My friend asked me to show her how I make my decorated cookies, so we sat down over two days this weekend to go through the process from beginning to end.  First, we settled on a simple but stunning design I found last week from Hayley Cakes and Cookies in Austin, TX.

Inspiration Photo

Starting on Saturday night, I had her prepare the cookie dough and roll it out to 3/8" sheets for chilling, then she was left to cut the shapes and bake them.  On Sunday, we started at noon with making the royal icing, mixing in our colors, then getting them to outline consistency.  For the first step, we made the heart outlines and let it dry for about an hour.  While they were drying, we mixed a flood consistency of the two fill colors.  Once the cookies were flooded, we allowed them to dry for about two and a half hours, long enough for the top to not crack when we then drew on the lips and mustaches - finally finishing around 5:30pm with only the overnight dry step left.  A great design for a first time decorator, I think, because it walks through all of the steps, covers both outlining and flooding, and demonstrates what a lengthy process these cookies can be!!

I call this cookie arrangement "The Ladies Man"...