To Gift or Not To Gift {Sugar Cookie Decorating}

I must confess. I almost decided not to share these cookies with you… in particular the decorating part. I did not have a good cookie decorating day. It was a sad day for me and my cookies. Then I thought, who said that every shared project had to have a successful and happy outcome? Right?

So what exactly was the problem? The royal icing… that’s what! {sigh}

Cardamom and Orange Zest Sugar Cookies

Disaster had struck with my royal icing! I’ve never had problems with royal icing, but I guess there has to be a first for everything. I am not sure what went wrong. From my investigation, the most likely culprit is humidity. {sigh, again} The problem occurred as the cookies dried up. First, they did take much longer than usual to dry. Then upon drying, the icing on the cookies dried up with an uneven surface. I had over 60 cookies that I iced. I couldn’t let them go to waste, so I decided to proceed and finish what I started. I did contemplate making a new batch and spend another two days baking and decorating. However, they were going to family. You know, those people that are supposed to love you unconditionally and who wouldn’t hold it against you if you gifted them utterly imperfect cookies. Or would they?! Would you?!

While I sit here and contemplate on to gift or not to gift, I’ll show you how I decorated them. That was my plan after all. Just don’t look too closely at the pictures. ;)

Cadamom and Orange Zest Sugar Cookie Cut Outs

When I make sugar cookie cut outs, I do have a favorite go to recipe but this time I wanted to try something new. Something that will spice up the sugar cookie. Spice it up I did with cardamom and orange zest! I found the recipe over at Art and the Kitchen. The idea of using cardamom spice in cookies always appealed to me, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did! This just may be my new favorite go to recipe for sugar cookie cut outs! Mr. OTI isn’t big on sugar cookies in general, but he couldn’t stop eating these… neither could I. He wanted to keep the cookies all to himself… HA! He begged me to leave them be and not decorate them. The Mr. does not like icing of any sort on his cookies. Maybe I should have listened to him! But I did have a cookie decorating itch that I couldn’t ignore. An itch that was provoked by my new cookie cutters.

Moroccan Style Cookie Cutters

I had purchased these Moroccan style cookie cutters from Printmeneer on Etsy. I thought they would be a fun shape for Eid. I actually came across them right before Ramadan and had intended to use them then, but never found the time. Also, at that time, I had a different icing design in mind but decided to go with a simpler design instead.

Moroccan Style Sugar Cookies

At this point, the base icing had not warped yet.

I iced the base of the cookies in teal and juniper green. After a few of hours drying time, I then piped lines in ivory for the teal and gold for the green. Once the lines were dry, I piped on dots for the green and x’s for the teal. Both in copper.

Sugar Cookie Decorating with Luster Dust

You can start seeing unevenness here.

To give the copper more of a metallic look, I painted on luster dust. I am a big fan of luster dust because it does add pop. Even though I love dry brushing it on, I especially love creating paint out of it. For metallic colors, painting it on gives more of a metallic effect. To make the paint, I combined copper luster dust and lemon oil to create a paintable consistency. Thinner than actual paint but a bit thicker than milk. Waiting for the luster dust to dry was the final step.

Cookie Decorating Disaster

This is pretty much what they all turned into. Yuck!

Cookie decorating done. Royal icing frustration not so much. By the end of the day, the base icing for all the cookies was completely uneven and blemished. What makes this so frustrating is that it happened to something to be gifted. {another sigh}

Happy ending or not, at least I did get to satisfy my cookie decorating itch.

Moroccan Design Sugar Cookies

Also, at least there were a few decent cookies that were picture worthy {ssh…the uglier ones are hidden underneath}. But like I said, don’t look too closely. ;)

Sugar Cookie Moroccan Style Cut Out

These cookies were to go in the Eid gift baskets I mentioned in this post here. In the next post, I’ll show you how they would be packaged if I do decide to include them in the gift basket.

If I decide not to use these cookies, I’m sure I can find someone to eat them (other than Mr. OTI!). This is a great sugar cookie recipe after all!

Have you had unsuccessful outcomes with something you were making for a gift? Tell me your stories.


  1. October 4, 2013  9:24 am by Cheryl Reply

    Your cookies look beautiful! Sometimes we are much harder on ourselves than we should be - as a perfectionist, I know these things.

  2. October 4, 2013  9:57 am by Creative Mind Reply

    so beautiful.. may I have some please.. haha..
    MashaAllah you are so talented :)

  3. October 4, 2013  10:34 am by Esra Reply

    They look gorgeous MAYSEM! Gift!!!

  4. October 4, 2013  12:28 pm by Rana Reply

    Your cookies look great and they look super yummy :)

  5. October 4, 2013  2:22 pm by Maha Reply

    Maysem they look beautiful! I really think that you are just hard on yourself. Btw our family especially our brothers will eat them. So just don't you worry!

  6. October 4, 2013  6:28 pm by amy of while wearing heels Reply

    Maysem, you are a perfectionist. These look beautiful. Seriously, if I made cookies that looked that good, I would be showing them off proudly for everyone. I might not even let people eat them, I'd just want to stare at them and admire. Love the new cookie cutters. You certainly impressed me.

  7. October 4, 2013  7:39 pm by sahara Reply

    Because I know you, I understand where your coming from. You like your creations to come out perfect. But believe me , if I made these, I would have felt awesome!

  8. October 4, 2013  7:48 pm by Ellya Brill Reply

    These cookies are so adorable. Thanks for sharing.


  9. October 5, 2013  1:51 am by ColleenB. Reply

    Yes, humidity has a lot to do when it comes to making icing as well as candy but I must say, I think your cookies look great

  10. October 5, 2013  6:58 am by Dina Reply

    You are being way to hard on yourself. Not only did they look good but they tasted awesome !

  11. October 5, 2013  7:54 pm by Salwa Reply

    You can always feel free to leave us the scraps ;-) of anything edible you're not sure what to do with :p. LOL!

  12. October 5, 2013  8:47 pm by shirley@housepitalitydesigns Reply

    Oh my goodness Maysem...those cookies are beautiful...way too beautiful to eat! are a perfectionist...and I cannot see anything that is slightly wrong!...Spectacular job!!

  13. October 7, 2013  6:59 am by Deauna @ Honesty’s Protégée Reply

    Wow! I think they look gorgeous despite the issues you had! Stopping by from the Sweet Sharing Monday link party.

  14. October 7, 2013  2:20 pm by Manal Reply

    They look great to me, I can hardly see anything wrong with them... Gift away, I can't wait to get mine in the mail ;) haha Btw, I want to try this new cookie recipe sometime soon... I like sugar cookies plain as well and with the orange zest and cardamom, I think I'd love them.

  15. October 9, 2013  1:41 pm by Amy | Club Narwhal Reply

    These are gorgeous! And you should definitely gift them because they look beautiful :)

  16. October 11, 2013  8:40 pm by carolyn ~ homework Reply

    I just wanted to let you know that I featured your wonderful project on homework. Thanks so much for sharing it on The Inspiration Board. Have a great weekend!

    homework &

  17. Pingback : Ode to Inspiration » To all the people and things that inspire me and motivate me to jump into projects I never thought I would do! I hope you get inspired too! » Teal & Gold Berry Baskets {Eid Gift}

  18. October 16, 2013  11:50 am by Kim Reply

    Your such an awesome cookie maker! Thanks for linking up on Made in a Day last week! I ‘m glad you stopped by this week!

  19. Pingback : Ode to Inspiration » To all the people and things that inspire me and motivate me to jump into projects I never thought I would do! I hope you get inspired too! » Cardamom Spiced Cookies

  20. Pingback : The Inspiration Board: creative party spotlight ~123~ | homework: creative inspiration for home and life

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