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Fancy Cupcake Cookies

Fancy Cupcake Cookies

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Happy birthday! It's party time!


It's been a year since I started this blog, and I am so grateful to all of you for coming along on the journey. Your questions, comments and e‑mails have helped mold and shape this space. You’ve tried my recipes, asked for clarification and given me fantastic feedback.

Happy birthday to us!

So, in honor of Cook It Kosher’s first birthday, I’m sharing the recipe and directions for these celebratory cupcake cookies. It is quite complex, so I’m going to break it down into steps, and of course I encourage you to leave your questions in the comment section if anything is unclear.


You might want to stop and make yourself a hot drink at this point, because it’s going to be a long read. (I’ll take a hot chocolate, while you're at it!)


Step 1: Choose Your Shape

I chose the cupcake shape because it’s very versatile and appropriate for most celebratory occasions, but you can use these recipes and techniques with any shape cookie.



Step 2: Tools You Will Need

You can probably find most of these supplies in your local craft store. Michaels generally has a very good selection, and they send out weekly e‑mail coupons which bring the prices down. Alternatively, you can order all these supplies online. KarensCookies.net is my favorite online store for cookie decorating supplies. Each box comes beautifully packaged in perfect condition. Amazon should also have all these items.


  • 1 cupcake cookie cutter. It does not need to be the exact same shape as mine; any cupcake cookie cutter will do. This is the one I have.
  • White food coloring. This is very important. Adding white food coloring to the icing before you divide it up and add the other colors will make all your colors brighter and cleaner. I cannot recommend this enough.
  • Assorted food coloring. Look for the gel food coloring rather than the liquid ones. The liquids will make your icing too runny for this recipe. Remember to look for a kosher symbol.
  • Piping bags. I use disposable ones, such as these.
  • Plastic couplers. I prefer the Ateco brand, but Wilton are often easier to find, and if you’re not using them that often, you won’t notice much difference.
  • Piping tips. You’ll need #2 and #4.
  • Twist ties—or, if you don’t have twist ties, you can use rubber bands or pipe cleaners. Just something to tie around the bag and keep it shut.
  • Tip brush. This is optional, because you can definitely manage without it. However, it does make the cleanup much easier. I have this one.

Step 3: Baking the Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2½-3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • (Optional: ½ cup mini chocolate chips)

Mix the sugar and butter/margarine. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix again. Add the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and 2½ cups of flour. Mix until it starts to come together as a ball of dough. Add the last ½ cup of flour slowly, a little at a time, until the dough is not sticky. Stop when you get the right consistency. You might not need all the flour, or you might need a little more. If you’re using the chocolate chips, add them last.

The mini chocolate chips are optional, and if you are a baking newbie I would not add them. They make the dough harder to roll and harder to cut out. If you’re experienced, or feeling adventurous, try adding them. I love the taste and texture they give the cookies. Do not use regular chocolate chips; they are too big.

This is how I roll out my dough: (explanation after the picture)


Tear off two equal-sized pieces of parchment paper or wax paper. Put a ball of dough between the two pieces, and roll the dough through the paper.

It should be like a sandwich: paper, dough, paper, rolling pin.

This prevents the dough from sticking to your tabletop or to the rolling pin. It also makes for a much easier cleanup, and makes it easier to roll the dough evenly.

Peel back the top piece of parchment paper and use your cookie cutter to cut as many shapes as you can fit. Remove the excess dough and set it aside. Peel off the shapes and put them on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been used.

Bake cookies at 375° F for 8 minutes. Wait for the cookies to cool before you frost them.

Recipe yields approximately 15–20 cookies.


Step 4: Making and Coloring the Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar (approximately 3 cups)
  • 3 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 5 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • White food coloring
  • Colored sprinkles

You’ll need a mixer for the icing. Handheld or standing will both work. Do not try to make it by hand; you will end up with lumps that don’t fit through the tips, which will lead to a lot of frustration when you’re ready to decorate.

Put the confectioner’s sugar, water, corn syrup and lemon extract in a bowl. Mix on a low speed for a couple of minutes, then turn it up to medium-high for another minute or two. When the icing is smooth with no lumps, add in a few drops of white food coloring and mix until incorporated.

Now it’s time to divide and color the icing. Choose how many colors you want to use. You can use small bowls, or containers. I use containers, so that if I have extra, I can just put the cover on and save it. (Stays good for at least a week.) Add a couple of drops of color into each bowl/container and mix. Adjust until you’re satisfied with the colors. Feel free to mix and get creative.



Step 5: Preparing and Filling the Piping Bags

Now it’s time to get the piping bags ready for the icing. You’ll need a pair of scissors and a pen or marker.

Put the bigger half of the coupler into the piping bag. Push it down tightly. Make a mark on the bag, right below the lines. Take the coupler out and cut along the line you just drew. Now put the coupler back in, attach tip #2, and fasten with the other half of the coupler.

Here’s the visual to make it clearer:


Now you’re ready to fill the bag. You can have someone else hold the bag open while you pour the icing in, or use my cup method. Put the piping bag in a tall cup and fold over the edges. Pour in the icing, then pull the edges back up, twist and fasten.


I have lots of couplers and tips, so I filled all mine at once. But you can buy 1 coupler, 1 tip #2 and 1 tip #4, and do them one at a time.

So, you would first fill one bag with white icing and do the tops of all the cupcakes. Then rinse out the coupler and tips, prepare your second bag and do all of that color, and so on.



Step 6: Decorating the Cookies

Finally! We’re ready to decorate.

Major tip for getting neat lines when cookie decorating—the tip of your bag should not be touching the cookie. Your tip is slightly raised, and as you squeeze gently, the icing falls onto the cookie. Move your hand along to “lead” the icing. It will fall whichever way you pull it.


So, use the #2 tip to roughly outline the top half of the cupcake. It doesn’t have to be exact. You can see all mine are slightly different; it makes them look more natural, like real cupcakes.

Let the outline dry for at least a couple of minutes before filling it in. You can outline all the cupcakes at once, actually.

Now, carefully unscrew your #2 tip and put on the #4 tip. The bigger hole makes it easier to fill the space. Squeeze the bag gently and cover the area with icing. You can use the tip to nudge the icing right up the outline, if it seems to be pulling back towards the middle.

Do one or two at a time, then add the sprinkles. Then another couple, and more sprinkles. If you try to fill them all in and then add the sprinkles, you’ll be disappointed. The icing will have crusted over and the sprinkles won’t stick.

Now, repeat the same technique for the bottom half of each cupcake. Use the #2 tip to outline, and the #4 tip to fill.

To make the lines on the cupcake wrapper, wait an hour or two for the icing to set a little. Then use the #2 tip and carefully make the lines. Make sure to hold the tip above the icing and let it fall, like we did for the outlining.

The cookies will take 24 hours to fully dry. Do not try to stack or package them before that.


And there you have it: beautiful, colorful cupcake cookies. They are really ideal for almost any occasion.

Feel free to leave a comment if you need clarification on any part of this process, and I’ll do my best to get back to you within a day or two. You can also find lots of tutorials on YouTube if you feel you need to watch someone do it.

You can also divide up the steps and do these over several days if that makes it less overwhelming. You can make the cookies on day 1, make and color the icing on day 2, and do the decorating on day 3.

I’d love to hear if you found this tutorial helpful. Drop me a comment and let me know.


Thanks to all my dedicated readers—we would not be having this birthday without all of you.

Happy birthday to us!

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the Chabad.org editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on Chabad.org’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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13 Comments
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H. Aber North Miami Beach May 4, 2014

I love the way you show pictures of step by step. It is very helpful. Your recipes look delicious and the way you explain the process makes me want to try it. Reply

Ellen Hirak Elkana, Israel February 5, 2014

ICING Hi - just happened to find your blog now, while looking for a chocolate babka recipe. Last week I attended a workshop for decorating cookies and we used an icing made of powdered sugar and eggwhite powder - which had an awful smell and taste ! Glad to see your recipe because the only other recipe I have is with eggwhite.
Thanks. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 29, 2014

Freezing Once they are frosted, I don't recommend freezing them. The colors may run when they defrost.

But, you can freeze the cookies BEFORE you frost them. Take them out and wait for them to come to room temperature, then frost. Reply

Anonymous January 28, 2014

do these cookies freeze well? Reply

Christie DSM January 16, 2014

Well planned and photographed. This would be very easy for a first time baker to follow Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 14, 2014

Thank you! Thank you everyone for the blog birthday wishes!

I'm looking forward to another great year of recipes and cooking ahead. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 14, 2014

Food coloring Hi Esther,

I use assorted food colorings that I've collected over time. Your best bet is seeing what you can find with kosher certification in a store near you. Reply

Amanda Seattle, Wa via chabadofseattle.org January 13, 2014

Excited to try these cookies! Congratulations on a year with this amazing blog! My daughter and I look forward to making these. Thank you for the fantastic instructions. Reply

Aleesha Banks January 11, 2014

Adorable and delicious cookies . What a brilliant use of food coloring and cutter. I will make these cookies for definite.
Thanks Reply

Anonymous Rome, Italy January 9, 2014

great This blog is full of amazing and delicious recipes!
- All the instructions are very easy to follow
- All the recipes are delicious!
Thank you Miriam! Reply

Esther Montreal January 8, 2014

Kosher brand for coloring What brand did you use for the food coloring? And also, great instructions - thank you! Reply

Anonymous January 7, 2014

Happy Birthday!!! i love this bog! Reply

Chanel January 5, 2014

Happy birthday!! Miriam this blog is a whole year of incredible! Congratulations and thank you for all the fantastic posts.

I'd try these cookies at home- at your home :) Reply

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