I'll have to admit that I wanted to skip the cooling stage of the cookie dough so I went and bought me a box mix for the sugar cookies. I decided to ice the cookies with a layer of frosting ahead of time so that it could dry and be ready for decorating the next day.
I used the royal icing recipe here. She gives a great tutorial on decorating cookies.
1 cup water
6 Tbsp. meringue powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want white icing)
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
I had trouble finding the meringue powder (which is at Michael's - be sure to use your coupon!). The recipe was delicious, BUT it was way too much for what I needed. Next time, I will half the recipe or make only a fourth.
2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
Mix the meringue powder and water until incorporated. Then add the vanilla and lemon extract. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high for about 10 minutes. It will be stiff. I used that consistency to outline the cookies. I divided the icing to color it. At that time, I would add tablespoons of water to the icing to thin it out (to fill the cookie with a smooth layer).
After icing ALL the cookies, I still had enough royal icing to fill 5 bottles (and then some).
We took out the candy, sprinkles, and whatever was edible to decorate.
The kids had so much fun.
Surprisingly, we decorated for quite some time and through out the day.
"Look at my cookie," A. says.
R. and Auntie made a couple.
Do you like it Mommy?
Some snowman creations.
"I wanted to decorate using patterns," E. tells me. For a boy who doesn't like sweets (yes, it is a strange concept for a kid), he didn't have trouble finishing this cookie (that was truly the first). Cookies are decorated, now we are onto our Gingerbread house.