The song, "You Are My Sunshine" holds a special place in my heart, as it's one I started singing to my daughter when she was in the NICU. Today, five years later, she's singing it to her baby dolls (and to me every now and then). So when my coworker asked if I'd be interested in making some sunshine-inspired treats for his daughter's second birthday, I had to say yes.
And by styling, I mean pretty pink, orange, and clear course sugar crystals with matching heart-shaped sprinkle bows and royal icing "cheeks". Because black icing and little kids never mixes well, I decided to draw the sunshine faces on using an Americolor edible marker.
I also played around with the photo "styling" a bit. I am not a professional photographer and even if I were, I think trying to capture fun, high-quality images of flat cookies would be difficult. There are only so many ways one can stack cookies to make them look interesting and still highlight the decorating. Let's just call this a continual work in progress...
- I got the Sun Cookie Cutter from Copper Gifts. If I could buy all my cookie cutters from this amazing company, I would. All of their cookie cutters are handmade and are incredibly durable.
- The course sanding sugar crystals are from a Cake Boss three-pack I found at Michael's
- I always try to apply sanding sugar or sugar crystals (let's just call these sprinkles for the sake of simplicity) after the royal icing has dried overnight. Yes, it means you need to devote more time to decorating the cookies, so it doesn't always work out in terms of timing, but the results are so worth it. If you've never tried the dry application method, do it! All you need is 1/4 teaspoon meringue powder mixed with 1/4 teaspoon warm water and a small paint brush. Just "paint" the mixture onto the cookie where you want the sprinkles to stick, apply the sprinkles (I like to pour some in my hand for a little extra control), and tip the cookie over to remove the excess. Voila! Perfectly applied sprinkles without denting your royal icing or worrying about rogue sprinkles.