You Are My Sunshine Decorated Sugar Cookies

You Are My Sunshine Decorated Sugar Cookies imperial

Our friend and brand ambassador Bridget Edwards from Bake at 350 is back again, this time with a decorated cookie recipe that will brighten Mother's Day. 

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…" How many of us have memories of our mothers singing this song?

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Let her know you remember – and that SHE’S your sunshine by making You Are My Sunshine cookies!

Feel free to make this cookie set your own. You can make it as is or just the suns and attach a card that reads, “You are my sunshine, mom!”

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We’ll start with Imperial Sugar’s Classic Sugar Cookie recipe. For the suns, you’ll use a sun or flower-shaped cookie cutter and a circle cookie cutter that fits in the center. (If you’re making the other cookies, you can use any shape for the wording cookie, and you’ll need a heart-shaped cookie for the heart.)

This is what I call a “double-decker” cookie. It’s two cookies in one – a smaller cookie is attached on top of the larger one with a little icing. It gives the cookie dimension, and it’s a great excuse to eat two cookies at once.

Another tip for adding a little dimension is that we’re using two shades of yellow icing for the sun. It’s totally ok if you just want to make one shade of yellow. The cookies will still be darling.

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The icing we’re using is Imperial Sugar’s Royal Icing recipe. You may want to double the recipe depending on how many cookies you’re making. I always like to have extra icing so I don’t have to stop in the middle of a project to make more.

Other supplies:

  • Gel paste food coloring in two shades of yellow, black, pink, and green
  • Disposable icing bags
  • Icing coupler
  • Icing tips: #2, #1, star, and leaf
  • Toothpicks
  • Squeeze bottles

Make the icing, divide, and tint. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the icing to prevent crusting.

Thin the lighter shade of yellow with water, a bit at a time, until a knife run through the center disappears in a count of 5-8 seconds. Cover with a damp dish towel and let sit for several minutes. Stir gently to pop any large air bubbles.

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Dip the circle cookies into the thinned icing, lightly scraping the excess icing (but not the cookie) on the side of the bowl. (You can repeat this until you get the coverage you like.) Give the cookie a gentle shake to smooth the icing. Use a toothpick for popping large air bubbles. Set aside to dry for at least 1 hour.

[Note: circles are notoriously tricky to outline, so the dip method, rather than outline and fill, works well for this shape.]

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Place some of the darker yellow icing in a piping bag fitted with a #2 icing tip. Squiggle some icing onto the middle of each larger cookie. Place the circle cookie on top.

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Use the same icing to outline sun rays in triangle shapes and as straight lines. Thin the remaining icing with water, a little thinner than the light yellow icing. You’ll want to drop a ribbon of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of 2-3 seconds. If the icing is too thin, add sifted powdered sugar to thicken it and try again.

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Pour the thinned icing into a squeeze bottle and fill in the outlined triangles. Use a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.

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Use a #1 tip and black icing to add eyes and eyelashes to the sun. Use a #2 tip and pink icing to add a heart-shaped mouth.

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For the “You are My Sunshine” wording cookies, outline and fill the entire cookie in the darker yellow icing. Let dry for at least one hour, then add the wording in black and a pink heart with the same icing tips as above.

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For the hearts, outline and fill the cookie with pink icing. Let dry for at least one hour. Switch the tip on the piping consistency yellow icing to a star tip. (Use two-size star tips, if desired.) Pipe in a circle to make flowers. Use a leaf tip and green icing to make leaves.

Let the cookies dry uncovered for 6-8 hours or overnight.

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Mom, thanks for being our sunshine!