RAINBOW COOKIE NECKLACES

Sandwich vibrant royal icing between colorful cookie rings, coat them with rainbow sprinkles, string them onto colorful bakers twine and get ready for the wide-eyed smiles!

Mix up a batch of our favorite cutout cookie dough and divide into 6 equal parts. Dye each part a different color using gel paste food coloring. We used electric pink, electric orange, electric yellow, electric green, electric blue, and electric purple.  We recommend mixing the food coloring into the cookie dough in between plastic wrap to protect your hands from getting stained.  The dyed cookie dough will not stain your hands once its mixed in. Cover each ball of cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Roll out your cookie dough to 1/8" thick, one color at a time. Use a 7/8" round cutter, its the smallest cutter in our round circle cutter set, to cut out your circles.  Pop them out of the cutter right onto your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a drinking straw to punch out the center holes in your cookies.  Press the straw into the center, twist your straw and lightly hold the cookie down when you pull out the straw.  We used a different straw for each color of dough.

Bake for 9 minutes turning the cookie sheet once during baking.  Keep a close eye on your cookies.  You want them to be done, but not browned.  Let cool.

Mix up a batch of royal icing. Divide into 6 equal parts and dye each part a different color using gel paste food coloring.  We used super red, electric orange, electric yellow, electric green, electric blue, and electric purple.  Royal icing dries pretty quickly so make sure to keep your icing covered while sitting. Roll a cuff on your disposable decorating bags and place in drinking glasses to keep them upright while loading with icing.  Pour your icing into your decorating bags, twist shut and secure with a rubber band.

Use a bamboo skewer to keep your cookie centers aligned while sandwiching. This is important to make stringing the cookies easier.

We then kept the sandwiched cookie on the skewer while sprinkling.  This made it easy to get the sprinkles all around the cookie without touching the icing.  Non-pareils were perfect because the cookies are tiny and so are the sprinkles.

Let the cookies dry uncovered overnight.

Now you are ready to string your cookies! We used 3 different colors of bakers twine for each necklace.  Cut your bakers twine about 36" long and thread onto a large needle.  We found an over-sized needle in the knitting section of our local craft store that worked perfectly.  Thread your cookies using a candy from a candy necklace as a spacer between each cookie.  12 cookies seemed about right to us.  To wear the necklace just put around the neck of your lucky little one and tie the remaining bakers twine in a bow.

Best Ever Cutout Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavoring)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Add extract and blend. Mix flour and salt and gradually add. Cover dough with plastic wrap (we usually put ours in a gallon size Ziploc bag) and chill dough for about 2 hours. Working with about 1/3 of the batch at a time, briefly knead the chilled dough and roll about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes. Bake cut out cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets at 375 for 12-14 minutes.

You can also freeze the dough. After mixing, put dough in a gallon size Freezer ziploc bag (or wrap well) and freeze. Thaw overnight or for at least a few hours in the refrigerator in the ziploc bag. If too chilled to handle, let sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour until it's workable. Chilled is good, though, don't let it get too warm and soft.

Royal Icing Recipe

This icing is for a traditional royal icing that dries very hard. The icing should cling to the spoon and slowly fall into the bowl. That's the right consistency.  You want the icing to flood nicely, but not so runny that it runs of the side of your cookies.

4 TB meringue powder
1/2 cup water
6-7 cups confectioner's sugar (more or less, see the consistency advice above)
2-6 drops flavoring oil
Gel Paste Food Coloring

Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed for a long time, several minutes, until it's fluffy and peaks form (use an electric hand beater or the wire whisk of your standing mixer). Gradually add the rest of the ingredients to desired consistency. Store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to a month.