I had been thinking about making cookies as party favors for my daughter Jenna’s wedding since we went to visit the venue the year before. Time gets away from you, and also she got married shortly after communion season, which is my busiest time of year. The week of the wedding I decided I would try it with this bar recipe, and I’m so glad I did! They were such a great hit at the wedding. Many people asked for the recipe.
I started on the Wednesday evening before the wedding…. after dinner!! I used my kitchen aid mixer and mixed and baked batch after batch. If you are baking a batch or two, they are very easy to mix by hand, but I was in a hurry! I thought I would just start baking and finish on Thursday, but I got in a grove and baked all 92 cookies by about 2 a.m. I know, I know, I need to plan better. I have actually frozen these before and they freeze well. But to be honest, If I was going to freeze and do them way in advance I may have been a little fancier. But still, they were impressive!
As they come out of the oven, you will use your cookie cutter to cut them right away, but leave them cool on a rack. Lift out the parchment paper and when they are cool lift all the scraps around the cookie and save for another use.
I actually put out a big table liner on my dining room table and left them all there until the morning. You can see all the scraps in the background, which I will provide some awesome recipes for! I would recommend a piping bag and a small round tip, but if you don’t have one you can use a strong freezer bag and cut a small hole in the end. Try out your line for size and if you need to cut a little larger hole. You just need a thin line to outline the two colors.
Separate your royal icing into three portions, the white being the smallest portion and the sand color the largest. Mix brown gel food coloring into the icing until you reach an sand color you are happy with, just a little bit at a time. It is best to keep your royal icing covered with a wet clean dish towel or wet paper towels, as it will dry out quickly. First pipe your sand color in an outline as above and let dry for a few minutes. By the time you’ve come back around to your first cookie, this will be set up enough. Then take small spoons of icing and drop it into the center of where you outlined. Taking a toothpick and running through the icing to spread it, using more icing if necessary. After your first one you will know how much you need for your size cookie. After every few cookies, sprinkle coconut or brown sugar on the icing to make it look like sand. The icing dries quickly so do this after every few cookies.
Then, using another piping bag and the same size tip I outlined my water portion in white (only on the outside of the cookie. Yes, I am lazy, I could have made a separate bag of blue but I knew I needed the white for the waves and after all it was THURSDAY!! Let the white dry the same way the sand color dried.
Now, you will put small teaspoons of blue in the water portion, and in the same way every few cookies before it dries use your white piping bag to make some waves. Make one on the edge then two more inside the water. You can use a toothpick and pull up some of the white to make it look like waves, and sprinkle some clear sugar crystal (like a clear sugar sprinkle not just cane sugar)
Then take your sand colored piping bag and practice making your initials before you actually put them on a cookie. Brush off all the loose sand before you pipe them on the cookie, as they will stick better than way.
I left my cookies on the table and packed them on Friday morning. I cut squares of gold paper that fit in the bottom of the boxes, then slid the cookies in a packed them up. I used a box from clearbags.com – number FB99 and I had about a 3 inch cookie cutter.
Whew done!! I love how they turned out, the boxes were perfect. And there they are at the actual wedding
Beach Cookie Wedding Favors
The most delicious sugar bar cookies ever!!
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsps. vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Step 1 preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Step 2 line a 13 by 9 baking pan with parchment paper
- Step 3 Melt butter in microwave 30 seconds, if not fully melted put it back in for 15 second intervals
- Step 4 Let butter cool slightly
- Step 5 mix together butter and sugar
- Step 6 mix in eggs one at a time
- Step 7 mix in vanilla
- Step 8 mix in flour until completely blended
- Step 9 pour into prepared pan
- Step 10 bake for 25-27 minutes until edges are slightly browned
- Step 11 if you are cutting shapes, cut right away
- Step 12 removed from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cool before decorating