Softball season pretty much runs year round in my family, two nieces on three different teams each with practices running from mid-September to early August and games starting in late April and ending mid-August.
I’m a softball aunt who often celebrates the end of softball season by baking softball cookies for my nieces’ teams. This year during the first two weeks of August, I baked three batches of softball cookies – one for Jenny’s summer team’s last game of the season and a batch for each girl’s team parties. Since the last game of the summer season snuck up on me, Gianna’s team received undecorated sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. I really need to remember that baking and decorating softball cookies is a project and allot myself enough time.
I have several go to sugar cookie recipes; for the softball cookies I used a recipe that can be found on multiple internet sites including here.
no-fail sugar cookies
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, a little at a time.
- Mix until flour is completely incorporated and dough comes together.
- Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F for at least 1/2-hour before baking.
- Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes.
- Bake on ungreased baking sheet (I lined my cookie sheets with parchment paper) for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to brown around the edges, (baking time varies according to thickness of cookies).
- Remove cookies with a spatula and let cool on wire racks.
Once the cookies have cooled, the frosting and decorating process can begin. I use an adaptation of Martha Stewart’s Royal Icing recipe to frost the cookies. Pipe an outline on the outside of the cookie; some people use the same color as the cookie’s primary color and some use white. I experimented with both and prefer same color piping. After the piping has dried, you flood the cookie with icing, use a tooth pick to fill in any gaps and remove air bubbles. The cookies should dry for at least 8 – 12 hours before decorating on top of the primary color icing.
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 5 Tablespoons meringue powder (may substitute powdered egg whites)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup water
- liquid or gel-paste food coloring (optional)
- Combine sugar, vanilla, meringue powder and a scant 1/2 cup of water in a bowl with an electric mixer on low speed.
- Beat until mixture is fluffy, but dense; approximately 7 – 8 minutes.
- If icing is too thick, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time; if it is too thin, add more sugar.
- Icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The cookies were a hit with my nieces and three different softball teams. I find this sugar cookie dough to be forgiving; it easily rolls out and cuts into cookies. If mistakes happen and they always do, just mash the cookie dough back together and roll out to your desired thickness and start again. Easy peasy. Pointers for next time include:
- This is a multiple day project; either bake and freeze or allow three days from start to finish for baking and decorating.
- If you refrigerate the cookie dough too long it will need to sit awhile before you are able to work with it.
- You will need large amounts of food coloring to achieve the color icing needed. Buy extra, just in case.
- Jello or KoolAid mix work in a pinch; but do change the flavor of the icing.
- Use the smallest icing tip available for writing and piping borders and stitching.
- Be mindful of how much food coloring is needed when adding water to mixture. If too much liquid is used just add more confectioner’s sugar to reach desired consistency.
- Ziploc bags make good substitutes for decorating bags and can be zipped to avoid icing oozing out of the bag.
- The larger cookies were prone to bubbling; next time I make large cookies I am going to use my pie crust beads to prevent blistering.
Making softball cookies is definitely a project; the smiles on my nieces faces make it a worthwhile project.