There’s nothing quite like a warm batch of cookies straight out of the oven, and the best thing about cookies is that they can be made to suit a wide variety of interests. This recipe offers a simple and inexpensive way to whip up some cute cookies for the basketball fanatic in your life.
First, start with a standard sugar cookie recipe. Any basic sugar cookie recipe will do. Here is the recipe that I prefer to use.
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (softened at room temperature)
1 egg, lightly beaten (egg should be at room temperature)
3 Tablespoons half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. With a fork, stir in lightly beaten egg, vanilla and half-and-half. Blend well with fork, then your hands to ensure thorough blending. Chill dough for one hour for easier rolling. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter or a wide-mouthed glass, cut out several circle-shaped cookies from the dough. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 6 – 7 minutes, or until lightly brown. (MomsWhoThink.com)
Once your cookies are baked and resting on a cooling rack, you can begin preparing your frosting. Store-bought frosting works just as well as homemade frosting, and it will cut down on the amount of time and money you spend. I recommend purchasing vanilla or cream cheese frosting, and for 1 dozen cookies, you will need at least one can of frosting. Tint the frosting orange by using a few drops of orange food coloring. The more drops you add, the darker shade of orange you will end up with. If you can’t find orange food coloring, you can still make orange frosting by using yellow food coloring and a few drops of red food coloring. You don’t need to transfer the frosting to a separate bowl; it is just as easy to add the food coloring directly to the frosting in the can. Stir the frosting together well enough so that there is no more visible white color and you have reached your desired hue of orange.
If you prefer to make your own frosting, this recipe takes mere minutes to prepare.
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, stir together the milk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and the vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If the icing is too thick, add additional corn syrup to thin slightly. (MomsWhoThink.com)
Now, on to the fun part! Make sure the cookies have cooled completely. If you try to apply the frosting to a warm cookie, the frosting will melt right off. Using a small spatula or knife, spread some orange frosting onto each cookie. Cover the entire cookie with frosting, and smooth down any bumps with the flat edge of the knife.
With the picture above of the cookie I made as a guide/example, draw lines on the cookie with black food coloring gel. Food coloring gel is available at most grocery stores. You can either choose to make traditional “basketballs” like the one pictured above, or you can get creative and draw different designs on each cookie with the gel.
Once the cookies look like little basketballs, then you are all set to share them with your friends and family!