching Father’s Day shirt card to go with his sweater cookies.
Make the cookies:
- Follow the recipe for your favorite sugar cookies, but cut out sweater-shaped cookies with a three-inch cookie cutter.
Prepare the fondant:
- Knead the fondant slightly to make it pliable. If it is sticky, dust your work surface with a little confectioners’ sugar and knead a little of the sugar into the fondant.
- When the fondant is soft and no longer sticky, place the gel coloring in the center of the fondant. Knead the food coloring into the fondant until the color is uniform and no white streaks remain. Place the fondant in a zip-top bag with the air removed and set aside.
Note: Wear disposable plastic gloves to protect your hands from getting stained.
Make the royal icing:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, stir the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder on low speed until combined.
- Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very stiff peaks form, five to seven minutes.
- Add the flavoring and beat on low until combined.
- Bring the icing to soft-peak consistency by stirring in more water, a few drops at a time.
- Divide the icing in half, and tint one portion with red gel food coloring; the other half remains white.
- Place the icing in two piping bags fitted with size 3 piping tips. Tightly close each piping bag with a rubber band and rest the bags in tall glasses with a damp paper towel in the bottom to prevent the icing from hardening in the tip.
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.
Assemble the cookies:
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.