I haven’t been traveling much lately, unless you count back and forth between my kitchen and my local grocery store, but I’m okay with that, because I’m having a ton of fun right here at home. I do have some pretty great travel plans on the horizon, but in the meantime I thought I’d share step by step directions for these festive llama piñata cookies, which would make a welcome addition to any celebration.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make llama piñatas:
- llama or other favorite cookie cutter shape
- A batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough. Preferably a no chill, no spread recipe as I don’t know about you, but when I feel like making cookies I don’t feel like waiting 6+ hours for the dough to chill. (see recipe suggestion below)
- Royal icing (see recipe and tips below)
- Food coloring gel
- Piping bag/tips
- Rainbow Sprinkles
Step by Step photo directions:
For each complete pinata cookie you’ll need three cookies. Decide how many complete cookies you want and bake accordingly. Because it’s a lot of cookie, I baked these slightly thinner than I normally would, but that’s personal preference.
Once you’ve cut all your shapes, but before you bake, cut the center out of one cookie per set, this will be the middle of your piñata. I used a small rectangular cutter, but you can use any shape you like as long as you leave a nice sized border around the edges.
Prepare your royal icing while your cookies are baking. Use the food coloring gel to mix your colors, keeping in mind that you’ll want to use a thicker consistency so the icing will hold its shape. Gel colors are great because they don’t add additional moisture to the icing, which can make it too runny.
Pipe icing around the edges of the bottom cookie and place the middle cookie on top doing your best to line up the edges. Don’t worry if this isn’t perfect, you can cover that up when you pipe the outside.
Now for the fun part, filling your piñata. I used these colorful sprinkles and nonpareils, but jimmies would also be fun and look pretty.
Once you’ve added the filling pipe icing around the edges of the cavity and the entire cookie, which should help keep your surprise inside and together. Give the cookies ample time to set before adding the final step.
Once your cookies are completely set they are ready to be iced. Give them a little shake. Do you hear the surprise inside?
There is no right way to decorate the outside of the piñata. I chose to pipe little loops, which is quick and easy. I start from the bottom piping one layer at a time with a slight overlap for each new color. Hopefully this will give the appearance of layers.
Once your festive friend has dried completely, give them a few hours, they are ready to share with friends. Will you make these fun treats? If you do, will you tell your friends they have a surprise inside, or wait and see what happens when they dig in?
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup slightly softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 (or 4 ½ ) cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and both sugars together. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
- Add the salt and baking powder and mix.
- Add the flour one cup at a time until you’ve mixed in 4 cups. If the dough seems too sticky add additional flour a little at a time, up to ½ a cup, until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- This dough does not require chilling, and can be rolled and baked immediately. However, if you do plan to chill and bake later do not add the additional ½ cup of flour, as the dough will become too dry.
Bake at 350F. If you roll to 1/4” thick, bake for about 7 – 10 minutes on the bottom rack. To obtain an even bake turn the tray half way through.
This royal icing recipe can be split into as many colors as desired and will be more than enough to cover 3 – 5 dozen cookies.
- 1 2 pound bag of powdered sugar
- 8 tablespoons of meringue Powder
- 2 teaspoons or more vanilla or other desired flavoring.
- ¾ cup warm water
- White food gel (optional)
- Measure the meringue powder into the warm water and whisk until completely incorporated. If you encounter lumps strain the mixture into another bowl to ensure it is lump free. Add your flavoring and pour into your mixing bowl.
- Turn your mixer on low and add the powdered sugar in small amounts (adding the entire bag at once will ensure that you and your kitchen will be covered in sugar) until you’ve emptied the bag.
- Mix until the sugar and meringue powder are completely combined and then some. Don’t over mix.
- If you’re only using one color add it now, otherwise you might like to separate into individual bowls.
- Your icing will be very thick, add additional water a few drops (careful, a little goes a long way) at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Don’t worry if you add too much; just add more powdered sugar until it’s where you want it.
- Thick like toothpaste or Greek yogurt for piping outlines, flowers and writing and thin like honey for flooding.
- Have fun mixing colors!
- If you don’t plan to use your icing right away cover the bowl with a clean damp dishtowel to prevent it from drying up. Store any unused icing in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
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