Treat Day Week 1 – Frosted Sugar Cookies!

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Hello! It’s officially Football Season and I am beyond excited!!! With the Bears playing the Packers  earlier in the week this Thursday night, Treat Day was today,  Monday, at Halas Hall.  And so great for me that it was a 3-day holiday weekend and I had the time to experiment with a new frosting technique!  I love doing cut-out cookies with royal icing because it is like being back in college art class for me…but they are time consuming, so be sure you give yourself ample time to get them done!  With last year being so special as well as this year coming up, the 100th Anniversary of our Bears, I knew I had to do something extra special for the first Treat Day of the season.  I had been to my brother, Dan’s house a couple weeks ago and he had a really good looking Bears shirt on that said “CHASING GREAT”.  He mentioned that this is Head Coach Nagy’s theme this year.  So, I started thinking and pretty much got my idea for opening Treat Day! However, I am no expert at cookie design, especially hand writing with frosting.  So I started googling and found a ton of info. on cookie stencils.  I was able to rush order 2 custom stencils from some place out east that arrived just in time on Friday afternoon.58895922743__75C8A3DB-CF18-4264-A248-03A80F1FEFF2

 

 

I bought some Wilton’s edible blue spray color in a can and couldn’t wait to get to work on my cookies and paint the stenciled words on.  I made the dough of my favorite sugar cookie The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie  and Best Tasting Sugar Cookie Icing

* I use vanilla extract (not almond) for my icing

I got to work rolling dough, cutting the cookies and baking.  Cooled them completely, outlined everyone of them with the royal icing which needs to be the consistency of toothpaste.  So be sure to take enough out of your batch of icing before you add all of the milk to make your flooding icing.  A neat trick I  learned while watching videos this weekend is to remove the “outlining” icing and place it on a piece of plastic wrap. It should be pretty thick so you have time to wrap it up before it spreads out. Then just cut one end and place it in your piping bag – no mess…brilliant!85862A3B-B591-4B8A-9CD2-1FFC934A24BE

Once I frosted every cookie, I tested the blue paint on one that seemed pretty dry, I gave it a nice long spray in hopes of getting big bold blue letters … and I carefully lifted the stencil up…and it looked like I was reading without my contacts or glasses on…it was a runny blurry blue mess and barely legible.  I had even bought some hand paint and brushes from Michael’s as back-up in case the spray paint didn’t work.  Well guess what, neither did the brush paint. CRUD! It’s now Saturday night, well Sunday morning at 1am, and I am thinking “now what?”  So, I did what I needed to do and went to bed. I mean, they are only cookies after all, and no matter what they looked like, even if I just ended up putting blue and orange sprinkles on them, they’d still taste good, right? Wrong. Not good enough or special enough for me… I HAD to use these special stencils!

Side note: do NOT cover your frosted cookies while letting them dry overnight.  The bakers on the internet all said to leave your frosted cookies out over night uncovered to air dry… and I am a freak and didn’t think that was a good idea, so I covered every one of my cookie trays with heavy duty foil.  Not only were they not completely dry 7 hours later, one of my pans of cookies stuck to the foil and made for unsightly smoosh marks on my previously beautiful and smooth iced cookies.  After my internal emotional meltdown from this, I pulled myself together and reminded myself that they were darned cookies and they will still taste good.  And these are for the players that, quite frankly, have a few other things to worry about this week than eating a cookie that isn’t perfectly smooth.  Ok, it’s not easy being me sometimes.  Have I mentioned that before? Haha!

I then started googling “buttercream frosting on cookies with stencils”…and low and behold  I found a site with video tutorial that saved the day.  She basically taught me how to use a stiff buttercream and essentially spackle it over your stencil that is placed carefully on top of your royal iced cookie.  Perfect…I had my solution! I whipped up my favorite buttercream recipe and colored some navy and some orange. My Cake School Classic Vanilla Buttercream

I used an offset spatula to gently plop a dollop of buttercream onto the stencil, and then smear the buttercream carefully over the words… and tried not to push down too hard which causes the grooves of your letters to catch onto the spatula and then screw up the look of the final result.  The “G” was giving me a hard time by the final cookies because of this.  Light and steady… you can watch the video tutorial on this site to see how it’s done correctly: Stenciled Buttercream Cookies

After doing about 15 or so cookies, I started to get the hang of it and then I was on a roll.  And happy. In the end they weren’t perfect but who is…ha!  My Bears insider scoop texted me earlier in the day and said the Bears cookies are delicious and a lot had already been eaten.  Treat Day Week 1 is going down in the books as a WIN…thanks to all of the bakers out there on the World Wide Web that taught me a thing or two this weekend on how to stencil! I did use up all of my buttercream when I ran out of royal icing.  I had some fondant that I rolled out and then used these cute little letter and number cutters to make the “Club Dub” and “100” cookies.  So fun!   Moral of the story:  Don’t feel like you have to be a pro to make fun stenciled cookies… there are even some gadgets out there that you can buy to help keep your stencils perfectly in place to make your cookies look even more professional. Give it a try and feel free to contact me with any questions!

Thank you so much for reading my blog and GO BEARS!!!

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Sarah

2018 will mark my 7th Season making treats and baking for the Chicago Bears. You might be thinking, how does one land that gig? Well, let me tell you. It’s riveting… My younger brother, Danny, works full-time for the Bears. Our entire family have been life-long Bears fans, btw. Back in the summer of 2012, he came to me and said, “Hey, we need someone to make treats for the team. Do you think you can do it? Because my boss said, Dan, you’ve got all those sisters, can’t one of them bake? So, I volunteered you.” My first response was, “YES, but I don’t know how to bake”. I mean, up until that point, the only things I remember ever baking were 1) S’mores Bars back in the 80’s off a recipe on the back of the Golden Grahams cereal box. Come to think of it now, I don’t even think those things went into the oven – so technically that wasn’t baking. And 2) Good old Nestle Toll House cookies – which NEVER turned out the same each time I baked them and it drove me nuts and got me to HATE baking for that very reason. I was always in love with cooking, though. I was the gal who threw dinner parties often and provided an obnoxious array of hors d’oeuvres and wine – that’s more my thing. Side note: I learned the hard way that baking and wine don’t mix. Ha! However, I was honored and excited to have been asked to step up to the plate for this little baking / treat-making gig, for THE CHICAGO BEARS, no less. So my answer was an enthusiastic, YES! I figured I still had a month before the first regular season game, which is when the “treat days” begin – every Thursday during the regular season (not preseason). So, I hit the streets in search of good recipes and then got to work test-baking in the kitchen for the rest of that summer. As I became more internet savvy, I started following lots of baking bloggers and watching video tutorials. I would go to parties and if I tasted something that I thought was exceptional, I would never hesitate to ask for the recipe. Baking for the Bears is always in the back of my mind when eating desserts. I now have an arsenal of treat recipes worthy of offering at a bake shop, if I do say so myself;) . I started getting requests for my pound cake, outside of Baking for the Bears, and my Double Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies have been quoted as “The best cookies in the world” by a well-known player, as well as friends, family and neighbors. One of the first things I did was perfect a cookie of my own that comes out pretty consistently crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I no longer rely on the old Toll-House recipe. It’s the one thing I never get tired of baking. The guys get them every week. With that said, this season, I plan to blog my recipes each week, and share with you whatever it is I am making for the Bears. I’ll also give you tried & true feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and any fun comments that the players, staff, friends & co-workers might have regarding the treat of the week. My office colleagues love it when football season rolls around, because I typically find new recipes and test-bake on Sundays to bring in on Mondays for critical reviews. From there, I decide if they are Bear-worthy for Thursday Treat Days at Halas Hall. I hope you will check in periodically and enjoy my blog. I’m super excited for the 2018 Bears football season both on the field and in the kitchen! GO BEARS! This is gonna be a good season… I can feel it!

One thought on “Treat Day Week 1 – Frosted Sugar Cookies!

  1. I so enjoyed reading your blog this morning, Tuohy, and can’t wait for Thursday! Thank you for encouraging me to overcome my fear of fancy decorating. I’m feeling inspired to create a memorable cake for Nora’s 16th bday. Although I may have to call you for help….You’re the BEST! GO BEARS!!!

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