The Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookie with kids

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

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An amazing part of food photography is that I not only capture the food, but I also make the food- and, sometimes the food preparation is the most interesting part of a shoot. This year for Valentines day, I prepared Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing for a photoshoot, but I wasn’t preparing it alone.

Sugar cookie with royal icing recipe

I often choose to have my daughter to help with preparation and decoration of cookies, which are perfect for any holiday for a fun activity, and is always nice to get a different perspective on the (over)use of sprinkles.

However, before the fun part that is decorating, I have learned a couple tricks to perfect the art of the cookie in the baking process. I find it best to prepare the cookie dough early, and wrap it in plastic and aluminum foil and freeze it. I then take the dough out and put it into the fridge to defrost until I’m ready to bake.

Despite my best efforts to cut & bake the cookies with my daughter, she’s too often all done with the tediums of baking after the cookies get into the oven, so I tend to do this part alone & save her creative strengths for decoration. While preparing the cookies for baking, instead of a traditional rolling pin, I use a adjustable rolling pin to ensure the cookies are all evenly shaped, and ready for easy baking & decoration. Cutting the cookies are also a creative endeavor, & I use many varying shapes, such as plain edge rectangle cutter to emulate love letters- despite the phrase ‘cookie cutter’, it’s always nice to be creative and individual when baking. After cooling the cookies on a cookie cooling rack, they’re ready for the icing, and lots and lots of sprinkles.

My icing of choice is royal icing, which is easy to make & decorate with. I chose to use meringue powder instead of egg whites, to make the process simple and quick. Instead of using standard pastry bags for the icing, I, and my daughter, find it much easier to use squeeze bottles such as the Pinnacle Mercantile Easy Squeeze Bottles for more precise decorations and ease of use for little hands.

Before the final decorations begin, I always place down a large plastic tablecover roll, to ensure that the mess isn’t to bad. With everything ready, the decorations begin, and my daughter engages in her artistic side, with sprinkles in one hand, and a bottle of pink icing in the other, though more icing will end up in her mouth than put onto the cookies.

Cookie baking tools

3-Tier Cooling Rack for Cookies

Rolling pin

Plain Edge Rectangle Cutters

Heart Cookie Cutter Set

Wilton Meringue Powder

Silicone Baking Mat

Baking Sheet

Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract

Squeeze gel color

Cookie decorating tools

Plastic table cover roll

Needle Modelling Tool

Squeeze Plastic Bottles

Valentine's Day Sprinkles

Aluminum Foil Pizza Pan

A complete list of my equipment

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