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Saving Millions by Baking With Love and Butter

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Want your kids (or anyone else in your life) to think you’re a rock star?

Bake them cookies.

Everyone loves the classic recipe that’s printed on the back of the bag of chocolate chips. And who can pass up a warm and chewy homemade peanut butter or oatmeal raisin cookie? Heck, even the convenient results from a tube of slice and bake refrigerated dough bring smiles of gratitude when you’re short on time and long on good intentions.

But that’s not the kind of baking of which I’m speaking. I’m talking about decorated sugar cookies – the kind of baking that’s personalized, fun, and not nearly as intimidating as it looks.

And a good recipe has lots of butter – always a culinary bonus.

Last fall, I procrastinated and waited too long to make cookies for my son’s preschool Halloween party, so I had to hunt down a local bakery that made iced cookies. I about choked on the jack o’ lantern and ghost cookies they were selling when my final bill flirted dangerously close to the $100 range … for 2 dozen cookies.

Stop the presses and turn on the oven.

With all the holiday and birthday class parties that undoubtedly remain in my future over the next 15 or so years, I drew a necessary conclusion from my million dollar Halloween cookie shopping trip: It was time to learn how to make iced sugar cookies.

Countless Internet searches later, I stumbled upon a simple recipe for sugar cookies, and an even simpler recipe for royal icing. After several trips to Michael’s for Wilton tips and pastry bags, ultimately, it’s been a lot of fun trying out my new discoveries over the past several months. The key was creating the sugary goodies for non-pressure-packed situations. That way, I didn’t feel too much stress about making mistakes or messing up a cookie or two. Five-year-olds and hungry husbands don’t necessarily care if the green shamrock St. Patrick’s Day cookie isn’t perfectly outlined – they just love you for making the effort … and the cookies.

Creativity is a plus, but not a necessity. Just dive in and see where you end up. Start out with a few basic cookie cutters and some of your favorite colors. The sky is the limit, as far as decorating goes. All you need is someone to eat the results and praise you for your time and love.

Oh, and the best part is you can make two dozen for significantly less than $100. What a deal.

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