Pittsburgh’s going to the Super Bowl (XLV)! To state the obvious, it’s not hard to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and I must admit to feeling just a tad spoiled. Withholding franchise statistics in attempt to not gloat or jinx Sunday’s game, I will divert my attention to the task at hand: spirited party food prep.
The classic cut-out sugar cookie seems to suit every holiday and casual occasion…snowmen for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, cloverleaves for St. Patty’s…the list goes on and on. So, naturally I thought that creating the iconic 3-diamond Pittsburgh Steeler logo on a circular cut-out sugar cookie would make for some fun game day treats. Baking the cookies and spreading a preliminary layer of white icing on them was a breeze. Creating a yellow, red and blue diamond pattern…harder than I thought!
Take note, the three “diamonds” within the logo are actually not diamonds at all; technically, they are hypocycloids – diamonds with inward-curving edges. (Interesting history of the Pittsburgh Steelers logo here.) Keep this in mind when piping the yellow, red and blue shapes. After a bit of trial and error, I found the simplest way to create inward-curving edged diamonds is by piping in a continuous motion the stencil shape of each respective color, then filling in the center. I preferred to work one color at a time for speed and efficiency, plus only had one Wilton® No. 3 Round Decorating Tip on hand. Using a no. 3 pastry tip to achieve a clean look is recommended, but improvise if necessary by using any standard round pastry tip or by cutting of a very small edge from the corner of a clear plastic zip seal bag. Unless channeling the skill of Michaelangelo, the “diamonds” may not have absolute precision in comparison to a professionally stamped logo, but I happen to favor the more fluid look.
Any logo, design, shape, etc. can be made from this basis sugar cookie recipe, but for all intents and purposes of this week I recommend not diverting from the below method or decorating instructions. Go team!
Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Limited Edition: Prizewinning Recipes
Yield about 30 cookies
2/3 c unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing (below)
1. Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 inch think. Cut dough into desired shapes using a cookie cutter or alternative tool. *I used the rim of a glass. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are barely light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate with Powdered Sugar Icing (below).
Powdered Sugar Icing
2 c powdered sugar
2 TBSP milk (adding more by the TBSP until desired texture)
Yellow, red and blue food coloring
3 snack-size clear plastic zip seal bag
1-3, No. 3 Round Decorating Tip
1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 tsp/TBSP at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency.
2. Reserve half of the icing for the base white coat. Divide the other half evenly into three small bowls. Using food coloring, dye each subdivided white icing into vibrant yellow, red and blue colors, adding extra drops as needed to reach the desired shade. *I guesstimate using 20-50 drops per color.
3. Spread an even coat of white icing onto each cookie round. Let dry until set, approximately 20-30 minutes.
4. To create the 3-diamond logo design, push decorating tip(s) through the corner of a clear plastic zip seal bag(s). Fill individual bag(s) with colored icing. Working with one color at a time, pipe an inward curving diamond on the cookie at each colors appropriate location; yellow at top center, red at center right and blue at bottom center. Let dry until completely set. I let mine sit overnight just to be sure. Store in airtight container