April 10, 2012

Under the Sea Sugar Cookies

I'm not much of a fan of snorkeling which is ironic because I love to swim, especially in the ocean.  I've gone a couple of times in Hawaii and the first few minutes were great, then came the onslaught of hyperventilation and after that it was game over.

My niece was hosting a Nemo birthday party for her daughter and asked if I could make the cookie favors.  In my imagination these Under the Sea cookie creatures are what I may have come across had I managed to stay under water longer than ten minutes.  Don't the cookies' vibrant colors just scream the tropics and crystal clear waters? Yeah, I know they aren't necessarily anatomically correct but these are just cookies, people! 

Basic Vanilla Sugar Cookie
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla extract and combine until egg is completely incorporated.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until no trace of dry ingredients remain.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.  Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
gel food coloring

Mix powdered sugar and meringue powder in mixer until well combined.  Slowly add water and mix until you get the consistency you want*.  Add food coloring to achieve your desired color.

For outlining: consistency should be like glue paste

For flooding: add enough water so that the consistency is pretty runny

* Note: Royal Icing is extremely forgiving.  If you find you've added too much water and the icing is too runny, just add more powdered sugar.  Vice versa if your icing is too thick.


  1. what a great job you did with this cookies!

  2. Great for birthday parties...to match an Ariel-themed cake. Very creative!

  3. Fantastic! I love the starfish and all of the colors.

  4. Is there a substitute that could be used for meringue powder? I couldn't find it at the grocery store. Please let me know!

    1. You can also find meringue powder at craft supply stores like Michaels or Joann Fabrics. Amazon also sells it.

      But if you don't want to use meringue powder you can substitute with fresh egg whites. 1/4 meringue powder = 2 egg whites.

      Personally I don't use egg whites in my royal icing because it's not recommended for consumption by children or pregnant woman.

    2. Ok thanks! I was also wondering if te frosting will be ok if I use liquid food color for some of my colors?

    3. You can use liquid food colors but start with a small amount first and mix it in and add a little bit more as needed.

  5. Anonymous7/30/2014

    may I ask how you did the eyes and the dots for the starfish? thanks

    1. Sure, I used royal icing to make the starfish trails. You have to get the right consistency where it will be able to hold the round shape when you use squeeze it out of the decorating bag. I used a very tiny round tip.

  6. Anonymous7/30/2014

    can I ask how you did the eyes and starfish trail..thanks

  7. Anonymous5/29/2017

    how many cookies does this recipe make??


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