I always find myself lusting after gorgeously decorated sugar cookies. Even though I consider myself pretty skilled when it comes to decorating cakes and cupcakes, cookies are not really my thing. Or I guess I should say they weren’t my thing. After baking and decorating (with Eric’s help) nearly 300 of them, I feel pretty confident that I can try more complicated techniques in the near future. Even though it involved baking at night after Clara went to sleep and staying up way too late to decorate them, I’m definitely ready to do it again.
You may be wondering why on earth I made so many cookies, and it’s for a very special reason. My sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, recently formed a chapter at VCU. Their recruitment was a couple weeks ago, and an entire day was dedicated to philanthropy. The puzzle piece cookies were made to match the logo for Autism Speaks, an organization that Alpha Xi Delta has been partnering with since 2009. While enjoying these cookies, women heard stories of how Alpha Xi Deltas all across the country are helping to raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks. The VCU chapter recently started working with a bowling league for children with autism, and that’s just one event of many that they’ll be participating in and/or hosting this year.
I was nervous about making cookies for so many people, but I’m happy to report that they were a huge success. Unlike standard sugar cookies, these have a dose of lemon zest and vanilla bean that makes them much more flavorful. Since the icing is nothing more than confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder and water, it’s important that the cookies have a lot of flavor. There are plenty of variations on traditional sugar cookies, but I’m quite sure this one is my favorite. The entire downstairs of our house smelled amazing while these were baking, so much so that Eric commented on the last night that he was going to miss our house smelling like a bakery.