These Whistling Leprechaun cookies were inspired by Love Bug Cakes & Cookies. They're absolutely the cutest! Please check 'em out and give Love Bug Cakes & Cookies some likes. I have so much to learn, and I'm so grateful for the talented artists out there that inspire my projects. Thanks Love Bug!
Why I love these Leprechaun Cookies
I frosted these leprechaun cookies without pastry tips. That's right, totally tipless! I've been watching my cookie decorating heroes draw crazy cool things without tips and thought it would be fun to give it a try. The verdict? Love it! Wanna try it? Here's how:
Get your hands on some thin disposable pastry bags.
Pick up a small scissors at your neighborhood drugstore.
Fill a pastry bag with icing and push it gently to fill the tip.
Practice cutting the tip of the bag with the seam facing up to get a perfect circular opening starting small and working your way up to the size you need.
It's that easy.
Tips, techniques + takeaways
Using the tipless pastry bags for these leprechaun cookies took a little getting used to but I'm definitely on board for the long haul. It really is a whole new experience. Advantages:
The thin disposable pastry bags are really easy to fill. They're flexible enough to fold over and wrap around a glass. My old method was to use saran wrap to contain the icing and smooshing it into the pastry bag. I definitely don't miss that step!
The thin disposable piping bags are really comfortable to hold vs. the stiff and bulky plastic ones I had been using. I can feel the icing and have more control over pressure.
Clean up is… omg, there's virtually no cleanup! Just squeeze the icing out of the bag into a storage container, remove and save the tie band and toss the pastry bag.
Have you ever gone tipless? Head over to the w+w Tribe and let me know what you think.
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.