Panera party + knock-off tulip cookies.

Gretty and I decided to play Panera at home after we ran an errand in town the other day. I am a month-to-month member of the “unlimited sip club” which means I will pay the exclusive $1.99/month offer for as much coffee as often as I want until they decide to charge me more. Then I will abandon Panera forever.

We exchanged baseball cleats for the boys, so I dropped by and got my coffee and she looked at all the pretty bakery goods and spotted the most beautiful tulip cookie she’d ever seen. An audible gasp– “oh, Mom. Look!

If you know my stingy sip club ways, then you’ll be darn right that I said we could make those at home. So that’s what we did, the perfect windy spring day project. We made a menu, broke out the Monopoly money, baked cookies and made a pot of tomato soup and broccoli cheese soup. We even put a sign on the door and little cards on the table that said Panera is hiring! Apply now!

This is the best sugar cookie cutout recipe for hefty, strong cookies that can take a good icing. It’s from–I switch up the flavoring sometimes, and I speed along the chill time by flattening the dough inside a large ziploc bag and then freezing it for 20 minutes or so. It rolls out easily. If you have cookie cutters, go for it. For the tulips, we free-handed it.

Panera sells these tulip cookies for $3.19 but I’m here to say we sold them for $500. And I like coffee from Sam’s club better anyway.

Sugar Cookie Icing that hardens

  • powdered sugar
  • flavoring (vanilla plus almond, strawberry, lemon–I buy Goodmans flavoring, made in Missouri!)
  • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • water, to thin to desired consistency
  • gel food coloring

Begin with 5-6 cups powdered sugar. Add flavoring, corn syrup, and enough water to help mixture come together smoothly. Add drops of water to thin.
I spoon white icing into a ziploc baggie, add a drop of food coloring, and massage the bag till the color is right. Snip the corner, pipe outline on cookies. It will set quickly. You may thin the icing more to flood consistency, if desired. In that case, just spread the icing out to the outline with the back of a spoon.

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