Decorative cookies are always a party favorite. But gourmet cookies or fancy holiday cookies can be expensive. You can make your own decorative gourmet style cookies quickly and easily without even opening the oven door. And it won't break your wallet either!
Buy any variety of store brand cookies. Save money by going for the big bags of cheap brand cookies. Don't worry if the cookies are hard as a rock because you can soften them if you want. Simply put them in a bag or a covered container with slices of white bread. Use two slices of white bread per pound of cookies. Just layer the cookies and bread then close the bag or put the lid on the container and let the cookies and bread sit on your counter for one or two days. The cookies will absorb the moisture of the bread and they will get soft like home baked.
Now it's time to decorate your cookies. You can do anything you want. The ideas are endless! You can frost them or glaze them or dip them in melted chocolate. You can even stack them and stick them together with jelly or marshmallow fluff. Whatever you decide to do they will look great and taste delicious! Below are a few specific ideas on how to decorate your store bought cookies. But don't feel limited to these ideas. Experiment with your own creations.
Gourmet Chocolate Glazed Cookies
Buy any flat round cookies like chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies or even cheap vanilla wafers. You can soften then as mentioned above but you really don't need to because the glaze will soften them a bit. Also buy a container of ready made chocolate frosting. Stack two cookies together with frosting between them. Then frost the top cookie. After you frost it, go over the frosting with a knife that you dipped in hot water. This will give the cookie a smooth glazed look. Add an almond or walnut to the top of the cookie and you are done.
Gourmet Cream Stuffed Cookies
Here is a cookie trick that is sure to surprise everyone. Buy the store brand equivalent of Oreo cookies. You can usually get them in large packages for half the price of real Oreo cookies. You can also get them in other varieties such as vanilla, peanut butter and sometimes strawberry. Just pick your favorite and bring them home. Unscrew the cookies and scrape off all the cream. Put the cream in a bowl and store in the refrigerator. Soften the cookie shells over night as directed above. The next day, take the cream out of the refrigerator and let it sit until it's room temperature. Add something to the cream to make it extra special and mix well. What can you add? Here are some ideas: softened butter, softened cream cheese, peanut butter, any flavor jam or jelly, marshmallow cream. Just add a little at a time and mix. When the cream is the way you want it you simply spread it on one side of the softened cookie shell and cover it with another cookie so you have a gourmet cream stuffed cookie sandwich!
Chocolate Dipped Cookies: Melt chocolate in the microwave then dip your cookies in the melted chocolate. You can dip just half the cookie for a fancy look or you can go ahead and coat the entire cookie. Place the dipped cookies on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. You can add toppings to the cookie just after you dip it while the chocolate is still soft such as chopped nuts, coconut, crushed candy, coarse sugar, etc. You can place the tray of cookies in the refrigerator when you are done to make the chocolate harden quicker.
However you decide to decorate your cookies you should always display them nicely. Put each cookie in a paper muffin cup or a foil muffin cup and put them on your best platter. If you are giving them as a gift layer them in a pretty tin can lined with foil or tissue paper. Your gourmet cookies will be a big hit. And when you are asked for the recipe just wink and say it's a family secret!