My Gilded black cat cutout cookies were inspired by these gold bejeweled cookies by Cori Robinson and Holly Nolan at The Cookie Creative #mnmade!
Why I love these black cat cutouts
I can tell you what I'm NOT loving about this project. Until now I've been using two consistencies for my royal icing. A stiffer icing for outlining and thinner for flooding. Which works great, don't get me wrong. But, when you make as many cookies as I do, that process equates to more prep time and more clean up time. And, I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend time decorating, shooting and eating sharing. So, in a stubborn attempt to boycott the 2 icing process, I used my outline icing to flood these sneaky little black cats. If you look closely you'll see that the icing started to set while I was working with it. #fail Not quite the look I'm going for. But, I remain optimistic. In the next few weeks I'll be testing and revising my royal icing recipe in hopes of finding a formula that outlines with precision and yields a silky smooth flooded surface for decorating. So, stay tuned for more on that!
Tips, techniques + takeaways
Americolor Super Black is… wait for it… super black. When I started frosting these black cats they were dark gray. The color will darken with time so be super careful with super black.
I used tiny nonpareils for eyes, but I think next time I'll try using yellow royal icing and a scribe to get a more authentic cat eye shape.
Use a couple drops of Bacardi 151 to turn gold lustre dust into edible paint. Tap a lightly loaded brush about 6-8" over each cookie for a gilded speckle effect.
The black cat cookie cutter is part of the Meri Meri Happy Halloween cookie cutter set.
Although it’s been discontinued, I’ve seen them available on eBay.
Jes Best Cutout Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen cutout cookies (depending on size)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup sugar
1 large free-range egg
1 large free-range egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract
Sift 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes.
Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together.
Separate dough in half and form two smooth discs for rolling.
Roll each disc to desired thickness (1/8"-1/4") between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper on a Silpat mat or flexible cutting mat. Continue to flour top of dough so parchment doesn't stick or crease.
Transfer mat and rolled dough to refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
When ready to cut shapes, flip chilled dough so floured side is down. This will help cookies "release" easily.
Cut dough to desired shapes and place on baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper.
Re-roll scraps only once to avoid tough cookies. If dough becomes soft and sticky, return to fridge to chill until shapes cut easily. Chill again until ready to bake. Ideally, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325º
Bake until edges are slightly golden, about 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Rotate sheet pans half way through to avoid dark edges.
Let cookies cool slightly on pans then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Do Ahead: Cookies can be baked (left undecorated) 2 weeks ahead; separate cookies with wax paper, place in air tight containers and freeze.
Jes Best Royal Icing
Makes enough to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size
970 g [2 lb bag] confectioners' sugar, no need to sift
80g [or 8-10 tablespoons] meringue powder (CK or Henry & Henry)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (to keep icing bright white)
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons water
Food coloring (optional)
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar on low for just a bit to incorporate evenly.
Slowly add 1/2 cup water while mixing at a low speed. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sugar is just wet.
Scrape sides of the mixing bowl. Increase speed one notch (#2 on Kitchenaid stand mixer). Mix for five minutes. When finished icing should have a matte (not glossy) finish and hold it's shape on the paddle when pulled up/out of the bowl.
Separate into clean, oil-free containers and tint with gel food coloring.
This recipe yields "stiff" consistency for piping details. Add water as needed to achieve flooding consistency.
Keep covered tightly and store for up to a week in a cool dry place or 10 days in the refrigerator. Mix well when ready to use.