Say happy birthday, yum, congrats, or anything special with these banner cookies. Each banner is a cute party detail and a yummy treat tied into one special sweet. I love simple tricks like this, that can turn any cookie moment (from afternoon snack time to a milestone birthday) even sweeter!
Start by making a basic sugar cookie dough.
Cream together 2 cups of room temperature butter with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Mix in two eggs until fully incorporated, and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can also add a teaspoon of almond or lemon essence to give some extra flavour to your cookies.
Sift in 4 cups of flour and a pinch of salt in a separate mixing bowl, slowly mixing into the wet mixture. Once the flour is just combined, split the dough in half and roll out the two halves onto baking paper, around 1/4 inch thick.
Chill the dough in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. While the dough is chilling, cut your banner shape template from a thick cardstock paper to use as a template for the sugar cookies.
Once the dough is chilled, remove one portion of rolled dough from the fridge. Starting from the edge of the dough, lightly score around the banner shape template with a sharp knife and use this as a guide for placing your letters.
Using alphabet cookie cutters, carefully press your chosen letters into the dough, only pressing halfway through but making a clear print. Make the holes for hanging the cookie with a chopstick or a skewer, making sure they are not too close to the edge. Once you have pressed the letters and made the holes, cut out the banner shapes using the template and a sharp knife.
Creating the letters and holes before you cut out the cookie keeps the dough more stable and less likely to break as you work with it. Place the cookies on a tray lined with parchment paper, and chill for another hour. Repeat with the second set of dough. Keeping the dough thoroughly chilled will help you to cut clean shapes and prevent the cookies spreading when you bake.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the cookies for 7 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on a metal rack, before threading bakers twine through the holes. String the banner cookies together to make a garland, or tie them around milk bottles for a great way to present this party treat.
(Photography © A Subtle Revelry by Claire Cassidy)